Its that sometimes dreaded time of the year for parents...family pictures. For some, family pictures are ranked in their top 3 worst things ever! Its stressful to know what to dress all your kids in, what to put you in, and how to make it all work together! But let us help you! Family pictures don't have to be stressful. If you are stressed over it, this attitude will rub off on your kids + husband and the mood will take a nose dive.
1. Let your outfits "coordinate" but not "match".
What does that even mean? Well gone are the days where everyone comes in the exact same 2 colors. Or everyone wears khaki pants. Let your outfits express a little bit of personality in each one. I always suggest have a bold pattern somewhere in the mix as well as having a couple pops of subtle color. I also suggest having a color "scheme" instead of definite colors that HAVE to work. If you tell yourself you are doing "Neutrals" then it will be easy to pick out a couple different colors and outfits for each of you! Creme, white, gray, blush pink, gold, khaki, denim, etc. That is MUCH easier than saying everyone HAS to be in a specific shade of blue.
2. Picking the best clothing options for each member
I always suggest that mom come in a nice flowy dress. Not only is it SUPER flattering but it is comfortable + easy to wear while wrestling young children. I also like when moms dress is either a strong neutral to tie everything together, or that she is the one is the pattern.
Dad is easy! A good pair of jeans or khakis is always the go to. I also like sweaters, suit jackets, or a button up shirt. Try to stay away from t-shirts for anyone. They are a little "too" casual and often show our "not so favorite" features.
Little sister/brother is also a good option for a pattern. I love little boys in a plaid button up or sweater, and little sister is fun to have in stripes, bright bows, cheetah, etc. Because they are smaller, if they wear a bold pattern it doesn't distract from the pictures. So don't be afraid to put them in something fun to tie things together!
Big sister/brother are great as the "tie it together" child. Put them in a good neutral. Either a nice button up, creme dress, etc.
3. Other tips + tricks
-To ensure happy kids, try not to let them fall asleep in the car while you get to the session. Waking up a sleeping babe never goes over well. They always end up more tired, and typically cry for most the session.
- ARRIVE ON TIME! I suggest coming 15 min EARLY to make sure your kids can get their wiggles out, clean their noses, dress the baby, and make sure your lipstick is good. The later you are for your session this will in return cut into your session + might hamper the amount of time and images I can get.
- Make a bargain with your kids (and your husband! ;). Kids will be much more cooperative if they know that they get ice cream or a new train if they are good for pictures.
- Bring snacks for your little one. BUT make sure that it is NOT anything that will turn their teeth, tongue, make a mess, etc. My favorite treat to hand is pretzels or cheerios. Both of these can be handed fast and don't make much mess. Gold fish, suckers, chocolate chips, etc. are all mess makers or get stuck in their teeth.
- KEEP CALM! Your kids will feed off your energy. If you act happy, candid, and move nice and slow and fun. Your kids will be able to sense that and in return give us those perfect smiles! If you are yelling at them to look at the camera or to "smile!" they get frustrated and over stimulated VERY quickly. Let me do the hard part of getting them to look at me. Most the time its the parent's that I have to photoshop to looking at the camera because they are too busy watching their kids. Just let them be! Im pretty good at making obnoxious noises ;)
- I am VERY prompt. I typically don't take more than an hour for a full session. And if everything runs super smooth we could be done in 45 min. I am fast, and get what I need in the quickest amount of time so that kids attention can stay on me.
- Enjoy the moment! Take time to look at what you have created + how cute those kids are! Family pictures are something you will look back on for years and years to come.