Family Pictures…with children…
Not such a serene thought, right?
Family pictures with young children do not have to be a disaster.
There are two key ways to preventing that they are…
Preparation & Expectation.
I am forever grateful to Kristen at Capturing Joy for writing this post that helped us plan our family photo shoot!
First, we scheduled the pictures with a kid-friendly photographer. We were fortunate enough to have a friend that fit this bill.
Next, we chose a place we were already comfortable with. Our church’s campus has lots of room and natural beauty so it was a perfect fit. A favorite park could work well, also. I love being outside because of the natural lighting and the smaller chance that my children will break something we’ll have to replace.
I coordinated our outfits using Design Seeds as Kristen suggested. I have since used this site to help pick colors for room redos, as well – it is an awesome site.
We started with a focal piece…Little Miss’ dress:
Then I went through our closet and the boys’ closet to see if we already had something that would work.
I made a shopping list for the rest of the stuff and headed to Old Navy (alone…this is not the time to be shopping with kids!). Then I enlisted the help of a friendly sales associate who knows waaaaay more about clothes than I do (see yoga pants reference in point 21!)
The most telling part was when I came home and laid everything out together on the kitchen table to see how the colors worked before anyone put the clean clothes on their body.
Then I made a list of the photos I wanted taken. Pinterest is obviously a great place to look for ideas. Don’t make this all about the kids – be sure to get a special one with your special someone ;).
We were also adamant about getting a “real” family photo – smiles are nice, but what are you guys really like? (By the way, this is one of the really nice ones. Scroll up to the title photo to see what we’re really like ;)).
Think of how you want it to go ahead of time.
Ok, now cut those expectations in half.
Be sensitive to your season of life. Do you have antsy preschoolers? Escape artist toddlers? A baby who nurses every two hours? Think about some of the poses you want and ask yourself is this really realistic at this time? For our family?
Remember, these are family pictures. The whole point of them are to celebrate family. YOUR family. The pictures will turn out best when the photographer is able to capture your family’s unique idiosyncrasies. Like this picture below – I’m essentially being strangled but by all that LOVE! Precious :).
Do not let this sweet occasion have a hand in tarnishing relationships. Not only is it ironic, but it’s incredibly hypocritical. Years from now you’ll look back at the smiles but only remember how you were screaming for your son to get his finger out of his nose and for your daughter to stop whining because her dress itched.
That’s not what you want.
Make sure to relax your control preset and let the photographer do what he/she does best…like catch moments like these:
Remember to have fun. Some of the best photos our family has taken has been of us having fun – living life our way. Avoid awkward family photos by being real and the experience of family pictures with young children will be a lot more enjoyable than you might think.