It is that time of year when frazzled mothers are combing the clothing stores putting together the perfect collage of outfits to create Pinterest worthy family photos. Every year my husband cringes as I bring home shopping bags full of options for each member of the family. It is a crazy holiday tradition that many of us indulge in year after year. Although it can be torture at the time, photos are a priceless snapshot in time! As a mom of 5 kids, I have come up with a few tried and true tips for getting a great family photo!
Let your kids help pick out the clothes.
I am not suggesting you take them to the store, but perhaps bring home several items that you would be ok with and let them choose. Without a doubt they are more cooperative when they like what they are wearing and they “feel” like it was their choice (especially the teenagers)!
I love a family photo that showcases the people and not the wardrobe! Some clothing themes to avoid:
- WHITE: Although everyone probably has a white shirt in their closet, this is not the best option. White washes people out and is a difficult color to photograph.
- PATTERN OVERLOAD: Putting everyone in a plaid shirt may not be the best option either. Too many patterns can be distracting. Instead pick a couple of main colors and an accent color.
- CRAZY COMBOS: Sometimes we have a favorite shirt or dress and struggle to incorporate it. Let it go! Pick colors that are readily available in the season you are in.
Do a “dry run,”
Try on the clothing BEFORE picture day! This seem pretty self-explanatory but I have done a lot of last minute hemming and alterations because “I thought they would fit.” If you have little ones, let them wear their “special” clothes around the house to get used to them. Some kids get pretty worked up with the feel of new clothes and this may backfire on picture day.
Consider snacks and naps.
Speaking of little kids…make sure you choose a your picture time that does not interfere with their normal nap time. Bring plenty of snacks (bribery works!) along to. A hangry child (or adult) will not cooperate!
Make it fun!
If you want a happy snapshot, make it fun. Bring some music or a favorite stuffed animal. If you have little kids, choose a photographer that is good with kids. They can put the kids at ease and probably have a few jokes in their back pocket for disgruntled teenagers!
Referrals are priceless when it comes to picking a photographer. Take a look at their website and talk to past customers. Talk to them…It will alleviate a lot of stress if you communicate what you hope to get as a finished product before picture day. Get on Pinterest and share your favorite examples of family pictures with the photographer ahead of time. Be specific about scenery, placement, and groupings. Create a list of the pictures you would like (i.e. kids only, mom and girls, dad and boys, individual headshots, etc.).
It’s all in the details!
If you are spending a pretty penny for these photos, you want them to turn out great! Make sure socks match the hem of the pants. It can be pretty distracting when the boys sitting in the front has bright white socks with his black dress pants! Iron out the wrinkles. I usually press everyone’s clothes a few days before and make sure they have a belt, undershirt, shiny shoes, and coordinating jewelry.
After all the prep, you many still find yourself in a pickle on picture day! Pack a small bag with treats, hair tools, and your In A Pikle bag! The In A Pikle bag has everything you need for last minute emergencies….a sewing kit, bandages, scissors, tissues, wipes, and clippers (and more)! All of this in a compact little clutch… it is a picture day saver!!!
And remember, at the end of the day….all you need is one good photo. Candids make the best shots and anything can be photoshopped!