‘Tis the season for tantrums, stress and lots and lots of bribery! Also known as family holiday photos!! Growing up I remember my mom taking Christmas card pictures of my brother and I and it seemed to always end with someone being mad. Whether my mom was upset that we weren’t cooperating or my brother and I were fighting and did NOT want to put our arms around each other, it was definitely not stress-free. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be like that. I’m not a professional photographer, but I have taken my fair share of family photos. Based on our experiences, I’ve put together 5 tips to get the most out of your photos along with making them less stressful and more fun!!
1.) Choose the right photographer.
I can’t stress this one enough. If you’re paying someone to take your photos, make sure that person is right for your family and shares the same vision. Once you’ve picked one, share with them exactly what you’re wanting so they can plan ahead. We have had a lot of photographers take our photos and we have finally found our favorite! Ashley Furtado is absolutely amazing! Not only was her work exactly what we wanted, but her energy and her dynamic with the kids was incredible. She worked her butt off! I loved that she showed me the camera screen when she took a really good one so we could get super excited about them. Or she shows you so you can fix your hair, reposition yourself, etc. Her price was definitely reasonable and we had our photos within a week!
2.) Have a plan.
Even though taking the actual photos only takes about an hour, it’s so important to plan out the entire day. The lighting is always best in the late afternoon, which is pretty much the WORST time for toddlers. At least for mine. I feel like I’m always running around still trying to get everyone’s outfits together the day of the shoot, which usually results in the girls not getting a good nap. Make sure to have everything planned out ahead of time, so everyone can have enough down time/ nap time. Also – bribery works. I suggest bringing a bag of the kids favorite snacks for those moments when they’re falling apart. Works every time!
3.) Picking the right outfits.
Everyone knows I’m a huge fan of twinning my girls. However, this year we decided to just do a black and white theme rather than having everyone match. Find a palette you like and that everyone looks good in. You can even go as far as making sure the colors will look good in your house – because if you’re anything like me, you’ll be hanging these ALL over your house! Here are a few options along with the links to what we wore!
4.) Get candid.
I always like to get at least ONE good photo where we’re all posed and smiling. But for the most part, I prefer the candid photos. Where one kid is being silly, one is pouting and the parents are just laughing. It’s so much more real life. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make sure everyone is looking at the camera and smiling perfectly. While it is nice, it’s not worth the stress to try and achieve. Sometimes the moments you don’t expect to look picture perfect are exactly what you were looking for!
5.) Have fun!!
To go with my tip above, just have fun! The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your kids will be. You’re most likely paying a pretty penny for these photos and you want to have fond memories of the photo session to go along with the beautiful pictures!!
Lastly, Ashley Furtado offers even more tips in her videos on Facebook – everything she says is so helpful!!
I hope everyone has a great week! We’re off to Disneyland tomorrow!! So excited!