Family photos….we started taking them annually when my oldest son was born. I am usually the one behind the camera in my family, so I love that once a year we bring in a pro to document just how much our little family has grown!
While my hubby doesn’t totally get it, he has accepted that these pics are going to happen once a year! He has a pretty good attitude about it now (seven years later)….plus I told him it can just count as my Christmas gift…show up with minimal complaining in your coordinating outfit, and I’ll be a happy wife! Haha!
But I TOTALLY understand that family pics can be stressful! You are investing time, money and energy and you want photos that reflect your family’s personality without it being a miserable experience! SO, I thought I would ask a pro who does tons of family shoots every year for her best advice to share with you all! Katelynn Ponomarenko of Kurrent Khaos shot our pics this year, and I can’t tell you how easy it was! Even with Will feeling under the weather and a little wind, she made it quick (like, 20 minutes quick!) and painless, and somehow managed to make our little crew look our best! She might be magic…..
So here is some advice from the pro, Katelynn:
5. Prep your family for YOUR photographer
Each photographer is different. If you like more posed photos, just tell your family to follow directions and bring out the bribes. Haha! If you are going to a photographer that does more non traditional photos, get them pumped up to play! Either way, try to prep them into thinking it will be fun!
4. Pick your outfits according to what makes you feel comfortable
I always suggest that Mama picks her outfit first. Then go off that. I’m sure your photographer will love to help with suggestions but don’t pick things that are not your style. Mesh with what you like and with what the photographer suggests. Your photographer can tell if your family is uncomfortable in the photos if you don’t. Ask for help if you’re stuck.
3. Try not to push your family
Sometimes it’s ok to just stop and take a break. Crabby kids, barking dogs, potty breaks….it’s ok. Sometimes you gotta run around for a second to get the jitters out.
You hired your photographer for a reason. Trust his or her vision.
A lot of people get stressed out about photos and skip it. Just know your photographer is capturing this stage of your family. If Lucy has her finger up her nose the entire time…welp, there ya go. It’s ok. She and you will laugh about it one day!
Such great tips, right?!?
My Top 3 Tips
And just a few more from me, a Mama/non professional:
3. Try on everyone’s outfits prior to the day of the photos
Sounds easy, but I can’t tell you how many times I thought an outfit would work, only to find one of my boys has grown an inch or two since he last wore those jeans or I’ve gained a pound or two. This can be stressful at the last minute, so put everyone’s clothes on enough in advance to fix any wardrobe malfunctions.
2. Lower your expectations….now lower them again!
Haha! I always tell photographers that my hope is to get one decent family pic I can use for our Christmas card and one cute pic of each boy. That’s it. Everything else is a bonus! It has gotten easier as the boys have gotten older, but I try to be realistic. In truth, I rarely print out more than a handful of pics anyway, so dozens of pics just aren’t necessary.
I just have to second Katelynn’s advice! It is rarely easy, but it is ALWAYS worth it! I cherish our little family pics SO much, and I love that it is something we have made happen every year. We try to make it a fun event now by doing a special dinner after or something fun as a family…..you may call it a bribe, but I’m totally ok with it!
Thank you Katelynn for these pics and for making it SO easy!
If you are in need of an AMAZING family photographer, you can contact Katelynn and see more of her work via her website HERE.
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