Family Pictures. Oh, Family Pictures!
If you’ve been engaged, married, pregnant, just had a baby (adorable child of any age really), have a dog, high school senior, extended family or all of the above, you know the stress that is family pictures. Or maybe I’m the only one who gets overly excited and panicky at the thought. Complete possibility, sometimes I’m just a stress ball, but somehow I highly doubt I’m the only one.
Anyways, I LOVE pictures of my kids. My phone storage is always almost to capacity because of all the pictures I snap of my children, but I can’t help it, I’m obsessed with my little goofballs. But there’s something very different about wanting to go get family pictures taken. Is it to much to ask for unscathed clothing, with their cutest smiles? I think it’s very doable, but the process getting there makes moms especially go kind of nuts. Again, maybe it’s just me? But I hope not!
So let me let you in on some tips/tricks I’ve picked up on this year for less stressful family pictures.
1. Don’t compare yourself. Just don’t. Make it a goal now, before you even get started researching photographers. Don’t compare yourself to your best friend, that super attractive family down the street, or the millions of “picture perfect” families on Pinterest.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt.
Your family is adorable, you know that. Some of my all time favorite pictures have been the ones that I wanted to delete, when I first took them, because they were the farthest thing from perfect. Remember to give every picture a chance, you’ll probably appreciate them later and get a good laugh too! You don’t need to frame “the duds” haha but we should try to appreciate our imperfections. You’ll miss these goofy faces and non-smiles your family makes one day.
2. Pinterest is your friend. But Lily, didn’t you just tell us not to compare ourselves to others? Yeah yeah, way to pay attention. I did just say that, BUT it’s always good to have an idea of what you like! I am a very visual person, that’s why Pinterest is my BFF. My imagination doesn’t just pull out a cute little bunny from a hat on command. My imagination, needs to taste separate ingredients to make sure it likes them, mix them together multiple times in different orders, follow the first part of a recipe, tweak it, and then throw out the first 5 batches. I know, I’m nuts. I need to experiment with what we’re wearing. A good place to start is to look up “insert adjective here” family pictures and get an idea of where you’d like the direction of your family pictures to go. Do you like beachy, woodsy, industrial, blue, cream, whimsical, star wars-y, etc.? Get those creative juices flowing!
3. Shop your closet. I’m an avid believer of shopping your closet, because it not only saves you cash but you might be surprised at the possibilities in your own wardrobe. I started with Hudson’s outfit because it came to me instantly. I’m definitely a sucker for bowties and suspenders and he already had both. Charlotte was a little harder to dress because I wanted to make her stand out, but also fit in. That’s not impossible right? I looked everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. Ha but guess where I finally found her dress? You guessed it. Her own closet! I bought this little ditty at Kid to Kid 2 or 3 months ago because I thought it would be a darling holiday dress. Way to plan ahead me, I love when I do that! I completely forgot about it until the week of pictures when I found it behind some jackets and I seriously couldn’t have dreamt up a better dress to fit this shoot. Moral of the story, shop your closet!
4. Love what YOU wear. I knew for these pictures I wanted to go formal. We’ve actually taken a lot of family pictures this year because of extended family, the birth of our son, and it’s just been an eventful year. I loved the pics of my photogenic children, but I knew I wanted a little something a tad more special for Jake and I. These were actually a reward for me! The pictures we took earlier this year were before I lost the last 10 lbs of “baby weight”, and I just didn’t love what I was wearing. I know we are usually our own harshest critic and the pictures turned out good, but after losing the weight, I decided to get these done because I wanted to feel great! And I’m SO glad I did. I loved what I wore, how I looked, and I really think it showed. If I could stress one point it would be this one. You’ll radiate confidence if YOU are happy with what you look like. Next time I do pictures I’ll start with my outfit and work from there.
Some other things to consider..
Choose your photographer wisely. I love word of mouth, I trust my friends, so ask around and you might just get pointed towards a few tried and true options. Nowadays social media has made photographers online portfolios readily accessible, so browse browse browse! But if you need a suggestion, I loved my photographer, Kayla Trujillo. One of my new bffs got her maternity pictures done and I just had to know who did them, it turned out I actually went to school and played soccer with my photographer. Small world right?! Anyways, she’s a doll and the biggest trooper ever! What you don’t know is most of these pictures were done in rain with a bunch of wind. You can look at some of her other work on Instagram here and her website here.
IF you decide to treat yourself like I did you might as well go all out 😉 I got my hair and makeup done for this shoot because like I said previously, I wanted them a tad more special this time! And lets be honest, I didn’t want to stress the day of and kind of wanted to feel pampered! Denise Garner did my hair and I really wish I would have record it haha, she’s that awesome! She might have even talked me into buying a new curling iron, but I might have to take notes a dozen more times to even start grasping her technique. I loved how she framed my face! I can only say great things about her, find her on Instagram here if you want to gawk at hair! My MUA KarLee Gibbons, I found via pure luck. I saw some of her bridal makeup and I was hooked. She’s so nice and we talked like old friends the whole time. You’ll be super jealous of her makeup-less face. It’s perfect. I’m talking no concealer needed. Check her out on Instagram here. Can you tell I like to stalk people on Instagram?
Be realistic. Pictures are just hard sometimes. Trying to get kids to smile on cue is difficult. I got my kids ready and then they both fell asleep in the car. Charlotte woke up grumpy and we didn’t get any pictures of her smiling. It also started raining 15 mins into our shoot. But hey, that’s life!
Good luck friends! I’m still new to this blogging thing and haven’t figured out how to enable comments XD so… if you have any comments or questions find me on Instagram here.