Nail Your Family Photos

It's that time of year again. How many times have you heard that, or will hear that? A lot. But it's true. The holidays are quickly approaching, which means it's almost time to send out holiday cards, which means it's time to get family photos done. We're lucky enough to have a local photographer that we love, and our photo shoot is in a few weeks. I thought as I am preparing for our own photos, I'd share some of my tips for nailing your family photo shoot session to make it stress free, and have awesome photos.  

1. Book Early. I want our photos in our loves ones' hands by the second week of December. The third week of December at the latest. Ordering the cards and waiting for them to show up here takes at least two weeks, our photographer needs two to three weeks to edit photos, and it can take up to a week to actually get through the mail, not to mention time to address, stamp, and get to the post office. So, if my calculations are correct, we need to get photos done within the next 2-3 weeks. Crazy, huh? And you thought you had plenty of time until Christmas? #realitycheck?

Here's our card from last year! Look how little those babes were. 

2014 Christmas Card.jpg

2.  Find your Christmas Card early. Shop around and find the card you'll want to order so you know what kind of photo you need for it. Landscape? Portrait? What kind of lighting and pose? Screen shot it and bring it to your photographer so you can make sure you get exactly what you're looking for. (My favorite places to shop are Zazzle, Minted, and Tiny Prints.)

3. Don't match - coordinate. Look at Pinterest for photo color pallets, and try to dress everyone so you're the same level of dressiness and in similar colors, but matching is so 1999. Some of my favorites: (click the photos for the source links)

stockroom vintage.jpg

4. Bring snacks, lots and lots of snacks. And a possible change of clothes for anyone under two. Extra diapers. Wipes. Tissues. Milk or Water. And the stroller if you're going to be going anywhere you might have to walk a ways. Let the pictures be what tires your kid out, not the walk to the spot. 

5. Bring a prop. The year in wooden letters? Balloons? A frame? A chair? Your photographer may have some things, but don't assume they do. I recently discovered the idea of bringing something your family likes to do together, which is a great way to really show the season of life your family is in.

6. Don't overdo your hair and makeup. Looking glam is great and all, but years from now, you'll want photos that represent you and your family, not how much makeup you were able to put on. Enhance your features, curl your hair, wear some (natural looking) false lashes - but don't make yourself into Dolly Parton. I love these tips and tricks - you will too!

7. Get some photos with just your spouse. We did this last year as a quick afterthought and I am in love with them. We hadn't really had photos like that done since we were married and I really cherish last year's and can't wait to have more this year. We will definitely be making some time to get some done of just us two this year, along with the photos of the entire family and our kids.

8. Have fun. Don't pose so much, don't force your smile. Just have fun with your family. Get a couple nice poses, but these photos shouldn't be cookie cutter photos. This is your family, your life. Show that. Just have fun and try to relax. You look great, your kids are great, and imperfection is something you'll cherish.

9. Most importantly - these are YOUR photos. They're not anyone else's, not stock photos, not Pinterest-perfect photos. So feel free to make them your own, and make them represent your family. 

So go forth and conquer your family photos! I'm so, so, so excited for ours!

I hope your Monday is amazing, guys! 


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LIFESTYLESara MorrisComment