We all see those perfect family photos and holiday cards every year. What we don’t see are the kids throwing a tantrum, everyone rushing around, and Mom is ready to pull her hair out. It doesn’t have to be like that. You really can get a perfect family photo without having to go through all of the stress and chaos.
Post contains affiliate links.
Choose the Right Photographer
It’s really easy to find a photographer these days. Just do a simple Google search for one in your area and it will pull up a bunch of results. Before you even look at their portfolio’s check out their prices. You don’t want to fall in love with someone’s photos and not even be able to afford them.
After you find one in your price range, look at their portfolio, their social media, their blog, etc. so that you can get a good feel for their style. If you have kids, make sure that the photographer has a lot of experience working with kids that are your children’s age. If you want your dog in the photo, make sure they have experience photographing animals.
Make sure that you really like the photos that they show you and the locations that they are used to working in. This will make it easier for the both of you. Tell them exactly what you are looking for so that you are both on the same page.
Choose the Right Clothes
Gone are the days when everyone had matching outfits. You don’t want to match but you do want to pick a color scheme to stick with. Look at the decor in your house and make sure that the clothes you wear in the photo will go well with your home, you are most likely going to be hanging up these photos so you don’t want it to clash.
To make it easy, choose kid’s clothes that are a part of a collection. That way the colors will go well together without them having to match and you can do all of your shopping at one store! Make sure you get something that will be comfortable to wear, nothing can make a toddler more grouchy than a scratchy sweater!
Don’t forget accessories. Get a nice scarf or necklace to add some texture. They also make for great props, especially if you need to keep a baby distracted or looking in one direction.
Get Everything Ready a Week in Advance
There is nothing that can cause more stress than not being prepared. Make sure that all of the clothes that you are planning on wearing fit and are clean.
If you have a baby or young toddler, it is probably a good idea to have a backup outfit and bring it with you just in case they get the first one dirty.
If you are going to use any props, make sure they are all bought and ready to go.
Make Sure Everyone is Fed
I can get very “hangry” and it will make for a bad day. It is a good idea to feed everyone right before you get ready to go. Everyone will be cranky when they are hungry.
If you can’t have a full meal, make sure to bring some snacks for everyone to have.
Choose the Right Time
The best time for parents of young children to schedule a photo shoot is in the morning. Don’t schedule it for around a nap time or meal time. They will be cranky and everyone will be miserable.
Bring an Activity
Bring something that your family loves to do. It can be reading a book, playing a game, throwing a ball, etc. It’s a great way to get everyone in a good and playful mood.
Playing as a family really makes for some great candid shots. You can capture genuine smiles and it really shows the love that you have for each other.
Don’t Worry if Everyone isn’t Looking at the Camera
Some of the best photos aren’t when everyone is looking straight at the camera. The best are when everyone is really laughing, when the baby is looking into Mom’s eyes, when Dad is throwing his son in the air.
Don’t stress about having everyone looking in one direction, just enjoy the moment and that will really shine through in the photos.
Trust the Photographer
You hired the photographer so let them do what they do best. Let them talk and coax your kids into looking at the camera. They have plenty of experience working with kids so you don’t need to stand behind them telling your kids to say “cheese”. That just causes more stress for everyone.
The photographer knows how to get the best shots and what will work for your family. Trust them to do that and you should get some stunning photos.
Bring a Helper
It may be a good idea to bring along a friend or family member that won’t be in the photos. That way they can help keep little ones distracted and make sure everyone’s hair is in place. This will take a lot of stress off the parents.
They will even be able to hold younger kids so that you can get a few pictures of just Mom and Dad.
Go to the Salon
You want to look your best for the photos so get your hair and makeup done by a professional. Don’t go crazy, you want to look like yourself, but it’s a nice way for Mom to treat herself.
If you have an afternoon photo shoot scheduled, make a salon appointment for that morning. It will help you relax and you won’t be running around trying to get everyone ready at the same time.
Once you get your perfect family photo, make sure you display them for everyone to see. Take advantage of all the different ways you can personalize home decor, it doesn’t have to just be a canvas on the wall. I personally love seeing family photos on photo blankets and ornaments on the Christmas tree.
Do you have any tips that worked for your family?