As a mom, there is nothing better than capturing a photograph of your entire family; happy and smiling, with everyone looking into the camera. We take thousands of shots of our kids through the years, but very few are of the entire family - and even less are of the family with you in them.
So, you’ve decided to invest in a professional photographer, but how do you ensure the picture will be worthy of hanging on the wall? Here are some tips and tricks to make picture day a success:
Tip #1: Prepare and talk about picture day with your kids before the big day. Let them know who will be taking your pictures and what to expect. Older children can be a part of the discussion too! My son requested a photo of my husband holding him upside down by his feet, which has now become a tradition. Imagine that picture when he is 16?
Tip #2: Find a photographer you like and that you feel comfortable with. Check their work and read reviews. Are they casual? Do they take more posed pictures or candid? Do they work with kids? Make sure to have a conversation with them to get to know each other, so you won’t have to explain who the family ham is on shoot day.
Tip #3: Pick clothing everyone feels comfortable in. I know the beautiful tulle dress would look great on your little one, but if it’s itchy, she may cry and look uncomfortable in the photos. Casual, bright. coordinated clothes often photograph well.
Tip #4: On shoot day, make sure everyone is well-rested and fed. This may mean scheduling your photography appointment after nap time or a meal.
Tip #5: If you have a family dog get them in the shot too. We had our new puppy in our annual Christmas shots this year and the results were adorable, hilarious and definitely memorable!
Tip #6: Pack rewards. Bribery goes a long way in getting those perfect pictures.
Tip #7: Don’t forget about their hair. My son has curly hair that frizzes in the humidity. We used a kids hair product to keep it tamed on shoot day. It’s hard enough to get everyone to smile, the last thing you want is a stray flyaway blocking their eyes.
Tip #8: And what about the setting? Have you ever noticed that professional photographs always have the background looking perfect too? If you are going to do a photoshoot in your home, don’t forget about the setting. Do you want to have an artfully placed bowl of fruit in the kitchen? A painting on the wall? If you are outside, do you want to be by the water? In front of Spring flowers?
Tip #9: My strongest recommendation is DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOURSELF! Our first family photoshoot I spent the entire morning getting everyone ready. I was making sure the girl’s hair was perfect, picking out the matching outfits, and getting everyone fed. When the photographer showed up, I was still in my yoga pants and a hoodie with my hair in a ponytail!
Most importantly, try to relax and HAVE FUN! The happiness and laughter will shine through in your pictures.