Family Pics: Capture The Photo {without losing your mind}

Although it can be more painful (and sometimes more expensive?) than dental work to have a quality family portrait taken, I think it’s well worth the effort.

Here are a few of my thoughts if you want to get a good family photo (without losing your mind). I’m no expert–this is more descriptive than prescriptive… but it seems to work for us.

1. Choose Wisely.

{And yes, I am hearing the grail-guarding knight from Indiana Jones say “he chose… poorly” as I type that.}

Shop around. Ask friends. Check out websites, portfolios, and blogs. And for goodness’ sake, choose a photographer who likes children. One who does–like the ones we’ve been blessed to be photographed by–is amazing at interacting with our kids and keeping the atmosphere just right to capture the perfect smiles. [FYI, the family photos in this post were done by Jeff Mires of Asheville, NC.]

And once you’ve chosen a photographer, share your thoughts. He or she will often know of a perfect venue to materialize your vision!

2. Plan Ahead: The Wardrobe.

I started looking online for clothing options. I would pin photos that really appealed to me, then I went back and tried to identify the elements towards which I gravitated: the pose, the colors, the background/setting, etc.

I saw this clothing color chart all over pinterest, and it was a good starting point, I guess… but it felt so. very. flat. to me…

So I doodled my thoughts.

{color, texture, & pattern}

When I [actually intentionally take the time to] choose an outfit for myself, I try to include color, texture, and pattern. So when I approach the five outfits as a whole, I want them to harmonize and have interest withOUT being matchy matchy (you wouldn’t wear a blue top with blue pants and blue shoes, carrying a blue purse, wearing a blue necklace… I hope… so why matchy match the family so closely?).

Sissy had a lot of pattern in her bubble. Li’l Bro had a little pattern in his striped top. I wore yellow, Big Bro aqua, and Daddy light blue. I also like a [little] unexpected element, too… so I wore bright coral & yellow shoes… but that’s just me… 🙂

3. Plan Ahead: The Little People

The night before a photo shoot is not the time to stay up late. Bags under your eyes and cranky kids are not the memories you are looking to capture. Lay out the kids’ clothes and share with them what they’ll be wearing so there is no drama come morning. And unless you want a major sugar crash on your hands, feeding your kids a healthy breakfast the day of is the way to go. Skip the sugar puffs for scrambled eggs and some fruit.

4. Pack Accordingly.

Snacks, people. It’s not rocket science. 😉  A hungry Li’l Bro is a real crankopotamus. And even Sissy can become, ahem, opinionated without a sippy cup on hand. Pack a couple of juice boxes (think: sugar free & low or no color) or water bottles and non-messy snacks. I took natural fruit strips, granola bars, cheerios, and apple sauce pouches. I’m a traveling snack wagon.

I’d tell you to take an extra set of clothes just in case, too… But you are probably already completely emotionally drained from just trying to put together the original set. But do remember diapers and wipes. And kleenex (photos of kids running are cute… Photos of kids’ running noses: not so much).

If there is a toy that might amuse your children either between shots or to get the kids to look at the camera, it might be worth taking… as long as there won’t be drama when you take the toy away from the child in order to take the picture! Wups!

5. Celebrate!

Well, you know I love a theme… And you might find me completely nerdtastic for feeling this way, but I love to celebrate why we’re getting family portraits done in the first place. We are a family. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22 that “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord” (can I get an amen from the ladies?). It also reminds us that our children are precious: “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from Him” (Psalm 127:3).

So that’s my two cents. Anyone else out there have some good thoughts on the matter, have family pictures made (and live to tell the tale)? Do tell!


5 responses to “Family Pics: Capture The Photo {without losing your mind}

  1. Pingback: Little Girl’s No-Sew Romper-To-Shirt Upcycle | CampClem·

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