Family photo season is just about upon us, as the mad dash to get them done before winter arrives again ensues. Hopefully you aren't stressing about them, but whether you are stressed or not, this post will be super helpful for you.
We just had our family photos taken about a week or two ago (photo creds to my beautiful and talented friend Jayden! And yes even professionals with a million pictures already get their photos done!). As I was going through all the preparation to make sure things ran smoothly, I started snapping pictures of my process a bit along the way. I know some people feel lost when it comes to getting ready for photos, and at times even find it too overwhelming so they don't even bother.
So here it is, I'm going to let you in on my process so you can make your next family session an incredible success (and so enjoyable that your husband and children will want to do it again).
Step 1: Book your shoot, plan your colours
As soon as you book your shoot, plan out what colours you want to pick from for everyone's outfits. How I choose my colours is by looking around my house at where I will most likely want to hang these photos. I make note of the colours in the rooms, colours of the frames, colours of the other photos on the wall if it's in a picture collage, and decide what will coordinate with all of these.
A simple trick that I use is to pull from mostly the same colour palette every year, this way all of my photos from past years will match (check out our shoots over the years above). I stick to mostly neutral or earth-toned colours, this makes it easy for all of my past shoots to coordinate with my newest one. My favorite colours include lots of cream/white/oatmeal, light or navy blues, blush or dusty rose for pinks, khaki greens, mustard yellow, and burgundy. You can also google neutral/earth tone colour palettes to get some more ideas.
Step 2: Start planning your outfits at least 2 weeks in advance
Gather, gather gather.
This will give you some time before the crunch to gather more clothing and accessories if you don't have everything you need.
I take everyone's outfits and lay them all together on my bed where I can see it all. For this shoot, I wasn't sure what to choose for Curtis's shirt so I swapped a few in, took pictures, then compared to see which I liked best.
The most important thing to consider when picking clothes for everyone is: "Do they feel confident in this?" You want everyone looking their best, and people always look their best (and happiest) in photos when they feel confident and good about themselves.
Step 3: Clean it all, keep it safe, 1 week in advance
The day of your shoot should be set aside for no stress, this means having everyone's outfits cleaned and put away in your closet where they will remain wrinkle free until it's photo-shoot day. If it's possible to include shoes and accessories in your stash, all the better. Do this a week in advance, it is so important!
Step 4: Day of the shoot, set it aside for family time
Set aside the day of your shoot for some stress free family time. Everyone should be bathed with their hair and makeup done in the morning (touch-ups can be done just before the shoot), so that this can be a day to connect with one another and take it easy. If you've done your prep, this should be completely doable.
The day of our shoot, I woke up before the kids and was ready to go early in the day so that I could spend time with my kids and make them feel special and excited for photos in the evening. I took time to paint Georgia's nails, something she loves to do, and talked to her about how special it was that we got to take photos as a family later, so that we could have pictures that show us how much we love one another. This made her feel great and excited!
Photographs of your family without good memories attached are worthless. What brings you joy when you look at a photo is not how perfect and beautiful everyone looked, or if everyone is looking at the camera and smiling nicely, it's the memory that the photo brings back for you.
Because I took the time to connect with my family that day (don't forget about your husband either!), our photos were just a continuation of a great day, one filled with beautiful memories that all of us are reminded of when we see these photos.
Step 5: At the shoot, enjoy it, make it you
Before deciding on where we were going to take pictures, I needed to choose what we would be doing in them. I wanted it to be real memories for our family, not pretending to be something we are not just to make it look good.
Our favorite days as a family are spent exploring in the mountains and ending up somewhere with delicious food afterwards. To remember this time in our lives and what we like to do together right now, we took photos in the mountains and then took our lovely photographer (and friend) Jayden to dinner with us where we could snap a few more pictures.
Don't be afraid to let your photographer know who you all are, you know what your family likes to do together, capture some real memories with them on camera. I love it when families tell me what they enjoy doing together and I get so many ideas of where to go and how to make it into beautiful pictures! It makes it more fun for everyone
One final tip for reading to the end: Always take some time to step in front of the camera with just you and your spouse. These are some of my favorite photos every time!
If you have any questions I didn't answer, leave some comments and I will answer away!
In the meantime, enjoy a few more of my favorites from the day, because I can't help but share them, I love them!