Photo Credit: Chelsie Lopez Photography
With the holidays having come and gone, and more special occasions around the corner, many of us are in the thick of family photo taking time. Which can also make for a very stressful time, especially when you’re trying to make them just right.
For our business we’ve done our fair share of family photo ops and while I used to get a little stressed out and anxiety would run high for all, I’ve learned to remind myself and my family of a few things to just chill out. And after this last holiday shoot we recently did, I could hardly believe that all four of us stayed sane! So if you’re one that gets a little intense when the family photo ops roll around, I hope this post helps.
Coordinate a Theme, BUT Don’t get Caught Up
Trust me, I’m all about the matching outfits, but ever since our Greyson turned 3, he’s grown very independent when it comes to what he’s wearing each day. And being he’s 5 now, I’ve just accepted the fact that even for family shoots, he’s just going to wear whatever he wants.
One trick I have learned that whenever he is wearing something nice, I always tell him how nice he looks. That way when the shoot does roll around, I pray if he doesn’t wear what I want him to wear he’ll at least put on something that’s nice.
Photo Credit: Samantha Cater Photography
For this latest holiday shoot we did, I wasn’t wanting it to be too “Christmasy” with the red and green colors because I wanted photos that I could use, post, hang year round. Well, Greyson had other plans and although he was supposed to match his brother with a nice gray sweater, he wanted to wear his bedazzled Christmas sweatshirt and Spiderman shoes.
Instead of fighting it, I just said ok and threw in a red hair clip and green earrings so we could coordinate with a few colors. And then I reminded myself if I wanted to use the pictures later, I could just turn them into black and white. Or just go for it, like with this post!
Pick the Right Photographer
Picking the right family photographer is important, especially when they know how to involve and talk to kids while also keeping the mood light. We work with a handful of photographers and all of them not only know how to interact with kids but also to keep it quick!
Keep the Shooting Time Limited
For this session it was a mini 10 minute session and as Jamie and I were walking to the car we said to one another… that is the sweet spot! Make it quick and easy, in and out. That way the kids don’t get bored, annoyed or hangry and as for us parents, I think that is about all we can handle too before we start getting irritated and frustrated.
Have Incentives on Hand
I’m not above bribery in times of need! Any time we’re doing a family shoot, I always have the “treats” on hand or some bribery incentives in my mind ready to spit out. Five minutes of extra device time can go a long way to a kid when all you need them to do is cooperate for a few big smiles in less than 10 minutes! But make sure you throw out those incentives at the perfect time the photographer is grabbing “the shot.”
And just relax. I know that’s easier said than done but remember to remind yourself why you’re there in the first place. My guess is that it’s probably to capture moments of time so that you’ll never forget what your kids look like at that age and hey, maybe the way they acted.
That might mean they’re in their terrible 3’s, but I bet those will be the photos that you’ll always look back at, give a big old laugh and chat about for years to come!
Sometimes Just Go Unplanned
And sometimes, unplanned photo shoots are the best! It happened to snow one day and while our photographer was coming over to shoot a newly remodeled space in our home she said, let’s grab some snowy shots! None of us had showered, we were still all practically in our PJ’s and we just grabbed our unmatched snow gear and had some fun! One year later, these pictures are still some of my favorites! We continued to play in the snow after this quick 5 minute shoot and looking back at these pictures it still puts a big smile on my face of that family fun-day we had.
Photo Credit: Chelsie Lopez Photography