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To us, family photos seem like one of those things that are a great idea until you have to actually do them. Then, once you have to plan (and buy) the outfits, convince your spouse to smile, reign in the kids, and try to time everything perfectly, you start to think 'why am I doing this again'?
We are here to tell you, family photos are always.worth.it. Looking back on photos years later will bring a smile to your face, and you'll remember what a special time it was, what your kids were like, how you physically held them, or how their smiling face looking at yours meant everything (and still does).
We recently took family photos and even though it wasn't 100% stress-free, we are so happy with the outcome, and have a few tips to share.
1) Use outfits you already own for the most part. Don't stress about spending money on all new clothes or getting everything to match. Our advice is to plan your own outfit first, something you feel great in, and then add in the kids and your spouse. It doesn't have to be perfect, and it will feel good wearing clothes you know everyone is already comfortable in. Plus, you'll look like you!
2) Hire a photographer that comes recommended or you have already met. A good photographer makes all the difference, and will make you feel comfortable, and help you look good during the shoot.
3) Schedule for mid morning (everyone is awake and fed, and you aren't waking up at the crack of dawn to blow dry your own hair), or after babe's nap when they are happy and ready to smile.
4) Ask the photographer to come to you. Make your photos even more special by capturing your neighborhood (maybe even your house) in the background. Make the session even easier by letting the kids play up until the last second, and then walking out your front door.
5) Bring treats for the kiddos. We recommend mini marshmallows because they are small, keep the hands clean, and don't melt. Mini chocolate chips or m&m also work to get those smiles.
6) Don't stress about everything looking perfect. You know what will make you smile when you look at these photos in a few years? How much they resemble real life. Your son pouting and snuggly, your daughter with messy hair, your house that looks like your house (not a magazine you don't live in).
7) Print a few of your favs afterwards. We used mixtiles to create the easiest gallery wall near our stairs, and not only does it make us smile when we pass by those photos, our kids have also enjoyed so much, always wanting to stop and talk about each one every time (literally e.v.e.r.y.t.i.m.e) we pass by.