It is that time of year again, family photo season! Finding matching outfits for the whole family can be quite the task! On top of the outfits, choosing a location and photographer can be beyond overwhelming. I am going to share my tips for family photos made easy!
For family photos I always start by deciding on a concept or theme. A great example of that would be, jeans & black tops or formal wear. If you are having trouble with this, you may want to consider starting with your location.
The location of the photoshoot can really impact the concept of your photos. For this years photos I knew I wanted a “Hollywood Glam” concept. A dessert background would not have expressed my vision the same way as our chosen location.
Take your time and do research on your local area, you may even consider driving outside of your area to get your photo concept. I always suggest talking with your photographer about your concept, because they will most likely have ideas of where to take the photos.
We always take our own photos by having my sister or sister-in-law man the camera. Then, I take the photos home and edit them. But if this is not an option for you, then you’ll need to choose a photographer.
I suggest that you reach out to a few photographers, talk with them and share your ideas. If you do not feel like they understand your vision, do not use them. You will most likely be disappointed with your photos. You are paying a lot to capture these moments of your family and you need to mesh well with your photographer.
A few other quick things when choosing a photographer.
- Cheapest isn’t always the best
- Always check their portfolio, if they have no pictures of what your looking for you may want to keep looking
- Communicate what you want very clearly, DON’T BE AFRAID to be direct – as long as you are nice in deliverance the photographer will appreciate it, too!
- Make sure you like the editing style of your photographer. I.e. Filters & blemish & skin smoothing
A photographer (I had shoot me for a collab) in the Vegas Valley is, Sammi Valle & I really liked how my photos turned out.
You have your location, you have your photographer, now you need to choose your date & time.
Date & Time
I love “golden hour” shots. Which means sunset time! If I can’t get that then I usually do early afternoon sessions.
As for the date. If you are getting pictures done for the holidays, get them done sooner rather than later. The later you wait, the colder it gets! (Like these photos, it was 30* outside and it took a bag of chocolate to get the girls to take their jackets off!) Waiting also means tons of people before you on the list of editing for your photographer. Which inevitably causes your holiday cards to be delayed in processing and shipping.
If you are doing photos for an event, like a birthday or an announcement. Ask your photographer what their turn around time is and then check the weather and your calendar. I always suggest at least 3 weeks before you need the photos, if your photographer does not have a longer turn around time.
Tips & Tricks for Kids
With kids, I like to do the photos in the afternoon. I feel way too much pressure in morning sessions. The kids have to eat and get ready & I have to get myself ready and then get to a shoot by 9AM. NOPE. Not happening. Even some of my most on schedule friends can’t make that happen.
I know a lot of people suggest scheduling around the kids, but I personally don’t. I have in the past and the photoshoot did not go any better than a day that I scheduled based on lighting preference.
My best suggestion for shooting with kids is:
- to bring chocolate, favorite toy or some form of a bribe and that usually works! (I know its not a great thing to do but our best photos have come from this!)
- Another trick is singing a favorite nursery rhyme or putting music on your phone for the family to dance to as a distraction.
Additionally, your photographer should be taking photos while you bribe and talk the kids through any tantrums they may be throwing. It captures the authentic moment and sometimes you can’t even tell the kids have mouths full of chocolate!
Knowing what color or theme you want. This year I knew I wanted to work with red and be in formal attire.
I always start with whoever I know will be hard to find an outfit for. I started by browsing on Amazon for girls formal red dress. Finding myself a dress is usually easy and Jake was wearing a tux, so the girls needed to find an outfit, first.
After browsing for 5 minutes I found these dresses and immediately ordered them. The leopard sequence was the perfect pop to separate the girls from me.
For Jake I also purchased off of Amazon and used a “Mens Tux” as the keywords. They have several tuxes for under $100 that are great quality and come in many sizes!
If you choose to have a pattern or design, you’ll only want to have a couple people in that pattern. Otherwise it will be too much and over power the photo. I like to keep Jake and I in more solids and let the girls wear the patterns.
Here are the outfits we wore in this years family photos!
I hope these tips help you get your desired family photos this year! Remember, authentic photos are always great to look back on even if they aren’t what you were envisioning! Be natural, grab the bribery chocolate and smile!
Check out our other life hacks and as always, ENJOY!