The day has arrived. The day all mom's are excited for. The day all dad's dread. And the day ALL kids decide that they will not cooperate for pictures. Or at least that is how it seems, right? It feels like family picture day is kid code for don't smile, throw a tantrum and stress mommy out as much as you can instead. At least that is what my kids do for family pictures. Actually they do it even when it is not family picture day!
My first suggestion for surviving family picture day is dressing cute and comfy. I don't know about you, but I spend a lot of time stressing and worrying about what each of us is going to wear. Do we match? What is our color scheme? How dressed up should we be? Then I realized the more casual, comfy, yet still cute we were, the more enjoyable the picture taking experience was. I didn't have to complain my feet hurt from heels and I wasn't tugging at my clothing or my boys clothing, we were just able to move around without worry. Some ideas for your family session outfit click here.
My second suggestion BE TRUE TO YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY! This one is sooo hard. We see pictures on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and all over that put in our minds that we have to have that pose and do what THAT family did because it is a gorgeous or awesome picture. And yes, of course there are some we just have to have like our children and us looking at the camera smiling picture perfect. However, that picture and pose might just be what was best for their family. Know your family. What do you all like to do together, what is something you all enjoy, what makes those smiles come out of everyone. Communicate those things to your photographer and they may have an idea that can capture those moments for your family. If your family loves sports, coordinate a sports theme. If your family is into Star Wars, dress in Star Wars attire and have a fun Star Wars shoot! Family pictures do not always have to be traditional. The best family portraits, are when the families are true to themselves and we can capture those REAL moments.
My next suggestion is one I truly believe with everything in me. Family portraits where the family interacts with each other instead of pose with each other capture the best real moments. We all want a portrait with a nice pose but sometimes those smiles are beautiful smiles but lack the joy you capture when families are just spending time together. A child's eyes just don't light up when looking at the photographer the way they do when they are enjoying a moment with their parents or siblings. Those are the portraits I enjoy capturing and are the best to have forever.
Lastly, embrace the moments that your children will just be children. Embrace the meltdown, embrace the tantrum, and embrace those not so perfect moments. Even those moments can make the best family portraits. One day you will miss those pouty faces, those chaotic times, and those little faces. After all, that is why we take those family portraits!