5 ideas to make Family Photos easier on everyone in your family

It's family photo season.  I just heard the collective groan all the way over here.  I mean we all want family photos, just not all of the issues and drama of having them done.  CanIgetanamen! 

What if I told you that there is a way to get your family photos done without turning into a momster lunatic?  I promise there is. You want to hear about that, right?  I know!  I want all the mom tips and hacks out there to make my life easier!  Here are 5 Tips for Taking Family Photos

5 ideas to make family photo sessions easier on everyone in your family  |  She's Crafty

Let's face it, as moms- having family photos taken does not bring out the best in us.  None of us love the way we look, so we certainly don't want to have a photo taken.  Plus add in kids that won't sit still or get off their phone long enough to look up, a husband that is grumpy, trying to find coordinating outfits all while finding a photographer that won't break the bank or judge you for screaming at your kids!  Sheesh, that's a mess!

Several years ago, I got tired of all of that and set out to make my yearly family photo tradition easier on me and my family.  For the most part, it is easier than it used to be.   Along the way, I have learned several things that have made it so much easier.

How to not dread family photo sessions - choose mom outfit first

Choose your outfit first

Since we as woman are super hard on ourselves, the hardest person to make happy with how they look in family photos is the mom.  So start with an outfit that you LOVE and feel amazing in.  It doesn't have to be new (although I totally support buying a new outfit if you want to).  If you like your outfit and feel comfortable, you are more likely to like photos and have a better experience.  Everyone else can coordinate their outfits around yours.

How to make family photos shoots better - coordinate outfits not match

Outfits should coordinate, not match

You don't all need to wear black or blue to have a put together photo.  In fact, it usually looks so much more interesting to mix up 2-3 colors and different textures of clothing.  So if you wear a super cute dress that has olive, navy and gray in it, your daughter can wear an olive skirt, your son can wear a navy shirt and your husband can wear a button up shirt with a combination of those colors.  Plus not being matchy matchy makes it so much easier to find clothes for everyone!

Lower your expectations to make family photos more enjoyable

Lower your expectations

No matter how much planning and preparation you put into your photo shoot, things are going to go wrong at the last minute.  Your son is going to get dirty walking from the car to the photo spot.  Your daughter will probably yank her perfectly placed bow out of her hair.  Getting upset about those things will just make the whole situation worse.  Try to look at the big picture and remember that no one cares about a little dirt or messy hair.  Those things will actually a good reminder of the season of life you are in.

Give Incentives

Sometimes the promise of a reward makes an unpleasant experience a little bit better.  I am all for incentives to get family to have decent attitudes about photos.  You could offer a movie night, ice cream, extra screen time, a sucker (to be given AFTER the photos) or something to bribe give everyone an incentive to behave.  When my kids were little, I used to stick smarties in my pocket to give them a little something to look forward too.  When given one at at time, smarties aren't too sticky or make kids slobber all over themselves.

Take family photos yourself to make it much easier on you and your family

Take the photos yourself

I know, bear with me on this one.  Doesn't a lot of the stress of family photos comes down to scheduling?  You have to hire a photographer in advance and put down a monetary deposit.  Then when the arranged day of the photo shoot comes around, your little girl has a head cold, hasn't been sleeping well and is certainly not about to dress in her nice clothes and stand for a photo.  I know that stress from both sides as the mom with little kids and as the photographer who is trying her best to accommodate everyone.  Even now with teens is kind of a lottery to see how my kids are going to behave!

To combat the scheduling issues, for the last 7-8 years I have been taking our family photos myself.  Yes I do have photography experience, a DSLR and a tripod.  But I really think it can be done with an iPhone, since the cameras on our phones are almost as good as professional cameras anyway.  You can stop in a pretty field or at a park after church (when your people are already wearing their best clothes), set your phone on a table/fence and set the self timer.  Or ask a friend to take a few quick snaps.  You don't have to have an hour long professional session to get a few photos that you love!  If you need more advice to taking photos yourself, contact me and I'd be happy to help.

All of the photos in this post were taken by setting up my camera on a tripod in a field one Sunday after church.  I bribed my kids with homemade cookies and it all worked out!

How to make family photos easier on everyone - remember your why

Remember your why

This idea is probably the most important!  Why are you having the photos taken?  To have a perfectly staged photo of everyone looking perfect?  Or is it to have a visual reminder of the stage of life your family is in?  My money is one the 2nd one, and that train of thought takes a lot of the pressure of perfection off!

So if your older son won't shave his facial hair- take the photos anyway.  If your daughter wants to wear her princess clogs- let her wear them and take the photos anyway.  If you can't get your toddler to look at the camera- take the photos anyway.  It may be frustrating at the time, but it will be endearing to look back on in future years.

Bonus:  Location Ideas

So you've figured out when and how to get your photos taken.  Now you need to figure out where.  Here are several ideas:

  • local park:  fence, pathway, pretty trees
  • building with architectural interest:  painted wall, rusty doors, texture, brick
  • field:  tall grass, cotton, hay, rolling green fields
  • in front of your house
  • in a busy city:  downtown Nashville is an awesome location.  But if you're not local, I'm sure there is an urban location near you
  • local popular venues:  bridges, monuments
  • near a body of water

Family photos don't have to be something to dread.  With these 5 Ideas, family photos can be so much easier on your and your family.  

Linking up to:  Project Inspired   Tuesdays at Our Home   Inspire Me Tuesday   Wow Me Wednesday