I feel like family pictures are the equivalent of the phone call a mom takes in the middle of yelling at her kids. You know the call I’m talking about. It’s the one that moms answer and act as if world war 3 isn’t currently going on in their home and the person on the other end of the call is none the wiser.
Family pictures are a bit like this.
First, there’s the prep. Picking out clothes, making sure they all gel, and then getting your family into them.
You’ve got the whole ride in the car to the destination that is the most stressful 45 minutes of your life. You’re hoping your kids can manage to keep clean and not tear each other apart.
Then there’s the actual picture taking – standing around, posing, fake smiling, doing all your best influencer-inspired poses, and running after children with too much energy and fast little legs.
Is any of this sounding familiar?
And then 2-3 weeks later, your photographer sends over their edits and you forget everything above. You fall in love again with your little family. You love the way they smile. How a picture has preserved the jack-o-lantern grin caused by missing teeth. Or the too-short haircut given to your 2-year-old because your 4-year-old wanted to know how scissors work.
You remember how good they all are. How their smiles light up a room. And all is forgiven. Anyone looking at the finished product would never know that world war 3 had taken place.
But I’m happy to report, that this picture-taking session was a bit different than others. I received an email from a photographer asking if I was willing to have multiple photographers shoot my family pictures at the same time for a class she was currently teaching.
SHOP GIRL’S DRESSES
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I could tell you I planned these outfits weeks in advance but the truth is, I grabbed them an hour before we ran out the door. I borrowed a bit from our recent back-to-school shopping and the rest were things we had on hand! Luckily, I was able to find most of them are still in stores!
We spent a few hours up in the mountains and took advantage of the gorgeous grassy fields that grow up here during the summer. The only thing that beats it are the flowers that come in the fall and the colors of autumn! We did our pictures in a cactus garden last year down in Arizona and I can say without a doubt that if you can choose a cooler location temperature-wise, your family and your photographer will thank you.
SHOP BOYS CLOTHES
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If you are fresh out of location ideas for your family pictures, your photographer should be able to suggest some gorgeous spots. If you’re in the northern Utah area, the mountains, ski resorts, and anything with the name ‘basin’ in the name are all good bets!
BOY’S BACK TO SCHOOL FAVORITES
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After hours of shooting, rain, and a million photos later, we called it a day and headed back down the mountain. It’s not always easy with this group but I sure love them. And I’m so thankful to the photographers who took our photographs. They were so patient and kind while we got kids to smile, waited out the rain, and the sky turned dark.
As far as tips go for family pictures, I only have a few:
- Keep it timeless – not trendy
- there’s nothing worse than looking back at photos and thinking, “ugh, what was I thinking?!?” You want your pictures to stand the test of time. So when choosing outfits either choose something that has been in your closet for a few years that you wear often, or choose something in the store that you’ve seen for the past few seasons. This ensures that you’ll be rocking a timeless dress instead of leopard-print bell bottoms. (and you all know how much I love leopard print!)
- Stick with a color palette – not one color
- I get the draw of an all-white wardrobe but more often then not, it ends up looking like a baptismal photo. Instead, choose a collection of colors that look good together. It helps it look more timeless but also less manufactured. If you’re struggling for ideas, head to Pinterest. There are great color palettes!
- Let your kids be kids
- I can’t stress this enough – allow your kids to run around, play with each other, get silly, and just be kids! You can get the 5 posed pictures you need of them – and get them easily – if you allow them to be themselves in between posed shots. And tell your photographer to keep snapping. As evident above, these will become some of your favorite shots!
MY CLOTHING PICKS
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And if there’s any other piece of advice I can give you, it is to get pictures of just you and your significant other. Do the corny shots that the photographer suggest. 95% of the time you’ll feel so silly but I promise, the end result is totally worth the effort.
MEN’S CLOTHING PICKS
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And last but not least, my very last tip: take family photos every year. Or even twice a year. The point is, just take them. Don’t wait to lose those pesky extra pounds, or for your girl’s hair to grow back. Don’t wait until Jr. grows out of his awkward stage because time is going to pass anyway and these are the times you want to document. Happy picture taking!
Do you have some great suggestions for locations or photographers? Drop them below!