I kind of live for family pictures each year. I spend way too much time and energy making absolutely sure they turn out perfect. And they usually do. I wanted to share a few tips I’ve picked up over the years:
1. Start in July.
Yep, you read that right. I usually book my photographer (the talented MEphotography) in July to make sure we get a good date. It can get pretty cold here by the end of the October, and nobody wants to be forcing a smile when you are actually freezing to death. For this reason, I like to schedule our family photos around the end of September.
2. Pick a theme.
Okay, this is not a child’s birthday party, so don’t go overboard with your theme. You do need to decide, though, where you are going to take these photos and what you are wearing. Everyone should coordinate without being too “matchy-matchy.” I have learned to first decide what my super-picky daughter will want to wear, and go from there. Last year she was very much into dressing up, so we went super formal. This year she’s into athletic wear, so we all wore Nike.
3. Spray tan two days before your photos.
If you have not had a good experience with spray tanning, I may be losing you here. However, I always like the way I look in photos with a little extra color. When I spray, I always get the very lightest color and build in an extra day before pictures for the color to lighten up even more. It’s barely noticeable, but looks great in the photos.
4. Make sure everyone is well rested + well fed.
If I’m being honest, there is a lot of complaining that goes on in my house on the day of pictures (from both my husband and kids). To minimize this as much as possible, make sure everyone gets to bed on time and is not hungry (read hangry). If you have little ones that nap, be mindful to schedule your photos for a time of day that’s going to work best with their schedule.
Like any self-respecting parent, I am not above a little bribery. I usually keep a few skittles on hand to reward my kids for participating in the photos. This was especially key when my kiddos were younger and would not stay still for two seconds–let alone smile! Once I got those skittles out, they immediately turned on the charm.
I hope these tips are helpful. Good luck! And cheeeeese!