So you've finally done it! You've figured out the entire family's crazy schedules and you've booked your family photos! Lets face it, these photos are an investment so they've got to be perfect! You've got a great photographer so you're not worried...but will little Henry actually smile? Will John just HAVE to wear his Hawaiian pinepple shirt?
Have no fear! I'm going to give you 3 ways to take the PERFECT family pictures...with your not so perfect family!
The first step in having perfect family pictures is to let go of the idea of “the perfect family picture”. It’s not real and your family is. Instead, learn to celebrate the imperfections because it represents the season of life that your family is currently in. I can remember all the times I have captured memories for my brother, I nick named him Ericka, and my adorable niece and nephew. Every single time we have a session she cries ( she may take after someone not mentioned in the photo :) .) So after lots of bribing, yes I am not beneath bribing, and a few beers, b/c that's what we need to stay calm as parents, we got some really memorable photos. Even the ones where she is crying are so cute! And did I mention the wind was blowing. Her hair is not perfect but nevertheless it is still cute as can be. Especially b/c my brother did it. He also had an outfit picked out but she refused to wear it and wanted to wear what she wanted to wear.
So whether you’ve got a 13 year old who believes they’re allergic to smiles or a 2 year old who is determined embody the very meaning of “Terrible Twos”. Celebrate your season because, when you look back, you’ll realize that those seasons change so quickly and they grow so fast!
When you think of a place that makes your entire family happy, full of smiles and sunshine, puppies and hugs, where do you think of? Where does your family MOST feel like a family?
Wherever you’ve just imagined is where you should, if at all possible, plan to take your pictures. The chances of getting everyone on the same smily, happy, page at once increases exponentially when you’re surrounded by a place full of happy memories. If that’s the bowling alley, so what! Awesome! If that’s the park, perfect! If that’s the climbing gym or your favorite ice cream shop, or the zoo! If it feels like your family than THAT’S what makes it perfect!
Themed family pictures can be super fun and, if the kids will play along then by all means, run with it! But if you’re getting some pushback about the farmhouse gingham shirts that you want everyone to wear, don’t stress over it! Instead, just choose a color scheme and then allow everyone to pick out an outfit that represents them within those parameters. Trust me, in 10 years, when you go back and look at these pictures, there will be so much more of an emotional connection when you can say “Oh my goodness, do you remember when Jenny was 6 and she wore that same dress every day for 2 months? I’d have to tiptoe into her room and steal it at night just so I could wash it!” or your husband, Bob, will say “why didn’t anyone tell me I looked like an Ooma Loompa in that orange top??” To which the kids will reply “we did dad, you just didn’t listen!”. So play with your style, have fun and let everyone’s personality shine though.
At the end of the day, look what we captured. :) It's all about those seasons with a little messy hair (don't care), tantrums, clothes of their choice, and images that last forever (so back them up in 3 places and print print print, but that is for another blog.)
Peace and Plenty of Pineapples,