It’s that time of year again when we start covering our fridges with beautiful family photos and if you’re scratching your head going “how do they do this?” and you feel like taking family photos is kind of like surviving being thrown into a pit of unrestrained wild animals that you’re supposed to dress and ask to stand still, you’re not alone!! I’m going to give you my best tips though for getting beautiful photos of your people you love most.
The great outdoors make the greatest backdrop for photos. I totally prefer outdoor photos a million times over indoor photos. Not only do you get the benefit of all that gorgeous natural light, but natural smiles and way happier, relaxed littles. There is so much to be said for little ones getting to run around and be themselves and it totally shows in the pictures!
Treat. Yo. Self.
This is the one time of year that I absolutely insist that you do whatever you can afford to make youself feel beautiful. That means working with whatever budget you have, whether that’s getting your nails done or carving time out to paint them yourself the night before, getting a spray tan or using a self tanner (this one is my fave!), and above all, making sure YOU have an hour built into your schedule to get ready and not feel flustered. Do whatever you can to make yourself feel confident and beautiful, this is the one time each year you really should!!
Dress it up.
Overdressed always trumps underdressed. ALWAYS. Pictures just turn out so much nicer when everyone’s dresse up, and you’ll have not only a gorgeous snapshot of your people for a holiday card, but one you’ll probably want to frame and hang up in your house!
Neutrals display well in any room and if you’re planning to display these photos this is important. Plus neutrals keep the focus on your people and that’s what it’s really all about, right? Also, in my opinion, color coordinated > matchy-matchy.
The best time of day to take photos is either the first or last hour of daylight. This year we took these during the very first hour of daylight and it was actually really great! The kids weren’t tired and cranky from a long day, everyone had eaten breakfast, it was awesome. I highly recommend it if you can get everyone dressed and ready early. Otherwise, last hour of daylight is your best bet for beautiful photos!!
Invest in the best.
Spend what you can to get the best photographer possible! You’re investing money in memories of your family so make sure you’re getting some pictures that you’re really in love with. Research your photographer (social media like snap and insta stories are very telling!) and make sure your personalities vibe. You want somebody that is funny and happy and personable, because they’ll bring out the very best in your family! Look at other family sessions they’ve done and make sure they look like what you’re hoping to get. The most important thing is to make sure that you LOVE the photos they’ve taken for other people.
Stop trying so hard!
Your kids might not always look at the camera, a hair or two or tweleve might be out of place, and your husband might show up wearing the wrong belt, but none of that matters. Happiness is better than perfection. And actually I’m pretty sure happiness is perfection with family photos! Candid is better than posed. If you’re happy and feeling confident, THAT is what is going to shine through in your pictures. And when your friends and family and loved ones rip open that envelope and hang you on their fridge that’s all they want to see anyway.