Wednesday, November 14, 2018

6 Simple Secrets for Wonderful Family Pictures

It's that time of year again... Family picture time!!

Many of my friends and family are scheduling family pictures right now.  I don't know about you, but I LOVE family pictures.

I love styling my family.

I love having updated family pictures.

I love having a family photo for Christmas cards.

I look forward to it every year.

We've done family pictures enough with our family of four and extended family that I have really figured out what works best over the years.

1. Try to schedule pictures at a time that works well for everyone.
Plan around work schedules, nap times and meal times.  We opted for 11:00 am pictures this year.  It was perfect.  Everyone was wide awake, not hungry and not ready for a nap.  Keep in mind weather/time of year.  Our weather was very cold the morning we had pictures so our photographer moved our session indoors at the Christmas tree farm.  It worked just fine and was warmer than outside.

2. Plan your outfits well in advance with a try on session.
Make sure to give yourself time to gather clothes from things you already have and only buy a few new things.  Let everyone have a say in what they wear.  Pick items that are true to their style so they'll feel comfortable.  Everyone must try on their outfits to make sure it's comfy, cute and that they are happy with the fit of things.  There's no time to mess with that on picture day.

3. Plan your color scheme around one item of clothing.
I usually pick out a fun dress Olive's and then base the pictures around those colors.  Her Matilda Jane dress was one of my favorites this year.  If you don't have a little girl, you could easily plan pictures around a pretty scarf, plaid shirt, dress for you, etc.

4. Do a mini session if possible.
We did a mini session of 15 minutes this year and it was so easy.  We got family pictures, individual pictures, sibling pictures, mom and dad pictures and tons of cute options in less than 15 minutes.  It was wonderful and we all walked away smiling.  Even my husband, who is not a lover of family pictures, enjoy the mini session.  I've seen mini session range from 15-30 minutes depending on the photographer.

5. Try to schedule family pictures by November
This way you can take advantage of big sales on Christmas cards.  Sams always runs a deal for Black Friday weekend that is 100 photo cards for $25.  That includes the envelopes.

6. Plan a fun treat for after pictures
Really talk up a fun treat for after pictures.  Pick something that your family loves - ice cream, favorite restaurant, pizza, etc.  My kids LOVE ring pops so I had them waiting in the car to give the kids after our pictures.  Kevin got to swing through Starbucks drive through :)

Here's a sneak peek of our outfits.  We started with Olive's MJ dress and all worked to find pieces in our wardrobes that worked.

I wish her dress came in my size!

I love little boys in sweaters and mustard is always a good idea.  Thankful for friends who pass down cute boy clothes :)

I love this top and this color.  I also love my new distressed Rockstar Skinnies from Old Navy.

He picked out his outfit all on his own :)  He was happy to wear his favorite and I was happy his matching skills are improving.

We went really neutral with our shoes.  Olive picked her sparkliest pair - sparkle high tops with a pom pom.  Fletcher wore his standard crocs and I wore gray booties.  I can't remember what Kevin wore - whoops!

My BONUS family picture secret is PICK YOUR BATTLES.

Compromise with the people you love most so that everyone gets a say in what they're wearing or where they're standing or whatever for family pics.  Example: I really wanted Olive to wear these mustard mary janes.  They looked so cute with her dress.  She was not having it so I let her pick her shoes and she was THRILLED.  She was super cooperative for pictures and we all had fun.  It was not worth me pushing the issue.  Compromise is good for everyone :)

Family Picture Archives:

2017:  My cousin shoots our family pictures every other year.  She's a saint and I love seeing our whole crew together.  My mom pictures 3 main colors for pictures and we all work to coordinate our families.



2014: Polar Express


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  1. Whitney, these pictures are fantastic! I love the way you have styled everyone in coordinating colors for each one! What a feat to get that many people styled! And the result is just gorgeous!


  2. OBSESSED with the color scheme you have planned for your pictures!!! I can't wait to see how they turn out!!!!

  3. Great pictures of the past..Sure this yrs. pictures will be just as good and colorful. Your cousin does a great job..Enjoy your picture session.

  4. Aww, wonderful pictures! Love the tips, especially to keep the sessions short when you have young ones. How awesome that your cousin can take the pics!

  5. I am hoping to snap a photo of the 3 of us this weekend so I can order photos from Sam's next week when they go on sale. I had spending too much and this way I get to have my Christmas card but at the same time, don't break the bank.

  6. Your outfits are going to be perfect!!! I love my ON Rockstars too. Such great jeans at an awesome price point!!! XO

  7. Great tips. I can’t wait to see your pictures.
    I plan our outfits around Ella bc she is the hardest to dress. ha

  8. Sooo excited to see your pics!! Your tips realy are so good. Saving thisnpost to Pinterest for future reference!

  9. This is totally what we did this year! We got them done quick back in October and enjoyed ice cream after!


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