Wow, getting ready for family pictures can be super stressful. After 4 years of getting pictures done (really 6 if you include engagement and wedding), you would think I would have it mastered–but no such luck! The most important lesson I have learned is to go with the flow when it comes to taking family pictures.I set my expectations super low this year and it really helped us relax and get some fantastic pictures. I feel like in years past, I put so much pressure on us to take good photos and everyone to be happy–but the reality of it is that toddlers will act how they want and you just have to go with it. Having a relaxed, no pressure attitude is definitely the way to go. This year, we all had fun while taking pictures and there were no tears. Admittedly, we bribed Reid with new Paw Patrol slippers and Walker with gummy bears–but it all worked out and they more than cooperated. As for the outfits, everyone suggests to pick out your outfit first and then work everyone else’s around the mom’s outfit. Well folks, that is totally not how it goes in my family. Walker has an adorable dog plaid longall that we all worked our outfits around. I have always been more of a causal girl, so I stayed true to myself and wore jeans paired with a neutral sweater (literally I wear the same thing in a different variety in every picture–but I know what I like!) while the big boys did the same. I really love how the neutral colors worked together and Walker was able to wear the adorable outfit!
Tips for Family Photos with Toddlers:
- Relax, your children totally feed off your energy: the more relaxed you can be the better
- Set expectations low: all I ever want is one photo, but even if that doesn’t happen, you will always remember taking the photos and have a laugh about it
- Just because a photographer is the most expensive doesn’t mean they are the best; pick a photographer who is patient (ask if they give buffer time if your children don’t cooperate): one of our most expensive photographers was our worst photography experiences! We got gorgeous photos, but sadly whenever I look at them I remember how tense the whole ordeal was!
- Pick clothes that you feel comfortable in: I love the look when a mom is in a dress and the boys are all in pants, but I personally am not a dress girl–so wearing what is most “me” makes me feel my best
- Have fun: something will happen and someone will not cooperate 100% (thats life with toddlers!), but enjoy these moments–you will remember how you felt and what happened on the day when you look at the pictures; this year our dog, Scout, rolled around in deer scat–it made for one smelly ride home!
- Bribe: I know people may judge this one, but it worked well for us! Reid was so excited about his slippers the entire photo shoot and whenever he started to not cooperate, we reminded him of his prize! Thank you Target Pick-Up 🙂
- Enjoy and treasure these moments: I love looking back at our family photos over the years and how much the boys have grown (and we have aged…haha!). My family never took pictures like this growing up, and I really want to have it documented for my family 🙂