“The days are long, but the years are short.”
When you have young children you realize how fast they change and grow, which is why parents often take more pictures than they even know what to do with (I happen to be one of those parents). But, that being said, I also have never looked back and said “I wish we had taken a few more pictures,” which to me is success. Documenting our children as they grow brings me so much joy. To have beautiful pictures all over our home is something I cherish the most. I want capture not just the big monumental moments, but the little ones too. I look at pictures as the only way to freeze time.
But sometimes getting kids to be in pictures can be pretty difficult. If you have young babies/kids, it is a real challenge to get them to look at the camera, stop picking their noses, or even to get them to stop making that horrible “cheese” face. Recently I realized that we had not had professional photos (minus some Christmas ones) since our daughter turned one (she will be turning three in just 4 months). To me that is way too long, so I started planning a little photo shoot. Once I got the proofs back and fell in love, I realized that I should share a few of my tips on how to take magical family photos.
*Hire a Photographer– I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, if you want your entire family to be in the picture, you need to hire someone to do it. Getting kids to look at a trip-pod is pretty much impossible. Save yourself the time, energy and expertise and hire someone. Make sure the photographer is great with kids and understands they will have a short window of opportunity to get the best shots.
*Scout out a location– A lot of people leave this up to the photographer, which is totally fine, but I love finding new places that haven’t been used a million times by other people. Find a spot that your kids will enjoy exploring. Maybe its a train station, or a rocky beach, maybe its a cool wooded area or even a quaint downtown with candy shops. Whatever your family will have fun doing together then you should probably go there.4 Easy tips to get magical family photos. Plus a discount on a professional photography session!… Click To Tweet
*Pick your colors– I often think about what kind of pictures we already have then try to change the color scheme from the last shoot. This time I knew I wanted the wildflowers as our backdrop, which would provide some great colors all on their own. So for us I decided on soft blue, pink and white. Try to choose colors that are easy to find in everyone’s closet. Don’t feel like you always have to go out and buy something new, sometimes just knotting up an old shirt can make it look new again.
*Have FUN– The day of the shoot do your best to get everyone a good meal and a nap before going (even Dad). I always try to bring a little toy for each kid that they haven’t seen in a while, one that you wouldn’t mind if it ends up in a few shots. I also bring some sort of lollipop or piece of candy as a good distraction or reward in the end. Have fun playing together and don’t worry about getting the “perfect” shot with everyone looking at the camera! The candids have always been my favorite. Our photographer played “Simon Say’s” with the kids and they loved it, we went on a hunt for wild creatures, smelled flowers, tickled, even made silly faces. My daughter and I had a twirling session and just walking hand in hand to different places can keep the kids busy and happy! Remember to have fun and don’t sweat it if the toddler has a melt down or the baby starts crying, if you stay cool and calm then you can probably still get a few good pictures after a quick snack/juice break.
*Just in time for Mother’s Day, the fabulous photographer that took our new family photo’s, AmandaJameson.com, is offering $50 off a 60 minute session through July 1st by using the code “PrincessTurnedMom.” Give the mom in your life the gift of freezing time, even if just for a moment. I promise it will be the best gift you could give her!