1. Hire an amazing photographer. Don’t skimp, save up, and remember how worth it these photos are. Find one who not only has a style you love, but who YOU love. The more comfortable your family is with your photog, the better your pictures will be. Remember this, you guys are beautiful when you are just living life in love together. Find someone who captures that.
2. Come up with an idea! Keep it simple, but having an idea in mind helps in every other way. If you have an idea/theme that will help you decide on outfits, props, destination, everything! I knew I wanted cozy/cabin feeling outdoor photos. So we packed up loads of blankets, a big thermos of hot cocoa, and wore tons of layers, and off to the tree farm we went!
3. Count on Candids. Don’t get to0 pintresty with your plans, unless you are kidless then pintrest to high heavens while you can! Go into your photos with lots of opportunity for cute candid photos that include your whole family. For us, nursing is a go to because it contains the squirmiest of our family, and everyone is engaged. Mugs and hot chocolate also work well because the girls liked to sit and clink glasses, cuddle up, and drink something sweet! So it helped them sit still and be able to get some awesome sister photos. The candid’s are always going to be the lifelong favorites, the moments that aren’t perfect but are so dead on to where you’re at, so allow for those to happen without all the “you sit here. SMILE!” stress.
4. Don’t be afraid to let your kids be themselves. Does you daughter ONLY wear that one dress. Go with it! Does your husband just hate v-necks, let him pick what he wears! And does your youngest just never sit still? No biggie. Find ways to chase them toward the photographer, or bring a fun activity, or pack a sucker (yes, I wholly advocate that). Getting awesome pictures of happy kids is far easier than getting pictures of kids who are annoyed or encumbered by clothes they don’t like. And, bonus! It takes the heat off of you picking their outfits!
5. Prep your kids. Get them excited! Tell them what’s happening, and why it’s going to be fun! Show them pictures of you when you we’re little, explain how cool it will be to look back on this. Nolie LOVES to see photos of herself as a baby, and talking about how she can see these when she is a teenager is a HUGE selling point. Let your kids get excited about this too, make a card for the photographer, help decide what to bring as a prop (cider or hot cocoa? obviously my girls are brilliant and picked chocolate). These are family photos, and the more ownership your littles take in them the more fun you will all have, the more of an experience it will be, and the better the pictures will turn out.
6. Have some fun. Laugh too big. Have a double chin. But give up caring, because in ten years, those huge laughs on your face and your tiny children and your young husband… they will be your absolute favorite memories.
7. Remember that bold is best, and matching is unnecessary. This holds true for lips (bright! pop!) and clothes. Save the clothes with words/characters for another day if you can (if you can’t, go for the giant Minnie Mouse shirt and a smiling kiddo over the sad faced girl in a gorgeous mini boden.)
8. Get your makeup done, Mama. I know, I know. This is weird, expensive advice. But I HIGHLY recommend it. You know the age old “if mama ain’t happy, no ones happy!” same goes for photos; “I’m mama feels great, everyone feels great!” my confidence, lack of stress, and feeling like my best self… it made a world of difference for our photos.
9. For at least a few photos. Pretend your photographer isn’t there. And kiss like the kids are in bed. Comfort your kiddos like you would when no one is there for the photo. And let everyone just be; kicking,nursing, kissing, crying, just let it be for at least a few.
10. And, finally, your kids are the most beautiful, intense, amazing, and worthy of remembering creatures on the planet. So with a good photographer, there really is no screwing those cherub cheeked babies up.
Makeup (and confidence boost!) by; Love Beauty
And Photographer (and friend); Tiffany Burke Photography