I have the best husband in the world. Really, I do. For Mother’s Day this year, he did everything under the sun to make me feel special. From flowers to cards, he had the holiday covered. True to his personality, he went above and beyond and booked a professional photographer to do a family photo shoot for us. We are still waiting to get the final pictures back, but once we do I can proudly display our pictures in the “Mommy and Me” frame that’s sitting on our kitchen table. While I’m sure we will have plenty of adorable pictures, there will be many duds as well. Here are some pointers for your next family photo day.
1. The outfits: You want your family to look cohesive, but not too “matchy.” Choose a few colors then mix and match within that palate. Layering works well in pictures to add more visual interest. Do not overdo patterns. If one person has a patterned shirt, that is plenty. Lastly, wear something you are comfortable in. I know you want to dress up and look nice, but the photographer is really there to capture your life. We picked outfits we’d wear on an ordinary weekend.
2. The timing: Our nap schedule is still somewhat unpredictable around here. We did our best to time the photo shoot around our son’s normal sleeping time, but he threw us a curveball and fell asleep 30 minutes before we had to leave the house. In the end, we gently woke him up and went on our way. He was somewhat groggy and not as “full of life” as usual. Sometimes you just have to roll with it, but do your very best to time things when your baby is rested and has a full belly.
3. The age: Any age is a great age to get pictures taken. That said, I think 7 months worked exceptionally well for us. PW was able to sit up on his own and was aware of his surroundings. He hugged us and played with us. He was still a baby, though. I think newborn, 6/7 months, and one year are great times to capture these moments.
4. The location: We are fortunate enough to live in a beautiful part of town. We ended up getting our pictures done on the Santa Monica Bluffs overlooking the ocean, which is coincidentally the same place we got married. Choose a location that is close to home, has different options for scenery, and is meaningful to you. If you have a favorite park, get the pictures done there.
5. The poses: We had a lot of candid photos during our shoot. Those tend to be my favorites, like the picture above of our son playing in the dirt. Make sure you get some shots with the whole family, some of just mommy and baby, and some of daddy and baby. My best advice is not to worry about it very much. Relax and be yourselves. You hired someone to capture your family memories, so let him capture you just as you are.