It’s time to shoot for your next family holiday card! I know this can be stressful. Being a mom blogger that shoots with my kids all the time, you would think I would be a pro, and its a breeze. To be honest I feel like it is even worse, because they almost plot against me and think about how to not cooperate.
Part of the reason why I am able to manage family photos is because our photographer Angie is amazing with our kids. It is so important to book a photographer that is understanding and patient with children. If your photographer is impatient and rushing your family Christmas pictures, that will only make matters worse. You want a photographer that has experience with families. Kids only cooperate for a quick moment, so you will also want a photographer that can get images quickly!
There is nothing worse than having to take Christmas family pictures in a rush. It makes it stressful for all parties involved, and doesn’t keep anyone in the cheery family mode. Block off the day so you can take your time getting ready (because my boys never get ready when I ask them to), and so you don’t have to rush during the photo shoot.
I recommend scheduling your family Christmas photo shoot first thing in the morning. I’ve found shooting early with children is optimal. It is before their attitude sets in and before they want to run around like crazy.
This can be challenging especially the bigger your family gets. First, I decide the color scheme for the shoot. I will browse the internet and get an idea of colors that are available for everyone. I try not to make the boys match exactly. While I like having a color scheme, I don’t want my boys to look like triplets. I keep my oldest looking like a tween, and typically keep his prints to a minimum or make sure they are more mature. Find the pattern you want to be the star and see how each child can incorporate the print. If you have boys maybe it is the top or subtle accessories. Even consider 1 of the kids not being in the pattern at all but just having the colors. You want to match but not go over board.
For the parents I normally have Rick in all solids. but for these Christmas family pictures, the highlight was that it was daddy and me prints. Pick 1 parent to be the baseline to balance all prints and colors.
The night before your shoot lay out each outfit, and confirm everything fits. I can’t tell you how many times we have left for a shoot and forgot a bowtie or some other small detail. Lay out every detail so it is accounted for.
Right before our shoot I always give Cyrus a cup and all the boys snacks. This will eliminate hunger playing a part in their attitude. If you can I would recommend bringing someone other than the photographer to help keep your kids attentive. On major family photoshoots, I will bring my mom with us and what you can’t see is she is standing next to our photographer dancing and yelling like a crazy person! Hey, it gets our kids to look, so there is not shame in my game. If you have a baby/toddler, try to avoid giving any pacifiers to them. It is almost impossible to take the pacifier away from Cyrus, and then we end up with a screaming toddler! I am not above bribery, I tell my older boys if they cooperate they can get a treat! Do any and everything to make the photo work!
For the Holidays, adding props can be a fun way to jazz up your Christmas family pictures and really make them holiday card approved. You can go to a tree farm and incorporate the Christmas trees in your photo, grab ornaments, and even use signs. Getting creative will bring more personality to your pictures.
Taking pictures with kids you have to know that the pictures will not turn out perfect. If you have young children they may not be looking. I have stopped striving for perfection, and strive more for images that show who our family really is!
You don’t want to rush trying to get out your cards! Hopefully you find these tips helpful. If you have any other tips I did not mention please share them below!!