Happy Friday! December is here and I have already attended my first holiday social at work. Tonight we will head to our favorite annual Christmas party where we get to catch up with so many people we do not have the chance to see regularly. As if that is not enough, on Saturday we will be heading to Fort Worth for Keith's company party. We are so looking forward to a night away!
A HUGE shout out today to the ladies over at The Blended Blog, especially the coordinator Katie, for inviting me as the Friday feature today. Hop over and read my interview! If you haven't been a Blended Blog reader you totally should be. This group of contributors are fashionable, inspirational and fun!
I shared a sneak peek of our family pictures a few weeks back as I shared my thoughts on using Minted for card design. Today I'm sharing the card I settled on and thought I would also share my tips for a successful family photo shoot!
I loved the simplicity of this design. The photo I wanted to use was a little tricky in several layouts but I loved how the green in love helped pull the green from Jordan's outfit into the picture.
I love including individual pictures of the kids as well and this ended up being the back of our card. I just love these people so much!!
So how do we survive our annual picture and still have smiles on our faces?
Pick a date as far in advance as possible. If you are booking a photographer this is really important as the closer the holidays get the busier they will be. Honestly, in Texas we would have much better luck with spring or early summer photos to ensure ourselves the weather would not be an issue but that just doesn't work for our schedules. We are so fortunate to have a photographer who comes from a big family and is use to some of the crazy that comes with shooting this crew.
Location, location, location! We are typically limited to the general vicinity where we live but there are some amazing backdrops for pictures in our own backyard. Places that work really well and are often found in most towns, both big and small, include downtown areas, museums, local parks (especially if there are some neat water features or cool bridges), college campuses or even a simple country road can be the best. Have a vacation planned for the coming year? One of the best things I ever did was book a photographer the year we traveled to Destin for summer vacation. It is really not hard to find someone in most towns you visit and as your children get older a family vacation may be one of the only opportunities you have.
Begin planning for outfits at least a month in advance. This is always the hardest for our family for some reason. Choose a general color scheme and begin pulling together pieces to compliment each family member. Encourage your family to pick items they are comfortable in. Layers and patterns are your friend! In early years I was afraid to mix patterns and definitely worried layers would add bulk. Layers and patterns help the picture to look less one dimensional and everyone ends up looking pulled together. I typically try to snap a picture of a few of the pieces laid out together and send it to my photographer to give her a better sense of how what we are wearing will work with the location of the photoshoot.
Do not be afraid to bribe your family! Talk the pictures up and reinforce over and over how important they are to you. I am definitely the queen of guilting my family into this. They all know this is the only gift I want every year and they all complain just a tad but once we get there they all smile pretty. Set the expectations as to the types of pictures that will be taken and how much time you will need. Typically we end by having dinner together which is kind of a reward for us but I'm not saying cash wouldn't work just as well. Ha!
Have a little fun! If one of your family members has a suggestion for a pose, try to make it happen. This year Riley suggested an Abbey Road picture and our photographer, Sarah, was all over making that wish come true! I honestly had to google it when I got home because I was not on top of the Beatles reference. How fun is this having them in line oldest to youngest?
Keep your cool. My boys (including Keith) are the first to begin getting irritated if we move our location too many times. Making sure they are not hungry by bringing a few snacks along is always a good idea. Remaining calm when my boys start to picking and complaining is not necessarily my natural reaction but on picture day I seriously use every single ounce of patience I have and respond to everything with smiles and kind words. Conditions will not always end up perfect but if you stay calm you can still end up with some great pictures.
Whether you hire a photographer or snap a family photo yourself, just do it! Capturing your family over the years as everyone grows and changes is just so special to look back on. I've used a tripod some years and captured our photo with a remote and that was so easy. Grab a good friend or family member and have your picture taken in front of your tree.
I for one end up loving the pictures, of me at least, much better when they are taken by a professional and I've been lucky enough to schedule every other year since 2010. I love looking back at how much the kids have grown and try to make sure we have some similar shots each time.
Click the image for all my faves!
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