Guys! This is the must important thing whether you want to hear it or not. Take pictures! More importantly, schedule a photo sesh with your people. With your kids. Your cats. Your plants!!! Whatever it is that you want to keep track of. For me, Michael has a bunch of siblings (mostly sisters). Like literally, a bunch! We are particularly close with these weirdos (in case any of them read this and think I am too fond of them). And while they are annoying and ridiculous at least a quarter of the time, they are a big part of our lives. And therefore a huge part of Parker’s childhood. So not only do we want to track the growth of our little family of three; we also want to track the growth of the cousins and aunts and uncles. So every year, around the holidays, we force as many of them as we can to one location to pay money to stand in front of a camera and do things they would already be doing at home, in their pajamas.
Yes most of them get super annoyed I push it so much. But when those pictures roll in from our favorite photographer, no one has complaints because the candid energy we have just caught on camera is beyond instagram worthy! More like huge gallery wall in everyone’s homes.
Some tips we use for our shoots are as follows:
Pic a color palette for your outfits. Not everyone listens so try to give options. For this big picture we did blue jean, black and white. For previous years we’ve done just neutral color. If you get too specific, people won’t feel themselves. And the best part of any picture is to let everyone’s personality shine.
Ask your photographer when the lighting is best in your location. For us, this is either usually early early morning, or as the sun is setting.
Make it fun for the kids! You want them smiling and goofing off in the pictures so the more fun they are having the better the picture will be.
Don’t stress about the location. Your picture is mostly going to be of the people in it. We usually pic a trail or outdoor area. Since we wait until later in the year, its usually a picture with more brown than green but that makes for a softer background in my opinion.
Bring props! Sometimes you wont need them and sometimes they will hardly be able to be seen in the picture but it gives everyone something to play around with during an already sort of awkward moment of posing for a camera while not posing. Sometimes we bring blankets or an old orchard box. Or try some twinkly lights to put around people if they are battery operated.