Ever have ‘one of those days’ or ‘one of those weeks’? We all have. I like to think when you have kids the more appropriate phrase is “I’m having one of those years”. Nothing went quite as planned this year. Terrible twos might not happen for every child, but for my twins the saying fits perfectly. So it came as no surprise when even the weather didn’t cooperate for my ‘fall’ pictures this year … it was 80 degrees…. and humid.
My pictures still turned out great thanks to my super talented friend and photographer Ashley Cohn (check her out HERE)
I thought I would share some tips I’ve learned through the years for taking the best possible family photos:
-Go with the flow
Circumstances change, weather gets weird, events around town pop up… life happens. Try not to have your heart set on anything. Its a great idea to have backup outfits for different types of weather. Locations may need to change last minute, and thats OKAY! We weren’t aware of a vikings tailgate/game going on the morning we shot… we had to shift away from drunken crowds… it happens. Let your photographer take the lead and follow their advice. Some of my absolute favorite pictures have been taken in alleys not far from homeless people scavenging in dumpsters (not joking). Be open to everything.
-Think outside the box
Everyone loves fall. The colors, the leaves…
Buuuut… its also been done. I love pictures taken in odd and distinctly different places. Cool old doorways, industrial buildings, even an old brick wall can make for an amazing backdrop.
-Know your kids and their limits
What times are your kids happiest? Do they need to eat and drink to be cheerful? What triggers their meltdowns? These are all questions you need to ask yourself..
I make sure when I book my sessions I choose late morning slots, when my kids are alert and have had some time to digest breakfast. I make sure they eat since they tend to get ‘Hangry’ like their mama. I also pack snacks, drinks, and even an incentive type toy to keep the smiles coming… lets face it… even a bribed smile beats the dreaded toddler stink face.
-Keep outfits simple
Outfits seem to be the most planned out part of any family photoshoot. Matching or coordinating? What colors?
I think above all the outfits need to be TIMELESS. This means less is more. Pick classic clothing that blends in, the backdrop and your adorable family should be the focal point… not your outfit. There are plenty of times to make style statements, family pictures isn’t one of them. You can never go wrong with neutrals… and I personally love the children to be in lighter colors that attract the eye ( Grays, whites, Denim)
Another benefit of the simple outfit is that it ends up looking much better in holiday cards. Most templates online for holiday cards have a lot going on …even the most simple designs. Think of how busy it will look if theres graphics of snowflakes, garland, barn wood, and then your family all decked out in flannel from head to toe… its a lot. Its too much. Keep it simple friends.
These are some of my favorite family photos taken throughout the years.. . all done by Ashley Cohn