Last year we did our family photos in the fall. (You can read about that family photoshoot here.) So this year I wanted something totally different and bright! Our friend and photographer recommeded shooting our photos in Wash Park where she found this beautiful spot with a little lake and colorful flowers.
I try to have each year a little different, so all our family photos don't blend together. I love looking back at our previous family photoshoots! I can easily recall 2021, the fall photos. 2020, the city family photoshoot. 2019, the family photoshoot by the Christmas tree, etc. This blog is all about the 9 steps I take to ensure a smooth family photoshoot each year.
9 Steps to Ensure a Smooth Family Photoshoot:
1. Know the location and look you're going for.
This is step one for me because once I know the location, I can start choosing outfits that go with this theme. This year I knew I wanted a colorful, bright spot for our family photos. Once I knew we were shooting in a floral location, I knew I wanted a bright pink dress!
2. Planning moms outfit.
Out of the entire family, I am usually the hardest one to dress! Haha. I always start with my dress and then base everyone elses outfit off of the colors and style I chose for me. The kids and men are just easier to dress! This year I didn't need much time to decide the dress or look I wanted because I knew I wanted a bright pink floral dress.
3. Plan the rest of the families outfits.
I usually start with Blakely. The girls are the hardest to dress in my opinion because we have so many options, layers, etc. Since my dress was bright and colorful, I knew I wanted to keep Blakely a little more simple so our dresses weren't both too loud and clashing with eachother. She loved this white dress!
Once I get my dress and then Blakely's dress or outfit chosen, the boys are pretty easy. It's really just pants and a shirt for them. Haha. I try to have them all in different colors and layers, but outfits that blend with Blake and me.
4. Mix and match all my options until I get an overall look I love for the family photos.
I usually have a couple options per person. This way I can lay out the different combonations of outfits and see what makes the most sense. This year I had a beautiful mini floral dress for Blakely that went so well with my bright pink dress. But she hated it! I never make my kids wear things they hate because I want them to feel comfortable and look natural in the family photos. She loved the white dress I got her, so that's what she wore! This is another reason I like to have options. Sometimes the kids are picky and know what they want to wear, which is why I like having options.
5. Plan haircuts and nails.
A couple weeks before the family photoshoot I make sure everyone has their hair cut. They may not need a fresh cut, but always something to think about so you don't wake up the morning of the family photos and realize someones hair is a mess. Haha. It's usually the boys. I don't want them looking shaggy during the photoshoot.
Sometimes I will let Blakely get her nails painted at the salon before a family photoshoot. Not always, but sometimes it is a special treat and a fun girls dates. Other times, we paint them at home the night before.
6. Clean and iron all outfits.
A couple days before the family photos I like to make sure all the outfits are chosen and then make sure they are clean and ironed. The issue of ironing the morning of or when you're running late is not fun! Doing this ahead of time takes one extra to-do off your list the day of the photoshoot.
7. Get all your ducks in a row the night before.
The night before a family photoshoot, I like to make sure I have all my ducks in a row! I make sure nails are cut, painted, etc. I have the kids wash their hair so we don't have to worry about it the day of. I also like to set out all the shoes, bows, jewelry, and any other accessories I may need for the photoshoot.
And finally, get a good nights sleep!
8. Day of the family photoshoot don't forget to eat.
Depending on the time of your photos, you may be so busy getting things ready to go, you forget to eat! Before we get dressed, I like to make sure everyone is fed. I also pack snacks and water to take in the car so we have something for the kids right after the shoot if needed. This is a simple step, but I forgot to pack water and snacks this year and by the end of our family photos the entire family was HANGRY. Haha.
9. Pack extra outfits.
Depending on the weather, the age of the kids, or many other variables... you may want to pack extra outfits/options. When the kids were toddlers I always worried about them spilling on something. So I always brought an extra top just in case. I don't think we've ever actually had to change! But I'd rather be safe than sorry.
These steps may seem silly, but they truly help me stay organized. They also help prevent frazzled family members! Haha. These family photoshoots are a lot of work for mama. But manare the worth it! We always end up with a photo (or 20) that melt my heart. I absolutely love getting photos of us all together. I just want to capture these dang kids at every stage of life.
Generally, I feel like family photoshoots are pretty smooth and easy. I hope this helps you also have a smooth family photoshoot! :)