I know that look well. The look of a mom who is climbing out of her vehicle with the expression of fear, frustration and anxiety written all over her face. Sitting next to her is her husband, who looks as though he is marching to his death. Sitting in the back seat are her adorable children – all perfectly styled and in “coordinating yet not-too-matchy-matchy” outfits.
It’s family picture night. (Cue scary-movie music)
She has been planning for weeks….okay, months for this night. She made sure to contact the photographer 4 months in advance to make sure she can get the date she wants. She’s been Pinteresting wardrobe options. Online shopping for hours on end trying to get just the right look. She tried hard not to pre-bribe the kids, but the pressure was mounting and she caved on the drive over, “If you all behave well during pictures, then we will go to Cherry Berry!”. But it back fired. Now the kids think it’s going to be an awful experience that they need to get a reward for if they can get through it, like a dentist visit or a flu shot. They are loosing it. She is losing it. She thinks, “How in the hell am I supposed to act like I love my family in these photos? Don’t they know how bad I want some nice family photos to put up on walls? Don’t they know how much time and energy I have put into this? And why is my husband acting like this?? He’s worse than the kids. And all he had to do was show up!” Blood boiling. And yup, she is officially sweating.
I get it. Really, I do.
It can be a lot of work. It can be stressful. It can be time consuming. It’s almost always an investment (which is another reason why your husband is crabby).
However, the reason why it can be a stressful process is because you CARE about the outcome. You put a lot of work into it because it MEANS a lot to you. You want great photos taken of the family you love. You want to be able to look back and remember this crazy-fast journey. Your mama-heart NEEDS to be able to freeze time for just a moment.
And I am here to tell you – even if the session is a complete gong-show, it always seems to magically turn out great! Some how, some way you view a gallery of gorgeous, emotion filled photos. And what’s this? “Do we all look….happy in these images? Did that comment about poop and farts actually get genuine smiles out of my naughty children?” Mind. Blown.
Then the fun happens. You get to pick out beautiful, hand-made art pieces to hang up in your home so that you can remember, everyday, “See! They’re not so bad.” Ha!
Here are some helpful family photo tips for you:
- Don’t over-think the wardrobe. Just put your family in cute-yet-comfortable clothing. If anyone is uncomfortable, it’s going to be hard for them to look happy. If you are wondering what colors to put your family in, look at the colors in your home already and coordinate from there. Then your finished product will coordinate well on your walls.
- Let your hubby pre-game this event. A beer before will take the edge off, which will in turn makes it easier on you. Then if he doesn’t add to your stress before or during the session, he can have more after.
- Treat yourself and get your hair, nails and/or make up done. You deserve it. And let’s be honest. You want to look HOT in these photos (as you should).
- Realize that most people (even kids sometimes) feel awkward getting their photo taken. It’s only natural. Just go with it.
The moral of the story? Like all things important in life – It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.