5 Tips for Taking Your Own Family Photos

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The holiday’s are around the corner (62 more sleeps!), and now is when I start to think about taking family photos. The leaves are turning, the air is crisp and you can never be too prepared to get your family
photos out of the way. Heck, we took ours this past weekend! While many believe the only way to get great family photos is by hiring a professional photographer, I beg to differ. Au contraire! Sure, it might be nice to leave the snapping and editing to the pros, but it’s really not necessary. Last year we entrusted the help of a tripod and
the year before that we asked my mother-in-law to jump behind the lens. So to ease your mind, today I am sharing a whopping FIVE tips for taking your own family photos.

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1. Plan ahead. It’s smart to have a game plan into place before the actual day arrives. Choose a day that allows you to take your time and when no one is rushed. Also consider the time of day, do your children need to be fed before hand? If your family is hungry, they won’t cooperate. Also, decide on a location that provides a great backdrop without taking away from the true subject of the photo – your family. Additionally, scour Pinterest for ideas on pictures and poses you’d like to capture and keep those in mind. And lastly, don’t forget to bring your tools! Make sure your camera is packed and ready with a fully charged battery, and don’t forget the camera remote and/or tripod, if you’ll be using those the day of.

2. Have cohesion. Planning outfits for your family doesn’t have to cause you stress. I like keep things fairly simple yet cute, duh. First, choose three complementary colors and set that as your color pallet. If you’ve chosen neutrals, then there’s a better chance of adding to your pallet because things won’t be overly busy. Settling on neutrals also allows for you to print mix within everyone’s outfit.

For example, in the photo below for last year’s pictures, our color pallet consisted of blue, gray and brown. Because we kept our colors neutral, Kevin’s checkered shirt didn’t clash with Remy’s floral dress.

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3. Get your kids to cooperate. Trust me when I say getting a toddler to cooperate during family photos is nearly an impossible feat. Nearly. As soon as you’re on the way to the location, set the stage by showing your excitement for what’s about to happen. Attitude is contagious. You also want to remember to plan the photos around your children’s schedule – after they’re fed, fully rested and happy! Bring snacks to try and temper meltdowns. And finally, don’t be above a bribe or two, I’m sure not! Offer your little one’s a reward at the end of the shoot to ensure their cooperation.

4. Don’t be too posed. Like I mentioned in the first tip, come prepared with pictures and poses you’d like to try. However, don’t let that preparation get you stuck and overly posed. Have fun and towards the end of the session even consider letting your kiddos roam free…to an extent. Remy got away from us for a split second during
our photos last year and the result was probably one of my favorite pictures of
her to date! [See our holiday cards for last year here]

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5. Don’t stress. Remember, attitude is contagious. If you begin to stress, so will your kids, followed by your spouse. Go with the flow and enjoy the experience. You really don’t have to get elaborate with the whole thing, in the end you’re capturing memories. And that’s what’s important.


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