We’ve been taking a family photo every year and sending out holiday photo cards since our firstborn was a newborn in 2005 and photo greetings cards were a new concept. I feel like something of an expert so here are
Tab’s Tips for your family photos.
A few quick tips to start us off:
- dress everyone comfortably (photos may not be a great time to introduce your son to a neck tie)
- have someone behind the camera besides the photographer to check on errant hair, wardrobe malfunctions or kids who are making weird faces (it’s a bonus if they can also make your kids laugh)
- choose a photographer who will bring out the best in you (contact me for Phoenix referrals)
- shoot at a location that will be fun
- make sure everyone is well rested and fed ahead of time
- shoot mid-morning or late afternoon for the best light
Make sure you check out the Pinterest board at the end of this post, too!
Now here are my official tips!
1. Decide on a color scheme.
In 2013, I found this adorable plaid dress so I built our color scheme from that.
We don’t always wear Christmasy colors, though. In 2011, orange and turquoise was my favorite combination so I first bought the headband and the ties at a craft show then put our outfits together to coordinate.
Recently in 2019 I built our color scheme based on this kimono I loved.
2. Wear layers and add texture.
I love the graphic tee under my oldest’s plaid shirt and I adored the scarf my friend made me.
3. Choose a location with a variety of backgrounds to give you more options.
In 2013, we chose the location where we got married in 2002 as our background. That was fun.
CAUTION: Please stay OFF rail road tracks. Trains come quietly and often unexpectedly and you don’t want your photo shoot to end in tragedy.
4. Take the same photo every year.
We try to get a “walking picture” every year, or at least holding hands. It’s fun to see how everyone grows and changes.
5. Remember to capture the kids and Mom and Dad together, too.
When you work so hard to capture a family photo, you might forget that you’ll want photos of the kids (maybe individually, too) and Mom and Dad.
6. Consider using props, like our teepee from last year.
We also used a chalkboard so I could go back and add messages in Canva later.
7. Focus on the details.
One of my photographer friends told me to think about our shoes. She’s so right–dirty old tennis shoes can ruin a great picture.
For this year, we all had brown shoes and it really made a difference.
8. Remember that the candid moments will often be your favorites.
Ask your photographer to include some that are not posed. A really great photographer can even stage those moments, like this one.
9. Get a few head shots done, too!
You need them for your social media profiles so why not do it when you have a photographer and a background??
10. Once you’ve got your colors and background, choose a card design that coordinates.
I’ve used Walgreens and Costco and have been very happy with them. You can also purchase a design from Etsy then have it printed at your favorite print shop.
I hope these tips help you with your family photos this year! If you have more tips, or questions, let me know!
For more ideas, check out my Photo Ideas board:
Please pin and share.