A couple of weeks ago we had our family pictures taken with our favorite photographer! We get family pictures done every year (mostly because we add a baby almost every year ☺️), and with all the Parker Baby photo shoots with tons of children: I have learned a couple things along the way.
The best place to start is to find a photographer that fits your style, budget, and has experience photographing families. Things that really matter to me are lighting, outdoor and candid moments. Gracie checks all those boxes! Figure out availability for you both and start mentally preparing your husband for what is about to happen.
We take Parker Baby Co. lifestyle photoshoots and our personal family photos with Gracie from Gracie Marie Photo - she is seriously the best, puts up with lots of babies (both instances) and has the perfect style for us. Check out her new website here: https://www.graciemariephoto.com/! Working with the same photographer year after year really helps both sides get more comfortable with each other.
Second, get outfits in order. I start with my own outfit, because I am the most picky about what I wear in the family. I try to go with neutral items and subtle patterns that have a nice color scheme. This last photo shoot I chose a cream sweater (neutral and some texture: similar) with a black corduroy skirt that has small purple and pink flower details. Next, I work on finding coordinating outfits for the girls. We went with solid purple and pink dresses that matched the flowers in my black skirt and I layered them with sweaters and white long sleeves. Then the boys... Sam usually just wears neutrals and boots, and August does the same. Your should really try to avoid bright colors and bold patterns, especially if you have a big family.
Next, lay out all the outfits on the floor and make sure everything coordinates. Take a picture and send it to a friend or family member to get a second opinion on the colors.
Fourth, ask your photographer for ideas of photo locations. Look at their work from that specific location and get a feel for how your pictures will turn out.
BRIBES. As the date gets closer, start bribing your husband and kids. Talk about how if they smile and listen they will get candy at the end. Your husband, well, that's up to you! This last session I bribed him with a hunting trip :).
On the day of the shoot, pack all the snacks and candy. Make sure they are not chocolate (melts), or anything that will dye their mouths blue. Bring bibs, wash cloths, Tide sticks, and water. I put all these things in a *cute* bag so you can carry it from location to location while taking pictures. I mention making it a cute bag because if it happens to be in the background of a picture, or your photographer gets a super cute picture of you all walking to the next location, but you're holding the snack bag, it won't ruin the picture.
The rest is really up to your photographer. I always leave a family photo session thinking “There is no way we got more that four good pictures” and Gracie always surprises me!
Oh! And a Nana. Bring a Nana.
And sometimes this will happen 😂