It's coming - the day each year when I force my sweet little family into an hour or two of torture, otherwise known as our annual family photo shoot. I started sending out holiday cards using professional pics after my oldest was born (she'll be 4 soon) so this year will be our fourth go around. Every year I tell myself it's the last time I'm going to do this. Without fail, by the time the shoot is over, someone has cried, lost something, thrown a tantrum, fallen down, gotten hungry/thirsty, and/or tried to take the camera from the photographer. We finally get done and I'm like fuck this shit, NEVER AGAIN. Somehow though, we manage to get a few photos worth sending around the world to our nearest and dearest that capture us in a happy moment. Several happy moments, actually. And to me, since everyone tells me my kiddos are going to grow up in the blink of an eye, that's worth wanting to pull my hair out for a couple of hours.
So, over the years I've learned a few things about dressing the fam up for these shoots that make things just a little bit easier. First - everyone has to be comfortable. I don't care how cute you think your kid will look in that scratchy lacey leather wool hat/coat/shirt/bowtie/dress whatever it is - they will hate it and will make sure you know it IN the pics. Same goes for you, actually; kids or no kids, 6 inch Louboutins are probably not the way to go during a family photo shoot unless you are sitting the whole time, which you won't be if you have toddlers (see first two pics below - I was in serious pain there, dumb dumb dumb). Second - just do you. Don't dress your family up in shit they would never wear. In fact, I make it a point not to buy anything new for these shoots. I just think "what would my family wear to a fun holiday party?" (or something else we would actually put effort into getting dressed for) and go from there. Third - and this is a personal pet peeve - I try to coordinate without being matchy matchy. Basically, I am STILL not over my mom dressing me and my sister like twins even though we are three years apart. A matching hair bow or whatever here and there is fine - but 100% identical outfits or all red sweaters or whatever - no thank you. Again, ask yourself - would me and my family go out in public like this? If the answer is no, then don't take permanent pictures dressed like that either. Below are a few pics from our past three family shoots - fingers crossed for #4.
|The shoes my daughter was wearing here did not make it home with us that day. I have no idea where they went.|
|My shoes here were cutting off my circulation and I almost broke my ankle twice.|
|The baby was two weeks old here. She fell asleep for 20 minutes in between crying, which is when this pic was taken.|
|The baby was about to cry.|
|My then 2 year old decided it was time for a group hug.|
|The older one was trying to force her sister to hold hands. It did not work. They fell down after this.|
|She didn't know how to walk yet. She tried really hard though - and fell down after this.|