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Tips for Tearless Family Photos

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Holiday family photo time is upon us… or as we refer to it in our household: The Time All The Crying Happened. As it turns out, three-year-old boys are largely uninterested in standing still(ish), holding hands, wearing coordinated outfits (“No! Not these pants!”), and smiling on cue. Our family photographer was excellent and despite my fear that all of our shots would include someone crying, she sent over fantastic images that we will use for our Christmas cards.

Next time, however, I’ll plan more intentionally in order to make our experience more enjoyable.

Plan for a “playtime” photo shoot rather than a posed photo shoot. Meet at the playground and take pictures while going down the slide. Bring a blanket and capture the kids reading books or playing a game on it (extra holiday card points if they’re reading The Night Before Christmas!). Bounce balls. Build a fort. Work with your photographer to do something rather than simply standing and posing.

Take pictures in a familiar spot. If your own home isn’t conducive to family photos because of the light or space, think about going to your favorite park or meeting up at the Zoo. Everyone will feel comfortable and the pictures will capture a moment in time.

Bring snacks! But make them bite-sized and clean to eat. For the record, bringing along cereal bars to our photo session was not my best idea. (Bonus tip: bring wipes)

Take shots of the kids individually and then couple shots. If none of your group shots are usable (not everyone is looking at the camera, the kids are crying, etc), you can make a collage! (And yes, that’s what we did last year) Plus, pictures of you and your sweetie are just as important as pictures of the kids.

[AUTHOR: Becca Eliasen]

November 3, 2014

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