Me: TOP // SKIRT // SHOES // Tommy: TOP // BOTTOMS // SHOES // JACKET // Liam: TOP // BOTTOMS // SHOES // Easton: TOP // BOTTOMS // SHOES // Chloe: DRESS // SHOES // HAIR TIE
We’ve had our fair share of family photoshoots and to be 100% honest, majority of them have been extremely stressful and not enjoyable. The irony is pretty funny. We want and probably have that perfect happy family photo when in reality, it was probably mom yelling at the kids to smile when all they wanted was to play, and hubby COMPLETELY over it. Our last few family photoshoots have gone extremely well so I thought it was fit to finally share my tips and notes on how to plan your next family photoshoot. Here are 3 easy steps with tips!
STEP 1: Figure out what everyone is wearing!
Ask yourself these questions; Do you want casual or dressy outfits? Do you want to do a holiday pj shoot? Do you want neutral colors so you can hang the pictures around your home all year round or do you purposely want them to look like a Christmas photoshoot? What is the color scheme?
For us, we love Christmas photos and wanted to share holiday outfit ideas with y’all so Christmas theme it was. We found all of our pieces at JCPenney (head to toe) for under $400 total. Yes, every single thing, including shoes. While we were shopping, it started out with casual outfits but somehow became a mix of dressy and casual. I knew that if the boys and Tommy wore patterns, Chloe and I had to get solid colored pieces to balance everything out. Our main color for our shoot was red.
STEP 2: Find a photographer and a location!
How to find a photographer: When I’m shooting outside of Houston, I always go on instagram and look at bloggers from that city and see what photographer is tagged in their photos. For example, these pictures were taken by Divina who is based in Austin. I had seen her work from Austin bloggers that I follow and loved her work. This was actually our first time shooting and I absolutely LOVE the pictures she captured.  Sometimes, I also look up hashtags that are relevant. For example, #austinphotographer #houstonphotographer #dallasphotographer, ect. It’s always nice to reach out to multiple photographers to compare rates and turnaround time.
Finding the right location! Majority of the time, the photographer will you give recommendations. 9 times out of 10, I look up “Instagram spots” or “where to take pictures in (enters city location) on Pinterest.
STEPS 3: Tips on getting that perfect family picture! 
Plan for a short photoshoot! I’d say that 30 minutes should be the max. Especially when majority of your family members don’t want to be there in the first place, lol. An hour long photoshoot is asking for a lot and to be honest the second half always ends up being a wreck with everyone being tired and wanting to leave. Before your shoot, show your photographer any inspiration of family poses or certain picture ideas. That way she/he doesn’t miss it.
Bribe! Not all parents may need to do this or agree with it, but it has definitely worked for my children. If I’m going to put my children through the excruciating pain of taking family pictures, I feel it would be right to reward them. With Chloe, she doesn’t take much bribing. For the boys, I may have little bit size candies in my bag and hand them one for every solid smile, lol.
Get some natural shots! Personally, I love having real life moments captured on camera. The laughing   ones are my favorite because I get the real smiles out of my children. It’s also okay to fake a “natural” photo. In reality, when we’re playing with our kids, their faces are turned away from the camera and everyone is far away from each other. I like to position everyone together and then Tommy and I will make a silly knock knock joke to tell the boys.
Taking pictures with multiple children! If you have more than 1 child, always position the oldest children first. They’re more likely to listen and smile. Once everyone is in position, then have the last children get ready for a quick 1-5 second shot.
Don’t Stress! I can’t express how important this tip is. Moms, because we were the ones who most likely organized everything, we’re running the show. If we’re stressed out and yelling, everyone will be too. Make the photoshoot a fun thing to do, not something everyone wants to get over with.
 There is one photoshoot that Tommy, Liam, and I had in Colorado and it wasn’t great. I was angry at Tommy for not doing something the way I wanted him to do it, Liam wasn’t in a good mood the entire time, and I was desperately wanting everything to go smoothly when in reality, it didn’t. We did end up getting a couple of perfect shots but when I look back at those photos, all I remember was how stressful and painful that shoot was. That isn’t something I want to think of when I look at those pictures.
I hope these tips help y’all achieve that perfect family picture! Thank you so much for reading!
*Pictures by Divina Stennfeld 


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