Family Photos, Do them.

Family photos can be overwhelming, so let me tell you what I think...

Ok first, unless you are related, I am guessing that very few of you will make it through all these photos.  I tried to pick my very favorite first so you can get the idea.  It's ok, I won't judge - I would totally skip them instead of going through them 100s of times smiling to myself if they weren't my own. But you guys, this was the best I could edit it down to because there was just too many great ones.  These were our family photos from a year ago!  man time flies.

And what to say about family photos?  this can be quite a polarizing topic, and one that creates angst and stress and pressure.  Darnit.  Totally get it, right there with you.

Here's my thoughts...

We are our worst critics, so for a moment just stop and let someone else find your best side.  And even if you are never satisfied with the photos, you will have them, and cherish them later.  And those who love you will cherish them.  I frickin promise this one.  My mom hated having her photo taken and so I have so very few of her and it breaks my heart.  

Make it fun.  Find a place that kids can be kids.  and embrace the outtakes.  This round Peyton fell immediately as he sprinted across the grass when we arrived.  This is not the first time, when we took photos when he was 1 his head immediately found the brick patio - major goose egg for those, so I say we are at least improving with our falling skills.  I kind of love the grass stains on his pants in all these photos.  It adds some reality spice and takes the pressure off of needing to be so curated.   

What to wear?  Well this one I go back on forth on.  I dream of all of us looking coordinatedly uncoordinated in our best.  But I also know my kids will be so very bratty if they are uncomfortable.  And those clothes will be worn once, and that's money I don't want to waste.  Plus I want there to be some reality to our photos.  So I try to get creative with what they've got and would normally wear.  There is usually something worth a photo in their closet and we go from there.  I like the idea of contrasting colors, but honestly prints or no prints, color vs nuetrals...no rules with what to wear, as long as you are comfortable.  This will definitely shine through into the camera.  Sorry not much help otherwise. 

The Photographer.  Honestly if you can't afford a professional, then get your friend, neighbor, mom out there and use an Iphone and spend 30 mins shooting.  But if you can afford a professional find one who's style is simpatico with what you want - this includes the way they shoot candids, the shots they capture and the editing style they choose.  Most of the time you can research their instagram or website gallery.  It's not out of line to ask them to send you an example of a gallery.  In Seattle - I highly recommend Annie.  Obviously all these parts jive with me but I also love her patiences and the tricks she uses to get the shots.  You guys - it's so hard to capture my oldest sons true smile.  She nailed it.  Annie happens to have 3 elementary age children of her own so she gets kids pretty well.  She is easy to work with and can find that patch of grass on a city sidewalk that will look magical.  





If this all feels like too much, consider getting family photos outside of right now - the mad rush for holiday cards, if it feels like too much.  Summer is great or when you go on a trip and are living your best life.  Or maybe for an upcoming party - invite a photographer to document.  

Totally worth the investment in my opinion.

Happy Fall Y'all.

photos by Annie.

PS - If you didn't get a christmas card and you usually do, it's probably because I lost my address book and just had to let that expectation go for a bit.  Don't you worry - I may just send two years in one this year...bonus bonus.