Hey guys. For those of you looking for some family photo inspiration I’ve pulled our last two years of family photos for you to take a look at. All photos are outdoor sunset time spots. I love the soft light the sun gives just before it sets. Also special bonus, we go out for family dinner all looking fabulous and ready to cash in on all the bribes issued to get these photos. Kids get to choose whatever they want and the adults get to cheers for getting us all there and back. Winning!!
So you can see our above neutral photo was simple colors and patterns. I start with dressing myself. That year I had a new pair of boots I was into and thought they went well with the outdoors theme. I’m wearing a short sleeve cashmere sweater that feels fall but doesn’t seem odd with the kids all in short sleeves. In Texas the temperature is still warm when shooting Winter photos. Also, I don’t like to choose anything that seems too seasonal because I use these photos for everything throughout the year. This photo does it all. I used this for Christmas card, made Christmas ornaments, framed for the stairwell, and even sent to school at the start of the new year for classroom family photos. We don’t get around to enough family photos so I like to make this one really count. 🙂 Consider that when choosing your photo wardrobe. My daughter is wearing Mini Boden dresses (in both photos actually) . I always appreciate their tasteful textures, patterns , and designs. The boys are easy to fill in with basics in our color scheme. In the weeks leading up to the photo I just lay everything out on the dining room table and fill in as I buy or decide on something. No one uses that living space anyway! I take this opportunity to make sure the kids have a non-school shoe option that currently fits their feet. If I buy a nice shoe at this time of the year they can wear that shoe through the entire holiday season.
The bolder color scheme came after the year of neutrals. The idea of wearing a ball skirt in the field appealed to me so I went for it! I’m a little extra sometimes… Yes, this is an item I can’t get much use out of. So let me tell you a little secret. I bought it on Ebay for $82. I searched through Nordstrom inventory and pulled a few brands to search for. This delightful Eliza J skirt was everything I wanted. Because I chose the skirt in colors I often dress our family in it was easy to produce the rest of our family wardrobe. My son is once again in blue gingham. I grabbed her Mini Boden dress at Nordstrom when I saw it because I was sure we needed cat overalls. But, for my son, I just stopped in our local kids resell shop. Guess what?! Kids resell shops are usually stocked with almost new little boys button up shirts. Wonder why?! I buy him a few for ~ $7 each and feel good about him wearing them twice a year.
Last, I wanted to mention my mental plan when heading out for family photos. We book a 15 minute mini session. I like to have several family poses so we try sitting, standing, horizontal, and vertical just to have options. Next, I want portraits of each child smiling and looking into the camera individually and one of the kids together. After those are accomplished its time for one parent with kids while the other stands behind the camera begging for a smiley face. Time and happiness are running low. But, my husband and I jump in for a shot of just us while the kids eat their candy. These are all my priority photos. This is what I have the most trouble getting myself. However, I do love the more arty photos Ziem Malkani Photography is able to capture. Just look at that beautiful sunset below. If I’m lucky we can sneak in a few of these too. www.ziemphotography.com
So, that is how I do it. You can do it too! Make that family photo happen. To me these family photos are the trophies I work so hard for. My family sitting beautifully together looking happy is my reward. No, it’s not everyday we look so polished and yes there were some less than fabulous moments leading up to these pictures. But, these photos make me smile when the days are long. — Lyra
Lyra is the real expert on dressing for family photos so I’ll just add a couple things! In the photo directly below I got the girls a coordinating dress/romper from Nordstrom. I think one thing that I try to do when buying clothes for my girls to be photographed in, is to try and buy them in the same brand. That way they can be different colors, cuts, patterns, etc but the colors will coordinate perfectly. I grabbed their outfits first ( mainly because I LOVED them at the store and somehow had to justify the price tag ) and then found a dress for me that matched the pink in my older daughter’s dress. Then lastly, I picked something very neutral for my husband. I find it so much easier to dress guys, so he’s always last, and very used to it by now!
Side Note * make sure your husband takes his phone out of his pocket before the photographer starts snapping. If you zoom in you can see my husbands in his front pocket….there’s always next year to get it perfect!
I sprinkled in a couple more photos of a recent ” Mom and Me” mini session. I wanted this to be a little more fun! I stumbled upon my younger daughters dress first and then pulled all the colors from her pattern. Her dress and my older daughter’s skirt are the same brand, Zara kids. This helped keep the pinks the same shade and then I just splashed in some yellow for fun! All my photo creds go to my beautiful, talented friend Laura Morsman Photography. She amazes me every single time!
Good luck mamas, I hope you all get that perfect photo this year! – Lana