Fall Family Photo Tips, Tricks, & Down to Earth Ideas

{Fall Family Photo Time}
Ahh, yes...it's that time of year again!  The air is getting crisp, leaves are falling, and you know that you really want to get family pictures but aren't sure if you're up for the fight!  Believe me, I know that feeling.

Need a little photo pep talk and inspiration?  Look no further!

{Family Photo Tips}
Although I don't consider myself professional photographer, each year I offer to take family photos for friends and family for a nominal fee.  I have a 2 fold mission...
1)To keep up on my skills I like to take family photos
2) I like to help out my friends and family with their pictures.

Over the years I've noticed a few things that can help make a photo session a little less painful & I'm going to share them with YOU!

#1 Try to plan out clothes that compliment each other, are your family style, but aren't too matchy.  I recently heard of a new professional called a Photo Stylist.  They help you pick clothes for your family and help you pick a good place for pictures.  May not be a bad idea if you're really stressed about the wardrobe thing.

Or you can do like I do...find other family photos you like and just try to look like them! My friend Heather (above) never ceases to amaze me with what she can pull together without spending a bundle.  Jessica (below) is another master of coordination! Using clothes already in your closet is great!  You don't want to go out and buy a bunch of "dressy" clothes if your family HATES getting dressed up...the pictures won't be natural!

Think back to when you were growing up...did you like putting on your Sunday clothes for family photo? My little brothers told the story of how they felt about that in each of those family pictures...and I must say they weren't joyfully smiling faces. You want happy pictures...right? Think cute and comfy! :)

#2  Worry the most about yourself. I know this sounds weird, but its so true.  You aren't going to like a photo of your family if YOU don't look good!  Kids are kids and are pretty much always cute...so if you're going to get anyone a new outfit for the photo it should be YOU!

How cute are these moms!!  Simple, cute, & with a little personality.

#3 You know how you look good.  This tip goes right along with tip #2...if you don't like the photo of yourself you won't like the pictures.  YOU know how to position your self in a photo so that you look good. Don't be shy in letting your photographer know this.  (Especially if she is a skinny gal. Nothing against those genetically blessed ladies, but they don't always "get it".) 

If you are worried about looking "fat", like 99.9% of women out there, then try these strategies...  

-Wear a dark, long sleeved colors...they are always more flattering.  Long sleeves help you keep your arms right where you want them.  

Note: By showing these photos I am NOT saying these women don't look good.  They all looked great in all of the photos I took, but these were the ones they like the best. 

-Its okay not to be front and center.  Crouching or "hiding" behind kids or the husband is perfectly OK!  It takes the pressure off of you, believe me. 

-Do your hair as you normally would.  {But add more makeup...just like the TV stars...see tip #4}  I had to learn this the hard way...for myself...believe me.   It took me a few trip to the news station for creative TV segments to realize that I would be the most confident and comfortable if I just did what I always do with my hair.  

#4 Wearing more make up in pictures/video is a GOOD idea.  You may feel like a clown, but it makes your eyes pop & we all look better with rosy cheeks and touch of lipstick.  If you need help go to the MAC counter at Nordstroms and just let them go for it.   (Yes, I did this. My fashionista sister Margo dragged me there & it was the best thing I ever did for myself.) You don't have to wear it everyday, but its great to have that stash of "special" make up when you need it!  

#5 Remember its only a picture, not the end of the world. If it isn't perfect, don't worry.  If you're not up to getting a picture of yourself this year...that's FINE!  In fact, last year I was mad at Bob (the husband) and there was no way I was going to stand by him in a photo and put a fake smile on my face!  (Um, no...he was not aware of this.)

Anyway, I just took pictures of the boys and sent them out.  It was great and at least I don't regret having pictures of them! Fortunately...I'm not mad this year. :) 

So, good luck to you my friends.  As you conquer the task of the family photo I hope these tips will help you make it worthwhile!

Emily aka Photo Toad
+Emily Ashby


Lili Aviles said...

Great tips, thank you. :) Just curious, what is the nominal fee you charge?

Unknown said...

Usually between $50-100...it included a disc with 20-30 edited photos on it.

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