10 Tips for Perfect Family Photos + $100 GIVEAWAY!

It’s that time of year! Time to get started on all that wonderful holiday prep!  This year I’m determined to enjoy the holiday season as stress-free as possible.  I’m getting an early start on all the shopping and of course, the annual Christmas card.  Receiving beautiful cards from our friends and family is one of my absolute favorite things!  There is just something wonderful about receiving tangible photos and well wishes from those near and dear to your heart.

Every year we order our holiday cards through Minted.  I love how easy it is to design and personalize beautiful cards, suited to your own style.  If you’re sending a holiday card this year, you must check out their site!  You also MUST enter my $100 Minted  Giveaway!

First, I wanted to share our 2017 family photos and some thoughts that I hope will help in your family picture taking future.DoneGirlsDoneBoysDoneDancingDonePeeps (1 of 1)DoneKiss.jpgWhether you use a professional photographer or enjoy taking your own photos, we’ve learned a few tips and tricks over the years that help make family photos a bit less stressful and a whole lot more magical.DoneFairy

CHOOSING WHAT TO WEARDoneAll.jpgHow do you pick a color scheme?  Do you even need a color scheme? Everyone has their own taste and style and that’s perfectly okay!  Whether you like having a perfectly planned color scheme or none at all, there are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing outfits:

  1.  If you’re going to be displaying a giant family photo in your all white living room, do you really want to be wearing fuchsia and lime green?  Okay, so probably no one ever wants to be wearing fuchsia and lime green, but you catch my drift.  Think about what purpose the pictures will serve and where they will actually end up, then stick with a similar or complimentary color palette.  FAMMM (1 of 1)2.  Whether you’re shooting in dress or casual clothing, choose a variety of textures, patterns, hues, lights, darks, etc to create plenty of interest.  Think about how you will be posing.  For example, will you be holding the baby in most photos?  You don’t need to plan every pose ahead of time, just think things through a bit when choosing who will be wearing what.DoneTwirl3. Don’t wear white.  Unless you’re a bride.  OR, unless EVERYONE is wearing white. OR, unless you’re super narcissistic and want all eyes exclusively on you.  If you want some pops of white in your photo (like us) that’s totally okay, just make sure it is dispersed evenly throughout the family members.DoneBestDad.jpg4. No logos on shirts. NO LOGOS on shirts.  I mean, UNLESS the company is paying you to advertise 😉

STYLING HAIR AND MAKEUPDoneLadies5.  When it comes to hair, you definitely want any and all haircuts (especially for men and boys!) to be done one to two weeks before picture day!  That “I just got my hair cut and have a weird white tan line on the back of my neck and my scalp is like see through gray because it hasn’t seen the sun for 4 months” look just isn’t what anyone wants.  Two weeks also gives you plenty of time to fix most coloring or cutting mishaps that sometimes occur.DoneLook.jpg6.  Stick to what you know.  Style your hair and makeup as you do in your every day life.  No, I don’t mean in a messy bun filled with dry-shampoo.  I mean, style your hair and makeup how you typically would for a girls night out, or for church, or a date night!  In other words, you want to look your best, but feel comfortable and most importantly, look like YOU.  Trust me on this, I’ve made the “over-doing-it” mistake plenty of times!  Family picture time is not the time to try out some crazy pinterest-inspired double fishtail halo braid…or the time to make your husband shave his always bearded face.  Just do you.  If you wouldn’t typically be caught dead in a sequin-bedazzled dress (wink, wink) than for sure don’t put one on just because it’s family pic time.  BE YOU!DoneHands7.  For makeup, stick to the colors you typically wear, just go a BIT heavy handed on blush, eye-shadow, and liner.  We often tend to look washed out in photos and you can definitely get away with more makeup than you typically would, just make sure to BLEND everything.  THESE are some of my favorite makeup tips for photography.

ACTUALLY BEING HAPPYDoneCandM.jpgHave you every screamed at your kids, “Smile and look happy!!!” Ever notice how that never works and everyone feels basically the opposite of happy?  If you want your kids to look happy in pictures, they’ve got to FEEL happy.  Most importantly, MAMA HAS GOT TO RELAX and MAMA has got to BE HAPPY.  Yes again, speaking from experience.

8.   Do all the prep you need to ahead of time so you can be relaxed and enjoy the moment.  Be as prepared as possible (snacks, wipes, hairspray, bobby pins, etc) and then realize and fully accept that someone is going to loose their shoe, or their bow, or poop everywhere (yes, all of those things have happened to us).  DoneKiddos.jpg9.  If you have children who hate having their picture taking as much as my oldest son, you gotta compromise.  For us, bribery definitely helps.  “If you get dressed nice and give mom one hour of your time, I will buy you a cupcake and let you play one hour of X-box.”  I am a strong advocate of bribery and not ashamed in the least.  Do what you gotta do to have happy kiddos.  If that means giving your toddler a sucker…well a piece of candy in the pic is better than a screaming tantrum-throwing kiddo stressing everyone out.  (Just FYI, this analogy is only for family photo sessions, I’m for sure not suggesting you throw sugar down the throat of every unhappy child!)

10. And, the best BEST BEST secret for getting some 100% beautifully authentic smiles from kids (and grownups)?DoneLaugh The answer: THIS!  Yes, we are super classy like that.  And guess what?  We couldn’t find our beloved fart-machine the day we took these pictures and guess what else? Though devastated beyond belief for about 2 seconds, I just let it go and we did our best to make funny noises the old fashion way!  Okay that came out wrong, we made noises with our mouths…I promise!DoneBrosAt the end of the day, all that really matters is capturing a few moments in time for you to look back on and cherish.  Try not to stress, try not to overthink, just be you and be happy! DoneDadandBeeDoneNose (1 of 1).jpgNo family is perfect and there will never be “perfect” family photos, but with a bit of prep and patience, they’ll be perfectly you!DoneDance

<GIVEAWAY CLOSED> Congrats to our winner: Julia Yankovski!

GIVEAWAY RULES: To enter the giveaway, entrants will need to complete at least one of the tasks seen on the Rafflecopter widget (below).  Designated points are earned for every task and the more tasks you complete, the better your chance of winneing.  No purchase is required.  Must be 18 year or older to enter.

PRIZE: The winner will receive a $100 promo code toward a purchase at Minted.com.  The promo code will expire 12/31/18 and cannot be combined with any other promo codes.  You cannot divide the $100 credit up for separate purchases. The promo code excludes Minted Home.

This giveaway is not endorsed by Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.  The giveaway starts on 11/9/17 and will end on 11/16/17 at 5pm MST.  The winner will be selected at random by the Rafflecopter widget from the list of entrants that complete tasks on 11/17/17.  The winner will be notified within 48 hours of the close of giveaway via email.  The winner will also be publicized on this post.  If the prize is unclaimed via email within 48 hours of notification, then winner will relinquish the prize and a new winner’s name will be drawn at random from Rafflecopter.

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