stephmodo: Planning a Successful Family Portrait

Planning a Successful Family Portrait

• 23 November 2009

Over the years I've observed many-a-mother (including myself!) stress out over family portraits; having the right outfits, the right hair, the right bow, the right shoes, the right location, etc. When it's all said and done everyone is stressed out and the wonderful memory-making hoped for just isn't happening. This year I made a concerted effort to not fall into this trap and to keep it fun and relaxed so we are able to look back on the experience with fondness. That's really what it's all about anyway...having fun with one another!

Here are a few tips that worked for our family. Feel free to share what works for yours:

1. Bring snacks that won't stain clothing like raisins, goldfish, cheerios, dried fruit, etc.

2. It certainly doesn't hurt to bring along audiovisual aids, i.e. an iPhone. You never know when a quick Casper the Ghost fix will come in handy while you and the hubby have some sweet shots taken of you two. Just make sure it's charged :)

3. Bring your powder, lip gloss and a comb. Chances are someone in your group will require a little last-minute sprucing up.

4. Make it fun by making a conscious effort to stay relaxed.

5. Wear neutrals, but not necessarily matchy-matchy outfits; don't feel like you have to buy all new outfits for the shoot. This last time I chose outfits we already had, but adhered to a navy/gray color scheme, which I ended up liking a lot. Keep the outfits simple, sweet, and comfortable. Avoid trendy clothing for a classic look.

6. Most photographers are not stylists, so if there is something you'd like to have in the portrait, communicate that to him/her. We brought along our own chairs this last time and I was grateful we did. Somehow it felt more personalized.

7. Bribe 'em with something fun like a family dinner at the local Mexican restaurant after the photo session. Yet another opportunity to share some good times together.

May your holiday portrait session be incident-free and full of success! :)

images via sponsor, Christine Olson Photography


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hey! That's my family! :) Those are the images we won from your giveaway with Christine Olson. She was awesome, and made it so much fun to do! They turned out well.

  3. Hey! That's my green stool!'s not, but I saw it and it looks exactly like a chair I had painted. My husband put it out one day to save a parking spot during a blizzard (a common practice in our neighborhood in Boston). The city sent out a garbage truck that day to remove all the parking savers that day however and my stool has been missing since...


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