Shane, Leighton and I finally got around to taking family Christmas pictures last weekend. And let me say, I'm glad I don't have to do that for another year. If you're thinking about taking pictures with your toddler, don't. Just kidding yall! Leighton has been a little clingier and fussier over the last month so it was a bit of a challenge, but I think we still ended up with some pretty cute pictures. To help the other moms out there, I'm going to share my 5 tips to help you survive family pictures. Make sure to keep reading to enter the giveaway for free Christmas Cards from Minted!
1. Buy a bottle of wine. Drink it, and then take pictures. Just kidding! First of all, use a photographer that you know and like. Preferably one that you've used with your children before. And make sure he or she is good with kids. It can make all the difference! You don't want your toddler to be fussing and all the adults to be stressed. You need someone who is patience and calm and doesn't mind waiting for that perfect moment.
2. Pack snacks and toys. I hate to say it, but bribery works sometimes, and I'm not above it to get a good shot. If you're there shooting for a couple hours which is pretty normal, odds are that you're toddler will get fussy and hangry. Pack snacks and toys to help keep them from being quite so grouchy.
3. Bring help. I ALWAYS recommend one extra person. My mom or my sister almost always come to help me. You need to focus on being in the picture. Your toddler has to be in the picture. And the photographer has enough to worry with to make sure they get that shot. You need that one extra person to help change your toddler, jump up and down and get their attention or make them laugh or smile for the camera. I promise, you'll thank me (or the person who you bring with you to help!)
4. Be prepared. Have all outfits organized that you want you and your toddler to wear. Have any props packed with you. Talk to your photographer ahead of time to let them know what you are looking for. Keep a list of any special ideas you may have in mind like a kissing shot or one where you're holding your little one in the air. You don't want to forget and leave anything out after a long morning of shooting. And while I'm thinking about it, shoot at the time of day that your toddler is the most happy. Leighton is always happiest in the morning, and she gets cranky at night. So we always shoot first thing in the morning after she has had her milk and breakfast.
5. Try to relax. If you're stressed, your toddler will pick up on that too. And it will just stress everyone out. It's important to try to stay calm and remember they're just pictures. Adjust your expectations if you need to. Maybe you wanted your photoshoot to be magical and perfect. Well, that may not happen until your toddler is 5 and doesn't get so cranky or tired and throw tantrums. That shot that maybe wasn't perfect may end up being just perfect enough. After all, we take pictures to remember a certain point in time. We might as well have those memories accurately reflect what life with a 2 year old is really like. ☺
As long as it took to get our family pictures, it took almost just as long to pick out Christmas cards. There are SO many great designs at Minted. This is my second year to order Christmas cards from Minted (you can see last year's cards here.) Honestly, taking family pictures each fall, ordering Christmas cards and then mailing them out to friends and family has actually become one of my favorite Christmas traditions each year. I look forward to documenting our lives each year and sharing them with friends. I'm so excited to be teaming up with Minted again this holiday season to give 2 lucky readers $125 to spend on anything they want including Christmas cards.
1.) Click here and enter your name and email address.
2.) Leave me a comment below telling me what you would pick from Minted if you won. Super easy! Good luck yall!