Your next family photo session should feel like your easiest win of the week.

I see it all the time (and I've been there myself). You want family photos. The idea of getting family photos turns into another chore on your list and loses all its initial luster. Once you've paid more than a trip to a really nice spa would've cost you, you still have to go spend hours figuring out how to coordinate the entire family's outfits. Then you have to find an outfit YOU feel good in, which is practically a Herculean task because kids are yelling at you, you don't have time to shop in peace, even if you looked like a ten you'd feel like a 3. Not to mention you still have to hop on Pinterest and pick a location that....

Stop. Take a step back.

A session should feel fun from beginning to end. And if you feel yourself starting to get stressed out about it, just stop. Take a minute. Grab a coffee. And think about things you like to do with your family when the pressure is off. Opening presents on Christmas. Taking your kids to the zoo. Making cookies at home. Hanging with your dog. Swinging in a hammock. Breakfast in your pajamas in bed. Use these ideas as the foundation for your photo session. If you can't think of any on your own, again. Don't stress. Text me/ email me/ call me. We'll brainstorm together! Lean on your photographer as your guide. If your photographer makes you feel like you have to perform for their portfolio, get your money back and find someone else.

Plan your OOTD

So, I don't know why people seem to think that picking an outfit for a session means you need to 1) shell out a ton or money and 2) dress like another person. You are who you are (this goes for your kids and partner too). For my own sessions, I've worn sweat suits, jackets, pajamas (didn't even brush my hair), etc. I have my daughter pick her outfit (for the most part, I might lay out some options for her to choose between). And the photos turned out gorgeous. When you feel like yourself, you can move more freely through the world. You don't need a new dress from Baltic Born or Shop Gossamer. The kids don't need to be in 100% alpaca neutrals.

Put it all together with a good attitude.

Wear your chill outfit and hang out with your family doing your chill activity, and that's it. That's all you need. Don't perform for your photographer. They're there for YOU. The photos should be about your day, your life. Your day should NOT feel about the photos, even if that's what prompted this whole shebang. Remind yourself that today is about enjoying where you are. Let chaos rein, and do it with gratitude in your heart. You'll love the results, I promise.

Sample Session

This session was planned around a few very simple things: making cookies, playing on the bed, nursing her son, and one good family photo with their dog. That was it. It was about 1.5 hours long at their house here in Austin, and then we all went on our merry way. They went straight to nap time without having to throw the kids in carseats and trek them home. I hopped in my car and headed out. It can really be this easy. You probably thought this post would be more involved, and I get it. None of your photographers have given you permission, even begged you, to keep it simple and natural. But that's it. This is what we all want for you-- to walk away feeling like you had fun with your family while your best friend happened to be over with their really nice camera.