Jen’s Family Photos

It has been over two years since the last time I hired a photographer for family photos. The main reason was I didn’t think my kids would cooperate in outfit selection and smile and it seemed like a waste of money. However, I desperately wanted pictures to hang on the wall and give to the grandparents. I decided that this would be the year. Naturally my first panic was around the outfit selection and making sure everyone matched without being matchy matchy.

I have found that if I stick with one brand then the coloring for the most part is similar instead of having ten different shades of red for example. I also know that my kids are very particular about the clothing they wear (i.e. they would wear shorts and a t-shirt all day everyday and NEVER wear nice clothes) so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on an outfit they would probably wear once. Old Navy worked really well. I got Brooke’s outfit and Blake’s as well as my leggings 🙂 My dress was from Banana Republic and Louis’ sweater was Tommy Bahama brand. Most of the items aren’t available anymore so I haven’t linked them here, but I definitely recommend Old Navy for cute photo clothes for the whole family.

We met our photographer, Kim at a Christmas Tree Farm at the beginning of November. We lucked out on the weather, it was perfect. We had not used Kim before but had nothing but great things to say about her. She had treats for the kids (win!) and let us steer the direction of the shoot and didn’t make everything so staged, because lets be real, a 5 year old and a 2.5 year old don’t really cooperate 🙂 Plus, her prices were super reasonable and she gave us proofs very timely. Anyone in the Crystal Lake area looking for a photographer, please check out Kim!

MyBAB Family Photo Tips:

  1. Set a color scheme but don’t be matchy.
  2. Take pictures at a time of day that your kids are at their best (i.e. don’t schedule pictures during nap time)
  3. Don’t try and stage all photo’s. Some of our favorites are the natural moments
  4. Let the kids pick some of the photo’s. For example, we asked Blake if he wanted to sit on the bench or stand by the trees. If they get a say they tend to cooperate more!
  5. Bribery always works, ha! We promised the kids a trip to Target afterwards to get one small toy if they listened.
  6. Trust the photographer to guide you. If you feel awkward just know that it might feel goofy to pose in a certain way but it does make for a better picture
  7. Have fun (way easier said than done, I was a huge stress ball before the pictures making sure everyone looked good) but at the actual shoot I just went with it and didn’t fuss over all the details

Here are a sample of the photos and I have to say that my favorites are the more relaxed and “real” shots.

Photo credit: Kimberly Nelson Photography



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