How to prepare for your family photos - A HILARIOUS take on it!

We photographed this fun loving group last fall.  Mom wrote a hilarious post on her facebook feed.  She gave me permission to share it on my blog.  So here it is!  How to prepare for your annual family photos:

I wanted to write blog post on how to prepare for family pictures. You know that annual or bi annual event in which you rush around in attempts to make sure you get that one perfect family picture. It can be stressful- so maybe following these tips will help someone out!

The easy thing to do is give the manual- the perfect written directions to get that perfect picture- but I thought it would be more fun to give you this information using our last family pictures to illustrate the how not to prepare for family pictures- you guessed it, we broke just about every rule in the book.

1. Pick a good date-

- we did not really do that bad on this rule. You need to make sure that you have time before pictures to get ready as well as no pressing obligations after- you don't want to rush the pictures or the photographer. Sometimes that awesome shot comes at the 59th minute. We chose a later date in October which in Saskatchewan was risky- so book early with your favorite photographer. They book up fast so don't drag your toes on selecting a date.

2. Events leading up to your pictures-
- now I am not advocating for wrapping your kids in bubble wrap the week before pictures to prevent the inevitable black eye or scraped knees- but perhaps do better than me and do not take them to an event the night before family pictures that leads to face painting. Like Spider-Man- black eyebrows and beautiful pink butterflies full face paint night. The kids had a blast, but the look of horror on my face realizing I somehow had to scrub my son's now black eyebrows back to his naturally white eyebrows was daunting. Luckily I had a wonderful exfoliating soap in which both of my kids proclaimed I was scrubbing their faces off in protest. And I was.......

2. Outfits-
Every photographer will tell you to pick out outfits that go together- not necessarily matchy matchy, but they go together. They also want you to stay away from patterns as they can be distracting in a picture.

Easy enough right?
Have you tried to find a nice solid sweater or shirt for kids these days? And when you do- and if your kids are like mine- you can never find it for picture day. So be better than me- set those clothes out weeks before and don't be running around a mall the day of your pictures frantically trying to find a non-patterned or logoed shirt to only to have to re-buy something for your other kid because the only shirt you could find completely clashed with what you had planned. Sigh.

Still on this note- yes there is more- make sure your kids have normal shoes. Wondering why I say this? Well, we are slow learners. Three years ago for our family pictures both of our kids were rocking the rubber boot look. This year- our daughter sported cowboy boots, but our son- still rocking the black rubber boots. Who knew we did not have "normal" shoes for him at home.

Still on the shoes- can you believe there is more? Me- I thought I should wear these cut black high heels- not too high, but enough to be a little fancy. About 30 mins into the pictures I was carrying those suckers are the blisters that had formed in my feet are disgusting. I will save the details, so you can keep your lunch down.

Wear nice shoes, because yes they show, but make sure they are comfortable and practical.

3. Hair Cuts

There are many sayings in life that pertaining to doing something or not doing something in a certain time table. These should be followed- such as- No swimming until 30 mins after you eat; Don't fall in love or out of love around school exam time etc etc. The most important rule for family pictures is DO NOT CUT YOUR HAIR THE DAY OF PICTURES.

Yes- sadly, this too was a learning point for us this year. Per usual we were unable to get a hair cut leading up to our pictures so we thought, no big deal- there are lots of places we can go to in the city. We even called and booked an appointment. Ok fine, we called on our way to the city to book the appointment, but it still counts!

When my husband and son were done with getting their hair done my phone rang. It was my husband and he prepared me for the fact that his hair was not good. In fact it was really, really bad. To give some context, he had been teasing me the whole drive to the city he was going to get something funky done. Being that he is a bit of a prankster, I thought well- he is either saying this to tick me off or he actually went for it and it did not go well.

As I turned the corner and saw him, my jaw dropped- not in a good way. He had done neither- he did not lie- it was bad, and it was not something he had asked for. To be fair, the hair cut is not horrible. It just does not fit a 37 year old small town guy that wears coveralls to work every day. The cut belonged more in a trendy bar in New York City on a complete metrosexual. **Side note** I actually like the cut now. It grew on me:). 

But the lesson is still valid. Don't be us people; get your hair cut a week in advance. At least there is time for damage control.

OH and don't let the hair dresser give your child a bright red sucker after his haircut just hours before the session.  Red suckers will stain your entire mouth red! 

4. Book an experienced photographer that you like.

This is the golden rule. Do not break this rule. This is the one rule that we did not break. See- each of the other rules even if we did not break them may not have led to a great picture without someone knowledgeable on the other end of the camera forming the picture and taking it.

We booked with Mandy because she has an amazing talent for pictures and puts everyone so at ease that we know we are going to get great pictures.

Although we did not follow the "rules" and some of the points are actually important- the real truth is that these pictures are very much us. We are not perfect; we are a crazy young family making it work. So read the rules- follow if you like but most of all have fun. These are the pictures you will look back on some day