Tuesday, October 23, 2018

family picture time!

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year again….family picture time! ;) The past few years we’ve taken our family photos in October before it gets too cold and with plenty of time to use them for our Christmas card, and if you’re like me, you know that taking family photos with small children is actually kind of a nightmare (seriously though, haha). Family pictures when kids are involved is definitely not for the faint of heart, but I’ve put together a little list of things you could try to make it slightly easier on everyone. Thank you to JCPenney for sponsoring this post and below are the tips! Hope they're helpful!... 
  1. Picking outfits is usually the top priority for people when planning their family photos, and also usually the most stressful. This year we got to work with JCPenney and their new exclusive Peyton & Parker lifestyle collection for our outfits and I looove how they all look together. I feel like they photographed really well and just feel so festive! They have something cute for everyone in the family, are super affordable, and I was really impressed with the quality of the clothes. They are beautiful on their own and mix & match really well together, and I would totally recommend checking them out! They also have holiday pieces for the home that I thought were super cute, which is getting me super excited for Christmas! (am I allowed to say that in October?)
  2. This one is a given, but bring treats or promise a reward for after, when you’re done taking the photos…or do both!! Last year we brought raisins (one of their favorite snacks that doesn’t make a mess), and this year we got donuts when we were done. 
  3. When choosing a location, I like to find a place with a wide open background with lots of sky and empty space behind us. I just feel like it makes your family stand out more since the colors in those kind of backgrounds are usually pretty neutral, and it just makes for a better photo, in my opinion!  
  4. Lower your expectations. This is actually my favorite tip, and something I’ve definitely had to learn the past few years. In my experience, my kids are good to take photos for about 10 minutes and then they (or is it really me? haha) are just over it. If you’re taking photos for a Christmas card or to put on your wall in your home, you really only need one good one. And if you can’t find a photo where everyone is looking at the camera and perfectly smiling…no worries! Basically as long as you get at least one photo without someone crying in it, that’s a win in my book. It just takes a lot of the pressure out of it and saves me from any kind of disappointment after we’re done. 
  5. You can hire a photographer, which I’ve done and loved, but if you’re on a budget or if all the photographers you love are already booked out….just use a family member or friend, or better yet…a tripod & a remote! 3 of the last 4 years I’ve just had my sister take our photos (with my dSLR camera) and I’ve loved how they’ve turned out. With photo editing apps these days, it’s so easy to edit your photos yourself and make them look exactly how you want them. I love using the VSCO camera app to edit my photos. My favorite filters are A6 and M5—usually A6 for photos taken inside, and M5 for outdoor photos. (I also adjust exposure/brightness, contrast, tint, and temperature….) Sometimes I also use the Snapseed app to lift highlights, saturate/desaturate or brighten certain spots in a photo, or sharpen the image. These photos are edited with the A6 filter and I used the “Selective” tool in Snapseed to make the sky less blue. (Just a personal preference of mine). 
And that's it! Hope you find at least one of those tips helpful, and be sure to check out the Peyton & Parker collection at JCPenney to outfit your fam! Happy family photo taking, friends! <3