I had BIG dreams of the perfect desert photo shoot! I pictured perfectly behaved children, my legs looking like a victoria secret models and the sun shining off the cacti making us all look angelic! The reality is…we had a GREAT photographer haha!
I dragged my mom along to help wrangle children (STRONGLY SUGGEST BRINGING SOMEONE TO HELP!) and also to catch some great shots with our kiddos and it turned out the be the best decision ever! If you are planning a family photo shoot i am going to share some TIPS that will help you maintain your sanity!
(can you tell who are LEAST cooperative kiddo was ??)
Firstly, let me say I am not the perfect mother. Wanted to get that out of the way! that being said, I am NOT above bribery when its needed! BRING FRUIT SNACKS to your family shoot, they are NOT messy so your kids will stay looking clean! I suggest 1 box per hour of your photo shoot (i am sarcastic 99% of the time, this is not one of the moments). I started throwing out fruit snacks around photo #3.
Secondly, You either have to decide to take a flask of your favorite margarita mix, a half a xanax (more than that and you might look groggy in the pics 😉 or you have to decide to just RELAX! I went for the 3rd option and decided that no matter what happened we would probably get at least 1 photo where everyone was smiling. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART, so read this paragraph twice, before you go and say to yourself “Its just photos and we will survive!”. My son is 11 months old and for some reason I decided to keep him up from a nap and feed him right before putting him in a wool outfit in the desert (insert hand to forehead motion). We moved to the 3rd location and right as Leah was about to take our PERFECT picture….carter (our little guy) THREW UP his lunch on my silk dress!! It was at that moment i knew i would have to pull the tags off and keep it 😉 2 seconds later my husband started looking for a dish towel SOMEWHERE in the desert to clean the vomit and I reminded myself that it was only pictures! I shoved my daughter in front of the stain and continued on!
(Right before he threw up milk and maybe dirt?)
Thirdly, when you are planning your outfits remember that you are dressing KIDS and a man that probably has NO desire to wear linen, so pick what they are wearing and HIDE it until the day of! I chose my dress first (big surprise) from REVOLVE (BEST DRESS SHOP EVER!) and then my daughters next since girls are usually the focal point in pics 😉 I am an amazon shopper to the CORE so I bought my daughters dress for $39 on amazon , I chose BLUSH for her color since it would be a soft accent to anything else we landed on for the boys. I bought suspenders for my oldest son but decided to ditch that at the last second since i knew that would come back to haunt him someday. I did however buy burgundy pants for him that matched my dress during the GAP pre christmas sale (PERFECT TIMING TO BUY CLOTHES FYI) and jesses outfit came from old navy for $20 since i knew he would never be caught dead in boat shoes and linen again 😉 I splurged and had my makeup done by a friend who did an AMAZING job (highly recommend doing this)! My kids are apparently not used to seeing me in full make up, so right before we left my son loudly said “mom you look crazy! like not like yourself, but weird and crazy”, “Thanks noah, get in the car”! Thankfully he’s cute so I let us slide 😉
Finally, DON’T worry about getting the perfect shot! Kids are going to do random things so keep smiling, let them play and have fun (we let ours race and sit in thorns, see below) so try to AVOID those things, but other than that, have fun with your family and the pictures will come out MUCH better!
(thorns and children dont mix i guess?)
Have fun, find a photographer who works well with kids, and remember to bring snacks and or bribe your littles to show their pearly whites for 1 hour tops!
Also, if you have never seen the video “instagram husbands” you have to watch! I feel like that is what photographers feel like 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFzKi-o4rHw