How to get great family photos for the Christmas Season!

December 09, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

As a momtographer, I know all too well the challenges of getting the family together for a new family photo.  I am the proud mom of two boys.  Isaac is my creative, sweet, short-attention-span seven year old who can take an adorable photo, but will only give you five minutes.  Elijah is my almost-two-year-old, who loves the camera, but will also maybe give you five minutes of listening to directions being remotely interested in smiling for the lens.  So, you have to come prepared and you have to work fast, as my photographer friend Larry Pena recently found out when he took our most recent family picture!  I'll show you that soon!  But here's my helpful tips whether you're coming for a session with me, or setting up something at home in your living room.  

Pajama Family PhotosSan Antonio Family PhotosHoliday Portraits for San Antonio Families


1.  Make a plan!

This is not something you can just do sporadically sometimes if you want it to be picture perfect.  Set a date, time and place and put together a plan of action.  Coordinate wardrobe and communicate to all parties involved.  Come up with a theme, like a pajama party or white winter set.  

Family PajamasPajama Party!Put together a theme, such as matching pajamas or winter white for your holiday photos!


2.  Set up a fun and festive space!

Decorate a space that coordinates with your outfits or theme.  Props can be easily found in your own home or at stores like Home Goods, At Home, Michael's or Hobby Lobby!  If you're a photographer like me, invest in backdrops that can be used for multiple types of sessions.  Some of my favorites include Intuition Backgrounds by Becky Gregory, Kate Backdrop and Hazy Skies Designs.  Add in interactive props such as mugs for hot chocolate, or musical instruments, anything to keep those little ones interested in staying in the photo set.  

Holiday SetSan Antonio Holiday Family Photo Holiday SetSan Antonio Holiday Family Photo

If you're setting this up at home, clear the clutter and set up a fun space where you guys can all cuddle with cozy blankets and pillows! 


3.  Take care of everyone's needs!

I don't know many children OR adults interested in cooperating for a photo when they need a nap or a snack, or both!  Consider this if scheduling a professional photoshoot.  What time of day is your little one in their best moods?  I know all too well that 4 PM witching hour with a toddler, that is not a good time for Elijah!  But once he's had a nap and a snack he's good to go!  Take care of those needs first and they will be putty in your hands ready to smile for their close-up!

San Antonio BabySan Antonio MomMom and baby for their family photos


4.  Make it fun!

Get ready to interact with your kids, relax and have fun.  If you've hired a professional, let them take over and just follow their direction.  Many times we will talk to your kids, tell them funny jokes or ask them to do silly games just to get those fun and natural smiles out of them.  Play along and have fun.  Try not to scold children if they don't follow directions or if you think they are acting up.  Keep the mood light and remember that your kids are not performers, they're kids.  Let's capture who they are at this moment in time for you to treasure for years to come!

baby portraits baby portraits baby portraits


5.  A little reward goes a long way!

Ice cream, cookies, a trip to the playground, bean and cheese tacos!  You know what your kids would look forward to after a few minutes of following directions and smiling for the camera.  I also try to let kids know they're doing a good job and thank them for letting me take their photo.  A little praise and reward really does go a long way!

baby photosSan Antonio Baby

So here are just a few of my tips for how to get those great family photos.  I used many of them for my family this year with success!  Let me know if these tips helped you in the comments and also if I can help you get some great family photos soon!  Cheers!


Kate BackdropSan Antonio BabyHoliday set by Kate Backdrop!

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