picture-of-kids2The Holiday Season is quickly approaching. You know what that means?! Family, friends, foods, gifts, and Holiday cards! Each year it is a painstaking task to get the perfect picture of my girls for our Christmas card. When we had 1 child, it wasn’t that difficult to get a good picture for the Christmas card. But it seems the level of difficulty has increased with the addition of each child! Over the years I have learned a few things on how to get a good picture of the girls!

Timing Is Everything
You know your kids best…which means you know when they are the happiest and crankiest! My girls are their happiest first thing in the morning. Well, not first thing….they need breakfast first…but after that, they are happy! Any time between 12 and 4 is NOT a good time for us. My youngest naps and the older 2 need their “quiet time.” So pick a time that is good for your kids!

picture-of-kids3No Distractions
We used to go to this studio to get pictures taken. I really liked the place and price that they offered! But, the one draw back was ALL THE STUFF they had there. There were so many props and toys, my girls almost always got distracted. Try to limit the distractions. Less is more in pictures. The picture should be about your children, not what they are holding or sitting on. Some of the best pictures of my girls are when they are just walking down an empty sidewalk!

Get Low
Getting down to a child’s level is a great way to get the perfect shot! If your child is little and can’t sit up great, lay them on their tummy…make sure to get down there with them! This will give you a great shot from their perspective!

picture-of-kidsAct Like a Goof
Be prepared to act like a goof ball! Being silly will help make your child laugh…and laughing pictures are better then the super cheesy face! You know the face…the one where your child is saying cheese so hard it looks like their face is going to explode! Natural expressions are always best. So be prepared to do and say silly things!

Outfits
A few years ago, my husband and I wanted our girls to wear certain outfits in the picture…well our oldest was not a fan of the outfit and it showed in the pictures! She cried and threw a fit. Yes, we got a picture, but it looked like crap! I learned my lesson that year! Now, I pick a few options for the girls and let them pick their outfits. If they feel pretty, it will show in the pictures! Make sure your child likes what they are wearing!!

Keep Snapping
Don’t wait for “the perfect moment” to take the picture! If your kids are getting settled or laughing with one another, take a picture! In the day and age with digital cameras, don’t be afraid to OVER shoot. You can always go through the pictures later and delete the ones you don’t like.

Keep snapping…you never know what gem you will capture! 
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picture-of-kids4Know When to Call it
10 to 15 minutes is all the time I would say for a photo shoot with young kids. Anything longer then that and all you will get is cranky, annoyed, and tired kids…and you will be frustrated too! I find that the best pictures are the first pictures. Seriously, the first few pictures always come out the best! So know when to call it quits!

Bribery
Yup, I said it…bribe your kids! We had the girls take pictures recently and used donuts as the reward. “One more nice picture and you will get a donut!” Worked like a charm! Sometimes keeping small pieces of candy or lollipops handy works too!

Good luck and don’t give up! If for some reason, you don’t get a good picture the first time…try again in a few days. Don’t stress about it…and try to make it fun! Kids can sense if you are stressed, which will stress them out! So relax and enjoy the experience! And save some of the silly and not so great pictures…they will make for great embarrassing pictures for when your child gets older!

SOME SUCCESSFUL PICTURES FROM THE PAST YEARS!
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