I am a sucker for family photos, and I love how they have changed from when I was a kid. No more awkward, overly-staged positions with white foam pillars in front of a backdrop covered in lasers. Now family photos are soft, candid, and full of personality. After all, you want to capture each little smile, every wayward curl, and all of the tiny details that make your family so lovely in this season of life. The only way to save all of this—how everyone mingles together right now—is to catch them looking like their natural, uncontrived selves.
After having my second baby just two months before, I was having some baby blues about how quickly this newborn phase was passing. I wanted to get some sweet pictures of me and my boy, and I turned to a longtime favorite for family photography, JCPenney Portraits. They have revamped their look recently, making babies and families a special focus. They offer affordable, beautiful, and convenient photography for moms who want photos that will last a lifetime. Their photographers know better than anyone that gorgeous photos take a little planning, so we are working with them to share the ways to make the most out of your family photo session and ensure that you fall in love with the finished product.
1. Seriously, Hire a Professional
Even though I like to think I have mastered the art of iPhone photography, sometimes you just need a professional to get these moments in all of their high-resolution beauty. Remember, you need to be in some pictures too! JCPenney Portraits proves that lovely photos do not necessarily come with a high price, so everyone can afford pictures of the whole family.
2. Plan Out Everyone’s Clothes
Before my session my photographer, Amanda, told me to think bright but neutral and look at how our outfits coordinated with each other. Try to choose timeless looks that your kids won’t hate when they see the pictures hanging on your wall in ten years. Don’t go for matching, but aim for clothes for everyone that have the same feeling. You should all look like you are going to the same place. Some patterns are fine, and can even add a lot of personality, but keep it to a minimum and make sure they all mix well.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Take It Outside
If your last family pictures took place in a studio, consider getting some in the great outdoors. Yes there are a few more factors involved, but there is no glow quite like natural light, and a background of trees and flowers can be just dreamy. JCPenney Portraits now offers outdoor photography for just that reason. You can meet in your backyard, at a favorite park, or anywhere else you want as your backdrop. I had my photos taken at Dickson Azalea Park and the results are just beautiful!
4. Bring Some Props…But Don’t Go Overboard
Amanda told me I could bring a special blanket to put on the ground, since I was bringing my two-month-old, so I chose one with lots of sentimental value. I told her about how my grandmother made it out of my dad’s shirts, and she was instantly inspired to really help me show it off. It adds such a special touch to these photos, and Amanda did a wonderful job of including it in different poses. It is a great idea to bring something special, but don’t think you have to provide a million choices. Amanda also brought a few crates and blankets, as well as different sizes of foam inserts to help pose him in those sweet baby positions.
5. Bring Some Ideas and an Open Mind
Create a Pinterest board of some poses and styles that you like. JCPenney Portraits lets you talk with your photographer both when you book your session and during your reminder call, and these are great times to go over what you have in mind. I told Amanda about the simple, candid mama and baby pictures I liked, and she instantly knew what I wanted. She was full of suggestions about poses and angles and I felt totally comfortable letting her take creative control. During a break I was nursing my baby and she asked if I wanted a shot of it. It wasn’t something I would normally ask for specifically, but I am so happy she caught this sweet moment for us!
No matter where your family is on their journey, capturing it beautifully is important. Use these tips to get the best possible pictures of your loved ones, and turn to JCPenney Portraits to give you memories that will last a lifetime. Book an appointment today!