Who here loves getting family pictures taken?!?!
How about you in the back?! No? Well, I do. Ok, that’s kind of a lie. I don’t like getting family pictures taken, but I like RECEIVING the photos from the photographer once she somehow does her magic and makes us look like a f*ing Instagram family who has their shit together. That’s what I like.
Being the mom leading up to (and during) family photo time is the worst. It’s up to us moms to choose the photographer, choose the location, choose the outfits (the outfits!! raises fist in the air and screams), and then tries to scramble the morning of screaming at everyone to actually put an effort into looking nice for the next few hours. Or is that just me? Is that what I signed up for when I had 5 kids? Is it not like that for everyone else? I bet every mom has some sort of PTSD when it comes to family photos. And, this year our family photo session was right on par with this one from two years ago.
The first shitty part of organizing family pictures is trying to find outfits that coordinate, but do not look to matchy-matchy. However, over the years, I’ve gotten this down to a little bit of a science. Here are my tips for selecting family photo outfits that coordinate, especially when you have a big family.
- Find a store whose style you love that has options for the entire family.
- Shop online (this isn’t only because I don’t have time to go to an actual store….there are legit reasons for this tip!)
- Pick out a shirt/dress/pants that you love for one person in the family.
- In the description of that article of clothing, find out what the official color of that piece of clothing is. For example, “Victorian Jade”.
- Go to the search bar and input “Victorian Jade”. Everything else in the store’s inventory that includes that color will show up. It may not be a main color, but it will be the color thread that holds the outfits together.
- If you have a larger family like me, you may need to choose 2-3 key colors that go well together.
- Finally, over buy. Grab a few options for each family member and decide who is going to wear what once you see how it all comes together. Then return whatever you do not wear.
The second shitty part about organizing and executing family photos is choosing the date, and having the weather cooperate. This year, we had to move our designated date twice! Thank God our amazing photographer would reach out with plenty of time before our scheduled session with weather warnings. We were able to reschedule a few days beforehand so we didn’t get everyone ready only in time to cancel.
The third shitty part about family photos is the morning of. Who knows what kind of mood everyone will be in that day?!?! Will all of my kids want to smile, or will they be jerks and refuse? Who’s going to cry the whole time? How do I get everyone ready with enough time to spare to wipe the sweat off my brow and get myself ready, too? Why does it always take 3x longer to get out the door than I had anticipated? What the heck is Mark doing and why haven’t I seen him for an hour?
That being said, when we got our most recent family photos done, the morning actually went fairly smoothly, and everyone was buckled in the van looking spectacular right on time. I was feeling good, the weather was beautiful, and everyone was all smiles. We pulled out of our driveway, and when we were about two blocks from home, I turned around to take a look at all of my bathed, well dressed offspring admiringly.
And then………..Callum puked his guts out. ALL. OVER. HIMSELF…….ALL.OVER.THE.CAR.
Shit. shit, shit. shit. shit.
This was not happening. We finally had beautiful weather; everyone was ready; we were in the car; we were GOING to get our photos taken! Mark turned the car around, and I called the photographer. I told her what had happened, and I told her we would be ten minutes late. Yes, ten minutes.
We pulled into our driveway, and I grabbed Callum by the armpits and ran him upstairs making sure none of his pukiness touched me. As I stripped him down and threw him in the shower, Mark took the whole car seat out of the car, wiped down the seat underneath, and installed a backup car seat we had in the garage. I grabbed one of the outfits that didn’t initially make the cut and got Cal dressed again. At this point, he was acting fine. However, I knew we had a few hour window before the demons would re-awaken and he may lose his shit again. We strapped him back into the car, and off we went. We arrived 10 minutes late, just as I had said!
The whole photo session went swimmingly well! And we got some great shots. Here are a few of my favorites:
A few hours after we got home, the puke fairy graced our house again. Throughout the next week we had three kids puking on and off every hour for four days straight. Being a mom is fun. But as you can see, behind all of those perfect family photos gracing living room walls, Instagram feeds, and Pinterest posts is usually an imperfect story behind the scenes. It happens to the best of us.