Keeping it cool with Millie (part II)

I often hear that I have a lot of patience with kids during their photoshoot. When I’m actually having my own family’s photos taken I turn into this HORRIBLE MOM BEAST!

This is me on our last family photos together. On the left I’m looking at my kids off screen begging them to just be nice so that we can finish up. On the right is me taking a breather because my kids were absolutely driving me crazy. Not pictured is my youngest wiping out on a rolling stool, a huge heavy prop almost falling on top of us, or them complaining about sitting next to each for a “cute and loving” sibling photo.

This is me on our last family photos together. On the left I’m looking at my kids off screen begging them to just be nice so that we can finish up. On the right is me taking a breather because my kids were absolutely driving me crazy. Not pictured is my youngest wiping out on a rolling stool, a huge heavy prop almost falling on top of us, or them complaining about sitting next to each for a “cute and loving” sibling photo.

This summer I teamed up with Millie to talk about why moms want family photos and how to get the best photos possible even when as the mom you feel like your mom-bod is not so photo-worthy. Check out the first part in this series HERE

Millie and I talked about not becoming a horrible beast mom before her shoot. She said she doesn’t like who she turns into during a photoshoot! I chimed in and said that I also dislike the horrible beast moms, even though I secretly am one when it’s my turn <<<shame on me!>>> I think this relates to how you feel as a mom in your photos. If you’re yelling at your kids during the photoshoot, of course you’re not going to love your photos. So if I as the photographer can make everyone happy, then you’re going to love your mom-bod and everyone else in the photos because everyone is going to look and feel happy.

It’s really hard to make tiny humans do what you need them to do in an organized manner AND make sure that everyone looks happy for the happy photos you’re going to hang in your home!

This is one of the reasons we decided to do an in-home photoshoot for Millie and her family. The pros are…

  1. access to bathrooms

  2. access to food

And that’s basically all kids need, right? While you might think that your house needs to be immaculate for the shoot - that’s false! I often use just a few spaces in the shoot BUT once you clean those spaces, they’re clean! Hooray! That’s a win-win. It just is so much less stressful for families. You can also predict your kid’s moods and have access to pretty much anything that makes them happy instead of an unknown space.

Here are my tips to getting your photoshoot to run as smooth as possible (so you don’t turn into that beast-mom)

  1. Choose and TRY ON clothing a week before

  2. Arrange an in-home hair and make up artist (CHRISTINA!!! She is the best!)

  3. Get a goodnight’s rest - it works wonders

  4. Talk to your kids about why it’s important for you to have photos

  5. Arrange a family reward for good behavior after the shoot (CHECK OUT THIS LIST)

  6. Have your spouse and you agree to “NEVER NEVER AMEN raise your voice, shame your kids, or take away ANYTHING during the shoot”

——this may totally go against your parenting…but for ONE HOUR it will be fine. Let me take the reins and just play with your kids.

Ignore the fart noises, it’ll be ok.

I try to ignore all bad behavior and capitalize on what they like that the things that they are doing. My system has proven to work over and over again. As to not taking away things, I’ve seen where parents take away the reward or TV time or something during a photoshoot and the kids just shuts down. This is not something I can really work with. If you feel like you want to take away something, then have that conversation with them AFTER the photoshoot.

So what’s my process on keeping it cool during the photo session? Watch this video…

So I met with Michael and Millie afterwards to show them their photos and THEY RAVED about this! Millie is actually the one who gave me the “it creates memories inside of memories”. They said it made everyone feel relaxed and created THE BEST FAMILY PHOTOS THEY’VE EVER HAD!!!! HOORAY!!!

So another tip that I gave Millie were to make small adjustments to her posing. It was monumental in making her feel and look great! When she felt and looked great it created this trifecta of perfect happiness because her kids and Michael were genuinely happy in their photos.

Stay tuned for Millie to jump in here and add anything AND part III - the viewing process and what impact has the photos made on their lives.