I had a vision for family pictures that I had tried to make happen for months.
Stuff always got in the way.
Like snowy roads. And sleep deprivation.
Of course I take pictures of my baby every single day without fail. I even have a goal written down to figure out the best method of photo storage so I can stop getting pesky phone notifications to update my plan. Again. But who doesn’t love a few professional pictures every now and again?
On the topic of goals, a few weeks ago my husband and I decided to make a goal to surprise each other in some way.
I bought him a cover for his fishing kayak. He, in his incredibly thoughtful way, surprised me with a plan to finally get family pictures taken by his wonderful photographer sisters.
He always wins at these kinds of things.
As surprised and excited as I was, I had what seemed like no time to prepare. His sisters were coming out in a couple of days. The outfits that we had previously picked out (before plans fell through) were very Fall. It was now very Spring.
My husband’s confidence to accomplish something doesn’t always match up with my tendency to overthink and worry.
Luckily we were able to communicate our needs and expectations and land somewhere in the middle. He assured me that if I focused on feeling confident that he and our baby girl could build their outfits around mine.
All you need is a place to start.
For us it was easier to find a matching baby outfit than it would have been to make changes to momma’s along the way. At the same time, if we had begun with the perfect baby dress that we were set on, we would have gladly worked around that.
I spent a short time on Pinterest searching for posing inspiration for families with babies. It was easy to find a handful of photos to save in my phone that we could refer back to and recreate in our own way.
The most stressful thing for me was planning those dang naps and making sure they happened.
The sun was going to be in the best position for pictures starting very close to bedtime, and we were going to be pretty far away from home. Knowing this, I made it a priority to help baby get the best sleep possible all day.
After that… things would just have to turn out.
The big day arrived! Naps went okay. I spread them out and added an extra one just to be sure that we would have a smiley baby late in the day. She stayed in comfy jams on the way to our location and I changed her when we arrived. Doing this spared us some wrinkles from the carseat and possible fussiness from tugging new shoes.
Which reminds me; we should have allowed her to practice wearing the ones we bought her. She’s not a shoe baby. As cute as the sandals were, her tiny kicking and scrunching feet were not the biggest fans. Not sure what we expected. Shoes came off after a few pictures and it wasn’t the end of the world.
Some of the most important things we brought along were a pair of happy grandparents. Having familiar faces behind the cameras for baby to smile at really made all the difference! Expecting your photographers to work for baby’s attention AND take good pictures would have been super unrealistic in our case.
Pictures went smoothly! No accidents, spit ups, snags, or tears.
Until the ride home, that is. The one thing I neglected to check for… snacks.
Poor girl was bouncing around on the uneven road, hungry, and getting sleepy. I didn’t have service either because I guess we thought being out in nature was more important than relaxing to the Bluey theme song on Spotify.
Baby wholeheartedly disagreed.
But after I got service again, all was right with the world once again!
Start somewhere! Whether it’s location, mom’s outfit, baby’s outfit, or even dad’s outfit! Work around the things that you’re sure about.
Let your baby wear their fit a couple times before the real thing to help them become more acquainted with clothing that might be new and unfamiliar. (Shoes, flower crowns, bow ties, etc.)
Save examples of poses that you love. Show them to your photographer and ask for direction if needed!
Plan around baby’s naps. If you can’t, adjust naps to best support the mood of your baby during picture time.
Bring along an extra helper to bring out those big smiles from behind the photographer.
If pictures are somewhere other than home, pack the necessities! (Blankets to sit on, attention-grabbing toys, snacks, etc.)
Stay on the same team as your spouse. Stress comes and goes. You’ll love looking back at your pictures way more if you know your smiles were as real as can be :)