It is every mother's dream. It is also her worse nightmare. The family portrait. Not just any family portrait. The picture perfect, Christmas card worthy family portrait. This is something that I believe is even more challenging when you have multiples!
This is a quest that I have been on since Spring Break. We have many beautiful pictures of the children. But not a single one that my husband and I are both in as well. For Spring Break this year we went to Hilton Head, South Carolina. I made arrangements with a local photographer to have Beach Portraits done. We got a beautiful picture of the children, but I was near tears looking at the proofs of the family pictures. Tears for my lost dollars and tears for my lack of pictures! When we were on the cruise, we did get a family picture done. We happened to be standing in line for Sushi and the photographer called us over. It was a quick 30 second shot and it is not half bad. But, we have one kid in it who is not smiling or looking at the camera. It made it on my Facebook page, but I'm not certain that I can put it on my Christmas Card (though MY hair looks great in the picture!).
We are trying again this evening, weather permitting, and I know that this time we will succeed in getting that perfect shot! Why I am so confident? It is the photographer. It is very important to know and like your photographer. When Mama is relaxed, the kids will be relaxed! We have a wonderful local photographer, Michelle Guilbault with Memories by Michelle, who just happens to be one of our neighbors! Please take a minute to check out her website at: http://thepixgallery.com/
This is the third year that she will be taking my children's pictures, but the first year my husband and I will be getting in one! My kids love her and she has a very easy going, calm demeanor which puts everyone at ease. Her photography studio is based in her home, which automatically relaxes us. (though tonight our plan is to try some outdoor shots!) We are not in the window of some shopping mall store with strangers stopping and staring at us! She is very good and very experienced with working with children. The first year we went to her, my twins had just turned one and my little one was definitely still a cryer! She worked at my baby's pace and didn't rush us. The second year we went to her for Easter Pictures with bunnies and chicks! I think we had 6 chicks, 4 children and 2 bunnies to wrangle, but the pictures are amazing!
A beautiful family portrait is a treasure that will last for generations. I love looking at old portraits of my parents and grandparents. Here are some tips for a great family portrait:
-Get to know your photographer. Make sure they know in advance what your goal is (great pic of the kids, great pic of the entire family, etc.) and the style of picture you are looking for (candid, posed, etc).
-Take your photographer's advice. This is what they do for a living. They should be able to provide you with some great tips for poses, lighting etc. But, if it is something you don't like or aren't comfortable with, speak up! I know that we are in excellent hands today with Michelle and she will make her magic happen!
-Timing is everything. Do not schedule the pictures during nap time or meal time. You want to avoid meltdowns! Bring some snacks and water - always bring things that won't stain those cute outfits the kids are wearing!
-Bribes are okay! If all goes well (the kids behave) after our pictures we will go to our favorite frozen yogurt place!
-Bring some help. This is especially important if you have multiples or multiples + like me. Baby/Kid wranglers are needed! They are definitely needed if mom and dad are in the photo, this way you have some extra hands to get the kids to smile and round them up when they escape!
-Make each child feel special. I love having a picture done each year of just my twins. I do not want my older two children to feel left out. Michelle does great combinations - brother/sister, brother/brother, etc and each child individually. This is something that she just does and I have never had to ask her for! This way everyone feels special!
-Relax and have fun. If you are relaxed, chances are the kids will be too!
Please share some of your photo tips! I would love to hear from some of the Quad Mama's out there - I am envisioning in my head four babies, crawling in four different directions!
Have a great day!