Merry Christmas~The making of my family photo shoot

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I just LOVE this time of year to give and receive Christmas cards. I plot for months in advance what I want to do and start scheming our clothing choices. I like to make our card fun and silly and my goal is to bring a smile to the face of those far away, and hopefully share what our family is all about. This is a double sided card. click to enlarge this collage from the back of our card to see some of my favorites.

My photographer friend, Katie Evans, did a great job! I told her I wanted a lot of candid interacting shots, and that I would try not to micromanage the shoot and let her do her thing. But she said she didn’t mind if I did….so I did…just a little….ok, maybe a lot. I just had ideas I wanted to execute.
My perspective of the perfect shot is no longer “sit and smile at the camera.” Its the fun, the love, the moments. This is what I aim to capture in my sessions as the photgrapher, and I love to see my family this way, too. I love to tell a story with my Christmas cards, so the back of the card is a bunch of random images.
The outfits. It is a painstaking, multiple store shopping, return some, keep some, constant on my mind for a few weeks ordeal. It takes lots of mental power, folks, but oh so worth it! I would lay everything on the floor and stare at it to try to decide if I liked it or not. The clothing really lends to the interest of the shoot as a whole. Gives a kick of personality. I like to coordinate, not completely match. I love how it turned out. I hope for sales in my shopping excursions, but in this sole instance, I don’t care (within reason) the price. Clothing from Gap Outlet (biggest daughter, $22), Crazy 8 (older son, $10), Old Navy (hubby, $20), Gymboree (baby and 2nd son, $30), and Target (me, $15). All in all, I didn’t spend TOO much. I betcha can’t even tell that my younger son (white outer shirt) has on brown sweat pants:)

Below, the baby was just done….big kids were immitating her.

I love this one below. You can’t pose this kinda stuff. The double hug on the left melts my heart. And my hubby has a cute look on his face, too.

Moms, I KNOW what it is like to hope for cooperation from children–and we don’t always get that! See my face below–pure exasperation! Believe me…I know what it is all about. I want all my clients to know that I can turn into “crazy mom” sometimes when my family is being photographed. Then I have to remind myself that it. never. helps. So then I remember to just relax and have fun with all the craziness that comes along with a family photo shoot.


I had Katie come into our home before we ventured out to capture us just relaxing. We often all pile on the same couch for a good book reading. The image below, I just ordered as a 16×20 canvas. It is life as we know it.

This is what it looked like straight out of the camera

Interesting tidbit…my babies orange dress had pink and blue and yellow buttons on the strap. I took of the pink and blue and added brown. I hand stitched, my friends. Now that is effort! My older sons shirt had a green trim and that did not match our theme, so I pinned it under and you can’t even tell! My younger son had to wear his longhorn shirt backwards so as not to see the longhorn. I bought the flower headbands here on etsy. I currently have an obsession with these floral hair pieces. I did not have to purchase any new shoes, even the baby shoes were worn by my older daughter as a baby. Hubby also has longhorn shirt on underneath. Brown socks should have been found by boys, but forgot that small detail.

My hubby is SO patient with all my crazy ideas and plans. When I planned to tell him I wanted our chocolate brown chair to be hauled on location….I new I had to be delicate with my approach. He is patient because he knows this is my passion, but he is like most men…not super excited about family pictures. When I told him with one eye closed and the other eye squinted, I was shocked agreed without any further pleading. I think prefacing with….”so you might not like this idea, but I really want it” helped. Here is the chair in our van. I love furniture in an urban setting!

If ever possible, have a friend come along to assist in getting the attention of the group. My friend, Kelsey, stood behind the photographer and made crazy noises so the children would look in her direction. She also did a little video for me. I haven’t even looked at the video yet, but I am SO grateful she was there to help corral the troops.
Isn’t she a cutie? Wearing my orange sweater, she could have jumped right into our family pic. A collage I made for my hubby and mom for Christmas (shhh, don’t tell) that I print as an 8×8 mounted and with an easle for a table/desk top.
Cheerio break!

I wish I had a pic of Katie, but I get to photograph her family soon! Is it less magical to think that maybe in some of these was a head swap or two? I dont’ think so:)

I love my family, and to have images like this makes me so happy. I love to decorate my home with them, I will make a book of them, my family is my treasure.

To see more images, go to my facebook page and become a fan. Its easier to upload a bunch of images there.

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  1. I got your Christmas card on Monday! I love it! The pictures are all amazing and your family looks so great.

  2. Michelle Kynaston says:

    those were so great! So fun to see what you're thinking as you prepare for a family photoshoot. Everyone looks so fun and happy!


  1. […] {More from this family picture session HERE} […]

  2. […] Pumpkin Orange with mustard yellow and brown. This is my family and I loved planning for this shoot. I love my older daughters butterfly dress and sisters polka tights. If you look closely, you can see buttons on the strap of the baby dress. They actually came in other colors, but I cut them out and hand stitched in buttons to match our clothes. The lengths I go to…made the headband, recommended my husband wear an orange under shirt.  Click on link to see more! […]