3 Tips for Amazing Family Portraits

As the holidays are quickly approaching, many moms are steeling their nerves, bribing their kids, and sending up prayers for smiles in preparation for their family portrait session. But y’all, I swear to you, it DOES NOT have to be like that!

Nacogdoches photographer images of family of three in green field area with wild blackberriesNacogdoches photographer images of family of three in green field area with wild blackberries

Here are 3 tips to help you not only survive, but truly enjoy your family portrait session, and get photos you’ll love for years and years to come:

  1. Bring your family’s personality! Do y’all love to drink hot chocolate together when the weather starts to turn cooler? Bring a thermos & some cute mugs! Love to play board games? Set out a comfy blanket & get to playing! If singing & dancing are regular family-favorite activities, go on ahead and bust a move! The point is, don’t be afraid to bring in aspects that reflect your family & the season of life you’re currently in together.
  2. Focus on each other! Family portraits don’t just have to be “Alright, everyone look right here & smile!” Focusing on each other (and whatever you’re doing together) creates such real emotion & connection in the photographs. You can really see the way you are as a family, and those make for some of the most cherished shots!
  3. Build it up to the kiddos! When you start the session with bribery & threats, it makes your kiddos think that getting photographed is something to endure, rather than something they should be looking forward to! If you’re going to go to an ice cream shop as part of your shoot, let them know that’s part of it & isn’t conditional based on their cooperation. Let them know you’ll be playing & having fun as a family, and although they may be asked to smile at the camera at least once, they probably won’t even notice in the midst of the fun.

Nacogdoches photographer images of family of three in green field area with wild blackberriesNacogdoches photographer images of family of three in green field area with wild blackberries

BONUS TIP: If you’ve picked a photographer who has a photographic style you love AND you click with their personality, that’s a huge step in the right direction to not only getting final images you love, but loving the process too. Being able to enjoy the company of the person photographing you & your family can make a world of difference!

So y’all go out there & have the most fun you’ve ever had getting your pictures taken, and get some images that your family will look back at with joyful memories for years to come!

Nacogdoches photographer images of family of three in green field area with wild blackberries

Dear Pumpkin – 10 months

Sweet girl,

You’re 10 months old, this post is a little late going up, and I completely missed your 9 month letter. Between you deciding to grow up really fast all of a sudden & us moving to Houston, that 9 month letter got lost in the mix, but my girl, I am so in love with you!

You have been such a trooper through the move, and although I know you don’t really understand the difference, you’ve been so good about being in a different house with a different routine. You’re still even sleeping really well (minus a nap here or there) despite the fact that your crib is still in our old house and you’ve been in the pack-n-play.

Your bottom two teeth are in, and you’ve allllllmost got matching ones on the top. I think they’ll break through any day now. And even though I know they must be hurting you, you’re still just as smiley as ever.

Houston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months oldHouston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months old

You love to scream still, and have gotten very curious. You love to tear up the magazines at Oma & Pops’ house & try to hurry into the bathroom or your sister’s room any chance you get.

Houston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months oldHouston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months old

Your little voice is so cute & the sounds you make almost sound like you’re trying to yodel. It cracks us up a lot & makes me anxious to hear you call me mama, but it also makes me wish that time would stand still because I know you won’t be making that sound forever.

Houston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months oldHouston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months old

You’re doing good with trying new foods, although you make it pretty clear you aren’t a fan of any kind of chicken, noodle, rice chunks in your baby food. You like watermelon, sweet potatoes, avocado & bananas.

Houston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months oldHouston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months oldHouston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months old

One of the biggest things is that you’re walking soooo well! You’re practically running now. I think we must have cheered for you a lot at the beginning because you tend to clap your hands whenever you’ve walked a good distance. Keep that, sweet girl. Work hard & don’t get over-confident, but I hope you always praise yourself when praise is due.

Houston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months oldHouston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months old

Of course our little month stickers don’t really stand a chance anymore with you… I’ve got to be pretty quick to get any shots of them actually on your tummy!

Houston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months oldHouston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months old

You crack yourself up now, and that little laugh is just too cute, Pumpkin. It’s such a fun stage when I get to see you starting to pick up on other’s reactions and how my laughter often leads to more giggles from you.

Houston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months oldHouston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months oldHouston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months old

You absolutely love this little ladybug, and you also love to grab a hold of Winston’s fur & walk around with him. Bless his heart, he is so patient with you! Walking with him like that always makes you scream & laugh, and it looks like you think you’re riding a chariot around the house.

Houston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months old

I’ve gotta get creative with those stickers! But you gave me a rare moment of stillness to snap this next one.

Houston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months oldHouston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months old

My little sunshine girl, thank you as always for the joy you bring into our lives. You’ve made Peanut the best big sister, and I’ve been loving watching you two interact more and more. She loves you to pieces, and I hope you grow up to know and appreciate how fortunate you are to have a big sister who loves you so much.

Thank you for letting me be your mama. I love you, Pumpkin!

Houston photographer image of daughter Pumpkin for letter to her at 10 months old

Everyday Life – Round 12

Well y’all, life has been a crazy train lately for the Holmes family circus! But there’s been some fun things thrown in there too. Here’s a little glimpse into the un-edited everyday moments that don’t always make the social media cut!

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1. Enjoying the little things   2. Pool time with my girls   3. Great advice from Dove!

4. Big girl ready to ride her bike    5. Water park fun for my birthday girl    6. Too much rain

7. My little nun   8. Last summer of SFA orientation   9. Precious time with friends

For some prettier glimpses into the everyday, and to see all of the incredible people I get to work with, be sure to follow along on Instagram!