I wanted to take a minute to talk about what I loved about doing pictures this way and some things I think will help you get some great family pictures.
First find a photographer you like. There are a lot of really good ones out there so just make sure you have seen pictures and that you like what they do. I like using Mimi because she takes great pictures, she offers video (which I love, love, love), and she gives you a CD with the pictures and the rights to them. I understand completely why some photographers don't do this, but I like having the CD and not having to pay a lot extra for it.
Once you have picked the photographer you like, you need to figure out the location you would like to have. We chose a traveling carnival for all the fun colors and lights. To keep cost down I brought my own cotton candy and was going to get balloons, but ran out of time (wouldn't that have been cute?).
Having it at a fun place like this made it so easy to get genuine smiles from the kids. I made sure that they understood that we were going to take family pictures so they would have to listen to us and do what we asked and they could ride the rides.
We had no problems getting them to do what we asked.
And look how happy they are! They are having the time of their lives.
They had such a good time. It was more expensive to have to pay for all the rides, but just combine a fun family activity you would have done anyway with family pictures. Disneyland anyone? That is Mimi's dream, to take people's pictures at Disneyland.
I have been thinking of other places that might be fun:
* goofy golfing - my kids might be too young for this but older kids, tweens, and teenagers could have fun with this.
* a museum with planes, trains, or cars. Especially if you can get on/in them.
* Fun in nature - falling leaves, snow, the beach (but skip the cuffed khaki's and navy polo's)
*if you are going to have a fun family vacation have your pictures taken while you are there. Rather than asking a stranger to snap a shot of your family as you gather in a group and someone walks in front of the camera, have a photographer follow you around with a camera and catch your excitement.
And then there is my favorite idea yet, that I can't wait to try - bring a whooppy cushion or a fart machine. I don't know about your family, but this would make my kids laugh and smile for sure.
Next was picking what we would wear. I knew I wanted lots of colors and not really matching and went from there. I like to lay all the cloths on my bed together to make sure they look okay together. I was really happy that I did not have to buy anything. What I originally thought I would wear didn't look right when I laid them all together so I decided to try it on and take a picture in it. I suggest doing this because...
This was what I was going to wear. A pink seersucker dress with the sweater I made (kind of). But when I looked at the pictures I knew it was not right for the look I wanted.
So I tried on another dress that I love.
But it was not right because I felt like it was too much of one color and the sleeves were too long to just throw a cardigan on with it.
So I rummaged through my closet and found a skirt that I have only ever wore once or twice and thought it was a nice color. I decided to pair it with a favorite cardigan and thought it looked nice.
Then I thought maybe my favorite yellow shirt would work.
And it did. I really liked it, but I really liked the red too. So I threw the cardigan on and found what I really wanted.
So while I felt like a dork when Russ came home to find me taking pictures of myself with the self timer I was so glad I did it cause I ended up with an outfit that I really liked and I would have never come up with it in my head.
Once you know all these things set the date, show up on time, have fun with the people you love the most, and you should have great pictures.