First and foremost, we take family photos for our kids – because they are the world’s cutest, and so they can see how much we love them. But it’s not wrong to want yourself to look good too! 😉 Here are a few tried-and-true tricks to help you look and feel your best at your next session.
1) Take care of yourself first.
It’s like the airplane safety card says…put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. You spend your days taking care of everyone else in your family, but this time it’s your turn – photos are a good excuse to treat yourself like a queen for a day!
Here’s what that might look like for you:
- Book yourself a blowout (with a flexible rescheduling policy in case we get rained out) or DIY it with this awesome one-handed round brush dryer (I personally use and love it)
- Let the kids sleep over at their grandparents’ house so you can get a good night’s sleep
- Stay home from work (if you’re able to) or leave a little earlier than usual that day to recharge your batteries!
- Turn on your favorite music and treat yourself to an extra long shower
Half the battle of looking good is feeling good. Set yourself up for a stress-free day and it will shine through in your pictures!
2) Know your angles!
I’m planning to do an entire post about this in the future (complete with photos to illustrate the following points), but here are some pointers in the meantime!
- Angle your body slightly to the side instead of facing the camera straight on, then rest your weight on your back leg
- Make sure your face is turned straight on to the camera
- Lean your upper body slightly forward
- Bring your chin forward and down (counterintuitive, but this actually helps give you more of a jawline/less double chin!)
- Keep your arms bent and slightly away from your waist – an easy way to do this is to put your hands in your pockets!
- Cross your feet so that one foot is behind the other
3) Instead of worrying about how you look, let your kids be your focus.
It’s so easy to stress about those extra few pounds you had hoped to lose, but it’s WAY easier to look your best if you focus your attention on showering your kids with love. Give them a snuggle, fly them up in the air, or play peek-a-boo. If you’ve hired a photographer, she will give you directions to help you look and feel your best!
4) Trust in Photoshop
Photoshop gets a pretty bad rap for creating an impossible standard of perfection. I understand that, but at the same time, it can truly be SO helpful for fixing minor blemishes so that you can stay present in the moment.
Photographers will fix lots of these things without you ever having to ask, or you can also request them after receiving your images back! Here are some things that are possible:
- slimming arms/legs (I keep this as natural as possible – the goal isn’t to make you look like someone else, but just to smooth everything out a little bit!)
- removing temporary blemishes like bruises and pimples
- evening out skin tone
- removing and smoothing flyaway hairs
- taking out clothing stains and wrinkles (but do iron as well!)
- removing kids’ boogers, scrapes, and bruises
- tucking in double chins (confession: I do this to my own photos sometimes 😉
- adjusting a shirt neckline that slipped out of place
- removing bra and underwear lines
5) Get your partner on board.
Before photo day, ask your partner to help you feel confident. Explain to him that having photos of your family makes you feel loved and that you value having him in the photos. Tell him he doesn’t need to smile at the camera the whole time or do things that make him feel uncomfortable; just ask him to love on you and your babies for an hour. The relationship between the two of you sets the stage for a really successful session and a genuinely happy evening. And a glass of wine makes everything easier too…just saying 😉
6) Choose clothing that’s comfy and flattering.
Here are some general clothing tips:
- Try the outfit on and have someone take a picture of you from every angle. We tend to choose our favorite angle in the mirror!
- Above all, if you feel good, you will look good! Choose clothing that gives you freedom of movement, keeps you warm/cool (depending on the season), and won’t require a lot of maintenance throughout your session.
- We don’t want your clothing to be too baggy or too tight. Properly fitted clothing looks put together and will show your shape. For women, your upper half and lower half should be balanced: so for instance, flowy shirt + skinny pants, or tight shirt + flowing maxi skirt.
- Add accessories! These are the quickest way to take your outfits from average to amazing. Think scarves, blazers, cardigans, belts, jewelry, fun socks, and hats.
Say yes to:
maxi dresses, fitted tops tucked into long skirts, A-line dresses/coats, skinny jeans, cardigans, blazers, scarves, ankle boots, riding boots, fitted tunics
Say no to:
strapless, sleeveless (unless you love your arms), low-cut shirts, baggy clothes, chunky knits, cheap/flimsy fabrics, stilettos that will sink into the ground
You can find more clothing tips and pictures over on this page!
7) Drink lots of water in the week beforehand.
If you struggle with bloating, this tip is for you! In the week leading up to your session, drink 100 ounces of water every day to keep yourself hydrated. The night before your photo session, reduce your water intake to the bare minimum. Works every time!!