Don’t be Afraid of Family Pictures

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For the past six years, I’ve been absolutely terrified of having family pictures taken professionally.

Seriously – terrified.

I would watch all of my friends hiring photographers and coming home with the most amazing pictures of their family. I would feel envious. I would think about having pictures taken. And then I would chicken out every single time.

Because I knew my kids would be wild.

I knew they’d get hyper and not settle down and refuse to smile like normal human beings.

I knew I would feel stressed.

And I knew that we’d walk away without a single decent family picture.

So Even Steven and I decided we’d just make strong efforts to take family pictures on our own. Which is how we ended up with this beauty (taken by my talented sister-in-law.)

The My Life and Kids Family

But when my other sister-in-law (the trashy one) and I were debating about what to get my mom for Christmas this year, we kept coming back to a professional family picture. Of all of us.

We were all going to be together for a week in Florida, so what better time to hire a photographer and take some family pictures?

My kids behaved just as I expected them to.

They were wild.

They were hyper and would not settle down and refused to smile like normal human beings.

I felt stressed.

So you can imagine my surprise when we got the pictures a week later.

Don't be afraid of family pictures

The photographer captured my wild, crazy kids perfectly.

And this one? It kills me…

Don't be afraid of family pictures

You can’t even tell that we were glaring at our kids and threatening to throw away all of their toys, can you?

Just kidding.

Sort of.

I especially think the magic of our family comes through in these pictures. Don’t you think?


And who knew that Even Steven was so darn photogenic? Whew – I know how to pick ’em!


So – I think I’m officially over my fear. If my kids can behave as terribly as they did for this photo shoot, and we can get pictures like this? Then sign me up every single year!

Although I do think a lot of it has to do with the talent of our photographer. She didn’t ask me to do this, but if you’re ever in the Sarasota area, call Kerri Gagne Photography (you can follow her on Facebook here.)

Are you as afraid of family pictures as I used to be? Do you think you look better than your husband in all of your pictures too? Any family picture horror stories to share with me?


  1. sparkling74

    January 27, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Those came out great though I am totally partial to the one your sister in law took. Alice looks like such an angel in that one of just her!!! We did the family picture this summer and it was no good. People behaved just fine, but it was impossible to get one picture where everyone looked good. We have a CD of like 300 pictures, most of which are just not great. Not to mention the photographer was your typical 1970s sleazy buffoon of a photographer.

  2. Erika

    January 27, 2014 at 7:51 am

    A professional photographer is a marvelous thing. We took the plunge last summer and our pictures were gorgeous, despite wild kids (which is exactly why we chose an outdoor setting). Unfortunately, we’ve moved and now I need to find a new photographer for next time!

  3. thedoseofreality

    January 27, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Adorbs! We have not had a full family photo done since our now 6 year-old was a baby. Clearly, we are doing it wrong! 😉

  4. Beth

    January 27, 2014 at 8:28 am

    My kids behave much better for a professional photographer than for me!! However we’ve never had a full family photo bc I am always exhausted and sweaty after getting my kids ready and after chasing them all around during the photo shoot! But the pictures always seem to turn out! Just without me in them!

  5. Carissa

    January 27, 2014 at 9:33 am

    I had the opposite experience, we did 6 month and 12 month photos and they turned out so beautifully even though he had an ear infection at the 6 month shoot. Then we tried to do 18 months- HELL! The only pictures where he is smiling have his tongue hanging out and the other ones he is literally scowling. I decided to take the next 6 months off. He need time to recover.

  6. Anna

    January 27, 2014 at 10:19 am

    we have never had a family portrait, but you have me inspired that this year we should do it!

  7. Kathy at kissing the frog

    January 27, 2014 at 10:50 am

    When I get pictures of the boys taken, it’s usually the first picture taken as soon as they sit down that turns out the best. After that, all bets are off.

  8. Laura | Artifact Uprising

    February 3, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I love this! The candid shots are always the best anyhow. Thanks for sharing!!

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