October 19, 2021 3 min read
So you want a family photo for a holiday card, but everyone is cranky?
I get it. When I'm not making Shelter Island sweatshirts, I'm taking family photos professionally, so I know exactly how to help. Here's how to hit the beach and actually leave with a good picture! (These tips are good for taking the photo yourself, or for having a professional do it!)
Bring a blanket to the beach and find shade so the baby doesn't squint and cry. Make shade if you have to with another blanket and a helper!
Ensure a smile from baby by slowly dragging a silky fabric down her face (while on her back!) to reveal you looking at her... do this a bunch of times until she's loving it and then click away!
Set up the family photo, cue everyone else to smile, and then drop an oversized hat over baby's head - reveal it to play peek a boo and SNAP!
Hand the kid a beach toy and (be ready) press play on their favorite song (on your phone!) so they dance! (Or YOU SING, mama! BE really funny so they don’t run off!)
Throw 'em up in the air and grin big towards the camera when they come down!
On new walkers, avoid a dress... it will undoubtedly be bunching in the perfect photo and you'll kick yourself. Opt for a romper!
Play tag or red-light-green-light or Simon Says to get them on the “mark” for the perfect photo.
Have the kids all race to an X (place a shell at the right spot) and I guarantee they’ll be smiling real smiles when the get there.
Make gross (really gross!) Fart sounds. For a certain age kid (you know who you are!) this is FOOLPROOF!
Bribery. It's the only option! Haha. (You know I'm right!) But don't offer lollipops and candy until the end. Saying, "OK, sure, you can hold it, but don't open it!" is a very bad idea. Needs to be out of sight!
Enlist them as your helper, use their silliness to cajole another family member into smiling, making it more of a game, and making them feel like this whole thing is fun.
Aim to shoot between 8-9am or 5-6pm (or whatever time an hour before sunset is for your area and time of year! You can google it.)
Backlight the kid in harsh light, brighten the photo later! I give tips on how I brighten my iPhone photos in this IGTV!) Trust me, back-lighting is better than facing them into the sun, when they’ll be squinting)
Spray and Pray: Just take about 100 too many. Math says: one will be good!
If the moods in the fam are really going downhill, forget getting all 3+ faces smiling... just try to get a nice close-up of the kids and use a multi-opening photo card design! I like Artifact Uprising's designs.
Avoid white on the beach! But keep the colors light. No need to match, how about complimentary colors? Everyone wears versions of blues and grays, perhaps? And make sure the clothes FIT! Whatever you wear should feel like you.
No shoes on the beach... leave the louboutins (and athletic socks!) at home.
Keep it casual, and wear a Shelter Isle Sweatshirt!