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  • Katie & Amanda

Family Photo Chronicles

Updated: Nov 16

Here we are November 2nd and catapulted into all things "Tis the Season" and the most stressful day of the year Family Photo Day! If you are trying to avoid it or hold off, it may be hard. The 93.9 holiday lite music began yesterday and you can see a trail of Black Friday Sale signs wherever you may go. This means that holiday cards and family photo adventures are in your near future. Do they give you as much anxiety as they do us!? We began taking family photos after we had kids. Every year we shout to the universe, โ€œplease just let us get ONE good one.โ€


Imagine this...you have your family photographer scheduled for a beautiful sunset shot at a quite suburban park. You have the clothes laid out the night before, and an extra outfit packed for each kid. Your hair is curled, makeup on and your husband has shaved off his beard so lets do this! You arrive on time and meet your photographer on set. You are prepared as can be, that is until your infant projectile

vomits all over his father. The two people you did not bring a change of clothes for (mom and dad) are now filled anxiety while they try and air dry a button up on the spot to capture the perfect shot. Cue our shoutout to how AMAZING photographers are as they always get the shot. The perfect picture always lies and has a story to tell. In this photo you see a happy family of four smiling, the perfect holiday card. What you don't see are the kids being positioned and placed in the exact location needed to cover up the vomit wet spot on this dad's shirt! The anxiety melts away as soon as your photographer sends you those incredible sneak peeks and you finish off your evening grabbing dinner and a drink reminiscing on how you made it through another year of family photos. Shoutout to the Rockafellow family for always being Katie's first delivered holiday card and kicking off the family photo season!


We consulted some of our favorite photographers for some tips, tricks and client advice to help you tackle the mission of the perfect family photo!


Relationship: Find a photographer that works with the style you are going for and is within your budget. Establish your relationship before your photoshoot. The more comfortable you feel the less awkward you will look! Some photographers will recommend having clients complete a small questionnaire to ensure all needs are met and get a better idea of small details to capture. Don't forget to plan in advance! Photographers book up fast so make sure you schedule your photoshoot with ample time to prepare on a day free of other activities.


Location: The great outdoors make for the best backdrops. Outdoor photos can offer more depth than indoor photos can and they allow in a photographers favorite photo attribute, natural light! Being outdoors allows for kids to run around which can make for some amazing candid shots! Kidlist has put together an amazing list of go-to locations both city and suburban. Amanda loves the cityscapes while Katie's go-to is a forest vibe. Your photographer should have recommendations to share. The good ones can identify these spots based off month, change of leaves, temperature and all around functionality.


Timing: The best pictures are taken when kids are rested and fed. Same goes for adults :) Nobody wants to take pictures when you are hangry! We recommend scheduling photos in the morning when kids are more tolerant or after a good nap. Pack some snacks for bigger kids and make sure the little babes are fed a bottle right before! Newborn photos are best taken within the first 10 days of birth. This is the perfect time frame for sleepy and cuddly photos! If you are tackling holiday photos, a little secret is to dress the part in Sept/Oct when the weather is more mild. Your recipients will never know and your family will be much more comfortable earlier in the season.


Attire: What to wear is half the battle of a great photo. While you can't always be sure everyone is reacting the way you want in the photo, you can ensure everyone is color coordinated and looking their best. Bold and bright color patterns can be overwhelming in photos so we recommend neutral tones. Once you pick a color pattern, you can build with accessories. Balance between pattern and solids are important, too much of something is never a good thing. You can see below Katie has a pattern skirt on with a solid top and fall hat. Her husband has a solid denim shirt matching Remi's denim jumper. The colors all tie together without overpowering the photo or clashing with the background. Follow our LTK to shop our looks!


Amanda loathes this day. Her anxiety is always at an all-time high going into professional photos with Sonny. It's the anticipation leading up to the day...you have spent all this money and coordinated locations and outfits all to be held at the whim of what mood your child will be in. Luckily the past three years have worked out in her favor and Sonny has had amazing professional photo shoots for his birthdays. Sonny is a typical boy, always playing hard and being prone to bumps and bruises that are conveniently around during photo season. The magic of a photographer comes in to play when these visible marks are edited out. This year his photos were taken at the famous Lincoln Park Zoo Natural Boardwalk aka the honeycomb!


A word of advice, don't underestimate your kids or let your fear and anxiety get in the way of booking the photo session. Last year Katie had family photos taken and some of the best shots were taken right after a meltdown or two. By looking at the photos you would never know that it was not Remi's best day no nap day or 89 degrees! Photographers are magicians, they capture the magic and hide the secrets. These photos were taken in early October at the Graue Mill in Oak Brook. The location is entry free entry and surrounded by walking paths providing the perfect backdrop for your family photos.



Photo's bring everyone together. If you are on the fence about taking a family photo rest assured they are the perfect way to document events that have taken place and in hard times they can comfort and heel. You wont regret capturing a moment in time with people you love. Holiday cards help to lift the spirit of the holidays and over the years our collection has grown! Having family scattered throughout the country, we look forward to receiving our holiday cards each year and displaying them in creative ways. Katie is old school and loves the tradition of a holiday card. There is something special about receiving a card in the mail and carrying on that tradition with your family. Don't be a Grinch (like Amanda) who never takes a family photo or sends out a holiday card - be like Katie and capture the magic this season!


Wishing you great family photos and a wonderful holiday season!

Love, Hiccups and Heels

X0 - Katie and Amanda






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