Let me just say, I took over 350 pictures....and this is what we got.
This one is my favorite. It perfectly depicts each one of my children's personalities. Can you guess which one is moody?
Being that it's a challenge to get family portraits, I didn't even try to include myself and my husband in these pics. With that being said, I do however, know what works for us when executing a successful photo op. Whether the kids cooperate or not is out of my control...mostly.
>>>There's always bribing. While I try not to bribe my kids at home, there are a few situations for which I am a bribing proponent. Picture taking is one. Potty training is another. (I'm only half way kidding on that one.)
>>>I also have learned to give fair warning about what we plan to do (i.e. "We're going to take pictures, you're going to smile and pose like momma asks, and then we can have fun.") I don't over talk it, though. Building up expectations, no matter how high they may be in my head, doesn't work with kids. A simple heads up is all they need.
>>>I don't know about you, but my kids are pretty picky about what they wear. These outfits (above) weren't my first choice, however I gave them some flexibility, which allowed them to not only feel empowered and included, but also not complain about their clothing bothering them....which is a sure-fire way to send a photo op right to the pits.
My only complaint, which I've discussed before, was the lighting. I didn't have the luxury (or choice in the matter) of the "golden hour", albeit we did luck out with partly overcast skies.
I've decided that if capturing that ideal Christmas card picture next month is out of my grasp, I can always fall back on these....
And I'll remember the fun day we had riding horses, running through a corn maze, feeding goats, jumping on jumpy things, and having fun just being a family.