Tips for the Family Photo Chaos

family photo tips

Stress, chaos, chasing after kids, bribing, stern (very stern) looks, “you better smile or else”, a

crying baby who could care less about any of your threats and bribes your spouting off.

I only know this because other moms have shared their horror family picture stories, NOT.

Well, I thought it would be great to take some Mother’s day photos with my men.


We were able to get a few good ones and the rest, well, were for sheer torture, I mean entertainment.

Behind the Scenes Family Photo Shoot

Tips that I need to remind myself of in the midst of the chaos:

Note, I didn’t say if you have chaos. There will be chaos if you have little ones involved so go into it expecting be happy in the midst of it when you’re family photo session isn’t turning out like mine.

1. Candid shots can be great.

2. Everyone looking at the camera and standing perfectly straight makes for a boring picture. I mean come on who wants to remember stiff robotic looking children.

3. Take lot’s of photos. That way you have more to choose from or more to laugh at.

4. Have treats at hand. Yes, bribe the heck out of them. And if that doesn’t work threaten to ground them until their 20 (just kidding, maybe).  I am all about bribing for the sake of a good picture.

5. Take small breaks if you are going for more than 20 minutes, otherwise you end up with possessed child in the back.

6. Relax, relax, relax. The kids pick up on the tension in your voice (you like how I worded that). I wish I could tell you these pictures were not candid. That my kids were only posing and pretending because they knew I was going to write this article.

7. Invest in a remote control and tripod, but a friend is always a lot more helpful. You won’t strangle your children in front of a friend.

8. Know when to call it quits. It’s not worth it to drag it out. Oh, believe me it’s not worth it.

Stop and thank God!  “Praise you Jesus, we are done and no one got strangled!”

If you’ve ever taken family photos then I know you read this seeing the humor in my words. 🙂 Now go on and take a deep breath and get those pictures done with.

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  1. Mari, the collage at the top with all the captions and the final “good picture” is just wonderful. The captions make it absolutely hilarious in my opinion (though I’m sure it wasn’t at the time)! I love it. I just love it.
    I only laugh WITH you (I hope) because I have been there… we do not have tripod and remote, but I have done lots of pics of just our boys, and boy oh boy(s), I get where you’re coming from. Great little piece with great reminders to try to enjoy each moment. Love you!!! and HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

  2. Oh thank you for this! It gave me my first smile and laugh this early monday morning. So very true – family pictures, especially with boys, just never seem to be right.

  3. Haha great post! Makes me feel better too! Thanks for being so honest and sharing your pics, looks like it was fun actually 🙂 Happy be-lated Mother’s Day!

    Found you via I should be Mopping the Floor’s..linky 🙂

  4. That’s funny. Years ago we didn’t have any better luck when we had a pro do it. The kids were upset, the (ex) husband yelled at them, as if they are going to stop crying and smile because he is yelling…..but I did get some great photos out of that session!

  5. Looks like fun! I know stressful too. You have a beautiful family, so celebrate that!
    Karen @

  6. Mari, this is so funny! Funny, because this was my life with 4 kids years ago!!! We just had my dtr’s sr. portraits done on Tuesday and I was stressing out over that… I was telling her about how I needed a drink before we used to take family pics ha! I wanted to ground everyone by the time they were done…. oh the memories. Thank you so much for sharing this at Project Queen’s Link Party. It’s nice to know that other mother’s go through the same anguish! 🙂

  7. I love the collage at the top, these pictures are priceless. We are getting ready to do a family shoot next weekend it is going to be interesting to see how it goes. Stopping by from the polka dots on parade link party

  8. Hilarious! That would be the best scrapbook page! We can all relate. Maybe that’s why we don’t do family pictures very often.

    • Rachel,
      We sure don’t do them often but maybe if we did our kids would be used to it. I had a friend who LOVEd taking pics of her babies by the time they were 2 as soon as they would see the camera they would look up and smile.

  9. Thanks for sharing, I love the picture of you and the 2 boys. Pricless. What a great looking family! I will soon have 3 boys too:-) More fun for picture time,lol. FSPDT

  10. This made me laugh so hard!!! One year for our Christmas picture, we sat for over an hour trying to get a shot. The shot we finally chose was number 174!!! I laughed so hard that we had taken over 100 pictures!! Luckily my sister had a digital camera and just snapped and snapped until finally we were all semi-looking at the camera and halfway smiling:).