Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WWLW: No STRESS Photo Shoot

Hi friends! It's Merry Momma to make a confession. I sometimes get stressed out about photo shoots. Like I yell at Josh and snap at the girls. (Not good.) It can just be so stressful. The weather. The outfits. The hair. The ATTITUDES! All of it. BUT, after 6 years of lots and lots and lots (What can I say, I like a professional pic and I have three kids.) of photo shoots, I no longer look like this:

And here's why:


I know, I know...not all of our amazing readers are as Type A, controlling or maybe a tad psycho about plans as I am, but if you are - THE MERRY MOMMAS ARE HERE TO HELP!

And for you amazing, go-with-the-flow, never stress peeps out there - send this blog post to your type A friends and have a great day! #jealous

Three to Four Months Before:
1. Hire a photographer - Depending on your location and your desired photographer's schedule, this may be a little late or a little early, but the point is ... don't wait until October to try and find a photographer for your Christmas card pictures.
2. Decide on the look/feel/theme of the photo shoot - Do you want a casual outdoors-y look, are you going for urban cool? Start thinking of what you want your images to look like. What are you using these images for - Christmas card, over the mantel large picture, Facebook cover photo?

One to Two Months Before:
1. Decide on Clothes, Shoes and Accessories - You want a winning wardrobe! Start shopping, whether you are closet shopping, on-line shopping or mall shopping - start. Find one thing to start with - maybe a scarf for Momma or a bow tie for your baby boy - and work to find the items to coordinate with it.
2. Props - If you are going to use any props - cool couch, balloons, over sized letters, tricycles, or a wagon - start your search now.

Two Weeks Before:
1. Location - Because you know what look/feel/theme you are going for (see above) you probably also know a few spots to take these types of photos (or you have consulted with your photographer), so now is the time to do drive byes to check on things like height of grass in a park or field, hours of operation, payment (if applicable). Also, there are some locations that must be reserved, don't forget to check.
2. Hair & Makeup - I have to admit, I have never had my hair or make up done for a photo shoot, but I think I might! If you want these types of services, book them now. (I do admit, I do get my eyebrows a couple of days before photo shoots...I'm so fancy like that! ;))

One Week Before:
1. Try on clothes - Kids grow fast and sometimes things just look lots different go ahead and do a quick dress rehearsal. This is also a good time to iron. I swear, my ironing board only comes out for photo shoots!
2. Touch base with your photographer - Give your photographer a call or email to reconfirm times and location.
3. Talk it up! - Start talking to the kiddos (and maybe the significant other) about the photo shoot. Remind them how fun it will be to be a model and discuss expectations. We talk about listening to Ms. Sarah, doing what we ask when we ask and reminding them that if they do well, they will get a treat! Hey, we are all about bribery here! And treats can be candy, stickers, drive around the neighborhood with the windows down listening to Frozen...whatever works!

Day Before:
1. Set out clothes and accessories -I set out everything, and I do mean everything (including unmentionables...don't get caught with a black bra and white shirt! EEK!). It will make the next day go smoother and if you forgot something you will have a little while to run to Target.
2. Pack
     a. Clothes - You may have all the clothes on your body and this step isn't necessary...but you may have a wardrobe change or a scarf or something, so go ahead pack it. {And, just maybe I made the girls ride to a photo shoot in their unmentionables because I didn't want the picture clothes wrinkled...just maybe. I can't say for sure, but maybe! ;))
     b. Props - Go ahead and load the car. Remember, you want tomorrow to be STRESS free. We recently did Millicent's 3 year (tear) pictures and the car was full of pumpkins.
     c. Goodies - Get the treats ready! Stickers, lollipops, whatever.  Have it ready to reward that great behavior. Also, pack water, snacks and wipes. Hungry kids (and adults) do not take good pictures! 
     d. Toiletries - Don't forget the hair brushes, makeup and tissues. 
Day of:
1. Be on time! Y'all nothing stresses me out more than being late. I hate it. So I make it a point to be early to photo shoots. Photographers are busy, lighting matters and a stressed face is not pretty, so be on time.
2. Be reasonable - Remember that all parties involved - kids, mom, dad, photographer, etc - are people and we all have good and bad days and we all have things we are capable of doing. (Don't expect a 2 year old to do a 3 hour shoot or take pics during nap time.)
3. HAVE FUN! Seriously, have fun. Laugh. Enjoy being in the moment! HAVE FUN!

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