The Family Photo Shoot

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Having been in the US for nearly three years, certain traditions are starting to rub off. We are building up to Thanksgiving and starting to feel excited about turkey and pumpkin pie. My daughter is desperate to start the Halloween home makeover and has been since August. Then there’s the fall family photo shoot.

Its a widely excepted fact that Americans are addicted to photo shoots… spring, fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, pregnancy, newborn, birthdays, graduation,  anniversaries, and of course school and dance recitals. Other than the school photos, I’ve never before felt the need to employ someone to take photographs for me. After all, I have a GCSE in Photography and an IPhone, what more could I need? But alas, this year I couldn’t resist and I booked the fall family photo shoot, despite my husband’s horror.

family photo shoot

This weekend was the big day, and this is how it went:

6.37am Wake up in a panic. We have to leave in 45mins and I have to feed and dress myself and three children. Realize I probably should have set an alarm and got up a lot earlier.

7.15am How long can it take for a six year old to eat a bowl of cheerios? Curse myself for booking a photo shoot at 7.50am, what was I thinking? Cross my hair off the mental to-do list, I’ll look fine, there’s nothing more flattering than the mop-haired, puffy-eyed hungover look. 

7.30am The twins have still not taken their clockwork morning poop. Run around in a panic trying to find extra clothes for the bag in case we have a sudden explosion mid shoot… why did I think white was a good idea in the first place?

7.45am Realize we’re going to be late so send my apologies to the photographer… could have seen that one coming.

8.00am Find photographer, take a deep breath… we sort of made it and everyone has clothes on. 

8.05am Get kiddos in position for the debut picture. Our six year old daughter tries to hold her smile while losing grip of her two brothers who are more interested in eating the gravel. Parents, granny and photographer jump up and down like crazed chimpanzees, trying to achieve the perfect smile. Twins stare with bemusement without even a curl of the mouth… “What ARE they doing?”

8.10am George gets on board and Elsie is loving all the attention but Arthur is playing hard-ball. That emoji with the straight mouth and the slight f**k you tone is the best we’re going to get. We move on.

8.15am Elsie steals the lime light with some single portraits. Despite the mild freak out over the bees in the bougainvillea all goes well.

8.20am We try the group shot again in a new location. Granny manages to head butt Arthur but once the tears pass he decides he might be ready to break a mild smile. George is thinking about peanut butter on toast and has no intention of hiding it.

8.25am It’s over… Thank goodness for that. No poop explosions, no major disasters and everyone still has clothes on. That’s success in my book. Time for a massive coffee and a piece of cake. 

Driving home, I consider whether I would do this again. When you take into account shopping for the perfect outfits, organizing a photographer, paying for the service and getting yourself there and back in one piece… is the family photo shoot really worth it? I am always taking pictures of my kids and achieve delights like this one taken a couple of weeks ago:

Photograph by Twin Pickle Photography, Arizona.

Is there really much difference? The short and only answer to this is yes. Because believe or not, the bonkers brigade shown above is the same three children as the angelic beauties below:

Photograph by Sara Waterman Photography, Arizona.

So if you want to convince your friends and family that you have it all under control and your children are fit for tea with the queen, book your family photo shoot and melt at the cuteness for many years to come. I know I will.

Thank you Sara Waterman Photography… you did great 🙂 


This post is linked up here:

This Mum's Life
Diary of an imperfect mum
Hot Pink Wellingtons

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About the author

Katherine is an electrochemist, hiking enthusiast, and family lifestyle blogger. As a mom of three, including twins, she enjoys DIY, travel, and eating good food. British born, Katherine moved to the US in 2014, and now called Las Vegas home.

36 thoughts on “The Family Photo Shoot”

  1. Tears running down my face – can picture it all- still I do really like your reality shot of the 3 first posted! The official one is cute though x

  2. Love this post. And so happy the professional photographer paid off. The pic of those three is fantastic!!! I need to give them a call!

  3. every moment counts…glad that you and your photographer capture special moments and fond memories…keep snapping! thanks for sharing your day with us….helps to reflect what is REALLY important in life! FAMILY!and captured MEMORIES!

  4. Adorable photo of your little ones. it makes me want to book for a family shoot. My son had 3 photo shoots already but I’m think we need professional photos with the whole family#sharingthebloglove

  5. Looking at the photo there is no clue to how stressful the build up was. And it is a very nice picture. My experience of having a family photo taken by photographers has never been a success. My Mum organised one ‘family shoot’, but it was a disaster with not one decent photo (we looked like the Adams family. And years ago my Mum- In -Law wanted a family photo shoot, which again resulted in a set of rather stiff looking photos.

    Maybe we just weren’t meant to be photographed!

    Thank you for linking up to the #MMBC


    • Yes I’m not sure how that happened ? But the light was nice and it hadn’t got to desert oven temperatures yet so that’s a plus! ?

  6. Oh, what a gorgeous shot – totally angelic! I always love getting photos back from shoots where you thought it went pretty awfully and then the photographer somehow captured these beautiful shots you had no idea were there! I really want to sort out a family photo shoot next year – you’ve given me even more of a push now! Thank you for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove

  7. That’s a gorgeous shot! We had a photo shoot 18 mths ago before my youngest could walk, but was able to sit up! I’m desperate to do another one, but she is a nightmare at the moment. Waiting until next summer when she hopefully be at a better age. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove X

  8. Ah what gorgeous photos – pro and silly! We’ve only once had a photo shoot with both the boys, and the photos are gorgeous…in fact it was only yesterday that I thought I must sort out another one sometime soon….maybe!


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