5 Ways to ensure the Best family Pictures This year

How to ensure the Best family Pictures this year? Follow these five tips and I promise you will have a smooth family photo shoot.

5 ways to ensure the best family pictures this year

It is that time of year again and you notice you still need family photos. Instantly you get a pit in your stomach because you remember last year’s family photos and all the battles it entailed. Your husband hates smiling, your oldest daughter has major attitude and your youngest likes to throw the dirt and possibly flip off the photographer (yes,that has really happened to me as a photographer and it was effing hilarious!)

As moms, we have a tendency to get absolutely out of control trying to control everything. It’s a blessing and a curse all at the same time.  It is hard to let your kids loose because you’re trying to tame them in front of the camera. Maybe you’re embarrassed about what your child may say in front of the photographer or your husband might keep that pissed off looked on his face the entire photo shoot

One year I had family pictures and I was completely insane and it ruined the entire shoot for me. The photos were beautiful but when I look at them, I think man, I was the worst person ever. My husband didn’t sleep at all the night before so his eyes were tired with dark circles around them. He also did me a solid and shaved my son’s hair off a couple nights before our photos. I was PISSED! My daughter was so grouchy and didn’t want anything to do with me. I had to get the knots out of her hair and it effing sucked! Let’s just say I was totally a shitty person that day and  you could feel it in my photos. After that, I vowed I would never do that again. 7 years and still going strong. Praise Jesus!



5 ways to ensure the best family pictures this year!
2013 family photos


5 Ways to ensure the best family pictures this year


Prep days before the shoot

This is an obvious one. Shop and figure out what everyone will wear days before your shoot. If you are trying to piece together outfits a couple hours before your shoot, you’re absolutely an idiot! That adds so much more stress to the actual day then there needs to be. Get up and shop days earlier. Also, figure out your location so you can get appropriate outfits. Ask your photographer for location directions so you can drive past and see it for yourself. It’s always better to be prepared so your not a basket case the day of.

Arrive on time.

Please, whatever you do, SHOW UP ON TIME! You don’t want to show up 10minutes late and try to rush into photos. Show up a little early and let your kids explore the location. It helps them stay focus and not want to run off during your shoot. Plus, it is courteous to your photographer. They have other things going on as well so don’t waste their time. Also, they are the ones editing your photos so…. just sayin! You want those wrinkles gone in your pictures? SHOW UP ON TIME!

Relax and go with the flow.

Moms, CHILL OUT! I can’t stress that enough. You set the mood for everyone. If you are angry and yelling at everyone that will not help them smile. In fact, you will probably get some sad looking kids and one pissed off husband. Go with the flow and trust your photographer. They will do everything in their power to get your toddler to look at the camera. So don’t stress, take a breath and just go with the flow.

Have fun and be silly.

Most of all remember to have fun. Your kids love to see you happy and your husband will smile if you are happy and relaxed. Trust me! It even helps if you act silly with your kids. That’s where the real genuine smiles come from. Tickle your kids, throw them up in the air, let them have some fun and I promise you will have the best family photos of all time!

Forget about Pinterest.

Last but not least, forget about the poses you saw on Pinterest. Some photographers find it really annoying when you whip out your cell phone and say “I want my photos like this and this and this and this and so on….”. What you think may look good might actually not work with your family. Those photos you saw on Pinterest were specifically for that family. Instead of trying to recreate photos you saw trust your photographer. They know what looks good and what doesn’t.

I hope these 5 tips help ensure you have the best family pictures this season. They are simple and easy to do. Do you have any family photo tips? Leave a comment and let me know. I want to hear them!





5 Ways to ensure the Best family Pictures This year

2016 Family Photo



Edit your Instagram Photos Like a Pro

How to edit your Instagram photos like a pro? Have no fear, it is simple and easy!

edit your instagram photos like a pro

I often get compliments about my Instagram account. A few followers have asked how I get my photos to “pop”. I like to think it’s the cute little assholes making my Instagram “POP” but it also has to do with my editing style. I am a bright and cheerful person and I expect  my photos to be as well. It’s a story of my life so why not make them exactly like me.

I personally like a lot of color in my photos, bright images with lots of smiling faces. I am also a sucker for black and white but I will rarely do a black and white photo. Here is an example of my Instagram feed.

edit instagram photos like a pro

How to edit your Instagram photos like a pro? First, go check out my post 6 tips on Taking Beautiful Instagram Photos in that post it will give you some tips in regards to shooting your photo. Follow those steps when actually taking your picture. Remember, editing is only the final step in creating a great image. If you photograph a picture and it looks shitty, editing CANNOT save you! Be sure to go check out that Blog Post

Step One

Take your photo. Sometimes people take their photos with an awesome expensive camera but 7 out of 10 times they’re shooting with their smartphones. No shame in that, I do it all the time and I have a really nice “real” camera. It is simply just easier to take out my phone rather than my huge camera. (Canon 5D mark iii)

Step Two

Edit your photo. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT throw an Instagram filter on your photo and call it good. For shit sakes, DON’T DO IT! There are a lot of awesome editing apps out there you can use. I personally use and love Pic.Tap.Go. It is easy to use and quick. It is only $1.99 so that is a total plus. Almost free! They have way better filters than Instagrams’  but you can also do it yourself. I personally love to combo “Lights On’ (it brightens my images) and “Crispy” (to make it crisp and pop). Download that app asap

Step Three

Upload your photo to Instagram. Before I push post I always hit “Edit” and continue with my image in there. I really love Instagrams’ Sharpen feature. I crank that crap up so my photo looks crisp and clean. Once you do all of that hit Post!

Take a breather and watch all the awesome comments flood to your amazing photo. If you do these steps you will be editing your Instagram photos like a pro in no time!




6 Tips on Taking Beautiful Instagram Photos

How do you to take beautiful Instagram photos? I know it sounds crazy but nowadays our phones are our cameras.Take beautiful instagram photos

I have a Canon 5D Mark iii but I shoot most of my everyday  photos with my phone. Stupid I know, but I can’t take my huge nice camera everywhere. It’s my baby and I don’t want anything to happen to it. Knowing me if I was put in a situation where I have to save my camera or my kids….. Well, hands down, my kids would win but my camera would be a close second! So I don’t put myself in that situation.

When something amazing happens with my kiddos, I whip out my old iPhone 6 plus and start shooting.

Most of the time everyone, and by everyone I truly mean EVERYONE, Will take their photo  and post it on social media (Instagram, Facebook and twitter) because that is what we do these days. I have no idea why it is so important but somehow it is and I’m addicted.

A few tips to help you create better and beautiful Instagram photos!

  • Know your surroundings! This is a serious tip. If there is a trash can in your photo I highly recommend moving it out of the way. You don’t want your subjects to be compared to the trash in the background. Either move it out of the way or shoot in a way where you cannot see it. Biggest bet peeve I have. No one likes trash.. take it out!
  • Notice your angles. I love to shoot point blank because I usually do group shots of my kids but if I’m feeling crazy, I will shoot from above and the photo comes out even better! For example, if you want to shoot a photo of your kids reading books, try shooting from above to create a beautiful artsy photo
  • Only shoot during the day. (optional) This one rule I live by. I am such a sucker for natural light and bright images that I will only shoot during the day. (mostly mornings) The way the sun lights up my images completes my soul. I can not stand a lousy cell phone flash. It’s not pretty or cool to shoot with the crappy flash and post your red or yellow eyes! Come on guys, You have to know that doesn’t look good and throwing a Black & White filter on it doesn’t help the image. JUST LET IT GO!
  • Focus the phone camera on your subjects. To create a little background blur, have your subject step closer to you (farther away from the background) and focus your camera on them. You tap your finger  on the screen and let the camera know where you want to focus.
  • Don’t be fooled by the Instagram Filters. They aren’t pretty and quite frankly completely hideous. If you want to use Instagram filters I recommend creating them yourself with the “Edit” button and manually go through each  step and create your own filter. (ie: adjust, brightness, contrast, structure, warmth, saturation, color, fade, highlights, shadows, vignette, tilt-shift and sharpen)
  • Finally… Make sure your image lines up correctly. If you have a building in the background, make sure it is straight or if your subjects are sitting on a bench, make sure it lines up straight. Nothing is worse than looking at a photo where the kids look cute but the building in the back it absolutely crooked.

While it may sound like a ton of work to do before taking a photo but after the first few times, it gets easier. It’s now second nature to me. I just automatically shoot this way and it saves me much time and embarrassment. If I take my kids and do something really awesome and my picture doesn’t turn out, I will not post it! I’m a picture snob for sure!

There you have it, a few awesome tips to help you take beautiful Instagram photos. Apply these tips to your photos and feel free to tag me. I want to see them!



Take better instagram photos