That Chicago Lake Life : Planning for AMAZING family photos

Life gets busy. We all know this. Traveling for destination weddings, shooting editorial and still seeing my growing families is really 3 or 4 jobs in one. Juggling time between work, family, and kids is hard for me and I don't even have children! Though the occasion to see 'my kids' throughout the year to capture their portrait in the truest and most authentic way is one of my favorite appointments to make time for and this brood is no exception! A work-life balance read this is not so back to these goofy boys...between all the poop jokes and fart noises, they kept me on my toes to keep them entertained!!  My number one trick of the trade in creating the best family photographs is to make the entire session a play date. Even when someone gets grumpy for a moment, we change the game and small meltdowns turn right around. Certainly, there is a bit of bribery sprinkled on top but mostly we just have fun playing.                        
Location, location, location! I'm always looking for new, more fantastic locale for photos than the last spot. I seek out the best areas based first on great light and then texture, pattern, and color. Chicago has no shortage of wall art, beautiful architecture, and amazing city parks so one need not look too far when searching out the best locations for family photos. Lifestyle imagery needs to read real and true so placing my subjects in a comfortable setting and getting on their playful level equals truly compelling imagery. I also have 2-3 stops at one location to keep our session moving so kiddos stay happy for the duration of our photoshoot. It always helps when everyone is in a great mood and these little guys napped the entire drive into the city! O-man and J may have started our family photo session at the lakefront a bit groggy but by the time we wrapped, they were wide awake and declaring their love for taking photos! TRUE STORY, ask Mom! 

And finally, what to wear?? Best practice on having the best-looking family photos is having everyone dressed in a complimentary color but not exactly matching. This is easier than it sounds, I swear! It adds to the texture of the final product and also is just much more interesting to look at. A good place to start is picking a color as your base and then build on that with a few larger patterns and or corresponding colors. This family of 4 and one adorable bulldog puppy nailed it! Mom wore a perfectly comfy, summer romper with shades of blue as the base. Dad matched with a simple blue t shirt and light blue shorts. Then the boys wore various shades of blue with a few simple patterns of stripes and plaids to keep it all interesting. You don't need to be a fashionista to have your crew looking picture perfect, although I tend to think this hot mama is ;)

To the stinkiest jokesters I know, keep those giggles coming! I was happy to meet the newest member of your fam, Willie, and can't wait to see you all again soon.


Rose + Co