How to Survive and Love your Family Photos

This post was sponsored by JCPenney Portraits.

Family photos and I have a love/ hate relationship. I love getting the family all dressed up, I love having pictures to hang on my wall, and I love creating lasting memories. What do I hate about them? Getting my toddler to cooperate. Last month we had a family maternity photo shoot with JCPenney Portraits and I gathered all the advice I could to make it go smoothly. 

Pick coordinating colors. Think of one bright color that you like and then choose other neutral colors to compliment it. For our photos, we decided on pink as our pop color. My son and I both wore shades of pink and my husband wore dark grey. 

Make your child as comfortable as possible. JCPenney Portraits just launched a new option to make your child feel at ease. They offer outdoor shoots, which we opted for, where you meet at a designated park. We chose to have our photos taken outdoors since my son loves to be outside. These sessions start at only $24.99 and include 30 minutes with the photographer plus one high-res image. 

Set everything out early. I chose what we were going to wear a few days in advance and made sure everything stayed clean. The night before the shoot I gathered the diaper bag with everything we could possibly need. This allowed me to get ready the morning of the photo shoot without worrying about packing everything up. 

Pack snacks. Hungry toddlers are not fun. I repeat, make sure to pack plenty of snacks. I love applesauce packets and Cheerios – both are east to eat and don’t leave a mess. Bring an extra outfit just in case of a spill. 

Bring a comfort item. If your child has a comfort item it’s nice to have it around to make them feel more relaxed and at home. Ask the photographer to incorporate it in the pictures. A favorite blanket or baby doll will relax your child and help them feel more comfortable. Our photographer called us a few days before our appointment to ask about special items. Since JCPenney Portraits have been focusing on babies and families, our photographer was able to help suggest items we could bring. We decided on Emerson’s favorite rocking chair, and I just love how these pictures turned out! 

Relax and have fun. No toddler is going to give you a perfect smile for the entire photo shoot. Be flexible and accept that things might not go exactly how you planned. If you end up with a serious meltdown, roll with it. In ten years the pictures of your 3-year-old throwing a fit will be funny, I promise. 

Thank you so much to JCPenney Portraits for photographing our family and providing us with photos we will cherish forever!  I hope these tips will help you and your family survive and LOVE your family photos!!! 

For more information on affordable, convenient and beautiful photography and to follow JCPenney Portraits visit:

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Haley is an Arizona transplant who moved here from San Diego 12 years ago. She married her husband Nick in 2013 and they welcomed their son Emerson in December two years later. After the birth of their son Haley decided to leave her corporate job in order to stay home and spend more time with her family; a family that seems to be growing since a puppy, Nala, joined the crew in October and a baby girl is expected to make her debut in the summer of 2017. If Haley's not watching HGTV or running after an active toddler there is a good chance she's at Spotlight Youth Theater a local non-profit where she teaches dance. She also has a personal blog The Business of Blonde, where she documents her life and covers everything from getting out to debt to organizing her closet.


  1. Pretty sure picking outfits is the hardest part of family photos for me! One of my friends showed me some different ways to search on Pinterest for coordinating colors for portraits and it has made all the difference in my abilities, mainly because I take the color palette I want with me to the store and ask someone to help pick out stuff for me! I know my talents and clothing and accessorizing people is not one of them!


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