I forgot I did family pictures with 2 under 2 (plus my 5yo step-son!).
It’s like that sometimes.
When you’re so busy with your babies and life, you do what you gotta do, and you just make it work.
In those months or years afterwards when you reflect, those moments come flying back and you think “wait, I did that?” How did I do that?! Wasn’t it hard?
Yes. It was hard. But in that season of life it was just another thing. Because everything was hard.
Making supper is hard, both kids whining, one hungry, one tired. You find a system that works and just DO. Not much thinking, mostly doing. Surviving.
We prioritize the things that are important to us.
Family pictures are important to me. My babies are little, and they grow so fast. I’d do anything to freeze a few moments in time.
We’ve done family pictures every fall for the past 3 years, each year adding a new member to the family.
The first year I was the new addition, Jack surprised me during pictures and proposed.
The second year, Brynlee was a baby.
This year, Jasper was the baby.
Family pictures have become a meaningful event, capturing the changes and growth in our family over the years.
It’s a day I use to acknowledge and be grateful for the changes a year brought.
Family pictures can be hard, especially with 2 under 2
Doing family pictures with young children in general can be a challenge.
Doing family pictures with 2 under 2 (especially with additional children) is organized chaos.
Like doing anything with 2 under 2, preparation is key. Imagine your family picture day and identify ways you can prepare for it beforehand. Think of any issues you may have and prepare a solution ahead of time.
Get yourself ready WAY earlier than you think you need to.
I laid out outfits days in advance. Had snacks ready to go and scheduled 2 of my sisters to come help with the kids during the photo shoot.
I had the kid’s things laid out and ready but got myself ready first. I was ready probably 2 hours beforehand so that I’d be able to relax and leisurely get the kids ready instead of rushing.
Wait until the last minute to dress the kids.
Toddlers are professionals at getting their clothes dirty, and babies have blowouts. I had everything else done but waited until 15-30 minutes beforehand to quickly throw their clothes on.
Manage your expectations
I was hoping for some great pictures, but when it came down to it, I kept my expectations low. Bare minimum I hoped for just 2 good pictures.
Surely my little family could all smile at the same time for 2 pictures? Right?
Tips to a successful picture day
- Keep it fun: Plan special snacks for the kids and/or a reward for when you’re done.
- Plan supper ahead of time: Put a crockpot meal in, plan on going out to eat, or get takeout/delivery. Anything to make your day simpler.
- Communicate your expectations with everyone. For example: telling your spouse “I need you home at ‘x’ time to occupy the kids so I can get ready.”
- Pick an experienced photographer who knows how to work with kids.
- Enlist help: To get a variety of pictures and pictures of just you and your spouse, it’s helpful to get a family member, friend, or babysitter to help wrangle the kids during your photoshoot.
- Schedule a longer amount of time to accommodate for the kids. For my family pictures with 2 under 2 I scheduled a 90min time slot with our photographer. This gave us time to take a break in the middle of our photoshoot for the kids to warm up and have a quick snack! We were also able to enjoy our photoshoot without feeling like we were on a time crunch.
- Plan your photos in a familiar environment. We did ours in our yard. Plan either to do it somewhere the kids have been before or show up early so they have time to warm up and explore a little bit before pictures start.
Picture day can be stressful for the mom. Planning outfits, getting everyone dressed, last-minute ironing husband’s shirt and trying to wrangle everyone out the door.
Keeping realistic expectations, planning ahead, and being prepared for that toddler meltdown will make the day easier on you.
Plan a special treat for yourself too, whether it’s a yummy coffee or tea, or a glass of wine. Picture day can be hard, add little bits of fun to it!
You can do this mama, and the pictures are so worth it! (even if they were taken 4+ months ago and you still haven’t printed them. *cough-cough* oops.)