‘Tis (almost) the season for holiday photos! In order to get those greeting cards out to your loved ones in time, annual family photo planning starts NOW. So what are the secret ingredients for taking the best family pics — especially with little ones in tow? Here’s the first rule of thumb: Don’t expect perfection! It’s all about capturing real people, real moments, and embracing quality time together. We’re bringing in the experts to help us win the holiday photo game: two seasoned photographers who are also mamas. With their help, we’re teaming up with Kohl’s to share pro tips and tricks to snapping a memorable holiday photo.

ROCHELLE 

First up, Rochelle Johnson of the popular blog Beauticurve. She, her husband Mike, and sweet kiddo Creed all donned matching Jammies for Your Families from Kohl’s to show us how it’s done! Check out her insights into capturing quality holiday family photos below.

1. How do you get your kid to sit still for photos? We say the words and sing the songs that make him smile. Right now we count to 10 because he loves the number 10! He also loves the alphabet song.

2. Any insider tips to getting a great shot? Pick out a variety of inspirational photos that you like as a starting point. Your photos won’t turn out exactly the same, but you’ll have a starting point and a vision that you can reference when shooting. If you’re not working with a professional photographer, the timer function on your camera or smartphone is really handy.

3. What’s your go-to location for annual family photos? We choose the setup based on what we’re wearing and the feeling we want to convey. If you have pajamas on, family photos where everyone is in a big bed is perfect. We had so much fun wearing these Buffalo-Checkered Microfleece onesies — it felt cozier and more relaxed than dressing up in fancy clothes. I highly recommend!

4. How much time should we set aside to take these pictures? You definitely can’t rush family photos… especially when there are little ones involved. You almost never can get the shot immediately. It takes a lot of patience — and snack breaks! Make it your goal to capture what you love about your family in the photo. It doesn’t need to be perfect!

5. Any fun ideas for posing? My kiddo is still a toddler, so posing isn’t exactly a reality right now. I find it’s best to let him do his own thing and hope for the best.

6. How do you keep the shoot fun and light for the kiddos? Don’t take it too seriously!

7. What do you do when things aren’t going according to plan? Try not to stress about getting the perfect photo. The photo is a reflection of your family and no family is perfect.

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KARLA

Next up, we interviewed pro photographer and filmmaker Karla Jean Davis on how she, her husband James, and little ones Olive and Ora take quality family photos. The adorable family makes it look pretty effortless, huh? Scroll on to see her lovely family demonstrating how it’s DONE in Jammies for Your Families from Kohl’s.

1. How do you get your kids to sit still for photos? We tell them to play statue. If that doesn’t work, bribery :P

2. What’s your go-to background for annual family photos? If it’s important to me to emphasize an entire outfit (like these sweet-as-can-be cozy holiday pajamas), I look for a light-colored background and a clean, light floor line for a head-to-toe shot — or at least a contrasting lightness/darkness so shoes show up.

3. How much time should we set aside to take these pictures? For one setup with children, I set aside 10-20 minutes — 30 minutes if there are props. For more coverage or different setups, I’ll set aside 45 minutes to an hour. Anything past that and you’ll likely lose your kiddos’ attention spans, heh. And remember, it doesn’t need to be perfect! Odds are that if you keep it fun and light for your family, you’ll be happy with the results.

4. Any fun ideas for posing? For head-to-toe shots, I enjoy some motion, like jumping or walking. Things just look better in motion. For portraits, I’ll ask a question and shoot the person when they’re listening to me — just before they open their mouth to respond. That’s always such a great expression.

5. How do you keep the shoot fun and light for the kiddos? I play music! Music keeps photo shoots really loose.

6. Any insider tips to getting a great shot? Plan your angle and frame as much as possible before you start shooting. It’s usually the very first and very last shots that are the best. Shoot ‘in-between poses’ also. You’ll get more natural moments.

7. What do you do when things aren’t going according to plan? Roll with it. Some of the best shots aren’t planned for!

There you have it! Brilliant *and* realistic tips from seasoned mamas on getting the picture-perfect family photo. You’ve totally got this!

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Are you donning Kohl’s Jammies for Your Families for your family photo this holiday season? We’d love to see the shot! Share with us on Instagram by tagging @BritandCo.