Say Cheese!

I find family pictures a challenge.  From the location, to the wardrobe, to the poses – all the decisions make me crazy.  What doesn’t make me crazy is calling my friend Melissa up and scheduling the madness. She has a special touch in getting my kids to smile and not move all in the same second.

For four years we have trusted our memory making to Melissa at Melissa Nyman Photography and for four years she has exceeded our expectations.  Every picture catches a part of my children’s childhood, their personalties, and our families love for one another.  Once we are in her hands, my worries are gone . . . but all the decisions leading to picture day can drive a girl crazy . . . and do.

Finding the right location should be about the type of family you are. We love being outdoors and it is natural to find us bike riding, hiking, or camping. So many of our family pictures have been out in the great outdoors. Gardens, parks, and your own backyard are great places to consider. Since we live in DC, we even had Melissa meet us on the National Mall one year.


Add a flag and you have a cheesy, yet memorable family picture. Or bring some chalk and share a special announcement.

Announcing Graham

Wardrobe is always the hardest decision when it comes to pictures. I want the photos to look natural and not too busy, but I also don’t want everyone matchy, matchy. Matchy, matchy just isn’t us. You also want to consider your backdrop. Don’t select the same color shirts as your background or you will get lost. I don’t know what experts say (nor do I care), but I stick to a rule of three. A three color palate. This year we went with coral, navy, and teal. A summery mix that would bring out the beautiful blue eyes of my three boys.

Once you have all that figured out you need to consider pose. Should you sit or stand, pose or be natural? Granted, Melissa is very helpful, but having something in mind helps you take advantage of the time you have. You will also want to consider who you want in the photos. Just the kids, you and the kids, a shot of the you and the hubs?

With an active four and half year old and even more crazy one year old, does any of this really matter? Getting them to wear clothes is enough of a challenge, but I accomplished this task.  All three of my boys were dressed and very handsome, on time and even a little early.  Bribes work for older kids. Treats were promised if Rowan helped with his little brother and this worked perfectly!

If you are in the DC area, I recommend Melissa Nyman Photography for your picture needs. She does an amazing job with our family pictures and her wedding photography is beautiful. If you don’t want to take my word, I’ll let her work speak for itself!











My favorite




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If I had one criticism, it would be that there are too many amazing pictures to choose from! Selecting a few to frame is very difficult. This is a problem I am happy to deal with!  All in all, it was a success.  All in all, I stressed out for no reason.  All in all, we came, rallied, and said cheese! I thank Melissa and Adam and my beautiful family for another great session of memory making.



4 thoughts on “Say Cheese!

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