I absolutely love traveling with my kids. We've been on the go with them since they were tots. They've been to Africa, Asia and all over Europe. I'm really proud of how travel has helped my girls become inquisitive about the world, sensitive to other cultures and ready for adventure. Our family trips are one of my absolute favorite parts of motherhood.
Travel is a gift I always wanted to give my children. Before we had the kiddos, Mr. Momtrends and I took a year off and traveled around the world. We visited 22 countries in a year. Along the way, we vowed that when we had kids, we wouldn't stop traveling. Many people told us that it's too hard to travel with tots, but we found with creativity, planning and patience we could make it happen.
It hasn't always been easy. Kids have thrown up in cars, had diaper explosions on planes, grumbled about the heat in Turkey and the cold in Canada. But we keep going. Because we feel it's important to show them the world and for them to be good global citizens. Some of my most treasured possessions are the travel albums I've made over the years. Recently, I've become aware of something. I'm only in about 5% of the family pictures.
This winter we did a whole bunch of ski travel. In all, we visited six ski resorts this winter as a family. It's something we love to do together and a great way to enjoy the winter without grumbling about how cold it is. Now that winter is over, I'm putting together photo albums and ordering prints and gifts (Mother's Day is right around the corner). As I started to sort and assemble my photos, I noticed something was missing.
Well, actually, someone was missing. Me!
On the blog, I'm featured in all sorts of selfies and fashion shots. This is because I've got a team of people to take fantastic photos and I prep and plan for them. But when I'm not working, I am on the other side of the camera taking the photos. I grab my phone or SLR and snap away. To toot my own horn, I'm a pretty good photographer. I love to get action shots and play with the lighting and framing. What I'm not great at is passing off the camera and jumping into the picture with the family.
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Last year when we went to select photos for our holiday card there were maybe four options with all four of us in the photo (and for those of you with 4+ kids, I'm sure it gets even trickier). This year, things are going to be different. I've got a plan and I hope you'll join me! I'm going to get more photos with the family. Here's how it's going to happen.
Five tips for getting better family photos.
1.) Get out the old tripod and SLR on the big holidays. They are most likely gathering dust somewhere, but do yourself and your family a favor and at least three times a year haul out your serious photo equipment and set it up. You probably spent a lot of money on this stuff--why not make the most of your investment and then you'll get some amazing portraits. Bribe the kids with this--no dessert until AFTER the family photo. Works every time.
2.) No Family is Perfect. Let go of your need for perfection. It's ok if the kids have on jeans with ripped knees. It's also ok if not everyone matches (TIP: if the prints really clash, try converting it to a black and white photo). And don't force the kids into the perfect pose. Some of my favorite family photos are action shots. Not everyone need be looking at the camera. Not everyone need be dressed up. Show life how it really happens in your house.
3.) Don't be so vain. I hear moms tell me they are "too fat to get in the picture" or that they don't have on a cute outfit or any makeup. No one cares. What your kids will notice is your smile. Take the photo. It's better to be in there and with the ones you love than to be out of the picture because you don't live up to someone's idea of Instagram perfection.
4.) Easy as 1-2-3. Tell the kids you're only going to take 3 pictures and mean it! No one wants to sit through endless photo sessions. We tell the girls three shots: 1 smiley, 1 serious, 1 with anything goes. They love getting to the silly shot so they tolerate the first two.
5.) Grab a mom! Want to get a family shot on your phone? Ask a mom to take the picture and offer to return the favor. Try this at any theme park or tourist attraction. It works like a charm. Even if I don't need a photo, I sometimes walk up to a mom in the process of taking a picture of her family and tell her, "Get in the picture, I'll take one." I consider it mom karma points.
Once you've got all these great photos you need to head to www.cvs.com/photo for printing and gift selection to make the most of your memories.
Are you ready to get in the picture? To help spread the word, we're hosting a fun Instagram Giveaway with CVS Pharmacy Photo.
Don't forget to head to www.cvs.com/photo to get inspired to take more photos and use them!
Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with CVS Pharmacy for the Put Mom In The Photo campaign. I am being sponsored by CVS Pharmacy for my posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers. CVS did not provide a script, all opinions and tips are my own. All photos are property of Momtrends.