All moms have been there – taking a little extra quiet time in the bathroom scrolling through our Instagram feeds while the kids are being noisy in the other room. Often our timelines are filled with seemingly perfect family pictures from friends, family and our favorite mommy bloggers.
But let’s be honest. A lot of work went on behind these scenes of those seemingly effortless portraits. And the mom who looks flawless in the picture most likely spent weeks picking out the perfect outfits and the morning of the shoot running around making sure everyone was dressed, while reminding the kids repeatedly not to get food or dirt on themselves.
The struggle is real, but there is a way to struggle well when it comes to getting those long overdue family portraits, and even treat yourself in the process.
Enter Emily Thomas, a mother of two and the host of the Mom Struggling Well podcast in which she talks to authors, business owners, and friends weekly about the hardships all moms face, but may be afraid to talk about.
Her last family photos were taken several years ago by a friend, and while she still loves them, it was time for an update, so she scheduled an appointment at our Dallas location.
Here’s what she had to say about the experience.
GS: Why have you put off getting another family photo?
Emily: They cost a lot and it’s a stressful experience. I don’t always love trying to find matching outfits that also aren’t really expensive.
GS: How did you pick out your outfits?
Emily: My clothes are the most expensive usually, so I started by picking out what I wanted to wear (from something I already had) and then filled in the rest of the family’s outfit as needed. It was a fun shopping time for my daughter and me. She doesn’t like dresses, but she didn’t complain about wearing one which was nice.
GS: What was your first impression of the staff?
Emily: They were SO warm and friendly! Everyone came out to greet us when we arrived and made us feel so comfortable. We got water and coffee, which made it awesome. They engaged my kids and helped them be less nervous, as well. They were very intentional about finding connecting points with my kids, which was nice. We all talked about it at home about how much fun it was!
“I think we were all surprised at how much we laughed during family pictures!”
GS: Have you had your hair and makeup done before for a photoshoot? What was that experience like for you?
Emily: I have never had my hair or makeup done before! It was really fun to get it done! He was very clear about what he was doing and why he was doing each thing. It ended up being quite educational, which I wasn’t expecting!
GS: What did your daughter think of getting her hair and makeup done?
Emily: She had told me she didn’t want to get her hair or makeup done, but once we got there she jumped right in the chair and was fine. She didn’t say much about the experience, but I know she secretly liked it. She likes to pretend she doesn’t like being girly, but she actually does. Who can understand a nine-year-old?
GS: What was your experience like with the makeup artist and photographer?
Emily: They made the experience very comfortable and fun. Everything moved along quickly so the kids stayed engaged, but it didn’t feel rushed. They made very sure we had gotten all the shots we wanted and that we were happy with the outcome. The makeup artist was there during our photo time to make sure my hair stayed in the right spot and my makeup was right. It was fun!
GS: What was your favorite part of the visit?
Emily: One really fun moment was when the guys started digging around in the prop closet for Harry Potter things and ended up finding all kinds of spell books from the series that we ended up using in some photos. My kids were very excited about those.
“I think my favorite part was that the whole family had a great experience with family photos, which doesn’t always happen.”
GS: What do you plan to do with the photos?
Emily: I got each of the kids huge canvases of themselves in the forest with their wands for their rooms for Christmas. They are going to be so excited!