The best part of having your own family around this time of year is that you get to create your own traditions and memories. Some, I’ve continued passed down from my mom, others I’ve just started and added onto each year as Cayden gets older and understands the concept of each.
Our first activity on our checklist was putting up our tree. Our second, was taking our Christmas card photos. This is one tradition that I didn’t do with my mom but love doing with my boys. We’ve been taking Christmas card photos since Cayden has been born and I love coming up with different themes (especially because I have such a talented photographer we’re really close with, that makes my visions come to my life way better than I imagine each time).
This year, I wanted a glam theme and I couldn’t have been happier with the way they turned out. From the marble staircase inside the capitol building, to the old vintage elevator, the huge glam tree, and the outdoor courtyard filled with snow, each shot was so much fun to create.
I love how Cayden is so comfortable with Morgan (our photographer) that even when being woken up in the middle of a nap, was willing to smile for her and do everything she wanted him to do. Because we shoot with her often, Steven has also been more comfortable with smiling (he never likes to smile in pictures) and going with the flow of the magic she creates, no matter how crazy we get with posing for shots.
Everytime I post one of her pictures, I always have a few mama’s asking me the secret to taking these picture perfect family photos. My secret is my photographer. So here are my tips on how to choose the photographer that fits your family, as well as, how to plan.
Being from LA, I’ve always had a hard time jumping on the Utah trends. I’ve noticed that a lot of Utahns and their photographers like to do the typical tacky posed shoots in the typical, most common locations to shoot. Since that’s not my style, when looking for a photographer, I was looking for quite the opposite. I used Instagram to find Morgan, and once I found her I knew she was the one I wanted from here on out.
Her pictures are very not traditional which is a perfect match for our family and I, because we’re not traditional ourselves. I don’t like forced poses, I always prefer candid shots instead. If you’ve seen her work, she’s the queen of posed “candid” shots which I’m obsessed with.
Based on your interaction with your photographer, you should feel 1,000 percent comfortable with them. The first time we shot with Morgan was a pregnancy boudoir shoot that I had never done in my life before. I was shy and a little tense and she coached me through the whole session. She brought out a playful side of both Steven and I that I enjoyed a ton. That same playfulness gets brought out each time we shoot with her— now Cayden gets to be a part of that too.
My husband and I work a lot so we need a photographer that’s available at times when we need to wing it. Because we shoot with Morgan often, she knows my crazy schedule and booking her a month in advance is impossible for us because we never know our availability. I also don’t have time to shop for our picture outfits and it usually happens during crunch time.
I love that she understands how demanding our jobs and our life can be but always manages to squeeze us in, even as a very popular photographer that stays booked up herself. If you can find a photographer that matches your style, vibes very well with your family, and can fit your schedule… keep them!
I usually have a theme or a vision in my head of what I want our shoot to look like a month or two prior to the shoot. If I have a specific shot that I want taken, I let our photographer know so that she’s aware of what’s a priority to me. I’ve heard of people doing a shot list where you write out which shots you’d like. If you’re a very Type A person, then I can see this being a good idea so that you don’t get caught up during the shoot and forget. However, I trust my photographer and feel like she would know what angles and shots would look best so I just leave her in charge.
During this Christmas shoot I think I only had one shot that was important to me and I let her know prior to.
I never wanted to shoot at the capitol because everyone in Utah does it. I think it’s an initiation to becoming a Utahn, but because Morgan is such an artist, I love that she made this place look totally different. Most importantly, I love that Cayden had so much fun, was going with the flow, and even smiled in the freezing cold.
I can’t wait for our next Christmas card shoot, it’s become a tradition that I look forward to each year.
Faux Fur Coat: https://www.prettylittlething.us
Dress and Earrings: https://www.windsorstore.com
Steven and Cayden’s plaid ties: https://www.amazon.com