Family Photos with a Toddler Equals Epic Fail


Oh mama.. You know all about family photo sessions. You know much blood, sweat, and tears (lots of tears) go into getting the perfect shot. If you’re anything like me, you spend weeks researching the perfect outfits, the perfect setting and you probably get carpal tunnel from searching “perfect family photos” on Pinterest.


Pinterest lies to you. Those perfect shots you see, with the kids smiling and the parents laughing, they’re fake. Those people are aliens. They are not real. That experience is NOT REAL.

At least for my family it wasn’t.

Our Family Photo Session With a Toddler

We had an epic fail this year for our family Holiday photos. My toddler cried the entire time. No I’m not exaggerating, you’ll see in the photos below. On top of that, I thought it would be a really cool idea to bring our french bulldog puppy, Luna. Huge mistake. She peed like every 5 seconds during the shoot and at one point she tried to jump the seawall into the St. John’s river.

Looking back, I am laughing while typing this, but at the time I was on the verge of tears.

Here’s what happened, why it happened, and what you shouldn’t do the next time you schedule a family photo session.

# 1: If you’re child is sick the week before, cancel the session.

Yeah, you may think they’re fine and dandy by day 7, BECAUSE THEY PROBABLY ARE but you’re wrong mom. You’re totally wrong. When you get to the session they’re going to act like the sickness magically struck them all over again.

# 2: Puppies only screw up the already screwed up pose.

Yeah, the pup she’s adorable but she’s also a big pain in the butt. Especially in a public setting. She turns into a squirrel on steroids and wants to run all over the place and mark her territory on EVERYTHING. She also doesn’t know how to pose and will only screw up the already screwed up pose due to the screaming child. 

# 3: Don’t count on bribery.

Before we left the house Eric reminded me to pack a thing of M&M’s. They’re one of the only ways we get Beckham to behave sometimes. (I know, bad habit to start) I grabbed them anyway, along with a brand new pack of S’mores goldfish. Another crutch I use to get my kid under control.

But guess what? The exact moment you need those M&M’s to come through for a motha, they don’t. He refused them. He actually threw one at my eyeball. I saw red. But yanno the photographer was right there so I had to keep my crazy ninja mom freakout under wrap.

Beckham: 1 Mom: 0.

# 4: Find a good photographer.

The most important tip of all. Thank God I found Hannah from Hannah Boykin Photography. Not only was she patient with my zoo of a family, but she understood. The blanket you see down in the photos, that was hers. Mom of the year over here didn’t dress Beckham warm enough for this rare winter weather in Florida and she came to rescue. It totally made one of the cutest shots too!

# 4: Ask to reschedule when your child is acting like an animal.

After thirty minutes into the shoot, our nerves were shot. I think Hannah could see the despair in my eyes but graciously offered to reschedule our shoot for another time. How freakin sweet right? We spent a half hour of this woman’s time, running around trying to get a smile out of our child, yelling at the dog and she was so sweet about it. On top of that, even though this family session was a complete bust, she still managed to capture some beautiful, raw photos of my family.

We didn’t get the perfect family photo

Regardless of the frowns you’re about to see in these photos, I hope you can laugh with me and admire the fact that at the end of the day, even though we’re not a perfect family, and we didn’t get the perfect family photo, I am still infatuated with every single shot.

They drive me crazy, but I love this little family of mine.. <3

Family Holiday Photo Session Smother Mother


Family Photo Session

Family Photo Session 2

Family Photo Session


Frenchy Bulldog


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Author: Smother Mother Kate

Katelyn isn't a regular mom. She's a cool mom and creator of The Smother Mother.

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