The perfect family photo shoot

I have been a professional photographer for more than 15 years and have had a family of my own for the past 6 years. I have got the keys to the perfect family portrait and I am going to share this priceless valuable information with you below!


it doesn't exist...

Our first family portrait

This portrait was taken in our glassed in porch with my camera on a tripod on a timer setting. That is baby Talal, he cried the whole time because it was mid-winter and he sure didn't wanna hang out in a onesie. We had to retake this photo about 20 times, notice the super professional white down comforter I used as a background. As messy as this photo was to make, Talal pooped and it leaked on Daddy's hand, it was one of the most shared photos of all that I have ever posted. It was used in so many "Muslim Family" ads, some of those without my permission. There is just something about this pic that people resonated with. The point of this is that it's about how a person feels when they see that family portrait, not about the perfect outfits, perfect location, perfect golden hour sunlight...the end result is never going to be in your control and all that matters is when you look at that portrait, how do you feel?

The Kids Are Going to be Alright.

When baby #2 came along, I was determined to get a great, outdoor, matching jeans, family portrait. Well, we were outdoors, we all had on matching jeans, and the rest was just total hysteria. I am a professional photographer and yes, even my family photos look exactly like yours...screaming kids, candy in my pocket for bribing, and total meltdowns.

You know what? I love this photo of us the most. This is probably my favorite family photo of all time. Talal was bound and determined to make his Sissy cry and she was really teaching us the endless boundaries a tiny diva is willing to cross. I love this photo because I love that my husband is laughing at how no matter how hard he tried to hold on to that little 3 year old boy, he somehow slipped a hand out and slapped her and was super happy it worked. Daddy just couldn't believe that determination. I love how we are all looking at our tiny diva, who couldn't be any more dramatic if it was her job, like we are so in love with who she is and we want her to know that she's gonna survive this episode and move on to screech another day. To me, this photo is perfect.

Flash Forward to Today

Pay attention to the following three photos, and especially to my son who is now a strapping 50 lb little terror...

We look so happy, with our color palette on point. I spent weeks on Pinterest because dammit, I was going to get the family portrait of my dreams.

I look down at my beautiful children, they are the fruit of my loins...wait, what is my son doing?

Hey sweety, is anything wrong?


Yes, it hurt that bad.

I was the receiver of a full throttle slap to the face as I looked loving at him thinking "No way he's gonna do this to me right now". Yes Ma'am. He sure did. My photographer, being such a professional, captured the whole thing, frame by frame. You know what...I love it. I look at these pics and I'm like OMG, I'm gonna give him an a$$ whooping, but you know what I can't stop laughing at how ridiculous I look and I absolutely ROFL at my expression in the aftermath. We moved on after this to a new location and proceeded to take some pretty beautiful pics. Each year is a reminder that the perfect family portrait is only a myth, and that perfect is actually a custom defined term based on the person using it. They are my perfect.

And if this one was the only photo I showed you, would think I have the key to taking the perfect family portrait.

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