P.S. From a photographer’s standpoint, it’s so wonderful to see parents let kids be kids on photo shoots, because it results in more naturally-looking images that provide a more complete portrait of your family overall. The fun, the craziness, the laughter, all of it. My goal as a photographer is to tell a story, and I love it when families work with me to accomplish that. You may not put the image of your children running circles around you on your Christmas card, but you’ll certainly look back in 10 years and love the story that image tells. It will also give your children a better perspective on your family life as they look back in years to come. One of my token phrases I share with parents is “these portraits aren’t for you, they’re for them” and I stand by that.
As you’re lining up for your holiday family portraits in the coming weeks, remember to intersperse the formal shots with something fun. Children who are allowed to have fun will have fun, and you’ll get great formal and lifestyle portraits as a result.