Unexpected Gems From Family Photos {Sponsored by Portrait Innovations}

P.S. (and this P.S. totally goes at the beginning) This post is sponsored by Portrait Innovations. All opinions are my own.

Unexpected Gems From Family Photos

Sometimes life is hard.
If you’re a parent, you know this by heart. You live it and you try to teach it to your children so that one day, maybe they’ll appreciate the fun in life when it happens to them or at the very least be able to point it out when it happens to others.

“Look, mom. That seems fun.”
“Excellent, son. You’ve finally recognized it.”

Family photos can NOT be fun… I mean, there’s certainly a potential for fighting, crying, insecurity, unflattering comparison, tantrums, more crying and grass stains on an expensive dress. You can really work yourself up into a sleepless night of “Do our outfits coordinate or are they too matchy-matchy?” back-and-forth until there’s no amount of cover-up for the bags under your eyes. BECAUSE I’VE NEVER DONE THAT, NOPE.

This year, I had an amazing, unexpected (and quick) opportunity for family photos at Portrait Innovations. We had postponed and re-scheduled (because LIFE) the appointment with the photographer we booked (then unbooked) for on-a-whim family photos this fall. Without this generous invitation, I would have most likely mumbled to myself, “Welp. We’ll all be super-cute NEXT year.” and left it at that. Instead, I had an opening on the calendar for an hour or two – two days after the invite. I decided NOT to over-think it (OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG), let everyone wear what they wanted and just GO.

I’m so glad I did.

We had an appointment. We arrived on time (barely). The staff was ready for us AND the children. Now, I’ve done photos outside and had to chase children over a hill, dodging ant piles while carrying their favorite book/toy. Family pics after a quick sprint down said hill and subsequent carrying of heavy child, in full-tantrum are SUPER-flattering. Can YOU feel the sarcasm?

This was an ENCLOSED space. Yes, the children still ran, but eventually they hit a wall and returned to the photo area. PROGRESS. At one point, they were still enough to get these beauties (even though they were spinning slowly on a stool).


Those, I will treasure. The photographer got a *real* smile! We took photos with a few different backgrounds and props – you can choose what you like or you can bring your own props. We also saw a few families coming and going in other rooms (there’s more than one set-up), and when we got there, we got to watch a large family all in red and white striped pajamas get organized for their photo. After the pajamas disappeared, I realized there were large changing rooms to pull a quick change if you’d like.

My favorite thing about family photos are the REAL pictures. That’s where the fun is.

“No, son. Not quite.”

I’m thinking we’ll use that one for his birthday party invitation. Oh, yes I would.
There’s no need to feel sad for him, folks. He found the spring in his step… just as his sister misplaced hers. AHEM. “1, 2, 3………..JUMP.”  <crickets>

At least I can put my belly button on the internet and claim it was an accident 😉 That belly has held two children and I’m WEARIN’ IT PROUD, people.

The staff is so great – they let you see all of the photos on a big screen so you can laugh together and pick out the gems – The process makes it super-easy to narrow down your favorites. They’re even edited while you wait (or while your children fight over who has the most Legos at the nearby, luxurious Lego table provided in the spacious waiting area). The staff is so nice, they didn’t even turn around with one of those LOOKS you give children when they should clearly have already stopped what they were doing.

We left with a CD of the edited, digital images, printed photos of all shapes and sizes and our Christmas card: 

 EVERYBODY found their joy. I’m such a proud parent, belly button and all. It’s a season of Joy, y’all!

Ready to book your family photo session at Portrait Innovations? Learn more on their website and schedule your appointment online HERE

Kristen is still in the middle of her love story. She and her best friend of four years gave in and finally decided to date. Two years later, she was engaged. Two years after that, she was married. She’ll celebrate her 17th wedding anniversary this May. Mom to Ellen (8) and James (5), she works full time in Human Resources outside of the home. Her children have taught her that motherhood is hard. And wonderful. And HARD. A proud alum of LSU and Johnson and Wales University, she also collects college degrees. (BS in Psychology, AS in Culinary Arts and BS in Culinary Nutrition). She’s lived in Baton Rouge a majority of her life, with sojourns in New Orleans, Charleston, SC and Providence, RI. The south is clearly home. Recovering from a nearly crippling case of adolescent insecurity, she is still the most likely to have the heel of her shoe caught in the hem of her pants.


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