Back in September of 2018, we kind of fell into the habit of taking a weekly family picture every Sunday. It had been an easy enough habit to get into, since we’d gotten first into the habit of taking a picture of my growing belly each week when I was pregnant with Mathias, which then morphed into us taking a picture of Matt and I with the kids (taking turns of which of us held the camera) every Sunday. Then finally, I decided it was silly not to try to just get a picture of all four of us every week. At first, we employed the self-timer and did a lot of running (and had a lot of duds). Then, in November of that year, I bought a $130 tripod (mine has been outphased, but this one is similar) and this remote (affiliate links), and the rest, as they say, is history.
I’ve always found it fascinating that you can’t really see the changes in your loved ones from day to day, but that when you look at pictures from year to year, you see the huge difference. Taking weekly pictures has been fun since it shows the subtle progression of aging on all of us over time (and how many Sunday outfits we all have, ha ha).
A few tips if you’re wanting to take on this family-picture-a-week experiment:
- Pick one day and stick to it.
- We take ours every Sunday, a day we chose mostly because we all look our best (#truth).
- Try to do it at the same time each week, too.
- We almost always take the picture right as soon as we’re home from church every week. If we’re REALLY on top of life, we take it before church. If we don’t do it one of those two times, it’s unlikely to happen because we’re out of the routine.
- Get your kids involved so that they’re more cooperative.
- Letting the kids pick your spot, their location in the photo, or having them press the self-timer button/hold the remote can make the difference between a kid willing to do what you say and a kid who is about to make the neighbors come over to see what’s wrong.
- Switch things up! (Or, alternatively, keep things exactly the same!)
- To keep things fresh, I like to change our location every week, as well as the positions we all take. However, I think a fun experiment might also be to try the exact same location and the exact same positions week to week so that the pictures are easier to compare. Both are fun!
- If you have a DSLR, invest in a tripod and remote.
- Sure, you can take family pictures without them ( we did for months!). But there’s seriously no comparison—the tripod and remote are about a bajillion times easier/better than anything we set up with the self-timer, both in ease and quality of the picture.
- Don’t take it too seriously—the pics of everyone being grumpy and/or crazy are some of the best!
- Sometimes it’s tempting (especially when everyone is super hungry after church) to let tempers rise if the children are refusing to cooperate. Although we’re not perfect at this, it’s better to just go with the flow, get what you get (and don’t get upset), and move on. You don’t want your kids to resent this week after week, so it’s better to just praise them for when they do a great job listening and embrace the less-perfect shots for what they are—a true snapshot about what life is often like with small children.
Just for fun, here are all our family pics from last year. Although we missed a few weeks here and there, we largely kept up the habit, and it’s so fun to see us (and the seasons) change as the year went on! (Note: Most of these were taken on Sundays, but on weeks when I knew we’d taken a picture on another day, I often just counted that as our family pic.)
I don’t know how long we can keep this up for (let’s be honest–how long the kids will let us keep it up for), but for now, we plan to do it indefinitely!
If you’re looking for a fun family resolution to try for 2020, give this one a shot! You will truly cherish the pictures you get together.