My fall family pictures [family portraits]

Taking family pictures yourself can be a daunting task- especially when you have kids, a house full of boys (like I do) or crazy schedules. But like any mother, or photographer, the time of year for fall family photos were upon us and I couldn't pass up on a last minute opportunity. So with 30 minutes to prepare, we went out and to my surprise, both my boys were smiling for a majority of pictures (rare event here). Yes it consisted of running back and forth a lot, but everything turned out perfect. And for all of you who are interested in how I shot our own family pictures, here are a few things that helped me out! Enjoy!!

-Pick out a location beforehand
-If necessary bribe your family members! (more so for my husband)
-Prepare your settings in manual as necessary and shoot in RAW
-Invest in a good tripod
-Have distractions by the camera for the little ones to look at
-Put the camera on timer and tell everyone to smile (and run back to the family as fast as possible)
-Take breaks in between 
-Don't have much expectations and you won't be disappointed
-I didn't go with a list of poses, but rather, just went with the "flow" (and I couldn't be happier!)

PS From my experience, little boys are are more likely to understand the "smile," part when they're closer to two years. Before then, my little boy looked very, very concerned at the camera and never lasted for the timer.