Guide to Fall Minis & Holiday Pics - Greater Austin Moms


Photo By Alyssa Martin Photography


Fall seems to be the busiest time of year. School, sports and other extra curricular activities are in full swing and holiday preparations are underway! It is also the time to have new family photos taken, so you can document how much everyone has grown and changed and then send out holiday cards to friends and family. However, finding the right photographer, deciding what everyone will wear, getting hair cut and styled for the whole family can be the source of a lot of stress for mommas. Unfortunately, I cannot come to your home and make your kids brush their teeth (I have enough of a hard time with mine!) but I can point you to some great local photographers, resources and hand you some tips for your best family photos yet.


With Love, Crystal Kehn
Managing Site Editor




Finding a photographer who has chemistry with your family may be the most important detail to consider when planning for this year’s family photos. Each one of these featured mom-boss photographers below is incredibly talented and passionate about bringing out the best and capturing the unique personality of your family. Take time to browse through multiple photographers’ work on their websites until you find someone who really



Alyssa Martin Photography
[email protected]

Alyssa brings fun and a spark of joy to every session, capturing the unique personality of each family member. She puts the kids at ease with her patience and playfulness!




Dana Rundlof of Snow Pixie Photography specializes in newborn, maternity and family photography with a timeless style, experience and training. She works out of a beautiful studio in North Austin and also travels on location. Dana has fall mini slots available on November 3rd in Circle C! 
Use code SOUTHAUSTINMOMS and receive 10% off on any one full session (Restrictions apply).

Whitney Cooley Photography
[email protected]

Whitney is a passionate family photographer committed to capturing those fleeting moments you never want to forget.




What Should We Wear?! Choosing Clothing for Family Pics

You want to coordinate, but not look cheesy- no Awkward Family Photo candidates, right? So how do you decide what to wear in photos that will be distributed to family and friends and hung on the side of many of their refrigerators for the year to come? I tend to stick with a few simple guidelines to make the wardrobe selection painless:


  1. Take a hint from the French. Choose timeless styles, nothing that screams the current decade- unless that happens to be what you’re going for.
  2. Look to Nature. You don’t all have to wear the same color! Select colors that naturally occur together in nature for an effortlessly put together impression. On that same note:
  3. Keep it Neutral. Fluorescent colors, not so much. Neutral colors go way behind black, brown and white (actually, avoid white, as it tends to wash everyone out in photos). Navy blue and muted shades of green, pale pink, cream, yellow, orange can present as beautiful neutrals.
  4. Commit to solids. You want the attention to be on your family’s smiles and the moment captured in time, not a loud plaid or busy floral print.
  5. Many birds, one stone. Especially if you are on a time crunch, shop in one store for the whole fam. Stores release new lines each season which easily coordinate across men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. Try GAP, Old Navy or Target and you’ll be in and out in a flash.



Kid & Budget Friendly Haircuts

My kids school picture day haircuts have inevitably gotten a little shaggy (especially the boys) and they’ll need a trim before our family picture day.


Sharkey’s Cuts For Kids – Northwest Hills

6203 N.Capital of Texas Hwy, ATX-78731
Phone: 512-215-8889


South Austin Barber Shop
617 W Slaughter Lane
Austin TX 78748

A cut at South Austin Barber Shop is so much more than just a cut- it’s a right of passage to have one of their stylists (they deserve to be called artists) work their magic on your son’s hair. He will walk out with a new found pride, ownership and knowledge for taking care of his hair.


Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids
5400 Brodie Lane
Sunset Valley TX 78745


Cookie Cutters put both parents and kids at ease for a great haircut experience from the waiting area to the chairs on the cutting floor!



The End of “Cheeeeesssse”, Getting a Genuine Smile From the Most Reluctant Subject


I could very easily be thinking about my tween or your toddler- it always seems that someone in the fam has trouble faking manufacturing a genuine smile for photos and I don’t blame them! Smiling at an inanimate object is just so unnatural. I do think, however, that there are ways we can set our family up for their most genuine smiles- that sparkle we adore in their eyes when something brings them joy- beginning in our homes, first thing in the morning. This advice is just as much for me as anyone else!


Before the photo sesh:

  1. Realize mom’s attitude sets the tone for the day. I can choose to greet everyone with a hug and a gentle loving word before I start barking orders about all we need to do to get ready.
  2. Take a moment to praise each family member. Let them know something wonderful you’ve seen develop in their character over the past year and how glad you are to capture that in a photo today.
  3. Lay out outfits the day before and tell them how beautiful, handsome, cool, wonderful, kind (whatever is important to them) they will look in their new clothes. If they’d like to try them on, let them!
  4. On the way there, talk about how special your one-of-a-kind family is. Tell them how excited you are to capture your family just as you are in this moment in time. If there are multiple children, remind them how special sibling love is. Whether they feel it right now or not, they’ve got a built in best friend for life and its important that we remind them.


At the photo sesh:

5.  Have the kids play the staring game in which they look at each other and try not to smile– a little reverse psychology here! They will inevitably start giggling.
6.  Similarly, tell the kids to look at the camera or the photographer and make a serious face. This one is great if you are having your photographer do headshots of each individual family member. Most often, they will make a serious face, start to laugh and then their genuine, smiling with their eyes smile will appear.
7.  Allow a comfort item. You may think at the moment that their blankie or pinkie or Sophie will ruin that perfect shot, but in the long run that photo will be that much more authentic and endearing (trust me, I know from experience).
8.  Let them be themselves. One of my favorite photos shows my family jumping in the air at the end of our photo shoot with Alyssa Martin, but my youngest is standing, head down, twirling her hair front and center. She’s being herself and I love her AND that photo for it. If your little, or your moody tween just isn’t having it, let them do their thing and don’t sweat it. I have a number of photos from past years with forced smiles and pools of tears in a little one’s eyes because I was so bent on having my way that day, when in reality my favorite family photos have been the silly ones and the candid ones in which my family was being their wonderful selves.



South Austin Moms wishes you your best and favorite family photos to date! Email me yours at [email protected] for a chance to be featured in a future post!

Join The Greater Austin Moms Community

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in-and-around Greater Austin, TX with local events, community highlights, and exclusive deals.