My teens hate to have their photos taken.

Family photos might be annoying for teens: Why do I have to pose on a cold day, outside, where everyone can see me, with my parents and siblings, who in their opinion are stupid (during photosessions it can vary often who is the most annoying to the other) and even refusing to smile or pose as suggested. Please know your teen is not the only one. It is a normal fase. They don't know me, are tired or hangry or want to give you a hard time. I recently read that you have to look at teens like they are toddlers and treat them that way. (This also helps me looking at my own teens when they have their teen moments.) I can assure you, that the more attention you give their behavior, the more you will get annoyed and your experience of the photo session is affected. The best advice I can give you, try to enjoy it, don't worry about me (there is no judgment here, I'm the mom of 2 teens as well) and when you look at the photos with them 10 years from now, you have a great family memory to share with them.

My toddler won't sit down for 2 seconds

Of course! They want to explore the world, look what the camera feels like, which buttons to touch, climb on things and run around. That is the fun part of having a toddler. You always feel like you have not enough hands and eyes and always chasing them. In stead of a very formal posed photo, you should aim for 1 formal pose and have a more lifestyle approached session after that. Play with your kids, hug, snuggle, lift them high up in the sky, tickle them, play peek a boo ect. Your kids will love that and you will get fantastic intimate family photos and great memories when your kids are older.

Some of my kids are in college and are not here in the fall/spring.

You don't have to wait for the right time to take your family photos. I understand you love the fall colors or spring blossoms, but your photos are about your family and not so much about the background. If your kids are home from college or visiting during the summer or the holidays, or visit during one of their breaks, make sure to reserve 1 hour of their time for family photos. You can book me months ahead, for example, beach vacations are a great moment for family photos, they will capture special family moments together. So when you know everyone will be home make sure to book a photographer as well. Plus I have a (limited) availability for certain holidays!

Our schedule is so busy, we don't have time to schedule extended or generation photos

Family photos are special, extended family sessions or generation photos are even more special in my opinion. It is not easy to get all family members together at one moment on one day. These sessions need to be planned ahead. The best moments are the moments that you have a family reunion, a family beach vacation or a gathering for a holiday, birthday or anniversary. You should take one family photo, but also take photos of smaller groups: grandchildren together, grandkids with grandparents, all siblings in one portrait, each family together and if you have enough time, grandparents with each family as well. The possibilities are endless and every family will have the most amazing heirloom portraits to hang on their wall or create an album with all of the photos as a gift for the grandparents. It is worth taking time out of everyones busy schedule to do this!

And the worst reason of all: I have to lose weight first, before I want to have my family photos taken

This article from Chelsey Hill in Huff Post is so on point on Why Moms Need To Start Including Themselves In Family Photos!

When your children look at their family photos, 10 years from now, they will not say: Mom, look at you wrinkles! They will see you snuggling with them in a portrait. They won't say: Mom, you should have lost 5 pounds before you took those family portraits! They will say: Mom, remember when we took those family photos and we went for icecream after that and I dropped my icecream on the floor and I got a new one for free? Your kids will love to see you in the photos with them, love the memories captured and love to look at these photos years later and share them with their kids and grand kids. Don't wait to be present in your family photos!!