Dear Anna…The Family Photo Shoot Dilemma

Dear Anna...

By: Anna de Acosta

The Family Photo Shoot Dilemma - “Ours” Photos

Dear Anna,

I’m a part-time stepmom, and my stepkids come over every second weekend.

We just had our first “ours” baby, and are scheduled for a professional family photo shoot next week when the stepkids come. I’m excited, and since it’s my first biological child, I want to get photos with only the ‘ours’ baby.

I’m worried my stepkids will feel excluded and don’t want to make anyone feel bad – but I also want the photos that I want. I don’t know if my husband will understand. How do I get what I want without upsetting others?

- Picture Perfect Stepmama

Dear Picture Perfect,

It can be quite the balancing act trying to please everyone – and it’s something we often become good at as stepmoms. But don’t forget that your needs and desires are important too, and you can’t always self-sacrifice or you’ll end up resentful – and that isn’t good for anyone.

If having “ours” photos is important to you, that’s a choice and right you have to make – unapologetically and without having to accept criticism from others. Not everyone will understand your decision, and that’s okay. In addition, if you’re a stepmom who prefers not to have “ours” photos, that’s okay too. You can make the decision that is right for you and your family.

Some tips for the family photo shoot to ease the tension:

  • Call the photographer in advance and explain the family dynamic and what photos you’d like.
  • Start with group photos with everyone! Afterwards, mix it up with some photos with just your partner and his kids (excluding you), you and your baby, you and your husband plus baby, then just all the kids. Finish off with a family shot again. You can mix it up without excluding others, everyone steps out of the photos at some point, then you all come together again.

If you are relaxed about it and don’t make a big deal, chances are everyone else will be too. Have a great photo shoot!