When you’re in a blended family, or stepfamily, everything seems complicated. And pictures are one of those times it can become more stressful than it needs to be. I think back to when we took our first professional pictures, and remember there was no stress. We didn’t really think about it or talk about how we were going to do the pictures before we got there. When we started, we divvied up into different groups and kept swapping in and out people and covered everything.

The picture above is one of the first times we had pictures made as a stepfamily, about nine years ago. This was my favorite picture of all of the ones from that day. And it’s my stepkids and bio kid. Not me and my son!

Here is a checklist for how to deal with pictures when in a stepfamily or blended family.

  • Everybody together
  • Stepparent and bio parent
  • Each kid individually
  • Stepkids only
  • Bio Kids only
  • “Ours” Kid(s) only
  • Stepkids and bio kids together
  • Stepkids and “ours” kids
  • Bio kids and “ours” kids
  • Each parent and their bio kids as a group
  • Each parent and their bio kids individually
  • “Ours kid” pictures with both parents
  • All the kids together – Steps, bios, and “ours”

If Grandparents are involved the same as above but add:

  • Grandparents together
  • Grandparents individually
  • Grandparents and bio and stepparent
  • Grandparents and their bio kids
  • Grandparents and their grandkids
  • Grandparents and their bio kids and grandkids
  • Grandparents with “ours” kids
  • Grandparents with all the kids

Everybody will be “paparazzi’d” out from the picture taking and shuffling, they won’t know who was in what pictures or notice anyone was left out because they weren’t.

When you come to grips with the fact we are separate families, and separate bonds exist within our blend, the easier the blend becomes because you are no longer fighting to be “like a nuclear family”.

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