I know that as parents (usually moms, but not always), we put so much effort into coordinating outfits and making sure all the details work together for family photos. And that's great! You want everyone to look their best and you want the photos to be cohesive. Nothing wrong with that at all. But then your little one throws a wrench in things. Your daughter doesn't want to wear the bow you picked out and instead wants to wear one that doesn't match at all. Your son wants to wear his Paw Patrol watch that does not fit the aesthetic in any way.
Here's why you should not only be cool with that, but why you should embrace that.
Perfectly curated photos are great. Everyone in beautiful complementary outfits, smiling at the camera, hair perfectly in place, not a runny nose or grumpy face or wrinkled dress in sight. How often is that your real life? I mean, I'm a mom, and I don't know about you, but that is not my reality very often, if ever at all. We might even show up to photos looking put together, but it doesn't take long for my son to find a patch of dirt or mulch to dig in, or a caterpillar to inspect, or a gust of wind to make my hair look less than perfect, or my husband's pants to get dirty because our son wiped his hands off on him.
All this to say, a few 'perfect' photos are great. But reality is so much more beautiful. I want the photo of my kiddo digging in the dirt. I want the photo of us all a little wrinkled and a little rumpled but full of happiness. I want the photo of us forgetting the curated and focusing on the joy of the moment.
And you know what else? That daughter who chose the mismatched bow, and the son who wants to wear the Paw Patrol watch? You will look back on those photos, and your eye won't be drawn to those elements because they're an eyesore and you wish they weren't there. You will look at those photos years from now and remember what a headstrong kiddo you had who would not take any suggestions for bows, but would rather pick her own. And that will be a fond memory. You won't look at the Paw Patrol watch and think it stands out and ruins the photo. You will remember a kiddo who loved Paw Patrol, but has since grown out of shows like that, but you remember every Pups name and their tag line because you spent hours watching it when they were younger.
When you let your children pick elements of their outfits, or which items to bring along and include in photos, you are also memorializing things that were important to them at a given point in time, and I'm willing to bet that's something you won't regret. Family photos are meant to be true reflections of your family, but in the best light. Does it really hurt to have your family members choose how they want to be reflected?