Bozeman Gets the First Whole Foods Market in Montana
It’s no secret that Bozeman’s growth has been skyrocketing. While the pandemic was shutting down major cities and even some entire states in the summer of 2020, Bozeman saw an influx of out-of-town buyers. What’s more, the Gallatin Association of Realtors Market Watch is predicting that “speedy sales and multiple offers are likely to remain a common occurrence and will keep the housing market hot even when the weather is cooling.”
And now comes the announcement that Whole Foods Market is coming to Bozeman! There’s a couple strong reasons why Bozeman is getting the first Whole Foods Market in Montana.
- Economic strength Bozeman was ranked No. 1 in economic strength out of 542 micropolitan cities for the last three years in a row. (According to the rankings source Policom.com, the highest ranked areas have had rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period.)
- An educated demographic Bozeman’s summer influx was a lot of newly remote, urban professionals who wanted wide-open spaces, a variety of outdoor amenities, and a safe community to raise kids. Whole Foods Market knows this demographic understands the value and cost of organic and specialty foods and are willing to pay more for it.
Whole Foods Market at the Gallatin Valley Mall
The Whole Foods Market will be part of a major revitalization plan for the Gallatin Valley Mall. It’s actually a great location if they can reimagine that whole complex. It’s centrally located for all the neighborhoods of Bozeman and has the right traffic patterns. Whole Foods does not go into a neighborhood without doing major due diligence. They look at the availability and cost of real estate, population density, education, demographics and the community’s interest in natural and organic foods.
The Gallatin Valley Mall Group will transform the 37.4-acre property into a unique “Main Street” retail experience. There will be public gathering spaces and a diverse mix of tenants. Whole Foods Market is rumored to debut in fall 2021. Announcements for Phase 2 will be coming in the months ahead.
If Bozeman sounds like the right place for you, let me help you find the right home. Contact me at email@example.com.
(Photo courtesy Gallatin Valley Mall Group)
(Photo of Northbound Condos)
Live/work housing is gaining popularity in Bozeman, especially among young professionals who are looking for places where they can easily work a business out of their home. Buyers also want properties where they can store their toys and have plenty of space to work on them.
Some shared features of live/work housing in Bozeman are big garages with roll-up doors, separate entryways for residential and commercial, living quarters on the second floor, and easy access to the freeway.
Live/work in Bozeman
Northbound Condos – Convenient and quiet location near I-90 freeway.
- 1,600 square-foot units
- 800 square-foot, 1 bed/bath apartment
- 800 square-foot garage with bathroom, gas heater/hookup, roll-up door and polished concrete floors
- Modern finishes, quartz countertops, large picture windows and balconies with unobstructed views of the Bridger Mountain Range
- Sold Out
27th Parallel – Tucked away near one of the busiest economic corridors in Bozeman.
- 2,400 square-foot loft/warehouse units
- 800 square-foot, 1 bed/bath condo-loft or equivalent office space
- 1,600 square-foot warehouse space with bathroom, gas furnace and 14-foot roll-up door for semi-truck access, RV storage, etc.
- Second-story balcony/patio
- Less than 2 miles from I-90
- Backs up to walking/bike path that parallels Catron Creek
- Close to major retail and entertainment
- Sold Out
(Photo of 27th Parallel courtesy Cortney Andersen Real Estate)
Glen Lake Live Work– Awesome location overlooking Glen Lake, with dramatic, unobstructed views of the Bridger Mountain Range.
- In Glen Lake Commerce Subdivision, one of Bozeman’s newest commercial subdivisions, offering M-1 zoning
- Walking distance to popular Map Brewing and trail system surrounding the East Gallatin Recreation Area
- Total of 15 lots in the subdivision
- Limited opportunity, lots selling quickly
Bozeman is becoming a very desirable place to live and work. A 2018 report by the city projects another 27,500 people to move into Bozeman by 2045, and I talked about Bozeman’s thriving entrepreneurial community here. Let me help you find the perfect place in the perfect town. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall 2020 in Bozeman has seen exceptional weather and beautiful fall colors. Hurry and get outside on these 5 most popular fall trails in Bozeman. The season won’t last long!
5 Most Popular Fall Trails in Bozeman
- Galligator -This popular commuter trail connects Montana State University to Downtown Bozeman. Situated on the trail is Langhor Park—home to community garden plots, a climbing boulder, a natural playground, and a pollinator garden. The trail itself is very pedestrian friendly, with a good mix of sun and shade, views of eclectic backyards, and benches to relax. There are many drop-in points along the way if you feel like browsing some of the cool historic Bozeman neighborhoods that connect to the trail. Off-leash not allowed.
- Peets Hill/Burke Park -Located just blocks from Main Street, locals lovingly call this 41-acre park Peets Hill. Hike up the steep gravel trail from the Church Street parking lot to the top and take in a beautiful fall sunset. You can’t beat the birds eye view of downtown Bozeman and the mountain ranges that surround the valley. Hundreds visit daily to run, bike and let their dogs run happily off the leash. In the winter Peets Hill is a popular sledding area for kids of all ages. Off-leash allowed.
- Triple Tree -A local favorite for more than 20 years because of its challenging terrain coupled with breathtaking mountain views. Traverse the single track, out-and-back loop through partially shaded switchbacks and you’ll be rewarded at the top with sweeping views of the valley. Access the- trailhead from Sourdough Road. Off-leash not allowed.
- Drinking Horse -A great trail for the family with shady pockets throughout and plenty of resting spots to play. There’s views in all four directions on the way up and kids love reaching the top where a homemade fort made of sticks awaits. It’s about a 12-mile, roundtrip bike ride from Bozeman if you’re up for the challenge of a ride and a 2.5-mile hike. The new paved sidewalk and underpass makes it safe and easy to bike from Bozeman, but it’s best to leave the bike parked at the bottom since the trail is busy with hikers. Off-leash allowed.
- College “M” Trail -This trail is one of the most popular for showing Bozeman off to out-of-town guests. There are two ways up, an easy side and a challenging steep side–both offer very little shade so come prepared with lots of water. The views of Bozeman from the top are incredible. The new paved sidewalk from Bozeman to the “M” makes this trail a great option if you want to get in a ride and a hike. But biking is not recommended on the trail itself because of how busy is it. Off-leash allowed.
Fall isn’t the only time of year to enjoy Bozeman. Here’s a post about why Bozeman is a great place to live year-round. Let me help you find the right home for you. Contact me at email@example.com.
(Photo credit: Gallatin Valley Land Trust)
If you’re wondering which Bozeman neighborhood is right for you, it’s important to consider your lifestyle. Are you looking for a neighborhood out of town with room to spread out? Or maybe you want to be in a neighborhood where you can walk to your favorite coffee shop on a whim. If you’re not sure which Bozeman neighborhood is right for you, here’s an easy guide that can help.
Which Bozeman neighborhood is right for you? You want to walk and bike everywhere.
Bozeman has quite a few designated historic neighborhoods. They all feature walkable, tree-lined streets and historic architecture that really show off Bozeman’s history. If you find yourself walking through the following historic districts, consider Main Street as an easy separator between the north and south neighborhoods.
- Bon Ton -This district stretches along the 200-1000 blocks of S. Willson Avenue, S. Grand Avenue, S. Third Avenue and W. Cleveland Street. Here, you’ll find big, beautiful, turn-of-the-century mansions on large lots that set it apart from the other southside historic districts.
- South Willson -Willson Avenue is a major north/south thoroughfare and the houses in this district are some of the finest historic homes you’ll find anywhere in Bozeman.
- Cooper Park -This modern historic district is home to Bungalow-style homes and one of Bozeman’s most popular off-the-leash dog parks, Cooper Park.
- Lindley Place -This little cozy, tucked-in jewel connects to Bozeman Creek and popular Bogart Park.
- Montana State University – Starts at W. College St, S. 11th Ave, W. Grant St and S. 6th Ave. and comprises 89.3 acres in the core of the college campus.
- South Tracy- South Black – This area is made up of 93 diverse, vernacular houses lining S. Tracy and S. Black Avenues between Olive and Alderson Streets. There is also a large school building and a neighborhood grocery store.
- North Tracy– Running from Villard to Peach Streets, this area contains the most significant concentration of historic residential architecture north of Main Street.
- Bozeman Brewery – Sitting along the 700-800 blocks of N. Wallace Avenue, this area is a booming corridor for restaurants, coffee shops, galleries and strikingly modern, renovated homes.
The Village Downtown is a unique option because it is a new development in a historic area. As you enter The Village Downtown, you will feel like you’ve been transported to a quiet suburb somewhere on the East Coast. The Village features stately red brick townhomes with a private backyard and patio; modern high-rise lofts that are maintenance free and range from 900 sq. ft. to rooftop penthouses; or homesites where you can build a brand new home in a historic neighborhood. The Village has its own private driveway and is surrounded by open land. It is convenient walking distance to shops, restaurants and galleries on popular Main Street in downtown Bozeman. Active HOA.
Which Bozeman neighborhood is right for you? You want a newer house in a nice subdivision.
Flanders Mill is a master-planned community located in northwest Bozeman. It is set on 137 acres in one of the most active economic corridors in the Gallatin Valley. The newest Phase 7 is off of the Oak Street and Flanders Mill intersection. It consists of 10 townhome lots averaging 3,700 square feet and all priced at $82,500. There are also 15 residential family lots. This phase offers majestic views of the Bridger Mountains, Spanish Peaks and Tobacco Roots. The new Bozeman High School and the 80-acre Bozeman Sports Complex are both walking distance. Active HOA.
Black Bull is a premier, private golf community in Bozeman. Residents have world-class amenities: a 19-hole Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course, collegiate-sized pool with 10,000 sq. ft. pool deck, modern fitness center and new $3 million members-only clubhouse with its own restaurant/bar. There are 300 custom homesites and 48 new luxury golf villas that offer maintenance-free living. Black Bull is a 15-minute drive from downtown Bozeman and the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport. Active HOA.
This brand-new Bozeman subdivision is located southwest of Montana State University and close to Hyalite Canyon and Gallatin National Forest. It consists of 49 lots ranging in size from 1.2 to 1.8 acres. Amenities will include a fitness center, pond and beach area, community patio area and outdoor fireplace, and trails. There will be views of the Bridger Mountain Range, Spanish Peaks and Tobacco Roots. Lots are still available, starting at $300,000. Active HOA.
Which Bozeman neighborhood is right for you? You’re looking for land and somewhere quiet.
Bridger Canyon Area
If you want to be surrounded by the beautiful Bridger Mountains and away from the hustle and bustle of Bozeman, then consider the Bridger Canyon area. This is true Montana living where you can have the home of your dreams on plenty of acreage. Some well-known residential pockets are in Kelly Canyon and Jackson Creek. The main road from Bozeman is Bridger Canyon Road, which also leads to the favorite local ski resort, Bridger Bowl, and Crosscut Mountain Sports Center.
Triple Tree Ranch
Triple Tree Ranch is one of Bozeman’s most desirable, luxury neighborhoods because of its large lots, one-of-a-kind mountain views, and close proximity to downtown Bozeman. This southeast Bozeman neighborhood consists of 106 lots on 600 sweeping acres. The large custom homes are on one-acre and larger lots. Residents have breathtaking views of several mountain ranges and a local elk herd that migrates over during the winter months. The popular local favorite, Triple Tree trail, runs along the edge of the neighborhood. Active HOA.
If you’re considering a move to Bozeman, you’re not alone. My last blog post talks about the influx of out-of-town buyers that came to Bozeman in the summer of 2020. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want help finding the right home in the right neighborhood for you.
In trying to evaluate your home for a listing price that could actually result in a sale, agents and owners should look at the following factors objectively and without emotion.
A buyer may react emotionally to an aspect of the home which is great but most buyers will then ask their agent to do a comparative market analysis to measure the fairness of the asking price. If a buyer is getting a loan to purchase the home, the home has to appraise according to strict guidelines. See here for what an appraiser looks at https://sf.freddiemac.com/content/_assets/resources/pdf/forms/70.pdf
Following are 14 Factors that help determine a home’s value.
- Age of home and design style – While newer homes are favored by some buyers due to the lack of maintenance requirements, there are many buyers who love the charm of an older home, especially those of the craftsman and victorian style.
- Structural materials and systems. Even in an older home, one that has had updates to systems such as electrical, plumbing, heating and replacements to roof and siding will be seen as more desirable and garner a higher price.
- Quality of Renovations and Added Amenities. Renovations that are properly permitted are most desirable. Beyond that, the quality and workmanship of renovations will garner a larger listing price. Added Amenities such as hot tub, water feature, etc will also add value.
- Floor plan. Is the floor plan functional for today’s consumer? Needs and tastes change so this can be a moving target.
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Price should be reflective of these numbers and these days, a private master bath is a sought after feature.
- Square footage. Not always the most important element if the home has a great floor plan and makes use of space well.
- Curb appeal. Very important for first impression.
- Lot square footage and design. Not only is the lot important but also what is done with the space. People want to spend more time outside and a backyard oasis where one can entertain and relax is a sought after commodity.
- Storage. More important for some consumers than others but organized storage is generally a plus.
- Garage. In some places, the number of garage spaces can make a huge difference in selling time and price. In Bozeman, 3 garage stalls are very desirable so that people can store their toys on site.
- View. Views can increase the value of property especially if they are unobstructed and protected.
- Location. Everything factors in here from walkability to shops, coffee, restaurants, ambient noise, convenience to freeways, airports, perceived demand for the neighborhood.
- Neighborhood. What does the rest of the neighborhood look like? It is most desirable to have like kind or better properties than the subject home in the neighborhood
- Comps and the current real estate market. What have other homes sold for in the past 90 days? And then what is the momentum of the current market?
If you are curious how your home would be valued, please reach out and let’s schedule a free property analysis. Montana is a non disclosure state so only a licensed relator or appraiser has access to real sold data which you need for an accurate valuation. For up to date information on the Bozeman market, read my blog posts at https://movemetomontana.com/.
Are you one of many people who are considering a move out of a large city?
Come home to Bozeman, a city community of 50,000 located off I-90 in the southwestern region of Montana. Bozeman can be found in the Gallatin Valley, 4820 feet above sea level and surrounded by Mountain ranges.
Our Mountain Ranges include:
The Bridger Mountains are located to the northeast of Bozeman. The highest peak in the Bridger Range is Sacagawea Peak at 9,665 ft (2,496 m).
The Gallatin Range is located south of Bozeman and includes more than 10 mountains over 10,000 feet (3,000 m). The highest peak in the range is Electric Peak at 10,969 feet (3,343 m).
The Madison Range is located southwest of Bozeman. The highest peak in the Madison Range is also the highest peak in Montana outside the Beartooth Range. Hilgard Peak measures at 11,316 feet.
The Crazy Mountains, often called the Crazies, are located between the Musselshell and Yellowstone rivers. The highest peak is Crazy Peak at 11,214 feet (3,418 m).
The Absarokas are located southeast of Bozeman. The range stretches about 150 mi (240 km) across the Montana-Wyoming border. Eight peaks in the Absaroka Mountains exceed 12,000 feet, including the highest point, Francs Peak (13,140 feet) located in Wyoming.
The Tobacco Root Mountains lie in the northern Rocky Mountains, between the Jefferson and Madison Rivers in southwest Montana. The highest peak is Hollowtop at 10,604 .
With all of these mountain ranges, you can imagine the dramatic beauty that Bozemanites view everyday.
What is there to do for fun?
The year round recreational opportunities are boundless in Bozeman. With much of the surrounding land in the mountains belonging to the Forest Service , Bureau of Land Management and the state of Montana, these mountains and wilderness areas will stay pristine and able to be enjoyed by generations to come. And of course, Montana’s rivers are legendary amongst anglers. Popular activities here are hiking, camping, mountain biking, climbing, fishing, rafting, hunting, alpine and Nordic skiing, snow shoeing, and ice climbing.
Bozeman is located only 90 minutes to Yellowstone National Park and 45 minutes to the renowned Big Sky ski area. We also have our Locals ski area, Bridger Bowl, where skiing can be as challenging or as relaxed as you like and at less than half the cost of Big Sky.
What about work?
But Bozeman is not fun and games all the time! Bozeman has been name #1 Micropolitan City in the US for economic strength, three years in a row! Montana is still mostly agricultural but there is a burgeoning tech and biotech scene in Bozeman which is strengthened by the entrepreneurial talent and experience that consistently moves here each year. The business community here is vibrant, smart and symbiotic. More about Bozeman economic strength at this link. https://policom.com/rankings-micropolitan-areas/
One of Bozeman’s economic strengths is its housing market. Due to the consistent level of demand , Values of home consistently grow at 8-10 %per year. Bozeman and the area offer homes from entry level condos to historic downtown homes to multi million mountain ranches and everything in between.
Montana State and the cultural aspects of Bozeman
Bozeman is home to the state’s largest university, Montana State which is also the region’s largest single employer. Montana State is woven into the fabric of Bozeman which helps the city’s cultural diversity and activity. There are many ways to experience the arts and culture of the west here including Art walks, music festivals, farmers markets, rodeos, and parades . Attending one of those events will help you feel part of a community even smaller than our actual 50,000 people.
Does this community sound like a pretty ideal place to live? What are you waiting for?
I am here to help make your dreams, your reality in Bozeman Montana.
Check out my website for timely blogs on living in Bozeman as well as real estate trends. https://movemetomontana.com/
Wow Bozeman, what a month! No one was sure what would happen to the Bozeman real estate market during and after the Covid closures. We found out this week that Bozeman real estate rebounded decisively.
Where we came from…April
In my April report, we saw the full effect of the Covid restrictions and concerns about what would happen to the market and home values. Our single family home listings were down by over 50%. Pending sales were down 26.8% over April of 2019 and closed sales were down over 55% over previous year. Prices however were still increasing. Our inventory of homes to sell to buyers who were still looking dropped to 1.8 months. More information on April here: https://movemetomontana.com/2020/04/14/bozeman-and-belgrade-real-estate-trends
And then May…Bozeman real estate market rebounds from Covid closures
With Montana starting phase around April 26, the switch flipped and as a result we have a very different picture reflected in our May numbers. Our listings are still not what they were last year. But they have significantly increased and as reflected in the pending numbers, they were then put under contract pretty quickly. Closed sales naturally are still running behind last year as that comes from the pended sales from March and April.
Where are we headed?
I did an open house over the weekend. It was very well attended with qualified buyers. Some were new to the area and some were current residents but wanted to buy property before prices went up even further. I was amazed at how much energy there was about the growth of Bozeman and effect on housing supply and pricing. Bozeman is voting tonight on whether to annex an area in South Bozeman. While not many people are happy about development in that area, we are going to desperately need more housing for all of the people who want to live here. https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city-commission-to-vote-on-annexation-zoning-for-south-bozeman-development/article_bc701bb0-b9ae-5541-bb6f-57546483cd63.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook&fbclid=IwAR37M0klgSxFLxkGvVpDr8XIRV0PwoVv7-nEtOG8hd7H46K6rHT9wpGQ6rA
Please reach out to me to learn more about the market or the value of your home!
406 499 4218 or email@example.com
We are right now in a unique situation not seen before. I thought it prudent to research how Coronavirus is affecting the economy and Bozeman real estate market
Our lives have changed drastically in the past week; kids are home from school, trips have been cancelled, gathering places closed. We also have anxiety about what is going on out there; not only do we have anxiety about being ill, or perhaps carrying the virus to someone who may be at risk for serious complications from the virus, but we also have anxiety about the fact that our financial world has been turned upside down. This perhaps brings back bad memories of the 2008 crash and the recession that followed.
So let’s try and address some of these anxieties caused by the Coronavirus outbreak:
First of all, you are doing everything right if you are following the steps recommended by the CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html These steps are in your control and should keep you and your household healthy. Do them and feel good about it!
At Windermere, we are fortunate enough to be backed up by a strong company with many resources. Some of our financial and economic experts have reached out to us to explain how they see the economic impact of this and the effect on local housing market.
Following is a summary of likely effects of the Coronavirus to the US economy as a whole.
These were communicated by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist for Windermere.
- The Economy will contract. With the disruption to life, travel etc., we are all spending less money.
- The Stock market has lost value as a result of the uncertainty of the situation and how long it will continue.
- Home inventory on market will probably decrease in the next few months as people will not want others in their homes.
- Buyers will want to take advantage of low interest rates but buying will probably decrease as well as people are uncertain about economy and some may need to wait for stock market to come back up.
- Economists believe that towards Q3 and Q4, economy and stock market will pick back up.
- Mortgage interest rates will stay low however.
- Housing as a sector is well positioned to come out of this positively.
- Banking rules that were put into place after 2008 have protected housing and made sure that the upside down equity positions held by people then do not exist anymore.
- Inventory will be tight as households are being created but not enough housing being built overall in US.
An analytical look at Coronavirus and Bozeman real estate:
- Our area is positioned well to weather this kind of storm. We will see some impacts as noted above but we will also rise out quicker than other areas of the country.
- Why? Our fundamentals are strong.
- Bozeman area is noted as #1 in economic strength for micropolitan areas in US. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/policoms-2018-economic-strength-rankings-for-933-communities-announced-300585848.html
- We have had increased demand and not enough supply of homes for many years. This has meant that our median price of a single family home has gone from $329,000 in March of 2015 to $520,000 in February of 2020 and our months of supply has gone from 4.3 months in March of 2015 to 2.2 in February of 2020.
- Our unemployment rate is very strong most recently being at 2.4% down even from a year ago when it was 3.%. The highest is has been since 2015 is 3.4%. The interesting thing here is that US Federal Reserve puts natural unemployment at 2.5-3.5% as people move around, change jobs etc.
- Bozeman is a unique place to live as we all know and why it attracts so many new residents each year. Our quality of life, access to the outdoor activity, ability to earn a living make it truly distinctive. This will not change.
In the immediate future, what will happen?
- We will have at least two weeks of social distancing to help prevent the spread of this virus.
- Diagnosed cases will rise because of increased testing.
- The strategies that the CDC and government have recommended to prevent spread will work.
- There will be positive news about a vaccine for the future.
- Discomfort and anxiety will continue in our lives and in the financial markets until things become certain and we have started to see decreasing cases.
- There is a massive fiscal stimulus coming that is pointed at people and industries most affected by this.
- Recovery will happen relatively quick as our US economy fundamentals are strong.
I will continue to update my blog MoveMeToMontana.com with more information and analysis as I get it.
A disclaimer – I am not an economist but am culling information from economist’s opinions and presenting factual statistics about Montana. However, one should read this article about how Coronavirus is affecting the economy and Bozeman real estate market as my opinion. I have curated the information and summarized it in this piece.
Stay healthy and please do what you can to help local businesses! Shop online with them, order take out, buy gift cards. They really need our help right now.
You may or may not be aware of this but Bozeman has a thriving entrepreneurial community! With its growth over the past 5 years, this community has become important to our local economy. This community has been able to come together due to a perfect storm of factors.
Factors affecting Bozeman’s Entrepreneurial Community:
- A high rate of entrepreneurs in the population.
- A high rate of new entrepreneurs who created a business by choice instead of necessity
- A mix of population that are native to the state and those that are moving here with capital and talent.
- A ready employment base, thank you MSU and University of Montana.
- Low cost of business.
- High rate of jobs created by each of these new entrepreneurial businesses.
All of this contributes to Montana being in the top ten states for business creation according to the Kauffmans Indicators of Entrepreneurship. I think that is pretty impressive!
Originally, Bozeman and Montana came to national attention with the establishment of RightNow Technologies in Bozeman and its sale to Oracle. There were many companies formed by former employees of RightNow and Oracle that stayed in Bozeman. These founders and their employees helped to knit together today’s entrepreneurial tech culture and community.
These days, there are all sorts of organizations that want to help start ups and people with great ideas. Most of advisors are really keen to continue to foster the entrepreneurial spirit and success in Montana. These groups will contribute their time, their expertise and even funding to help startups get off the ground.
2020 is forecasted to be a banner year for investment in our state with more capital coming from inside the state as well as from outside the state. The one cloud on the horizon to continued growth of Montana’s tech business is finding enough qualified workers. Hopefully, our education system will be able to step up fast enough to help meet the demand for these skilled workers.
To learn more about the thriving entrepreneurial community in Bozeman, check out a few resources that are listed below:
Also be sure to check my blog for more on life and real estate in Bozeman Montana. https://movemetomontana.com/
Tis the season…for family photos!
Whether you have an adult family or have young ones, read on for tips to get the best photos in the least amount of time with the least amount of stress.
- If you can, engage a photographer. If your budget is more generous, look for community referrals and then examine the photographer’s work on his or her website, checking to make sure that he or she captured the vibe that you want. If your budget is not so generous, check out a local university or even high school for expert hobbyists. Make sure to discuss with the photographer, time of day, mood, lighting etc that you would like.
- Decide on a mood or vibe for your photos. Do you want casual, almost spontaneous shots or a bit more posed? Do you want an outdoor, natural setting or maybe something against a textured background – old brick walls, barnwood siding etc make great backgrounds. Discuss what you would like with your photographer as well as your thoughts on close ups vs whole body shots.
- The mood you decide on will then help out with outfit selection. Clothing will be influenced by season of course. It is nice to have coordinating outfits but not strictly matching, unless maybe if it is a Christmas PJ picture! Examples of coordination can be everyone in a shade of white top with khaki bottoms or for winter, a few of the party in a plaid shirt of coordinating colors, maybe a few more people with a solid color top in one of the colors in the plaid and then maybe a scarf or two in a different plaid that uses the same colors. On the bottom, keep it simple with blue jeans. Denim photographs really well. I would also bring a few accessories like jackets to change up the look to give you more options. Sometimes you will be surprised by what you like better. All of that being said, don’t leave the outfit selection until the last minute. Try them on, take a few selfies and make sure you like the look!
- Make sure the time you select takes everyone’s schedule into account. To make sure kids are at their best, the time should be after naps and after some food. Maybe even a glass of wine and snack for the adults so everyone is loose and in a good mood.
- Lastly, try to have fun at the photo shoot and let it flow naturally. The best photos are usually the ones that are the least canned. Don’t be afraid to move around, try different poses, and different arrangements of people. Ultimately, you want a natural feeling photo that captures the love that you have for each other, so just relax!