• Rachel

Your Family Photo Shoot: The Low Stress Version

Updated: Nov 18, 2020



Family Photo Shoots always have some amount of stress involved: "What do we wear?" "Which location?" "Will we all be well-behaved?" "What do we bring?" and other questions might be some of the questions you have been having.


Let's start at the beginning. First of all, a photographer must be hired. It is a good idea to pick a photographer that has a style that you love because these are the style of photos that will be going on your wall!


From there, let's talk about locations. As a photographer, I value input from my clients about locations or the types of locations that they are interested in, either that they have been to previously or that they have seen in different photos. I provide a list, usually accompanied with examples, of locations based on the style that they are looking for. If you don't know what you're looking for or you don't care, don't stress! Ask for recommendations of favorite spots or even where the photographer might prefer.



Now what about clothing? Clothes can often be up at the top of the list of things that stress clients out the most. I HIGHLY recommend coordinating clothing. This will help with the timelessness of the photos on your wall! Some important tips about matching clothing can be found in this blog post where I have discussed everything you need to know about choosing a wardrobe! For now, let's talk about the basics.

  1. Plan in advance, not the day of!!! It is no fun having to plan last minute. The stress from this will be seen in your photos! Plan in advance to be prepared and more laid back on the day of your photo shoot.

  2. Stay away from crazy patterns, unless it is the unique style you are looking for. Classic clothing, such as basic styles and patterns, will be the most visually appealing. Additionally, it is quite fun to add in some bold colors. This blog post delves deeper into choosing great colors to wear.

  3. Fun hint: On Pinterest (I LOVE Pinterest) there are lots of color schemes, usually for interior design, but I have found that they give some really great examples of colors that go well together, good accent colors, etc! Here is a link to my Pinterest board of color schemes and outfit inspo.

  4. Have some variety, but still match. Get some accents in there!


What to bring is often a question clients have about their photo shoots. Over the years, I have had clients share some amazing tips and tricks that with me that I am here to share with you!

Hair and makeup: it is a good idea to bring a comb or a brush for those "just in case" moments. Fun tip: if you or a family member has static-y hair that might be an issue, a dryer sheet works miracles!! Bring some lipstick to touch up and even bring some face power to quickly cover up any shininess.

Food and water: Bring a water bottle and some quick snacks or treats to help out with the kids or to stay comfortable on a hot day. Make sure the food is a clean food or treat, maybe Smarties or fruit snacks or goldfish that won't leave a mess! Bring these to use for bribing kids as well. ;)

Shoes: Be aware of the location that you are shooting at. If you want to wear a certain pair of shoes and may have to walk far or over rough terrain, bring a backup for walking!

Props: Props are a tricky subject. Here is a blog post where I go more into detail about props, but for now,I recommend only bringing props that are unique and add meaning to your photos. Perhaps you want a photo or a symbol representing a family member who is not present. If you want some furniture in your photos, such as chairs or stools, talk to your photographer, but these are good examples of useful props. Of course, there might be other examples of props and memorabilia you want to include, so talk to your photographer to get a better understanding of what to bring.



My best tips to have well-behaved kids all include bribery... This is why I highly recommend little treats or snacks! Kids don't have high attention spans so I as a Photographer try and make my family sessions as quick and concise, but also as fun as possible! Perhaps there are other members of the family that are not looking forward to your family photo shoot (husbands? ;). Make it a fun experience to look forward to when talking about your plans with them. Keep it low pressure by making it a casual, lighthearted event. We don't need them to be stressed, too! I have talked to previous clients about what they talk about with their kids and other family members prior to their sessions, and many have said that they practice posing and smiling beforehand so everyone knows what is expected of them. This helps the session to go by much quicker which makes everyone happy!



Some of the last tips I have to make sure your Family Photo Shoot is AWESOME, are to know about your photographer's policies, understand what is written in the contract, know about the timing of your pictures, understand other offers such as prints, as well as how to get to the location. Ask your questions before the day of and don't procrastinate!


I hope this has been helpful and answered any general questions you might have had about preparing for your family photo sessions. I may have missed some items in this blog post, but keep an eye out for my future posts or feel free to comment or contact me with questions!


Additionally, if you are interested in scheduling a session, message me through my contact page.


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