10 Family Photo Session Tips

How to make your next family photography session a success (and even fun!)

  1. Don’t worry about your kids having to be perfect during the session. I want to capture their personalities, and if that means they’re silly sometimes, or wiggly, or goofy, that’s part of the process. The more stress you feel, the more they’ll feel, so we’ll go with the flow and see what works and what doesn’t as we go. These sessions are about showing affection and interaction between family members, so we’ll be focused much more on getting relaxed moments than everything being too perfect.
    family photo session tips
  2. Coordinate clothing so that you all look good together. Don’t try to match exactly, but think of color families, like earth tones, or jewel tones, or black/white/grey so that you coordinate but don’t look like you’re in a uniform. For more ideas check out my style guides on Pinterest.
    tips for family photo sessions
  3. Bring a snack and drink that your child likes. If we need to keep everyone happy during the session you’ll have it. Just make sure the snack isn’t a lollipop or brightly colored juice that can stain their lips or teeth during the session.
    tips for family portrait sessions
  4. Bring a reward, but don’t promise a reward to them before the session. A reward implies that the session won’t be fun, so let’s focus on how much fun we’ll have during the session. Build up to the kids before the session how much fun we’ll have and how they get to really shine and show off. Think about things they have recently learned to do, like tying their shoes or singing a song, that we can brag about during the session. If you bring a reward it will be a surprise, or a little added incentive if they’re moody. That way we can stay in the moment as we shoot, but if we need something extra to make it happen, we’ll have it ready.
  5. Let’s schedule your session for a time when your child is normally well-rested and happy.
  6. Bring a toy your child loves. Not only is it great to be able to capture them with the toy they carry around the most, but it can provide comfort if they want it during the session. Portrait sessions are a break from a family’s normal routine, so something comforting is good to have.
  7. Bring kleenex or wipes to clean noses or faces. Kids can always find a way to get dirty in some way or another during a session.
  8. Consider bringing something fun for them to dress up in. A hat, a silly wig, or a colorful scarf, are fun and cute.
    tips for family photo sessions
  9. Props: tricycle, wagon, bubbles, balloons, books, chalkboards, or anything fun they can play with.
  10. If we’re doing a session with a newborn and an older child: If you want the older sibling to hold the baby, have them practice safely holding the baby … then we’ll have them show off their skills during the session!