Family Session Tips

Tips and Preparation

Family Photos

Print these pages out if you can for an easy reference to prepare for your upcoming session.

Be well rested. There’s nothing worse than trying to coax an over-tired 2 year old or husband

to take the pictures you want! Get a good night’s sleep the night before a morning shoot or a

nice early nap in for a late afternoon or evening shoot.

Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water beforehand and bring some with you as you may end up

standing for long periods of time. It is advisable to not drink alcohol the night before a shoot to

help with this.

Snacks. For children and adults, bring non-messy non-sticky non-staining snacks (you don’t

want to stain your new clothes!). This will help keep the kids energized, and helps the adults

keep from feeling light headed if you end up standing for long periods of time or are shooting

under a hot sun.

Be early. Photographers often line sessions up back to back. If you’re late, instead of cutting

into the following session, yours will probably get cut short. Additionally, it allows time for last

minute fix ups, the kids or pets to become acclimated to the area, and to relax a bit after all of

that stressful rushing to get everyone together!

Talk to your photographer. If there are certain poses or styles you’re looking for, be sure to

let your photographer know, which is something we can cover in our Phone Consult. We all have in our own minds what looks nice and our own style, so be sure to express yours if there’s something specific you want. Different filters and

settings are used during the shooting process, so it’s often not possible to convert a Sepia or

Black and White to color. If you’d like something specific, then please be specific. Otherwise

your photographer will use his experience and talent to give you a great mixture of styles and


Toys for the kids/husband. Along with having some small snacks, bring something for the

kids/husband to do while they are not in front of the camera. Whining = sad photographer!

Watch the weather. Be sure to have a backup plan, especially if you live in an area with

constantly changing weather! If you planned for a formal suit and tie theme because it’s been

in the 20’s, and suddenly you hit a heat spike into the 30’s, if you’re not able to change your

theme you will all melt into a puddle of misery before your session is up!



1. Coordinating colors not matching. Long gone are the days of everyone wearing a white

shirt and matching. Instead, pick a couple of colors and choose clothes that will fit in this

color scheme.

2. Look at your home decor. Do you like bright colors? Neutrals? Since you will be hanging

these photos in your house you want to make sure the colors of your clothes go with the

color scheme of your home.

3. Don’t forget accessories. Accessories not only add to your outfit but they can be fun to

use in photos. Have the man wear a tie for the woman to hold. Necklaces for the kids to play

with or hats to hide behind.

4. Limit patterns. Personally, I enjoy having an outfit in the mix that has all the colors in it.

However, not everyone in the photo should wear patterns as it may distract the final image.

5. Look for clothing collections. When shopping for clothes for my kids, I head to stores that

typically have color coordinating collections. I can then purchase clothes for all the children

from one store. I know their clothes will coordinate.

6. Plan ahead. Once you book your session, start thinking of the clothes right away. You may

think certain clothes will fit your kids or that one dress is clean. If you wait until the day of or

day before you may run into an issue of clothes not fitting, being dirty or need to be dry


7. Say no to characters. Yes, your little one may love their Toy Story shirt but you may want

to skip it for the family photo session. Just like patterns, characters on shirts can be pretty


8. Avoid all white or all black clothing. If you are wearing an all white shirt then it is very

easy to blow out parts of your shirt causing it to lose its detail. Same can be said with all

black, it’s easy to have clipping on black clothing and the detail is lost.

9. Textures are your friend. I am a huge fan of a cotton fitted shirt. However, in photographs I

like to add textures like scarves or belts to add a little more to the image. Don’t shy away

from different textures.

10. Consider your background. If you are taking photos in front of a backdrop, consider what

you are wearing. I remember and image my sister, her husband and newborn son took

where they were all wearing black in front of a black backdrop. She and her husband look

like floating heads holding a baby.

11. Think classic. These photos will be hanging on your walls and treasured for years to come.

By choosing simple, classic clothes you will help give your images a timeless feel.