How to prepare for your family portrait session

Here are my best tips and tricks on how to prepare for your family portrait session. You’ve found a photographer, booked the date, and paid the deposit. It’s time to get planning so you can have portrait session you are hoping for with little to no stress!

Things to do to prepare before your family portrait session:

  1. Plan your outfits at least a week in advance—don’t wait till the last minute, trust me! Consider the season your session is taking place in to determine colors, etc. Think coordinate, not match! Choose 2-3 colors and play with different shades. Feel free to text me photos of your wardrobe if you’re having a hard time choosing! Side note: I often tell moms to choose their outfit first (find something you love) and then plan the rest of the family around your outfit! Pinterest is a great resource!
  2. Make hair, nail, and/or makeup appointments for before your session. Make sure your roots are touched up if needed and the boys are freshly trimmed. Also check those nails, you don’t want chipped nail polish! These are small details but can make a big difference.
  3. Prepare your kids (and husband). Prepping them can help keep the stress level to a minimum.
  4. And of course, make sure everyone gets a great night’s sleep (or a nap with little ones) and eats a good meal beforehand. I know this can be a hard one but nothing makes a session go downhill fast than cranky/ hungry kids or a husband!

More helpful tips for dressing for your Session:

  1. Obviously, dress for the weather! I’m sure this goes without saying 🙂 We want everyone comfortable!
  2. Don’t wear matching clothes— no more jeans-and-matching-shirts these days! Instead, wear colors in a complimentary color palette, such as bold colors, pastels, or neutrals.
  3. Be careful about undergarments. Choose a wardrobe that properly covers your undergarments, even when moving.
  4. I recommend women wear medium-to-long dresses instead of pants because they capture more movement and photograph beautifully.
  5. Accessorize! Bowties, suspenders, hats, flower headbands, chunky scarves, beautiful flowing dresses and skirts—these create visual interest and movement in your photos, and really help the images stand apart.

Things to Bring to Your Session:

Moms are usually prepared, but here’s a few things you might want to add to your list:

  1. Any personal appearance touchup items you might want, including things like lipstick, hair spray, hair brush, etc.
  2. Snacks on snacks on snacks! However, it’s best not to tell kids about the treats before the session; wait until the kids start getting fatigued of the photo session before you pull out candy card! (Refrain from snacks/ candy that stain the mouth and teeth)!
  3. A change of clothes for the kiddos, in case anyone gets muddy or dirty. As a photographer, I love when kids interact fully with their surroundings, and I’m thrilled to photograph them playing in creeks or running through the grass. Feel free to bring a change of clothes or shoes, or maybe even a towel.

Posing During Your Photo Session:

Don’t stress! I will walk you through all of it but, here’s some tips!

  1. Children around the ages of 6-10 will sometimes try to “cheese” in the photos, because that’s what they’ve been conditioned to do when they see a camera! Help me create more candid shots by interacting playfully with your children.
  2. Laugh, play, tickle, and snuggle. I want to capture all of these REAL moments.
  3. Not everyone has to be looking at the camera. We will take “formal” (everyone looking and smiling) photos, but I also want to capture interactions, looking at each other laughing/ smiling.
  4. Relax and don’t force anything. Don’t feel pressured to make everything perfect! Just be present and I’ll do the rest. Don’t stress if any of the kids get fussy, we can take breaks if needed! As a former teacher and thoroughly experienced photographer, I’ve seen it all before, I don’t get frazzled easy.

What to expect after your Photo Session:

After your session, your work is done…. almost! You can let your hair down, put your feet up, and relax a little bit. I will post a sneak peek within a day or2. Then, I will spend the next few days working hard to finish editing your beautiful gallery.

  1. Once your gallery is complete, I will email you your digital gallery and also a link to a mobile app!
  2. You will be able to download your images and purchase prints and/or other print products.
  3. Think about places in your home you would like to hang your images and determine what sizes you will need.

I hope this checklist is helpful for you on how to prepare for you family portrait session. What to wear, how to pose, how to plan, and what to do afterwards—all easy and in one place! Haven’t chosen your photographer? Here is a post a wrote on who to find your perfect wedding photographer, which can also help with a family photographer!

spring family photos on the lake
spring family photos in a field, Gravel Road Traditions
fall family photos, Christmas tree farm
fall family photos on the farm
fall family photos
fall family photos
fall family photos
Christmas card family photos, Christmas tree farm
Christmas family photos, Gravel Road Traditions

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