Best Family Photo Session Tips

Fall family session with family of four walking through tall grasses.

A family photography session should be a memorable and fun experience for everyone involved.  As a family photographer for over 14 years, I have put together some of the BEST tips for a successful family photo session. This will not only prepare you for a successful family portrait session but will allow you to have FUN and simply enjoy the experience! You will receive a gallery full of true-to-life images that you will treasure for many years to come.

5 Tips for a Successful Family Photo Session

Four children posed together on the grassy shores of a lake in Southern Minnesota.

Family Session Tip #1: Choose a location that is comfortable and suitable for everyone.

When choosing your location for your session, be sure to choose a location that is not too busy or distracting (if you have young children) as well as a place you will be comfortable in. Public places often create uncomfortable situations if there is a large presence of other people. This will distract you from experiencing the moment of capturing these memories with your loved ones.

It is also important to make sure the location that you choose is accessible to everyone who will be involved. Stairs, walking trails, etc. should be considered if you have young children or older adults who may find these situations challenging.

Three children playing during their fall family session in Southern Minnesota.

Family Session Tip #2: Schedule the session at a time when everyone is well-rested and not hungry.

I often encourage parents to bring beverages and snacks to their family portrait session that includes young children. Often the kiddos become “bored” with having their pictures taken. Offering a juice break or snack break often gives them a small enough reprieve that they can regroup and enjoy the remainder of your session.

Fall family session with family of four walking through tall grasses.

Family Session Tip #3: Coordinate outfits so that they complement each other and the surroundings.

Colors, patterns, and textures can make an incredible impact on your gallery. An important note to remember is that you want to COMPLIMENT each other – not match. Ask your photographer about a clothing style guide. Otherwise, head on over to Pinterest and you’re bound to find some great suggestions for a cohesive look for your family.

One thing to keep in mind when you are choosing outfits for your family is to remember that while you want them to look dapper, you also want them to be comfortable. Look at their current wardrobe and find similar pieces to match that. The more comfortable your family is in their clothing, the more comfortable they will be in front of the camera.

Spring sessions often include light colors/pastel prints to compliment the green landscapes.

Fall sessions would be suited with bold/dark colors and prints to compliment the warm, fall landscapes.

I have put together a FULL style guide complete with links for those of you who are starting from square one!

Outdoor spring photo session with Mother and her two boys.

Family Session Tip #4: Prepare your family for what to expect.

For a family photo session to be successful, you want everyone not only to look their best, but also it is important that they are comfortable and in the moment. Prior to your portrait session, it is important to communicate with your family about what to expect.

Young children or toddlers can quickly become shy or nervous when the photographer arrives. A few days prior to your session, it helps to explain to them that a friendly camera is going to take their picture. Make up a fun game or silly story about your photographer or their camera, and get them comfortable talking about how much fun they are going to have!

For the older kids, simply explain to them that the better they cooperate, the faster you’ll get done! Be present in the moment. Have fun and enjoy this time with your family!

Military Family picture.

Family Session Tip #5: Remember to enjoy the moment!

Have fun with your family, and truly be present with them in this moment. The beautiful images from your family portrait session will bring a smile to your face for many years to come.

Enjoy this time together as a family. Be silly together, remember to laugh, and most importantly, ENJOY it!

Are you interested in getting a family session scheduled? Contact me to start the conversation!

Or simply visit my website to view more incredible family session galleries! I can’t wait to learn more about you and your story!

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See you soon!


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