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How to prepare for your Family Session

You finally convinced your family to take family photos and you begin planning for the day. After talking to your girl you get the date booked and a feeling of relief travels over you, soon followed by an overwhelming amount of questions, leading to anxiety. Where should we shoot? What should we wear? Will the children cooperate? Should we include our pets? Will this be a disaster?

Take a deep breath, grab your favorite snack (everything is better with a snack) and keep reading. Here are a few tips to calm those nerves and make sure your family photos are as awesome as your family.

LOCATION- Where do we shoot?

Look at your walls, your home décor and decide what type of scenery you are interested in. Do you want those family photos in a field or surrounded by flowers? Do you want the creek session where you guys can play in the water? Do you want Old buildings and a more rustic scene? Or perhaps you would like fun colorful studio backgrounds?

Maybe you would prefer something more realistic to your everyday family life and are interested in a more lifestyle type scene. You want to look back on these photos and think “Now that represents us, that is how our family truly is” Do you have a family tradition? A favorite Ice cream location? Or pizza? Or tacos? Take your everyday life into consideration and think outside of the traditional box. We could do a session at your house, or your favorite food place.

Check the upcoming events and maybe you would like to schedule carnival family photos, or your favorite gaming place, or event location. (Usually businesses are excited and welcoming to do a few photos at their location) (free advertisement for them!)

Seriously now….. What should we wear?

I will admit this is the hardest part of planning. You want the photos to describe you, yet you also want to be presentable (if you are like me you spend most of your time in yoga pants and a t shirt). I allow outfit changes in my sessions and if you decide to change outfits maybe doing a more casual and a more formal, or a fun sports theme if that is your style! Here are a few do’s and do nots when planning for that outfit.

· Patterns- if you have a cute pattern or stripe limit it to one person and then the others in the group wear color coordinating outfits.

· Pick from colors that coordinate (Pinterest is your bestie with this) and mix up the colors and accents of the outfits.

· Keep in mind the season and the photo location, wear something that matches the scene and is comfortable to be in. (YOU CAN ALWAYS tell when you’re in something that is extremely uncomfortable)

· BE YOU- if you don’t normally wear a dress and high heel then don’t wear one now. You want photos that genuinely represent you for you.


Neon Colors

Large Logos or print

Baseball Hats or sunglasses

Shoes that make you uncomfortable

Should we bring our pets?


They are a part of your family and will help tell your story, your moment in time. Now of course think about location, if we are going to your local Aladdins Castle (are those even around anymore?) we probably won’t want to bring your pets. (If they are even allowed in, do we really want them messing up our skee ball game score because they want to chase the ball?)

But in all seriousness if you decide to bring the pets a few tips will help ensure a successful session.

· Check location and make sure they are able to come.

· Bring treats, toys, things that can get their attention

· Bring someone to help (This right here can be so helpful when getting the pets attention or having helping hands to hold them when we are doing some photos without the pets)

· Prep your pets, bring them ahead of time to the location, let them get all their smells out

· Bring Doggie bags (we Do not want to be “those” people who leave it behind and some kid walks in it and spreads it all over the family vehicle)

Finally, here are some additional tips for the day

1. Trust your photographer. You like their work, you hired them, trust them to capture the moment. (But also, if there is something you are uncomfortable with speak up!”)

2. Remember the location and pack for it. (If we are doing creek sessions bring all the bug spray, and a towel)

3. LINT ROLLERS are your best friend. Bring them.

4. So are snacks or treats, or toys, or whatever is best for your family-bring bribing treats.

5. Hang your additional outfits in the car, do not lay them in the seat. You remember that kids meal where you thought little Suzie ate everything, well she didn’t… her half eaten cheeseburger is on your seat mixed with all the snack crumbs, and now it is all over your outfit change.

6. Also, if you know your child or “adult child” can not wear their clothes without getting messy consider bringing them and changing last minute to avoid the random stain that occurs right before your session.

7. Remember, this is your family and you love them! And the goal is to capture these moments in time, regardless of how crazy life can be!

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