Tips for a Successful Family Photo Session

Tips for a Successful Family Photo Session

A family photo session can be a wonderful way to capture memories and create lasting keepsakes. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience, preparation and planning are key. Here are some tips for a successful family photo session.

1. Choose the Right Photographer

Research and Recommendations

  • Look for Reviews: Check online reviews and ask for recommendations from friends and family.
  • View Portfolios: Look at photographers’ portfolios to ensure their style matches your vision.


  • Discuss Expectations: Communicate your expectations, preferred style, and any specific shots you want.
  • Meet in Advance: If possible, meet with the photographer in advance to build rapport and discuss details.

2. Plan the Location

Consider Your Preferences

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Decide whether you want the session indoors, outdoors, or both.
  • Favorite Spots: Choose locations that are meaningful to your family or have a beautiful backdrop.

Check Accessibility

  • Ease of Access: Ensure the location is easily accessible for all family members, especially young children and elderly relatives.
  • Permit Requirements: Check if the location requires any permits or fees for photography.

3. Coordinate Outfits

Color Scheme

  • Complementary Colors: Choose a color scheme with complementary colors and tones.
  • Avoid Matching Exactly: Avoid matching exactly; instead, aim for coordinated outfits that complement each other.


  • Comfortable Clothing: Ensure everyone is comfortable in their outfits to prevent fidgeting or discomfort during the session.
  • Weather Appropriate: Dress appropriately for the weather and location.

Minimal Patterns

  • Simple Patterns: Choose simple patterns or solid colors to keep the focus on faces and expressions.
  • Avoid Logos: Avoid clothing with large logos or distracting designs.

4. Prepare the Kids

Set Expectations

  • Explain the Session: Explain to your kids what to expect during the photo session.
  • Practice Posing: Practice posing and smiling naturally at home.

Snacks and Breaks

  • Healthy Snacks: Bring healthy snacks and water to keep kids energized.
  • Breaks: Be prepared to take breaks if kids get restless.

Involve Them

  • Choice: Let kids have some input in choosing their outfits or suggesting poses.
  • Props: Bring favorite toys or props to make them feel comfortable and engaged.

5. Timing is Everything

Best Time of Day

  • Golden Hour: Schedule the session during the golden hour (shortly after sunrise or before sunset) for the best natural light.
  • Nap Times: For young children, avoid scheduling the session during nap times or when they are likely to be tired.

Allow Plenty of Time

  • Arrive Early: Arrive a little early to get settled and relaxed before the session starts.
  • No Rush: Allow plenty of time for the session to avoid feeling rushed.

6. Bring Essential Items

Touch-Up Kit

  • Makeup and Hair: Bring a small touch-up kit with makeup, hairbrushes, and hairspray.
  • Wipes and Tissues: Have wipes and tissues handy for quick clean-ups.

Props and Accessories

  • Blankets and Baskets: Bring props like blankets, baskets, or signs if you want to include them in the photos.
  • Change of Clothes: For young children, bring a change of clothes in case of spills or accidents.

7. Relax and Have Fun

Natural Poses

  • Be Yourselves: Encourage natural interactions and genuine smiles.
  • Playful Poses: Engage in playful poses and activities to capture candid moments.

Enjoy the Moment

  • Positive Attitude: Keep a positive attitude and make the session enjoyable for everyone.
  • Focus on Each Other: Focus on enjoying the time together rather than worrying about the perfect shot.

8. Trust Your Photographer

Follow Their Lead

  • Professional Guidance: Trust your photographer’s expertise and follow their guidance on poses and locations.
  • Be Open to Ideas: Be open to trying new poses or ideas suggested by the photographer.

Provide Feedback

  • Communicate Needs: If there’s something specific you want, communicate it clearly to your photographer.
  • Honest Feedback: Provide honest feedback during the session to ensure you get the shots you want.

9. Review and Select Photos

Proofing Gallery

  • View Proofs: Review the proofing gallery provided by your photographer to select your favorite shots.
  • High-Resolution Files: Ensure you receive high-resolution files for printing and sharing.

Editing and Retouching

  • Discuss Edits: Discuss any desired edits or retouching with your photographer.
  • Natural Look: Aim for a natural look that enhances the photos without over-editing.

10. Preserve and Display Your Photos

Printing Options

  • Professional Printing: Use professional printing services for high-quality prints.
  • Photo Books: Create photo books to preserve and showcase your family photos.

Frames and Albums

  • Display: Frame your favorite photos and display them around your home.
  • Albums: Create albums to keep all your family photo sessions in one place.


A successful family photo session involves careful planning, preparation, and a relaxed, fun attitude. By choosing the right photographer, coordinating outfits, preparing your kids, and focusing on enjoying the moment, you can capture beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. Remember to communicate openly with your photographer and trust their expertise to create stunning family portraits.

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