How to Get the Most Out of Your Family Photo Session

Family, Senior Pictures

I am a big believer that family pictures are so much fun. They are the best way to document your changing family and pause time just for a moment. I love taking family photos, and I love having photos taken of my own family! Overall, I’m just a huge fan.

As a parent, I know that family photos can come with a lot of pressure to make sure everything is perfect. While I can’t guarantee that you won’t face any hiccups along the way, I have learned a thing or two about how to prepare your family to get the most out of your experience.

In this blog post, I want to chat about that exact topic. Let’s dive right in!

Prepare your family ahead of time.

One of the best ways to get the most out of your family photos is to set everyone up to be in a good mood. This means being well-rested and eating a good meal! Tired, hungry kids are never a good mix for happy family photos. Even the most mature adults can find themselves a little hangry at times, so it’s a good idea to pack a few snacks for the trip.

Beyond sleeping and eating, be intentional about what time you schedule your session. Try to stay away from naptimes and bedtime whenever possible. While there are generally certain time frames in the morning and evening with the best light, work with your photographer to find a time that works for your family. 

Make a list of must-have photos.

Before you book your family session, think about what you want your photos to look like. Are there any special poses, props, or events you’d like to include in your pictures? Your photographer will most likely be happy to accommodate specific shots, but it’s important to communicate those ideas ahead of time so everyone is on the same page.

For example, in these beautiful family photos, the client asked if I could spend a little extra time with them and take a few cap and gown pictures. They were so wonderful to work with, and I was happy to make those things happen! 

Photographer tip: make sure you ask your clients if they have any special events coming up they’d like to highlight during your family photo session.

Communicate expectations.

Understanding exactly what your photographer offers is a key part to getting the most out of your family photos. Personally, the last thing I want is for my clients to be confused about the process! When booking your photos, make sure you understand how long your session will be, how many photos you can expect, and how your images will be delivered. Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer questions! You can always inquire about special rates for prints, albums, or digital galleries.

Keep everybody comfortable.

As you’re preparing your family for photos, prioritize finding outfits that you feel comfortable and confident in. Even as an adult, it’s hard to relax when you’re wearing something stiff or scratchy. Getting dressed up doesn’t have to mean feeling uncomfortable! Look for outfits that coordinate between family members without being too matchy-matchy.

When you arrive at your session, it is totally normal to feel a little nervous about being in front of the camera. Especially for kids, it might take a minute or two to warm up to the idea of having their photo taken. As a parent, it’s a good idea to think of a simple game or activity that will keep your kids occupied between shots.

Photographer tip: prepare clients who might feel uncomfortable in front of the camera. Relax them in the moment with a silly joke, a prompt for one of the family members to tell a silly story, etc. 

Have fun as a family!

Your family photos are a celebration of your special relationships. They should be fun! You may look a little fancier than your normal day-to-day outfits, but don’t let that make you think that you need to take things too seriously. Be yourself and interact naturally with your family. Take a deep breath and relax – everything will turn out perfect! 

Taking family photos is a big deal, but it doesn’t have to take over your life. It can be such a fun experience for your whole family! I hope these ideas help you get ready to have the best time taking pictures. I’m so excited for you!


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Meet kailee


As someone who wears a lot of hats (wife, momma, nurse, and photographer). I know that those once in a lifetime moments can truly fly by. My mission is to capture those beautiful moments so that you can come back to them years down the road and relive them! The best way to do that if to find out who YOU are and what type of moments YOU treasure the most.

Wanna meet me? I love my cute family, the pop of my Made by Mary necklace over my heather grey sweatshirt, and eating ice cream for every occasion - Tillamook Mudslide is my favorite!

And I can't wait to get to know you!

I’m Kailee

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