How to Prepare for Family Photos

A family photo session is one of the best investments you can possibly make. The collection of frame-worthy photos you receive will last forever and as the years pass they’ll become more and more valuable. But you may be wondering how to prepare for family photos. To get the most out of your investment, here are a few tips to help your session go smoothly, to get as many great shots as possible, and to have fun in the process.

A Week Before the Shoot

Choose your outfits. Don’t leave this one until the last minute. Prepping ahead of time will help you feel more relaxed and confident on the day of your shoot. More on wardrobe specifics below!

Head to the salon. If you regularly get your hair and nails done, or if anyone in the family is in need of a haircut, make a pre-photo shoot appointment.

Prepare the kiddos. Let younger kids know what’s going to happen, especially if they tend to be shy. Laid back references like, “we’re going to hang out with our friends Ashley and Juan on Sunday afternoon” or “we’re going to the beach to play” will work. Just keep things fun and casual. There’s no need for anyone to feel nervous or pressured.

The Day Before Your Shoot

Prep your wardrobe. Make sure everyone’s clothes are clean and ready to go.

Get some Zs. A good night’s sleep will ensure everyone is feeling their best for the shoot.

The Day of the Shoot

Come well-fed. Your shoot will only last about an hour, but in my own personal experience, that’s enough time to get hangry if you didn’t have a decent meal beforehand, especially if there’s any travel time involved.

Get everyone dressed at the last minute. If you’ve got a little one at home, you know why. 😆

Arrive on time. We usually calculate session timings based on when the light will be the most flattering and give us some gorgeous sky to work with, so try to make it on time. More importantly, we want to make sure you get the whole hour of time we’ve set aside for your family.

Do a quick teeth/hair/clothes check before we start. Make sure teeth and nails are clean and there’s no lint or loose hairs sticking to your clothes. We can fix minor issues in Photoshop, but it’s time consuming so a quick check is always a good idea.

Bring snacks for the littles. Because sometimes a snack can be a real pick-me-up mid session.

Can you spot the snacks? 😆

Empty the pockets. Remind dad to take bulky phones, wallets, or keys out of his pockets during the session.

Keep things stress free. We are responsible for making you look good and for capturing everything beautiful about your family. So don’t feel like you have to pressure the kids (or your husband lol) to smile and definitely don’t threaten them with punishment if they misbehave, which can make everyone feel a little on edge. The goal is to just have a good time and take some pictures along the way. If the kids get fussy or cry, just give them some lovin’ and cuddles. We’ve got you.

What Should We Wear to Our Family Photoshoot?

“Ok, session’s booked! Now, what are we going to wear?!” If you’ve been wondering how to prepare for family photos, this is probably one of your top concerns.

Here’s a few of my best tips for picking out your ‘fits:

Dress for the weather. I know you wanted to wear that cute cable sweater to our fall session but if Florida does Florida and it’s 90 degrees out, opt for something a little more comfortable. Comfort is key!

Leave the graphic tees at home. T-shirts with writing or graphics on them can distract from your gorgeous faces. Solid colors or minimalist patterns keep the focus on your family.

There’s no need to match. Unless you want to. But honestly, complimentary color palettes are more the rage these days. Think everyone in earth tones or neutral shades if you want to look just like your Pinterest board. 😉

I repeat, comfort is key! Make sure you can move, bend, walk, and even run with ease in the clothes and shoes you wear to the session. That will give us the freedom to move around and have fun. Dresses are a great option for all the chicas in your family because they capture movement and look super flattering. Just make sure they aren’t too short or tight to feel comfortable in.

Have fun with accessories. If you love accessories, go all out! Hats, headbands, scarves, suspenders, bowties, flowing skirts, chunky jewelry, etc. will create points of visual interest in your photos.

Ask me! If you aren’t sure what to wear or if you want some feedback on the outfits you’ve chosen, feel free to get in touch. I’m happy to help. You can shoot me a text or photo anytime.

How Should We Pose?

Don’t worry. We don’t shoot models, we shoot families – no one comes to a photo session as a group of posing professionals. We’ll give you guidance along the way so you don’t have to worry about coming up with specific poses or gestures.

Be happy. (See what I did there?) Just have fun! Laugh, play, tickle, snuggle, give group hugs, these are the moments that will give us some genuine moments of real affection.

Look at each other. Sometimes you’ll all be looking at the camera and sometimes you won’t, and that is perfectly fine. If you start feeling yourself “cheesing” as you stare down the barrel of the camera, look at your family instead and give them a smile.

Relax and don’t force it. There is no pressure to make sure things go perfectly. If someone has a meltdown or jumps in a muddy puddle mid-session, don’t worry about it. We can roll with any situation and if your little ones need a moment to find their happy place again, we won’t rush them.

Expect us to be all over the place. Juan and I will move around you to capture different shots from different angles. You’ll get a better variety of photos and a bigger gallery to choose from this way so don’t mind us!

What Happens After a Session?

Take a deep breath, the hard part is over! After your session, Juan and I will be working hard behind the scenes to curate your photo gallery and edit the image to glorious perfection.

Your gallery will usually be done within the week.

When the images are ready, we will send you the link to a password protected gallery with all of the images from your session. Depending on your package, you’ll select your favorite images to keep and we’ll deliver the photos to you with full print permissions. If you love more images than what are included in your package, you can always purchase individual images separately.

Last but not least, enjoy your photos! We can’t wait to give you a collection of beautiful images your family will cherish for generations to come.

Jacksonville Area Newborn, Family, Maternity Photographer

Jacksonville | St. Augustine | Orange Park & Middleburg | Fleming Island

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