Family photoshoots are a wonderful way to capture special moments and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. However, preparing for your family photo shoot can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure where to start.
I put together this guide on “Preparing for Your Family Photoshoot.” In this post, I will provide tips and tricks to help you prepare for your family photoshoot, from choosing the perfect location to coordinating outfits and bringing props. By the end of this post, you’ll be ready to capture beautiful and timeless family photos that you and your loved ones will treasure for years to come.
When it comes to family pictures, several questions often come to mind. Some of the most common questions include what to wear, how to pose, and what location to choose. Additionally, many families wonder how to prepare their children for the photoshoot and what to do if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Fortunately, these concerns can be addressed and overcome with proper planning and preparation. By discussing these questions with your photographer and being open to their suggestions, you can ensure that your family photoshoot runs smoothly and is an enjoyable experience. that you end up with dream family photos that you will cherish for years to come.
How the process works!
The process for a family photoshoot typically involves several steps; a family photo shoot session is designed to be simple and enjoyable. However, with careful planning and the guidance of an experienced photographer, you can capture beautiful and meaningful photos that will last a lifetime.
Every family session begins with an initial phone consultation so we can get to know one another and learn a little bit about you and your family members, your goals for the family photo session, and ideas for decorating your home. I also encourage clients to use this time for questions and ideas, and I love to share with you the beautiful print products to give you a feel for the outcome of your session.
Booking The Date
Once you’ve decided on the right photography package for your family, we’ll get the date booked for your photo session! A non-refundable session fee and a signed contract are required to reserve your day. After that, I will work with your schedule to find a perfect day and time for the session!
On the day of your session, we’ll meet at the agreed location and time and start snapping away! A portrait session can take about an hour. It generally takes at least 15-20 minutes for us to “warm up” together, meaning getting comfortable and feeling relaxed in front of (or behind!) the lens. The most important thing is to have fun &- let me do the work!
On-location sessions for family photoshoots are a popular choice for many families. They offer various backdrop options, such as parks, beaches, or your backyard. On-location sessions also allow for more natural lighting, producing stunning, flattering photos. Additionally, these sessions provide opportunities to incorporate meaningful locations or props that can add a personal touch to your photos. With careful planning and preparation, on-location family photoshoots can produce beautiful, authentic images that showcase your family’s unique personality and style.
The End Result
The photos have been taken and individually retouched with great love and care, and now it’s time for you to see the end result of all our hard work and planning! One of my clients’ favorite parts of the entire Debra Heschl Photography experience is seeing their beautiful images in the comfort of their homes! You will get emailed an online gallery where you can go through each image in your home. At this point in time, you’ll have the opportunity to choose the photographs you would like to have as prints, albums, canvas, or a variety of other handcrafted photo products we offer.
In addition, I will also include an Investment guide in your email. If you are unsure of sizes to order, I will recommend photo products we think would enhance your living space! Feel free to call, email, or text to ask questions, place orders, and get excited about your images.
What to Expect
If this is your family’s first time working with a professional photographer, knowing what to expect cannot be easy. What should I bring? Will there be enough time to get the perfect picture? Will my child feel uncomfortable in front of the camera? We completely understand these feelings of concern; you are not alone! But I am here to work with you and make your session as stress-free as possible. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!
My working method is simple.
I tailor my photography to you and your family. Each session is a unique experience, built from the ground up just for you. In our consultation, we’ll discuss your family’s schedule, preferred locations, and attention spans to ensure a successful photo day.
This is your day to relax, have a lot of fun and enjoy your family; I’ll do the rest.
Planning in advance is the key to success! If your family or child has a daily routine, it’s best to schedule the photo session in a way that works with, not against, this routine. For example, if your child has a certain naptime, we’ll plan the shoot before or after she wakes up to prevent tantrums and fatigue. A morning session may be best if your baby generally sleeps during the afternoon. We are here to make your session successful and will work with you individually to find a time and place that fits the family!
Keeping it Positive
Getting younger kids to cooperate in the best of circumstances can be challenging. They may often feel uncomfortable with a photographer they don’t know well in an unfamiliar place. So I work hard to get those perfect poses, but never with negative reinforcement or discipline. Instead, I use only positive, confidence-boosting methods to gain your child’s trust and cooperation during the photo shoot, and I ask parents that they do the same. The best photographic results come from using the carrot rather than the stick!
A Comfortable Pace
Children are unpredictable – a characteristic that makes them so lovable – but also challenging to plan around. It’s something we completely understand! For this reason, we always carve out a large chunk of time to ensure your session isn’t rushed. If the baby needs to be changed or fed, take your time; if a toddler is tired or frustrated, we can take a snack break to relax and regroup, or if you and your family feel uncomfortable or exhausted, we can pause for a drink of water and a rest in the shade. This is your photo session, and we’ll work at the pace of you and your family! There’s no need to rush – relax and enjoy the experience with us.
When working with children, safety is my top priority. For newborns and babies, I ask that parents stay close by to ensure their safety. For outdoor shoots, I carefully select safe locations and ensure that all poses and props are suitable for children. If there are any concerns about safety, we always err on the side of caution and find alternative solutions. Your comfort and safety are important to me.
If we’ve chosen an outdoor location for your photos, we will most likely be at the mercy of the weather! If the day turns out to be extremely hot, which can be dangerous and frustrating for the family, we’ll find an alternate date for the photos. Similarly, we’d reschedule for rainstorms, snow, or extreme cold rather than push everyone into an uncomfortable place! I will communicate the day before and the day of the session to discuss any challenges that may arise and deal with them in the most convenient way possible for your family.
When scheduling your upcoming family photo shoot, the best time of day is to plan for later in the afternoon when the sun sets or around the golden hour and select a time that allows you to take advantage of this beautiful lighting that will make for beautiful skin tones.
Of course, the exact timing of the golden hour will vary depending on your location and the time of year, so it’s essential to consult with your photographer and plan accordingly.
You scheduled your family portrait session; now What?
Here are the essential tips to help you prepare for your family photoshoot:
Choose a location:
Select a location that is meaningful to your family or one that has a beautiful backdrop. It can be at a park, beach, or even in your own backyard.
Choose clothing that complements each other and the location. Avoid wearing bold patterns or logos that can be distracting in photos. Instead, opt for solid colors or subtle patterns that match each other.
Schedule the shoot at a good time:
Schedule the photo shoot at a time that works for everyone and when the lighting is good. For example, early morning or late afternoon is the best time for outdoor shoots, as the lighting is soft and flattering.
Props can add interest and personality to your photos. Some ideas include heirloom quilts, balloons, flowers, blankets, or even pets. Whatever specific props have meaning to you, bring them!
Relax and have fun:
It’s essential to relax and have fun during the shoot. Let the photographer guide you and your family to capture the best shots. Don’t be afraid to be silly or show your personality.
Bring any necessary items such as makeup, hairbrushes, and touch-up clothing. Also, ensure you have snacks and water on hand to keep everyone happy and hydrated.
Allow extra time:
It’s always a good idea to arrive at your family photoshoot session a few minutes early, preferably 10-15 minutes before the scheduled start time.
Candid shots of your family laughing, hugging, or just enjoying each other’s company can often be some of the most treasured family portraits from a family photoshoot.
Happy tummy & Nap time:
Small children are much happier when they have full bellies & had a full nap before your session. You will find that you will get the best photos when your little girl or boy is well-rested!
Overall, the process of Preparing for Your Family Photoshoot is designed to be simple and enjoyable. With careful planning and guidance from your photographer, you can capture beautiful and meaningful photos that will last a lifetime.