How to Prepare for Your Family Photo Shoot

Family Photos- what an exciting, stressful, fun, terrifying thing! But if you are one of the many people asking, “How can I prepare for my family photo shoot?” Here are a list of things you can do to prepare for your first (or maybe not your first!) family photo shoot!

My cute family!

Number One- Know it won’t go perfectly.

Just expect this going into it and your life will be so much easier! Kids will cry, be goofy, and not want to wear what you have them in. THIS IS OKAY. Don’t stress out, oftentimes the photos are turning out WAY better on my end than you feel like they are! No matter what happens, it is life. It is crazy, un-perfect, and an absolute joy. Some of these moments become my favorite photos because it shows your true family! I recently did a photo shoot with my little niece, she had just turned one a few months before, and the couple was announcing they were pregnant with number two as well! They are from Arizona, which is a LOT warmer than here in Utah. She was a snotty, red nosed, teary mess for a good amount of the shoot. My sister in law was worried at the end and she expressed how she hoped that we got at least 10 good ones out of the whole thing! I kid you not, I ended up sending her over 50. Because it did go well! We absolutely have photos of her tears and photos of some snotty faces, but its real life, it happens! BUT we ended up with way more of her smiling and being a cutie patootie! So breathe, relax, and go with the flow. It will go better than you think 🙂

Number Two- List of Shots

Before the photo shoot itself, think about the different groups that you want captured together. This way you aren’t on the spot during the shoot when I ask if you want the girls all together, or just you with your kids, or any individual shots. Below is a list of combinations that I normally do with each family, and some that I have had people request that I love! Just make a mental note which ones you like and would want of your cute family.

  • Whole Family (duh)
  • Parents Only
  • Kids/Siblings Only
  • Mom w/ Kids
  • Dad w/ Kids
  • Girls (Mom and daughters)
  • Boys (Dad and sons)
  • Mom w/ Sons
  • Dad w/ Daughters
  • Individuals of Everyone

Extended Families

  • Grandma/pa with Grandkids
  • Grandkids
  • Generational Photo (Grandma & Pa, Mom and Dad, Kid with spouse)

Number Three- Think about what you want to remember about this phase of life

When you are taking family photos, it freezes your family in time and can help you remember what was going on then! As shown in the gallery above, they wanted to capture their daughter’s cute smile with her missing two front teeth! Do you want to remember how your 1 year old son walks crooked and falls on his butt occasionally? How chubby those legs are? How bubbles make her laugh more than anything else? How your kids love making human pyramids and climbing all over each other? Or maybe that crazzzyyy hairstyle your teen decided to get that you can use as blackmail and hang in your home for the rest of forever? Whatever it is, lets get that on film *metaphorically speaking, digital camera over here* so that when you look back on these you remember that! Because you will never have this phase of life back.

A Few Random Things:

Don’t give your kids messy snacks before. I have had kids show up with Cheetos stains on their shirts, teeth and fingers. Trust me, orange teeth don’t look good in any photo.

Don’t stress about time. Unless it is a mini-shoot, I plan for plenty of time to get all the shots you guys want. So relax and don’t be afraid to ask for all the shots you want!

Do arrive on time- to maximize your experience, give yourself plenty of time to get to the location to reduce stress on your part when leaving the house as well as for the remainder of the photo shoot! This also gives us alllll the time we need to goof off and get every single shot 🙂

Do bring toys, treats, or other things to bribe your kids to smile for the camera! Especially with the little ones under 5, it helps for me to have something to hold to get their attention.

DO BRING YOUR DOG. I love dogs and if you want a shot with them, and if they are a big part of your family bring them along!

Enjoy yourself. Photo shoots are FUN and you will look back on these for a lifetime!

I hope that these tips are helpful, and if you have any thoughts or anything to add please reach out! 🙂 I love hearing from all my followers!