Five Steps to a Successful Family Photo Session 6

It’s that time of year again … 
the dreaded family photos sessions. And while family photo shoots are kind of the norm in this family, they haven’t gotten easier. However, I have learned many tricks and tips for keeping the kiddos and the husband happy—and on point–to capture that “moneymaker shot” that makes the holiday card each year. Follow these five simple tips to help with your family portraits.

#1 Location

I have found after many many family sessions that you can really make the most of what you are working with—as in nearby areas that don’t require a long drive time—which is good for everybody. If you are driving a long distance, it can definitely wear on the kiddos and even the spouse, and just getting to the destination can be an hourlong process once the kids are packed, and you get on the road. I have had to get creative over the past years now with kids. Would you believe that this location in our pics is just a half-mile from our house and is in the back of a school? Look for areas with lots of trees or a fun walking trail.

#2 Plan outfits ahead

As we all know, one of the hardest parts of a family session is getting everyone dress and prepped for pictures. I have been there many times. It is stressful, and you want everything to be perfect. I highly suggest checking out Rainey’s Closet, You will not be disappointed! It’s kind of like Rent the Runway but for kids, where you can rent stylish clothes for your kids for the dates you needed. They carry some of my favorite lines that Sutton wears, including Tutu Du Monde, Dolly by Le Petit Tom and NellyStella. You can browse by category, size, brand, date or color and reserve your items for four or eight days. Add accessories to complete the perfect look. They carry sizes from infant to size 12. It is completely hassle-free! Wear it. Return it. And they take care of the rest! Greyson’s look is also from Rainey’s Closet and is too cute!

#3 Make it fun for the kids

I have learned with my 3-year old that we need to make the shoot like it’s not even a photo shoot. For example, at this location, I told Sutton we were going frog and bug hunting, and she had to put on this fluffy dress to help her find them. The second we got out of the car, she was in bug hunting mode. Little did we know that a couple bugs actually did come home with us. I had a grasshopper on me the entire way home and the photographer had a huge spider on her!

Another thing you can do is let the kids know there is an incentive if they cooperate for the family photos. Sutton will do anything for pizza or ice cream! Just remember to bring a change of clothes!

#4 Create a mood board

This sounds like a lot of work but it actually only takes 15 minutes, and you can find so much inspiration! All you need to do is go to Pinterest and search for your inspiration. This can be any kind of imagery, from the color tones you want to use for your wardrobe to certain poses or landscape you want! Then just share the board you’ve created with your photographer.

#5 Ask to see your photos before leaving

This may be the blogger in me, but I ask to see some of the pics the photographer took during the session to make sure we got the shots I wanted. I do this because sometimes what the photographer likes I may not like. Don’t be afraid to ask to see. You are paying the photographer, and you invested all this work and time to make them look perfect.I always ask for both a horizontal and vertical shot of the entire family, so that I can have the option for the design of a vertical or horizontal holiday card.

Last but not least, have fun! Some of my favorite pictures we have captured as a family are when we are just having fun, not evening thinking about the camera and are candid. I have learned after years of taking pictures with the entire family it is hard to get everyone looking, smiling and posing for the camera. Well sometimes, you just need to scratch that and let the shoot happen!