It’s almost that time of year again, where you book your fall family session, start choosing your outfits, prepping your kiddos, and pray that everyone is happy when your session date rolls around! I get it – it can be stressful getting ready for family photos. But, it’s so worth it! Time is fleeting and these memories are worth capturing. It’s my job to make it as fun and stress-free as possible! So, here are my top 6 Tips for Great Family Photos.
1. Choose a photographer you trust.
This is where it all starts. Choose a photographer you trust! Your photographer determines so much about how a session goes – they’ll pose you, do silly things to get your kids to giggle, select the locations and angles, edit your photos, and deliver them to you! It’s worth investing in a photographer who will do a great job and care for your family well. If a full session just isn’t in the budget this year, consider a mini-session!
2. Pack a session bag.
Before your session, pack a bag with snacks, water, hair spray & bobby pins, and anything else you might need. If you have little ones, consider bringing small objects (like toys or lollipops) that might help your photographer get their attention when it’s time for them to look at the camera.
3. Choose your outfits thoughtfully.
I recommend selecting softer, lighter tones and avoiding ultra-bright, bold colors. The camera loves shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather gray, creams, leather brown and white. Feel free to vary the shades of the colors, too. That softer color palette fits beautifully into a natural environment, and can easily be paired in so many different ways.
The goal for coordinating a family is to visually break up the colors and shades so that you’re not all wearing the same color on top and bottom. The more we can mix that up, the better. I encourage you to think about planning each outfit with “dominant colors” and “accent colors” in mind. A dominant color is the color that you see the most in an outfit, while an accent has a smaller piece of visual real estate. When you’re planning each family member’s outfit, if you can aim for each person to have a different dominant color, and then tie in and vary the accent colors, it’s going to look great all together.
If you have multiple children, don’t feel like you need to put them all in the same type of outfit. For example, one of your daughters could wear a dress and flats, while the other wears a skirt and boots. One of your sons could wear a bowtie, while the other one wears suspenders. Mixing up the wardrobe pieces will bring a great visual interest to the photos, while the color palette keeps everything looking cohesive.
4. Chat with your kiddos beforehand.
If you have kiddos that are old enough to understand you, it’s a good idea to prepare them for what’s to come before the session starts. Explain how much the photos mean to you so they know to be on their best behavior. A lot of families discuss and pick something fun in advance as a treat after the session if they’re good listeners (like ice cream!). It also helps if their bellies are full and they’ve had some good rest beforehand.
5. Consider a prop or two.
If you love candid photos or images of your family in their element, consider incorporating a prop or two that are specific and meaningful to your family! A picnic blanket to cozy up on together might be cute, or your kids’ favorite book to read together would make for a special moment together!
6. Have fun.
Once you’ve booked your session, chosen your outfits, and done all the prep work, feel free to give your kids (and you!) grace! They’re little, and we know that some days don’t always go as planned. Just enjoy the time with your family, laugh, and soak up all the special memories that you’re making together!!
Want more tips? I’ve got you! Everyone who books a mini session with me gets access to my Style Guide, which has tons of tips on choosing outfits, preparing for your session, and all the details! Sign up for one of my fall mini sessions today!