5 Tips for a Fun and Successful Family Photo Session

The thought of getting our family ready for photographs can be a daunting feeling, especially if you have young children.

To help you prepare, I've written this blog, which provides my 5 tips for a fun and successful family photo session. 

Enjoy!

 

Tip 1: Choosing the right location

The location for your family session is very important because it will be the backdrop for your beautiful photos. A location that you visit and enjoy as a family is a good idea but bear in mind that if you enjoy a particular place, it is likely to be enjoyed by others and so it may be crowed at certain times. 

 North Bridge at Concord offers a great space for family photos 

North Bridge at Concord offers a great space for family photos 

However, some families feel a little uneasy about the thought of having formal photos in a public space so if you have a large enough space at home, choosing to have photos done in your own home can be a good idea. Not only will it offer you privacy, you may feel more relaxed. This is not to say that a beautiful public place should be overlooked. The time of day or the day of the week will make a difference here.

 We chose to have last years holiday photo in our front yard at home

We chose to have last years holiday photo in our front yard at home

Tip 2: Choosing the date and right time of day

You may have heard the term “the golden hour”, which is a term often used by photographers. It describes the time up to one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. On a sunny day, the light is much warmer and softer at these times and creates great conditions for photos. My tip is to meet for a photo session 30 – 60 minutes before golden hour so there is plenty of time and no rushing about. 

 This lovely family choose to have their session during golden hour at the Historic Wayside Inn

This lovely family choose to have their session during golden hour at the Historic Wayside Inn

This may seem obvious but if you have young children, having a family photo session on a warm summers evening may sound appealing but it will mean that your children will need to be up late! But also bear in mind the temperature change as the light fades in the cooler months.

 

 These little guys are happiest in the morning so we went for an early morning photo session 

These little guys are happiest in the morning so we went for an early morning photo session 

  Tip 3: Plan your outfits

This is quite a big topic so to help you further, I've created a FREE style guide, which provides some great tips for her, for him and how to co-ordinate the whole crew. If you would like a copy of my free family photo style guide, sign up for your free copy:

Tip 4: Plan out where your family portrait will hang  

A printed family portrait will provide you with a little piece of history, a family heirloom if you will, which becomes more valuable as time passes. Its a good idea to think about where you might hang a family portrait in your home. Look at the colors in the room and this will help you with outfit choices too!

  Tip 5:  Relax and have fun

If you all relax and have fun, it will show in your photos. But I realize that’s easy to say, especially if the little ones aren’t in the mood for photos! I’m a daddy too so I appreciate how children can dictate the mood.

My advice is to allow enough time for your session or even opt for a longer session. The more time you have, the more chance your family will have to relax and enjoy themselves. It will also give you a lot more photos to choose from!

 Family in Weston, Ma

Family in Weston, Ma

 Family and their pet dog enjoying their time together  

Family and their pet dog enjoying their time together  

I recommend that you pack a bag with snacks, water and any small objects (like toys or lollipops) that might help us get their attention when it’s time for them to look at the camera. If they 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 pick something fun in advance as a treat after the session if they’re good listeners, like an ice cream cone, for example. It also helps if they’re bellies are full and they’ve has some good rest beforehand. Once you prepare them physically and mentally, then feel free to give them (and you!) grace! 

 

Family Photo Session Checklist: 

1. Set date, time and location for your photo session

2. Request my Family Photo Style Guide

3. Choose your outfits

4.  Pack a bag on the day with:

- Flats or flip-flops for walking between photo spots

- Second outfit (if you’re doing two)

- Touch-up makeup

- Water bottle (for warmer sessions)

- Coat or cover-up (for colder sessions)

- Snacks for the little ones

- If you have a toddler or younger, small eye-catching toys (or lollipops) to hold their attention

All my best!

Stuart Beeby

 

Stuart Beeby