Loading... Please wait...

How to have a successful family photo shoot

Posted by Eldeen Annette - Portrait Photographer on

It's that time of year again! We love the Fall weather; turning leaves, crisp air, and even a bit of snow can make for beautiful family photos that your family will cherish for years to come. Preparing for your photo shoot, and even moments during that photo shoot may seem less than perfect, though. We've set up a few key points to help you get the most out of your session.

1. The MOST IMPORTANT thing we can say is hire a professional photographer. Uncle Bob may have a nice Nikon, but without the years of experience, gear, lessons, webinars, seminars, schooling, editing skills and just plain old drive and love for photography, you may not get the results you were hoping for. Professionals dedicate their lives to this art, so put your family in the good hands of a pro. You will feel more relaxed and are much more likely to get a great set of photos that are worth printing. Our partner, Photo Card Chef, has a good starting list of professional photographers in your area.

2. HAVE A PLAN. Everything from your outfit, to your location, to what you'll be doing (the theme) of your family photo shoot is important to think through and plan for well in advance of your session. Especially when children are involved, having something to do during your shoot will not only make fun memories and captivating candid photos, but will help you get natural smiles from your kids and they are likely to "last longer" if they forget that they are getting pictures taken. Photographers tend to love these scenarios, too. It makes their job easier! Things like a snowball fight or building a snowman, making cookies in the kitchen, a picnic, or even something as simple as enjoying a cup of hot cocoa together are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing. 

Your outfits say a lot about you! The most important thing is to prepare outfits that you feel comfortable in and that represent your family. Colors ought to somewhat coordinate, though :)  We recommend sticking with fairly neutral colors, plus one or two bolder colors to add a sparkle.

The location of your shoot should be scouted out during the time of day that your shoot will be. How will the sun affect your photo during your scheduled time? Are there enough spots at your chosen location you feel good about? Will your shoot be indoor or outdoor? Lots to consider. But as long as you take the time to do the considering, you're on a good track to a successful shoot.

3. ON THE DAY OF, bring snacks for the kids, warm drinks (if it's cold outside), and have patience. Most importantly, have fun! Your photographer is capturing a moment for you that will represent this time in your life for generations to come. Trust your photographer - you hired a pro to take charge. And while it's ok to have high expectations, don't limit the photographer to certain "Pinterest shots." Let them do their job and make your photo shoot unique.

4. PRINTS YOUR PHOTOS. It's amazing how few families end up printing their photos. Believe us, if they don't get printed, they will be forgotten - not only by you, but by generations after you. Photographers that offer the digital images should have a recommended printing company you can go to, and we always recommend putting your favorites on the wall. Take advantage of the photographer's options for wall prints, albums, keepsake boxes, holiday cards from CardChef.com, and of course, print one or two on jewelry from Cherish Photo Gifts (shameless plug!). 

Cherish Photo Gifts offers more high-end photo jewelry, unique wall prints and options, photo ornaments, and specialized photo gifts for the special someone in your life.