Get Picture-Perfect: A Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing for Your Family Portrait Session

Displaying your family portrait artwork after the session, Charlotte Family Photographer

Steps to prepare for your family portrait session

  1. Choose the right clothing: Decide on outfits that complement each other and the location of the final portrait. Avoid clothing with logos or busy patterns. Avoid colors that clash with the aesthetic of the room they will be displayed in. I can help guide you on this when we meet for your planning time. 
  2. Plan hair and makeup: If desired, schedule hair and makeup appointments for everyone in the family. Plan haircuts for at least a week before your portrait session.
  3. Schedule the session: Make sure everyone is available for the session and coordinate schedules around little ones’ naps and best times of day. 
  4. Communicate: Clearly communicate your wants and needs for the family portraits to the photographer, and make sure everyone understands your vision. 
  5. Consider props: Think about bringing props, such as toys, books, or special family heirlooms, to add interest to the photos.
  6. Prepare children: Let children know what to expect from the session and give them time to get comfortable with the photographer. For shy children, I recommend bringing them to the studio for the planning appointment. This gives them time to relax in the studio without expectations and to get used to me.
  7. Relax: Try to relax and have fun during your family portrait session. This will show in the final photographs and make for a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Remember you don’t always have to be looking at the camera, interactive portraits are sometimes mom’s favorites.
Mom, dad, and baby girl during family portrait session, Charlotte Family Photographer

Last tip once you’ve booked your family portrait session get everyone in on the fun. Create a day with less stress by having a favorite breakfast with your children, singing in the car on the way to your session and tell your kids how much fun they will be having that day (or if they are teenagers, how fast the session will go with cooperation.)

Moms always asks “How do I look good in a family photoshoot?”

Ok this is part planning ahead with the above tips and part trusting your photographer. If we have planned ahead with the right clothing, communication and trust it should all work well. If you still have doubts or hesitation don’t be afraid to reach out and ask more questions. Most importantly I know it’s a vulnerable situation being in front of the camera, but you have to be open with me about your concerns. Trust me so many people have self doubt about different things. But I need you to tell me if you have that ahead of time so I can assure you doing the shoot. I have heard it all. For example I don’t like this side when I smile big. Ok no problem we can pose you from the other side. Or when I laugh my eyes close. This is common for adults and kids, it is also something I look out for but having that conversation can really put you at ease before the photoshoot.

New to my page? Check out the family portrait gallery here

If you have questions, send me a text or give me a call 803-336-5125. Talk soon Alicia


Preparing for Family Portraits