Prepping for the Family Photo


Photographs remind us of the important times in our lives. It connects us to our past and reminds us of the people, places, and feelings we have experienced. On those special days when the family gathers, it’s great to capture those memories to take us back into that moment of happiness. 

Now, you might think taking family photos is easy as one, two, three; but family photoshoots have so many factors to consider that each time we get a beautiful picture, it feels like a miracle. It’s all worth the effort we put in, though. The key here is to prepare ahead. Often, these photo sessions only have a fixed window of time. 

When having your photos taken for your family, here are some tips you could follow. 

Put your best face forward

Congratulations on hiring your photographer and picking out your clothes in advance. Seize on the opportunity to get the most out of it. After all, these photos will be something to look back to for the decades to come. 

When it comes to current trends, photography is leaning more towards a more natural-looking skin. They’ve done away with excessive photoshop and over-retouched skin with no texture. Similarly, make-up trends are also moving towards this way.

Balancing family life and work-life can take a toll on our appearance, but luckily, a quick-fix exists. For your skin, you need something to correct discoloration and make it look smoother on camera. It’s not enough to find the right shade for your skin. It’s also essential to make sure that the formula is compatible with it. If you have acne-prone or sensitive skin, there is no doubt that a non-comedogenic foundation is the best choice. 

Make sure to book your hair and make-up appointments before your session. These small details can make a difference in your confidence for the day. 

Choose your clothes carefully

When it comes to clothes, one of the most common questions asked is “What should we wear?”. Consider the location and the look you’re going for. Casual? Elegant? Soft? With so many things you’ll be thinking on the day of the family shoot, you’d want to get it out of the way as soon as you can.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should dress in identical outfits. Pick something that shows your personality as a family. You could also pick up a similar color scheme of neutral colors or shades and avoid bright colors that stand out. Bright colors tend to catch all the attention in the photo. Unless that’s what you’re going for. The idea is that you, not your clothes, are the highlight of your photos.

Also, remember to choose clothing that is also comfortable for you to move freely in. You must be able to do things such as walking, sitting, hugging, among other things. 

Be well-rested and well-fed

This tip goes for the kids, as well as the parents. Make sure that you don’t show up to the photoshoot on an empty stomach. Anticipate how long it might take you. If you’re planning on coming to a shoot with a meal scheduled at the end, make sure that nobody is hungry during the session. 

Kids can get cranky when they’re sleepy and/or hungry. Please don’t force it. You don’t want your kid to be crying and upset with you. The harder you try to coax them back into the shoot, the more irritated and reluctant they may become. 

Give yourself plenty of time to get ready

Photos have a strong link with emotion. You would want to enjoy the process of having your photos taken. It shouldn’t be a high-pressure situation. If you recall being stressed or rushed during the day, it might take away some of the pleasant feelings of getting your finished photos. 

Give yourself extra time to get everything done before heading out. This includes time for eating, baths, grooming, and being in your outfits for the day. When a family shows up rushed and disorganized, it sets the tone for your photo session. Giving yourself time can prepare the family to face the day. 

Show enthusiasm for the kids

Maybe family photos aren’t the most thrilling of ideas for dads; however, capturing family memories is important. These images will be treasured when the kids have all grown and have families of their own. It’s essential that the moms and dads cheerfully participate in the family shoot. Kids like to mirror the adults, and they feed off the energy of their parents.

If they see their parents feel at ease and into the shoot, they’re very likely to feel the same as well. Once you see your photos, you will be so glad you gave this time to your family.

Bring an activity that the family enjoys

When families are actively doing something that they love to do together, the photographer will have the opportunity to capture something beautiful and authentic. Bring along props like board games that your family enjoys on game nights, eat ice cream treats, or have a picnic. Take advantage of your location. If you’re at the park, play a game of catch. Get some laughter out of everyone. 

Don’t force your kids to behave too much. Stiff expressions won’t make beautiful photos. Remember, kids, become uncooperative if you force them to do something they don’t enjoy. Don’t be afraid to let the kids run around and play with what they find at the shooting location.

Have fun

Here’s our last tip: don’t take yourself too seriously. Just have fun. Pull your family in for a big snuggle session. Get some wacky shots at the end. Kiss your spouse and kids. Pick up your kids and toss them in the air. Tell jokes with each other. If it’s autumn, jump on some leaves. Use props and take advantage of your location. 

Doing all of these things allows the photographer to capture some genuine moments of affection that your family has for each other. Each family has its own dynamic. This is the time to show your photographer who your family is and your love for each other. 

Our takeaway on this, while we might not be able to get the perfect Instagram photos, these are moments we will forever cherish with our loved ones. The best thing we can do is to prepare what we can prepare in advance and enjoy the process. If you keep these in mind, this will become a wonderful memory for your family. 

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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Julia Reed
3 years ago

I have always thought that photo day has to be stressful. It turns out that it can be fun, too. Thanks for the tips.

Hison Hison
Hison Hison
3 years ago


3 years ago

Thank you for your advice. I recently realized that you can find tips for almost anything on the Internet. Yesterday I used an article about take id photo at home to take some proper shots, and it worked great