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  • Writer's pictureMeaghan Bickel

How to Have a Fun and Successful Family Photo Session

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

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Have you ever scrolled through social media and felt a little envious of your friends' gorgeous family photos? It's totally normal to feel that way! But here's the thing, anyone can have stunning family photos, regardless of how well-behaved their kids are or whether they consider themselves a professional model. So don't worry, I've got some tips to help you capture the best family memories in pictures.

Timing is Important

When it comes to capturing the perfect family photo, timing is key! To get the most out of your photoshoot, it's important to think about the time of day, season, and weather. For outdoor photos, early morning or late afternoon is the sweet spot when the light is soft and warm. And, if you have little ones, it's probably best to avoid scheduling a photoshoot during nap time, when everyone is feeling tired. Don't forget about the beauty that each season has to offer, from fall foliage to spring blooms. So, let's work together to find the best time for your photoshoot and create some beautiful memories!

Prepare the Kids

Getting your kids ready for a photo session can be a breeze if you just give them a heads up! For younger children, explain that you're going on a fun adventure to the park to take some pictures with a friend. And, if your child is a bit shy or nervous around new people, why not bring them to the pre-session consultation with the photographer? This way, they can get to know the photographer and feel more comfortable during the session. You could also show them photos of the photographer on their website to give them a better idea of what to expect. With these little steps, your kids will be excited and ready for the photo session in no time!

Clothing Matters

When it comes to creating beautiful family photos, your clothing choices play a big role! To make the process as stress-free as possible, consider reaching out to your photographer for some advice. They can give you great suggestions on what looks best on camera, which might not always be the same as what you'd wear in your everyday life. For a timeless and elegant look, flowy fabrics and draping are a great option, as they allow for movement and add texture to your photos. And, while it might be tempting to match outfits or wear the same colors, these can often look too posed and unnatural. Instead, try coordinating colors and styles for a more natural and effortless look. With these tips in mind, you and your family will be dressed to impress for your photo session!

Make Physical Contact And Eye Contact With Each Other

Creating warm and heartfelt family photos starts with having meaningful interactions between family members. To make this happen, why not try some fun and cozy poses like holding hands, snuggling, carrying a child on your shoulders, kissing your baby, and standing or sitting close together? Make sure to look at your kids, lock eyes with your partner, and gaze at your family. This will help create a relaxed and natural atmosphere in the photos and bring out the emotions and connections between family members. The result will be beautiful family portraits that will truly capture the love and bond between your loved ones!


Don't worry, family photo sessions don't have to be stressful. Take some deep breaths on the way to the photoshoot and try to be patient with any energetic or grumpy kids or irritable partners. When you arrive, let your happy and cheerful side shine through by smiling a lot! Your kids will pick up on your positive mood, and it will show in their actions. Remember, overly stressed and controlling parents can actually spoil the photo session. So just relax, let the session flow, and trust your photographer to guide you along the way.

Kids Will Be Kids

It's so true that children are unique and special in their own ways, and it's important to let them be themselves! Whether they're shy or outgoing, allow them to express their personalities and behaviors. During your portrait session, let the photographer take the lead and guide your child, following their prompts. When you focus on interacting with your child instead of directing their actions, they will feel more relaxed and happy. And that positive energy will show in your portraits, making them even more special and memorable!

Be Ok With the Unexpected

It's good to be prepared for the unexpected during your family photo session. Sometimes, despite all the planning, things might not go as smoothly as we hope. If the kids are having an off day or not feeling cooperative, don't worry! Take a deep breath and trust in your photographer's expertise. They know how to capture the beauty in even the most unexpected moments. So instead of getting anxious and giving commands, just relax and let the photographer do their magic. You'll be surprised by how wonderful the final result can be!

Know Your Family

Family photographers are full of fun and creative ideas to capture playful and connected moments during your photoshoot. But they understand that not every trick works for every child. That's why it's a great idea to share some details about your family's personality with your photographer. Let them know what makes you all laugh, what words or actions always result in giggles, and what things are likely to not work as well. This information will help your photographer create unique and special photos that truly reflect your family's vibe. So don't hesitate to share your family's quirks and special moments with your photographer!

By putting these tips into action, you're on your way to having beautiful and cherished family photos that will last a lifetime. Just remember to relax, have fun, and let the love and connection you share with your family shine through in the pictures.

As a family photographer in the Ellensburg, Washington area, I would be delighted to chat with you about your vision for a family portrait session! I'm eager to hear about your family and how I can help capture your special moments. Let's connect and make your family portrait dreams a reality! I'm here and ready to help, so don't hesitate to reach out. I can't wait to hear from you!

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