How to Prepare for Your Family Photoshoot

December 20, 2022

Kelsey Justice


Buckle up, because I’m giving out everything you need to know to get prepared for your family photoshoot. And I mean everything. I’ll cover general photoshoot tips, what to wear, what to bring, what to expect, and cover some additional tips to make it extra helpful.

You’ve booked a photographer! Now, WHAT TO WEAR???

Deciding what to wear for your family photoshoot can be just as challenging as finding the perfect photographer. These are photos you are going to hang on your walls and cherish for years to come. It can seem overwhelming when considering what to wear but it doesn’t need to be.

I have created a very helpful blog all about this topic alone. Be sure to check it out if you need help with your outfits!

What to Expect From Us

The truth is, I am not your run-of-the-mill photographer.  I make sure families are comfortable and fully engaged with one another during your shoot.  Long gone are the days of awkward smiles and stiff posing alone. I do something called play posing that allows you to be 100% yourself so your photos are comfortable, natural, and very YOU!

The thought of “what am I supposed to do with my hands” has plagued every single one of us any time we have stepped in front of the camera. Let me be the first to say that I TOTALLY GET IT! But, we will make magic, I promise.

You know your family FAR better than I could ever. You know how to love on your kids, how their personalities shine best, and all the ways to get them to smile. You’re already pros at loving on each other and our job is to capture that.

Here’s what the process usually looks like during your session:

1. We meet face to face at your scheduled date, chat, and get warmed up. Arrive at least 15 minutes early. I will begin shooting at your scheduled time and will not be able to go over the appointment time in most circumstances.
2. We walk to our spot, taking our time and hanging out.
3. We’ll get to our first spot and get you settled.
4. I will give you a little talk about what to expect and get you nice and focused on each other.  I step away and let you get fully present with each other.
5. We will begin having fun and capturing all the little, sweet moments!

But… don’t panic.  If you still feel a bit awkward and don’t quite know what to do, I’ve got all the ideas of things you can do that will be natural for you.  Here are some quick posing tips to help in those scenarios:

  • Lean into your people. Not physically, though that’s fine too, but I’m talking emotionally here. Look to them for support, connect with them.
  • Move around! Walk, run, dance, play, sway, etc. If you start to feel like you need more variation or feel awkward, movement is the best way to remedy that.
  • Try to connect to each other physically the whole time. You don’t have to make out the entire time, though you can if ya want! But holding hands, hugging, kissing, or standing super close will help keep you grounded and present.

Trust us. I am not going to let you look weird. I am not going to judge you. I am here to cheer you on and tell you how awesome you are and how adorable you look.

The more you can let us in, put your guard down, and be vulnerable, the more your images will feel like you.

I encourage you to bring:

  • A stroller or wagon for littles for most locations – I like to walk a bit to get different backgrounds
  • A neutral blanket – perfect for sitting poses or to keep your warm
  • Cute baby items such as shoes, hats, toys, blankets, or onesies, family heirlooms
  • Drinks/snacks for everyone
  • Wipes & Tissues
  • Extra pair of clothes just in case 
  • Your children’s favorite toys. to get them smiling
  • We are not above bribing over here if you aren’t, so bring those bribes!
  • Your favorite family Spotify playlist

While you can’t bring all of these things to your photoshoot, hopefully, this will spark some interest and get your brain going on how to make your session fully prepared AND mega fun and meaningful!!

Okay, *NOW* you’re ready for your family photoshoot!

We’ve walked through all the big q’s and what to expect! I would love to jam over email or text to get a game plan perfect for your family photoshoot so we can make it unique and special! 

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