I believe in photos. While most of the time we take our own, I believe it’s worth it to hire a photographer to capture the moment. Yes, it can be expensive. And yes, it can be stressful. But I have more than a few tips for your family photos to turn out amazingly.
15 Tips for Amazing Family Photos
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Look for photographers
Don’t settle for the first photographer you come across. Ask for recommendations. Or take the search to Instagram and use hashtags to find your perfect photographer. I used #fresnophotographer. All photos in this post are taken by Dana Sophia Photography or check her out on Instagram.
Choose a photographer that speaks to you
I’m a fan of lifestyle photography, candid shots, and lots of movement. This style is pretty trendy right now and easy to find a photographer that specializes in lifestyle photography, but if you like more traditional portraits, own it. Study the photographers work on Instagram and their website. You’ll know when you found the right person when you keep going back to their work.
Figure out what works best: Mini Session or Full Session
This is a big decision and could affect the outcome of your photos. Mini sessions are short, usually 20 – 25 minutes long. Full sessions are typically around an hour. For my family, we need the full hour. At this last photo shoot, Rowan spent 20 minutes with his fingers in his mouth crying. I know other people that have said that after 20 minutes of photos, their kids loose it. Know your family and pick the length of time that works best for you.
Book in advance
I like having a little over a month to plan the shoot. There’s outfits and locations to pick.
Plan your outfit (the mom’s) first
I don’t know about you, but it always takes the longest to put my outfit together. I always recommend a dress, but stay comfortable. If you want to wear jeans or pants or even leggings, do it. These are your photos and no one else’s. Once I have my outfit figured out, the rest of the family’s outfits come together fairly easily.
For a modern look, please say no to matchy matchy
Do you remember the 90’s where family photos consisted of the same colored t-shirts, and jeans? Yeah, even as a kid I never was a fan. Instead coordinate colors and add in textures.
This year, I wore a brunt orange with a small floral pattern. I bought Brady a solid grey flannel and Rowan in a maroon button down. It’s a little more color than I normally do, but it worked.
When picking outfits, consider the location
So you know how I said I ended up with more color in the outfits than usual? Last year, we took photos in an area with a lot of trees: dark greens and browns, and we dressed in grays, whites, and blacks.
This year, we went to an open golden field with some trees, it was bright and airy. The location will make the outfits and the outfits will make the location. I kept in mind the warm tones of the location when I was looking at outfit options.
Make sure you and the other family members are comfortable in the outfits
If someone isn’t comfy in their outfit, it will probably come through in the photos.
Pick the location
I always try to pick a location based on the photographer’s portfolio and recommendations. The photographer knows the lighting and the best angles to shoot in a given location.
Think about your home decor and colors in your home
If you are planning on displaying the photos in your home, you’ll probably want the colors to fit the look of your home. Our house is pretty neutral in colors, so anything pretty much works.
On the day of the photos, give yourself plenty of time to get ready and drive to the location
Our photos were at 4:40 pm about a 30 minute drive from our house. I started getting myself ready at 2 pm when Rowan went down for a nap. Take your time, pamper yourself, and have fun. Put on some music, diffuse oils or light candles, and feel beautiful!
Go into your family photos with low expectations and trust your photographer
Rowan is two and sometimes he has an attitude problem. Not knowing if he’s going to be in a good mood is hard and stressful at times.
And for some reason I always think that the photos will look like a Free People ad; I’m not sure why. 1. There are never kids in Free People ads. 2. I don’t look like a Free People model. So trust your photographer. If your child is moody and freaking out, the photographer is just going to roll with it. You may be surprised with the end result!
Bring snacks and treats
Snacks and treats are the way to any child’s heart. My favorite are mini gummy bears. We went to the store together and I explained why we were buying them.
Play, laugh, dance around, and don’t forget to be yourself. These photos are supposed to reflect your family personality, don’t forget to let it show!
Communicate with your photographer
Don’t be afraid to share your ideas with your photographer. These photos are for you to treasure forever.
I hope that helps you get ready for your own family photos!