Tips from a Photographer
Preparing for Your Family Photo Session

November 30, 2022

Aiden Laurette Photography | Family photo session
Aiden Laurette Photography | Family photo session

Advice From a Professional Photographer on How to Get Ready for Family Photos

‘Tis the season – to prepare for family photos that is! During pre session calls and before every family session I do, I get flooded with questions and I’ve started to notice patterns. I thought I’d create a blog post so they’re all in one place! Let’s start with one of my number one most requested pieces of advice: how to wrangle your tiny humans long enough to get a good photo of them! It’s definitely not easy to get the small people to stay in one place. My biggest advice is to just go with it. Things are going to be what they’re going to be. Everyone will be a lot happier if we just roll with the punches.

One thing I like to remind my clients is that when you have family photos done, you remember the session when you look at the photos.  So our goal is to make that time spent with me a good memory.  Now I KNOW this can be tough with little kids(Believe me, I have 3 kids under 10!) But, I try to let kids play and have fun and then sneak in some photos looking at the camera as well.  Sometimes this means that we may start with the plan of cute walking photos on the bridge… and end up with even cuter photos on the bridge of your kids looking for fish in the creek!  It is what it is… That’s the stage of life we’re in! 

If your little one has a favourite stuffy or blankey definitely bring it along, but be aware that it may end up in your photos! Side note: if you see a stuffed dog in my Christmas photos, no you didn’t. I also recommend preparing them as best as possible ahead of time. For example, my little man Theo has a hard time with new outfits. We let him try them on a few days ahead of time. Anything to save yourself from a day-of meltdown when stress is high! Lastly, when all else fails resort to bribery! Treats like mini marshmallows and most gummy candies work great. It’s one and done after they’re popped in their mouth. Definitely stay away from messy treats like chocolate, nothing ruins the vibe faster than a dirty face or – heaven forbid – outfit!

Aiden Laurette Photography | Family photo session

But Aiden, What on Earth Should We Wear?

Speaking of outfits, this is probably the question I am asked the most often. My go-to answer is usually to recommend co-ordinated (not matching) neutrals, but holiday minis are a little different. I love it when my families use the opportunity to “break the rules”, have fun and express themselves. Buffalo plaid, ugly Christmas sweaters, matching PJ’s. Nothing is off limits for Holiday minis and it makes for some really fun photographs.

The other piece of advice I always give my families is to have Mom find an outfit she loves first. It’s easier to match everyone else around that. Nothing is worse than picking a colour scheme, buying everyone else outfits and then realizing you have nothing that fits in. Or worse, realizing you have nothing that you want to be photographed in. I also say that unless you’re getting photographed in a city type setting, heels are not ideal. If you’ve been here for a while you know that I love having adventures during my sessions. Family photos are no different! Practical shoes are best for getting up to nonsense, which is what makes sessions so fun!

Aiden Laurette Photography | Family photo session

What time of year is best?

I get this question the second most! When should we book? The best advice I can give on this is, if you’re going to display them try and match the flow of your home decor. Fall minis by definition have a lot of colour in them, so if you want more neutrals go with Spring or Summer. If you’re looking for more bold backgrounds, Winter is the way to go because the snow acts as a giant reflecting pool. Also, if you have family members with health concerns you may not want to be out in the extreme Summer heat or harsh Winter cold.

My second recommendation is if you’re an “annual photo” person, I’d steer away from using Holiday minis as your one yearly photo. They just have such a specific look and feel that it might not fit with your decor scheme! And like I said above, it’s a chance to get silly and have fun. To break convention while making lifetime memories with your loved ones. I say break out the ugly Christmas sweaters and let your true colours shine through!

Aiden Laurette Photography | Family photo session
Aiden Laurette Photography | Family photo session

I hope you found these tips useful to help prepare for your family photos! Here are some of my favourite family shots from past sessions.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Preparing for your Engagement Session

Family Portraits in Muskoka on Kawagama Lake

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *