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How to Prepare for a Family Photoshoot

You scheduled your family photoshoot, but now what? How do you prepare your family for the photoshoot? Maybe this is your first time or your hundredth time, whatever the case, there are tips for making this process run as smoothly as possible!

How to prepare for a family photoshoot

Whether you choose to work with me or not, there are some things you can do right after booking your session to start preparing for your session:

  1. Clothing: This is one of my favorite topics to discuss because I believe what you wear helps in creating the final outcome of your session. Clothing color and styles has a huge impact even on how you feel during the session. If you're my client, there are a few guides and lists I'll send you with helpful information as soon as you book and I'll work closely with you up until the day of our session to ensure you have the best outfits for your family! (Other photographers have their own way of approaching this topic.) The main advice I can give you is to choose flowy outfits over tight and formfitting clothing to allow for movement during your session. This doesn't mean you have to wear a dress. There are flowy tops and bottoms that you can wear to achieve the flowy look and allow for movement and playfulness during your sessions. Pro tip: just because you've identified the clothes your family will wear doesn't mean you're ready. Have them try on the clothes to identify if there are any problems (doesn't fit well, random stains, etc).

  2. Chat with your family about the upcoming session: Kids and, let's be honest, some husbands need to know about upcoming photoshoots. Start chatting with them and let them know why you're getting photos done and how the photos will be used. Updating family photos is a big deal and likely won't happen more than 1 or 2 times a year, so let them know this a head of time so they're on board with you and your vision. Let your kiddos pick out a new frame that will be used to display one of the photos. Have them pick the spot to hang the frame or where it'll stand in the house. With little ones in the funny face stage, practice your "photoshoot smiles" in the mirror so they can start understanding the difference between the photoshoot smiles and the silly face smiles (we can definitely use both smiles during your session so you can remember this phase of their life!).

  3. Schedule hair, makeup, and nails appointments: Scheduling these appointments ahead of time guarantees to have everything set by the day of your shoot. These services are also busy at certain times of the year that most families schedule photoshoots (holidays, Mother's Day, springtime), so you may not get an appointment if you try to book too close to the. Pro tip: If you're dying your hair before the session, schedule that at least a week before to not end up with discoloration around your face for photos.

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How to Prepare for a Family Photoshoot Day Of:

The day of the shoot is here! What can be done to help make the day go as smoothly as possible?

  1. Chek the clothes one last time. If you're session is scheduled for early in the day, then this should be done the night before. Lay out clothes and check you have all the pieces you need and nothing needs to be ironed or steamed last minute.

  2. The day of the shoot should be as easy as possible. Making it a busy day will tire the family and they'll be less likely to cooperate during the session. If you do have a busier day planned, allow plenty of rest time between activities and session.

  3. Check the parking situation before you leave. Parking in a new parking lot is my number one anxiety trigger, so this is a rule I follow all the time! Understanding what parking will look like will help you determine how much time you need to add to your driving time. Is this a popular spot? Are you familiar with the session location? These are some questions you need to ask yourself before you leave so you make sure to arrive with plenty of time before your session. Consider that you may still need to walk to the spot from the parking area so add time to your driving time to deal with the parking lot situation.

  4. Pack your go to snacks and water. Full sessions with me are about an hour long and we definitely aren't just sitting and posing. During the sessions, we are very active and include lots of playing, dancing, tickling and movement. Having snacks and water close by will help kids feel ready to continue after a little break.

  5. Plan your after-session bribe. I'm a believer in bribes! I'll try to not let your kiddos get bored during our session, but sometimes it still happens, and they need a little extra push. You know your family best and what would motivate them. Could be ice cream, special place for dinner, extra screen time, etc. Reminding your kids about those treats will help keep them motivated a little while longer.

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How To Prepare For A Family Photoshoot | Cintia Ally Photography

Now that you know what to do to prepare for the session, read this blog post about how to have fun while in the middle of your family session!


Click below for a downloadable guide on how to prepare for a family session!

How To Prepare For A Family Photoshoot Guide
.pdf
Download PDF • 2.29MB


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