Tips for Great Family Portraits!


I'm so excited about your upcoming Family Photo Session!  I hope you are too!  We will have lots of FUN during your photo shoot, but it's good to be prepared and know what to expect ahead of time!  

Typically, we will be walking around and taking your photos in a few different locations, using several different poses- sitting, standing, squatting, etc.  Sometimes you'll be looking at the camera, sometimes looking at each other.  I will try to capture many different aspects of your family, but if you have anything specific in mind, just ask!

It's important to take good care of yourself before and during the photoshoot.  Here are some general tips that I share with all of my clients that will help you prepare and make the most of your photo session:



Make sure everyone gets a good night's sleep before your photo session so that you will look fresh and won't have bags under your eyes. Kids and parents will have a lot more patience if they are not tired.


Nothing makes a person grouchier than an empty belly, so if you want to see great smiles, be sure to eat something before you leave for the session. Often times your session is scheduled around meal time so you might need to plan accordingly. Please please please make sure you don't show up to your session hangry!


Your skin looks best when you are hydrated!  Drink plenty of water during the days approaching your photoshoot.  Feel free to bring a bottle of water with you to the shoot because you might get thirsty.  

Clothing tips...

  • Your clothing choices will make a huge impact on how great your photos turn out!  Here are some tips to get you thinking!
  • You want to be coordinated, but not matchy-matchy (no more “put everyone in white shirts and jeans!")  Instead, mix and match solids and prints and multiple, complementary color patterns!!  Be bold, but be yourselves! 
  • Please avoid clothing with very small stripes or NEON colors.
  • Dress everyone appropriately for the weather to keep everyone comfortable for the duration of the session. 
  • For larger family sessions, give each family group a general idea of the color scheme and let them coordinate individually.  Don't stress too much about making everyone match perfectly. 
  • Use layers- like jackets, sweaters, and scarves to add color and depth!  Don't forget to incorporate jewelry and other accessories to complete your look.  
  • I usually tell ladies to pick their outfits and accessories first, and then find something that the rest of the family can wear to compliment their outfit!  
  • Search Pinterest or Google for “Family Photo Outfit Ideas.”  
  • Consider your home decor if you plan to display your awesome new family photos.    
  • Make sure children are comfortable in their clothing, otherwise, it will show in your photos!  

For parents of younger kiddos...

Don't expect your kids to be perfectly behaved for the photos- this is probably a new experience for them!  Let them be themselves so they will feel more comfortable. It's ok for them to be silly sometimes, and usually, I can capture some genuine smiles when kids are "acting crazy!"  Often times we need to "play around" for a few minutes and let them warm up to me. Please try not to get frustrated and just allow me to give them instructions. I'll always defer to you as the parent, of course, but most kiddos typically cooperate LESS when they feel like they are in trouble, or being forced to SMILE!  :)

You may bring a small treat or a small toy that might be used as a reward for good participation.  Please do not bring anything messy, or anything that might turn their mouth colors.  Fruit snacks, marshmallows, or light-colored jelly beans are a good choice!  

Yucky stuff.

I recommend bringing bug repellant since most shoots are scheduled near sunset when the bugs like to come out and play.  There is also a chance we can run into "wildlife" such as snakes so please stay aware.   You will most likely get dirty from sitting on benches, logs, etc.  If you have clothing that is delicate, please bring a towel or something to sit on. 

Be punctual!

Please be on time for your photo session.  In fact, be a few minutes early so that we can get started right on time and take advantage of the perfect lighting.  



Most of all RELAX and be ready to HAVE FUN!!!