Top 5 Tips for Family Photography Session

Family pictures are a great way to capture memories, which will last for generations. You will cherish the photos now and your kids and grandchildren will love looking at them for posterity.

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As new parents, we start out by snapping lots of pictures of newborns. As the kids grow, we capture their birthdays, vacations, school, religious and sports activities.

In most instances, parents are snapping the photos and rarely end up in the pictures. It’s important to take family pictures and include the entire family and not just the kids.

On occasion, parents may “opt out” of photos for various reasons. Bad hair, not my favorite shirt, or even “do I look good in this?” But the problem of opting out is your kids will only have pictures of themselves and fewer memories of their moms and dads.

Looking back through my family photo albums, there are many shots of brothers and sisters and few of mom and dad during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Remember the 80’s big hair and outfits and how fun it is now to reflect on those times?

Once you have decided on scheduling your family session, the next step is preparing for your session. Here are my top 5 recommendations for preparing for a family session.

  1. Choosing your wardrobe: The focus of the session should be on family and not what they’re wearing. Stay away from busy patterns and choose solid colors to keep things simple. One idea is to wear matching clothes. Another idea is everyone can be dressed uniquely. Still another idea is everyone could wear blue jeans with a white or black top. Whatever you decide, plan your outfits ahead of time so you don’t have to scramble the day of the shoot to find things to wear.
  2. Hair and Make-up: For women, get your hair and make-up done professionally. You will feel more confident after having your makeup and hair done and you will be more relaxed. For men, have your hair cut several days before your session. For most men, their hair appears best about one week after a haircut. Make sure to style the kids hair too since they will be less concerned than you will be about their appearance. Kids will respect the importance of what you’re doing when they are dressed up well and their hair is fixed.
  3. Photography Location: Picking a location is a key element for your session. You can go to a park, the beach or even your own home. Outdoors will give you options and scenic backgrounds. If you choose the beach, you can sit or walk in the sand and get your feet wet in the ocean. When selecting a park, you can change backgrounds. For example, even dry grass is beautiful when acting as the background.
  4. Props: Clients often ask me what they should bring to the session. I advise them don’t bring anything. Especially when we go to a beautiful place like Vasona or Oak Meadow Park. We are fortunate to live in a town with amazing natural beauty. If you still want to have props, fun items to bring are blankets, a chalk board with something fun written on it, balloons or a picnic basket, kids sports items or even bicycles. You can even bring a antique chair or lounge chair and place it in the middle of the grass. Use your imagination and have some fun!
  5. Go Professional: Schedule a session with a professional photographer and don’t cut corners. A professional photographer understands lighting, angles, color, equipment and backgrounds. A professional photographer will help you relax and work to make you comfortable in front of the camera. Your photographer will apply the proper techniques to bring out your best look and create the best image of you.

Bonus Tip: Have fun! Bring your smiles and laughter and let the kids be themselves. After all, you are trying to capture their real personalities so it’s OK to have kids act silly in some pictures if that’s who they are. Don’t forget to bring treats for the little ones and your pets as you might need help getting their attention sometimes!

For more information or to schedule a family session, please call Natalie Ladd Photography at 408.761.0030. I look forward to hearing from you.

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