Full Guide for an Easy Family Photoshoot

Planning a family photoshoot? You’ve come to the right place to get ready and fully prepared! In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about choosing a location, what to wear, and more!

What Is Family Photography?

Family photography is any pictures of individuals within a family. This may be parents and kids, or even extended family like aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, in-laws, and even really close friends. There are no rules about who counts as family, it’s really up to you to decide which individuals feel like family!

Why do professional family photos matter? 

Family photography is a way to create memories, document growth, and bring the family together. The reality is that we do not always have time or opportunity to spend as much time with family as possible. Photography helps us remember those times when we were together, laughing together, playing games, or celebrating dining. Even if some of us may have extremely energetic families with a lot of passion, we look at old photos with love and nostalgia, remembering how we changed over time and how great it is to have supportive people in life. 

These precious images will be seen by many over time, later they will be passed on for generations. At Mariyas Photography we believe every family deserves to have not only beautiful photos but also great quality photography artwork of their loved ones that will last for generations to come. 

How much is a family photoshoot? 

Family photography greatly ranges from photographer to photographer. Usually, photographers’ pricing is set based on their experience, demand, editing and style, package options, digital file model or printed artwork, number of people at the session, and much more. You can find a photographer almost at any price point. 

When choosing a family photographer it is important to consider the value that they offer, after all these are images meant to be shared and seen for generations. Photographers on the higher end will offer great professional services from the first phone call to consultation and delivery. Lower-end photographers may minimize all contact with you and just email the images when they are done.

If your goal is to have beautiful and high-quality art, always put value first, you want a photographer who will care about every detail of the experience; as if the family they are taking photos of is their own. 

How to Prepare for a Family Photoshoot

Families with Small Kids 

Discuss any potential concerns you may have with the family photographer. Even if you have rambunctious kiddos it’s totally okay! Usually, good family photographers are prepared for this by structuring their sessions to do the most important photos at the very beginning when the kiddos are most likely the calmest, and then do more fun candid photos with games or prompts.

When you arrive at the session, let the photographer interact with the kids naturally. Having talked to you, the family photographer will already know how to approach your kiddos and will start building rapport with them right away. Before coming do not try to prepare the kids by telling them they need to behave, as this might over-energize them or worse, set them in a bad mood. All you need to tell them is that they are going to do something really fun, this will help get them excited and looking forward to the session.

Extended Family Photoshoot

Similarly to getting ready for your family session photography with children, do not emphasize that everyone needs to be cooperative. Let the photographer lead the session and only step in needed.For extended family members, just let them know that a professional photographer is coming and will give instructions on location.

Usually, there is at least one person who does not want to take photos or is unhappy with the process. Warn the photographer ahead of time about that potential “negative Nancy” person. Let them know if there are any hobbies this person may have to help them get along. If this family member gets along with one else in the group, have them pair together so the session goes more smoothly. 

Family photoshoot in Chicago suburbs

Plan Outfits Beforehand

Your outfits should coordinate for the family portrait photography session, we have a blog on the topic here. But some important things to keep in mind are

  • Wear what you like and what makes you feel comfortable and confident. Make sure the clothes fit well.
  • Coordinate your clothing colors! Choose 2-4 colors that work well together or choose a monochrome color for everyone to wear (Colors do not need to match exactly).
  • Choose neutral solid colors to wear (Ex:  deep reds, grays, creams, browns, light, and medium blues, and greens). Remember that darker colors slenderize, and light colors create a fresh look.
  • Wearing clothes that are too casual (athletic wear, ripped jeans, flip flops), too formal, or poor fitting.
  • Avoid busy patterns, clashing colors, colors that blend in with the background of the location, and clothes with graphic designs, characters, logos, and words. Avoid having very pale pastels, and neon. Do NOT wear all black or all pure white.

Picking a Location

Good photography can be done anywhere whether it is outdoors of or family studio photography. For a family photoshoot outdoors you may consider a local park, forrest preserve, and your backyard if it is nice. The most important thing to remember is that it should be a well-lit environment with few distractions (garbage cans, litter, old fences, poles, etc.). If you’re in Chicago, check out this blog of local ideas for inspiration!

Fun Family Photo Ideas 

After you take the more “formal” photos, getting creative in making the family photoshoot unique is part of the fun! Below you’ll see plenty of ideas to get you inspired.

  • Wear similar colors or match outfits
  • Do a themed photoshoot  (travelers, sports, picnic, beach, vintage looks, holiday colors, superheros, movie characters)
  • Go to a fun location 
  • Involve a hobby
  • Use props (Balloons, confetti, sparklers, bicycles, sweet treats, books, signs, baking tools, blankets)
  • Love pets? Include them!
Family photoshoot in Chicago, IL

Family Photography Guide, Conclusion

While it may seem like a lot of work, family photo sessions are fun and simple to get ready for once you know what to keep in mind. Never be afraid to talk to the photographer if you are unsure of something or need some guidance – they are always happy to talk to you and make sure you are confident going into your photoshoot!

Have you been recently searching the internet for a “family photographer near me”? Now is the perfect time to schedule a family photo session! Capturing special moments with your loved ones is a great way to create lasting memories. Don’t let another year go by without updating your family photos. Get in touch with Mariyas Photography by filling out a contact form to schedule a consultation!

Hey There!

Me (4)

Hi, I'm Mariya! I'm a Chicago branding and family portrait photographer. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you've grabbed a good cup of tea or coffee as you browse through the blog :)