Tips For a Successful Family Photoshoot

As an Atlanta family photographer, I understand the importance of capturing natural and intimate moments during a family photoshoot. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone or just want to document your family’s love and bond, there are some things you can do to ensure that your photography session goes smoothly and yields beautiful photos. Here are my top 5 tips for having an intimate family photoshoot:

1. Choose the Perfect Location

The location of your photoshoot plays a big role in setting the mood and atmosphere for your photos. When trying to capture genuine moments, choosing a site that makes you feel comfortable is important. Consider doing an intimate photoshoot in your home, where you can relax and be yourself. I recommend this option for newborn sessions but also for families that don’t want to be stressed out about a car ride and loading all the kids.

Studio sessions are always a good idea as well because you don’t have to worry about the weather outside. Pictures in my studio are simple and timeless and they are perfect for any time of the year.

The time of the year is also very important when choosing a location. Some locations I do not use in the summer because there’s so many trees full of leaves, that it is too dark for natural photos, and other areas I do not photograph in the winter because there’s not enough trees with leaves to diffuse the sun.

2. Pick the Right Time of Day

To get good natural family photos, I recommend having your pictures taken 2 hours before sunset. You want to avoid taking photos during midday because the sun’s rays can cause harsh shadows that won’t look ideal on the pictures. Also the strong light will cause the pictures to have more of a saturated look instead of a softer look.

You’ll also want to choose a period when your children are rested and in the mood to interact with each other. If possible, get your kids to bed early the night before so they will be well-rested and happy on picture day. This will help ensure that the family photoshoot goes smoothly and that you get genuine, natural-looking photos. During the summer, the sun sets late causing the pictures to be much later in the day. If you have little ones that go to bed pretty early like my 3 year olds, then fall and winter are good options as long as the weather cooperates and the temperatures are no lower than 50 degrees. Thankfully here in Georgia, we have a lot of nice days during fall and winter.

3. Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Get Ready

I suggest having your outfits chosen about a week before the session, and out and ready the night before. This will allow you be more at ease the day of the pictures and not have one more thing on your to do list. It will also ensure that you are not missing anything since you won’t be in a rush to get everyone ready and yourself. Even though you’ll have your outfits ready, plan to give yourself enough time to get everyone ready. Choose comfortable, confident-looking outfits. When everyone feels comfortable and confident, it will show in the photos and result in beautiful, genuine images with natural emotions. If you have younger kids that are more likely to get their clothes dirty, pack an extra outfit in case you need it.

4. Make Sure Everyone is Well-Rested and Fed

To ensure that your family is in a good mood and ready to have fun during the photoshoot, it’s important to plan ahead with going to bed early the night before, naps, meals and snacks. Get everyone well-rested and fed before the family session. Pack snacks in case you need them, but be sure it’s food that won’t easily stain their faces and clothes and get stuck in their teeth. Also choose water that they can sip on if needed instead of juices in case they spill some on themselves, at least it may be able to dry off.

5. Forget the Camera is There

As a family photographer, it’s my job to make you feel relaxed and comfortable during the photoshoot. I do this by providing gentle guidance and letting the story unfold naturally. I will capture the must have pictures first like everyone together looking at the camera and other important groupings, that way I will get everything I need at the beginning while I have the kids most attention and after that we can relax more and have fun. I’ll also snap some photos when you least expect it, as these can often be the rawest and most candid shots. So don’t worry about constantly posing or smiling for the camera, forget it – just enjoy the time with your family, laugh, play, and interact with your kids. These moments will be frozen and remembered by everyone and passed down to your children as they will treasure those memories.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips for having a memorable family photoshoot. I encourage you to read more of my blogs, and if you have any questions or are willing to book your photography session, please feel free to contact me!