Everything You Need To Know About Your First Family Portrait Session

You’re heading in for your first family portrait session, and you’re excited. You’re going to capture memories of your beloved family members that will last a lifetime! At the same time, however, you may find yourself wondering what to expect when you head in for your family portrait session. What will be expected of your family members? Do you need to practice your poses and get ready to stare straight at the camera? There are several things to keep in mind as you gear up for your big day.


Prepping For Your Session


Your family portrait session doesn’t begin when we get together and I pull out my camera. It actually begins in the days and weeks you’ll spend getting excited and getting ready after you’ve scheduled your consultation, and are waiting for the date of your session. There are plenty of questions to answer, including:

Where will my session take place?

I prefer to work with your family from the comfort of my studio, where I have access to my signature lighting. Here, I can completely control lighting and many of the other important details that make up a successful session.

What should I wear?

Picking out your outfits is one of the biggest steps in prepping for a family portrait session

You want everything to look right—but don’t stress about it! Every member of the family doesn’t have to precisely match all of the others. As you’re coordinating your outfit with your family, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palette and wardrobe pieces coordinate, but don’t have to actually “match.” In fact, we recommend that you avoid thinking about “matching,” and instead think about what “fits” together. This will create more visual interest, and allow each personality to shine through. Don’t be afraid to mix and match, whether you want to put the guys in plaids and the girls in solids or dress the girls in beautiful patterns while the guys wear coordinating solids. Consider how your chosen outfits speak to your family’s personality or showcase what makes you unique.

How much time do I need?

Before your session, we’ll talk about your family size and the types of pictures you want will determine how long you’ll need to plan to spend at the studio. Family sessions typically take a minimum of three-four hours which also includes professional hair and makeup. Also, try to avoid commitments immediately after your session so that we’ll have plenty of time and not feel rushed.


Can I bring props?

If there are specific props or other items that you’d like to bring to your session, let’s talk about them! Often, those special items will add a note of personality and fun to your family portrait session. I do ask, however, that you give me a heads up about any important items that you’d like to bring along to the session with you since that will give me more time to consider how they’ll fit into our creative vision for the session. I also have several props of my own available, which means that you may not need to bring your items with you!


During Your Session


You’ve arrived at the studio for your family portrait session—now what? We’ll start mom off by pampering her with professional hair and makeup. I always have refreshments available for you and the family to snack on during your time in the studio.

Have Fun!

We’ll hang out together and have fun!

During the early part of the session, I’ll try to put you and your family members at ease. You don’t have to look at the camera all the time! In fact, some of the best pictures I’ve gotten are of family members who are enjoying each other, rather than focusing on the camera.

I will guide you through poses so you don’t have to worry about “what you need to do”. I’ll take care of it all!

Strike a Pose

While you’re in front of the camera, let me take care of all the important posing details.

Inevitably, the moment you look away from the camera or break your pose to talk to your child, they finally decide to cooperate—but the opportunity is lost because you weren’t in your pose! Instead, I’ll talk to the kids, get silly with them, and keep snapping away. I never know what shot will turn out to be the best of the bunch.

Keep in mind that kids quickly grow frustrated if they feel like they’re being fussed at, instead of getting to enjoy the family portrait session. Try to have fun with your family as you capture tangible memories of the way they are in this season. You’ll be amazed by the quality difference in your pictures when you’re all able to relax and enjoy yourselves!

Many people wonder, “What happens if my session runs over?” Don’t worry! If the session runs over due to something out of your control, I’m not going to charge you extra for my time. I do, however, ask that you do your best to arrive at the session on time. This will give us more chances for creative expression and more time to spend focused on your family without feeling rushed.


When Your Session is Over


You’ve brought your family members together and taken some amazing pictures. The next step is on me! It’s time for me to look through your pictures, edit them, and turn them into the gorgeous final products you want for your wall, your albums, and your other artifacts. 

The reveal:

Once I’ve reviewed all of your pictures, I will edit a select few with my signature “painterly” editing style so you can see how the final images will look.  We will then go through all the images together from the comfort of your home where you get to choose your favorite images! 

Then, you’ll have the chance to order your products: gorgeous framed art for your wall (or for Grandma’s!), fine art, museum quality prints, folio boxes, and more.

I’ll also offer you a digital copy of your images for sharing on social media, keeping on your computer, and allowing you to remember your family as they are in this moment. 

Are you ready to put together an amazing portrait session? If you haven’t already scheduled your session, fill out my contact form so I can get in touch with you. I’ll get back to you to learn more about the unique, fine art images you want to capture of your family.  


If you'd like to contact us immediately please call: 720-432-8022