Getting the Most Out Of Your Family Photos

  • Location, Location, Location: Work with your photographer to choose an outdoor location that reflects your family’s personality and style. Perhaps your family loves hiking and visiting local parks. Or maybe you love the beach! Some families prefer a more urban backdrop. Whatever you love, convey that to your photographer and let them help you find the perfect spot. They often have ideas in mind that you wouldn’t have thought of.
  • Time of Day: Outdoor lighting can significantly impact the quality of your photos. The best times for outdoor photo sessions are usually during the “golden hour,” which is the hour after sunrise or before sunset when the light is soft and warm. In the spring, this means families would start later in the day, often around 7:30 or 8pm. This can be hard for families with little ones. I find that children do well if they have extra rest that particular day. If you’re looking for an earlier start time, Fall is the best time for you. Start times range from 5-6:30pm depending on the month.

mother and son in family photo
father and children in family photo
  • Outfits and Colors: Coordinate your family’s outfits, but avoid overly matching. Choose complementary colors and styles that suit each individual’s personality. Avoid busy patterns or large logos, as they can distract from the main focus, which is your family. In my experience earth tone colors work great with anything outside. My favorites are rust, mustard, olive, light blue, cream, brown, burgundy, etc. I tell my clients to avoid white and black, or any color that is too dark. Darker colors fall flat and lose all dimension, where white is a bit too overwhelming and draws the eye first. Work with your photographer to find the perfect outfits. In my studio, I also offer dresses for mom and outfits for children 2 and under! So, ask your photographer what they might provide to save some money!
  • Snacks, Drinks & Strollers: If you have young children, it’s essential to keep them comfortable and happy during the session. Bring some snacks and drinks to keep everyone energized and content. A stroller is also recommended if you’ll be walking a lot. Talk to your photographer to see what the terrain is and if a stroller might work. I find that it’s a lifesaver for little ones and takes the pressure of the parents to carry them.
  • Be Well-Rested: Try to schedule the session when everyone is well-rested and in good spirits. A relaxed and happy family will make for more natural and enjoyable photos. If your children are having an off-day, ask your photographer if rescheduling is a good idea.
  • Discuss Expectations: Talk to your family, especially kids, about the photo session beforehand. Let them know what to expect and try to create a fun and positive atmosphere. Encourage them to be themselves and enjoy the experience.
  • Professional Photographer: Hire a professional photographer who has experience with outdoor family photo sessions. Look at their portfolio to ensure their style aligns with your preferences.
  • Be Punctual: Arrive at the location a little early to give your family time to settle in, get dressed and get comfortable with the surroundings.
  • Capture Candid Moments: While posed shots are lovely, some of the best family photos come from capturing candid moments and genuine interactions. Let your photographer know that you’d like a mix of both posed and candid shots.
  • Relax and Have Fun: Enjoy the time with your family and try not to stress too much about getting the perfect shots. The more relaxed and natural you are, the better the photos will turn out. Remember that family photo sessions are about capturing your family’s unique bond and personality, so focus on enjoying the experience and creating lasting memories together.
mother and son smiling in field
nicole klein


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