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Preparing for Your Outdoor Family Photo Shoot: A Guide

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Preparing for Your Outdoor Family Photo Shoot: A Guide


Organizing a family photo session in the great outdoors can be an energizing and gratifying experience when done correctly. With careful planning and attention to detail, you’ll capture stunning images that will be cherished by your loved ones for years to come. This blog post delves into the essential aspects of organizing a successful family photoshoot.


We begin by discussing choosing the perfect location that complements your family’s unique dynamics. Next, we guide selecting great wardrobe options that provide comfort during the session. Finally, we will look at props to add some personality to the shoot.


Choosing the Right Location


The perfect location for your outdoor family photo shoot is crucial to achieving stunning results. Consider these key aspects when making your decision:


  • Season: Choose a season that complements your family’s style and preferences. For example, fall offers vibrant foliage, while spring brings blooming flowers.
  • Weather: Keep an eye on weather forecasts and plan accordingly. Overcast days can provide soft lighting, while sunny days offer bright and lively backdrops.
  • Lighting: Consult with your professional photographer about optimal times of day for capturing natural light in various locations such as parks or beaches.


Wardrobe Choices for the Whole Family


Selecting the perfect wardrobe is crucial in creating a cohesive and visually appealing image during your outdoor family photo shoot. Consider these factors when choosing outfits:


  • Complementing natural surroundings: Choose clothing that complements the colors and textures of your chosen location. For example, if you’re shooting at an outdoor park opt for earthy tones.
  • Fitting your family’s lifestyle: Select attire that reflects your family’s personality and style. This will make everyone feel comfortable and confident during the shoot.
  • Professional guidance: A family photographer can provide valuable advice on coordinating outfits to achieve a harmonious look. They may also suggest specific clothing items or accessories to enhance the overall aesthetic of your family photos.


While selecting your outfits, remember the principle of color coordination instead of matching outfits. While matching outfits may seem cute, coordinated companies give a more authentic feel to the images. 

Props To Enhance the Photoshoot


Integrating props and accessories into your outdoor family photo shoot can create a unique and personalized image. When selecting props, consider items that fit the natural setting while also reflecting your family’s interests or hobbies. For example, you might include a picnic basket for a park setting or beach toys for a seaside session.


Even items that may seem mundane, like a favorite book or a cherished family heirloom, can add a deeper level of personalization to your photographs. Be bold and think outside the box; incorporate a guitar or vintage records if your family loves music. Consider bringing a soccer ball or baseball gloves if sports are a common interest.


Like those at JCPenney Portraits, a professional photographer can help you choose appropriate props and incorporate them effectively into your photos. They may even have some for you to use during the shoot.


Support should have a purpose, either to help tell a story or contribute to the aesthetic of the picture. Props can distract from the main subject – your family. Choose a few essential items to add a touch of personality without overwhelming the images.

Coordinating Schedules To Ensure a Smooth Experience


When planning an outdoor family photo shoot, it’s essential to coordinate schedules in advance. This not only ensures that everyone is available but also helps prevent last-minute stress and confusion. Here are some tips for successful scheduling:


  • Choose a date well in advance: Picking a date several weeks or even months ahead of time allows ample opportunity for family members to clear their calendars.
  • Consider the best time of day: Consult with your professional photographer about the ideal lighting conditions for your chosen location, as this may impact the preferred timing of your session.
  • Familiarize yourself with the booking process: Booking with a professional studio like JCPenney Portraits offers tremendous flexibility and ease of scheduling. Learn more about their convenient options by visiting their scheduling page.


While scheduling, keep in mind that sessions can take longer than anticipated. Allot enough time to accommodate unforeseen delays such as traffic, last-minute outfit changes, or needing extra minutes to get comfortable in front of the camera. Patience and flexibility can go a long way in ensuring a positive experience for everyone involved.


Consider designating a family member as the photographer’s primary point of contact. This person can handle any scheduling changes, communicate updates, and address any concerns or questions the photographer might have. This can significantly simplify the process and eliminate potential misunderstandings.

Tips for Keeping Your Family Engaged and Happy During the Photoshoot


Ensuring a fun and relaxed atmosphere during your family photo session is essential to capture great shots. Here are some tips to keep everyone engaged:


  • Communicate expectations: Discuss the goals for the photo session with your family members beforehand so everyone knows what to expect.
  • Create a comfortable environment: Choose an outdoor location that suits your family’s interests, such as a beach resort or a sporting event.
  • Incorporate breaks: Allow time for short holidays during the photo session, especially if you have young children who may need rest or snacks.


In line with keeping everyone comfortable, remember to pack essentials like bottled water, snacks, and even a change of clothes, especially for young children. The outdoors can be unpredictable, and preparing for any situation can ensure a smooth and stress-free photo shoot. Additionally, consider bringing along items that your family loves. 


For instance, bring a few favorite books if your family enjoys reading. These elements help create a relaxed environment and add a personal touch to your images.


Remember to let each family’s individuality shine through during the photoshoot. Encourage everyone to express personality, whether it’s through a silly pose or severe expression. These unique moments can often lead to the most cherished photos.


Sharing the Final Images


Once your outdoor family photo shoot is complete, it’s time to share and enjoy the beautiful memories you’ve created. JCPenney Portraits offers various print options, including canvas prints, photo tiles, and custom cards that make perfect gifts for loved ones.


Consider quickly making a digital album or utilizing social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram to share your photos with family and friends online. Be sure to tag your professional photographer in your posts to show appreciation for their work.


Some tips for sharing your final images include:


  • Create a digital album on popular photo-sharing websites like Google Photos or Flickr.
  • Post images on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram with appropriate hashtags.
  • Order high-quality prints from JCPenney Portraits to display at home or give as gifts.


While sharing photos, it’s worth considering other creative ways to display them. Besides the typical photo frames, you could opt for personalized items like photo pillows or mugs. These can make for beautiful keepsakes or gifts for extended family members. Alternatively, creating a photo calendar is a fun way to enjoy your photos all year round.


Contact JCPenney Portraits today to find a studio near you and begin preparing for an outdoor family photoshoot and a lifetime of memories.  

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