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What to Expect From a Family Photo Session

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What to Expect From a Family Photo Session


After booking the reservation, you may wonder: what can I expect from a family photography session? It may sound like a stressful event, but it does not have to be and is usually quite fun!


No matter how old your children are or if you have pets who will be included, this article will give you insight into what to expect during and after this session and how to prepare for the photo shoot.


Keep reading for tips, inspirations, advice, and more concerning family photography sessions.


What Can I Expect From a Family Photography Session?

To help you and your family prepare for a successful photo shoot, keep the following considerations and possibilities in mind.


Communicate What You Want

Most people go into a family photography session with a vision of what they want. Make sure you communicate this to your photographer ahead of time and during the photo session if necessary.


Tell them in advance if you want specific poses or plan to bring a pet for the shoot. Providing examples of poses you want can also be helpful, so save images of poses or setups that you like to help your photographer understand your vision.


Be Prepared for Multiple Pics

Family photographs can be challenging, especially if you include rambunctious pets or antsy young kids. However, you won’t capture the perfect family photo in one shot. You and your family should prepare to take multiple photographs.


Depending on what you paid for, it may be less than 10, but if you want options, it will be more. Don’t expect it to be a one-and-done situation.


The first snap is usually just for technical purposes, allowing the photographer to test exposure and check for other factors. Explaining this to your children beforehand can avoid fits of frustration or misunderstandings.


Expect To Have Fun

Professional family photographers know you and your kids aren’t professional models. They are pros at making it a fun and lighthearted experience for anyone. Maintaining this attitude is crucial for keeping everyone, especially kids, calm and happy.


They want to help you relax, so the photoshoot is a fun family activity, not a stressful chore. A professional family photographer may make jokes, play soothing or entertaining music, or make light conversation while adjusting poses.


Some even have toys to keep babies and toddlers engaged with the camera. A photographer may even get down on a nervous child’s level, show them the camera, and make them feel comfortable.


Plan What to Wear


  • Don’t be too matchy-matchy
  • Keep patterns simple
  • Avoid characters and logos
  • Consider the decor where you plan to hang the photos
  • Shop family clothing collections
  • Utilize layers
  • Combine textures
  • Avoid trends to keep the attire timeless
  • Factor in the background if you know what it is
  • Consider adding accessories that show personality

Prepare for the Weather

Prepare yourself for imperfect weather if doing an outdoor photoshoot. While a bit of rain or wind can make the portrait experience difficult, it doesn’t mean you can’t still get a beautiful photo of the entire family.


Check the weather in the 24 to 48 hours leading up to the photo shoot. Ensure the clothes you select are appropriate for the temperature and utilize layers to give you more flexibility.


Consider bringing coordinated jackets, scarves, or hats to keep you warm in bad weather without compromising the photo. A professional photographer will sometimes relocate the photo shoot to a covered area. If the weather is extra bad, they may suggest you reschedule.

Do Not Force a Smile

Natural interactions create better family photos. Forcing a smile or telling your kids to say “cheese!” will result in awkward and stiff photos. The best family photographers will interact with you and your family to bring out natural reactions and capture the family’s personality.


For instance, they may start shooting while still talking to you to capture candids. A successful professional photography shoot will feel relaxed and enjoyable throughout the entire session, making it easy to produce natural smiles and happy expressions.

There Will Likely Be All Kinds of Shots Taken

Many family photo sessions encompass a range of shots. The photographer may start with group photographs but also take individual photos, parent photos, sibling photos, pet photos, and baby photos.


You can request specific poses and shots you want or see what your photographer recommends. Even if you think you don’t want individual or sibling photos, it’s worth having the option if included in your session.

Photographers Are Prepared for Upset Kids

Families shouldn’t worry too much about kids having a meltdown or not following instructions; professional family photographers are typically happy to take breaks. They’ve likely seen it all, from mild fussiness to full-on tantrums, so there is no need to apologize profusely or feel embarrassed.


A family photographer will be willing to take breaks, try different poses if one is causing stress, or change their overall approach to the shoot if necessary. You’ll be surprised how cleverly these professional photographers can snap a stunning and happy shot in between toddler meltdowns.


If one child is having a tough time, they may take this time as an opportunity to get individual shots of the other kids. But don’t waste those moments when everyone is ready and behaving. Sometimes parents can be slower to get ready than the kids! 

What Comes After the Family Photography Session?

When people ask, “what can I expect from a family photography session?” They often want to know what to expect following the session too.

Choosing the Best Pictures

After the photoshoot is over, you’ll usually receive a link to an online gallery with the photos selected by the photographer. This initial selection of photos will likely be unedited. At this point, you can select your favorite photos and send them back to the photographer for editing, design overlays, resizing, and other small tweaks.


But how do you choose the best photos? Many family photographers will make helpful suggestions and recommend their favorites, but don’t be afraid to make your own decisions. Try to select one of each type of shot (individual, group, siblings, funny, formal, etc.).


If you have a range of options, you’d be remiss to select all group shots, most of which you likely won’t use. So try to select a variety!

Printing the Results

The final stage of a family photography session is printing the results. The printing options are plentiful, so you’ll have a lot to consider.


Think about where you want to use these photographs, whether you want to send them to people, and how much you want to spend on prints. But the options are endless, from simple prints for small picture frames to specialty prints. Below are some possibilities:


  • Canvas prints
  • Postcards
  • Framed portraits
  • Specialty sizes
  • Greeting cards
  • Enhanced images
  • Collages
  • Wallet photos

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few frequently asked questions.

Why do family photos matter?

Family photos can connect your family and allow you to capture a beautiful moment in time. Kids grow up fast, and things change quickly, so don’t miss out on capturing these meaningful moments before they’re gone.

Are matching sweaters for family photography sessions popular?

Perfectly matched sweaters are not a popular choice anymore. Instead, people aim to coordinate colors and patterns rather than wear the exact same ones.

How often should you have professional family photoshoots?

The answer to this will be different for all families. Some people do them once a year, but you can do them every six months or every few years. Once every 12 to 18 months is ideal for capturing your children’s growth.


Are themed family photoshoots fun?

Yes! Family photo shoots can be fabulous fun if you prepare thoroughly and have a positive attitude. While kids can get upset, and things can go wrong, most people have a spectacular time capturing their beautiful family, and the shoots can be fun for the kids and adults involved.

How do I save money on a family photography session?

Family photo shoots don’t have to break the bank. You can save money on your family photographs by visiting a studio rather than a private photographer, keeping an eye out for coupons, discounts, and promotions, and signing up for studio email newsletters so you can catch the best deals.

Schedule Your Family Photography Session Today!

Hopefully, this article gave you all the answers to your question: what can I expect from a family photography session?


Don’t miss out on the opportunity to capture your adorable children’s faces before they grow up in the blink of an eye.


Family photo sessions are a lovely way to commemorate a special time in your life. Schedule your family photo session today so you can have a stunning photo of your whole family!


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