How to Get the Best Out of Your Session with Your Photographer

You’re finally getting a family photo shoot. This is exciting but so nerve wrecking at the same time, right? You want your photos to be perfect.

So should you get involved in maximizing the photographic quality? Or should you rather leave the professionals to take care of it?

The good news is you can get involved. In fact you should.

Why You Should Get Involved

Remember the photographer’s impact is limited. He is only able to work with the version of ‘you’ who shows up on the day of the shoot. If you arrive tired, hungry, grumpy or dishevelled, the quality of the photograph will be short changed.

And for that family shoot, imagine the challenges of managing a larger group of people with different personalities. So step in to help because you know your family far better than the photographer does.

So what can you help with?

What Could Go Wrong?

Let’s be honest. No family is perfect and on photo day interesting things could happen:

  • Your grandpa could wear his favorite ragged shirt form the war
  • Your brother could be sun burnt from yesterday’s pool party
  • Your darling grandchild could have green M&M’s stuck in her teeth

So it’s your job to prevent these disasters.

So Let’s Get it Right

Step 1: Talk to Your Professional Photographer

Get advice from your photographer ahead of time. Ask advice about location and color selections so you know how to advise your family.

Here’s an important tip: Excellent photography is not the result of a moment’s artistry, but it’s about planning. The photographer will be in control of the day, but first it’s time you take control of your family.

Step 2: Get Your Family Prepped

So arrange a family meeting a few weeks before the shoot. Now get everyone on the same page. These things may be obvious to you and the photographer, but not to everyone.


  • Suggest a fun pamper party. Everyone can get manicures and facials to look their best.
  • Ask everyone to get a haircut two weeks before but nothing too drastic. This ensures they look groomed but natural.
  • Check if everyone’s outfits are ironed and ready the night before.


  • Get suggestions from everyone on a good location. Select a place you enjoy hanging out as a family so you feel comfortable on the day.
  • Plan snacks and activities for the kids but stay away from messy food.
  • Select an ideal time for the shoot that suits people’s schedules, including the photographer’s. He or she may want to use sunset lighting, so confirm beforehand.
  • Ask everyone to get enough beauty sleep the night before.

Fun and Creativity

  • Work out which colors and clothing items will work well together. Is there a hue that has special meaning for you?
  • Take some props with to make it fun such as:
    • Bandanas and Mexican hats
    • Sports shirts
    • Scarves

Step 3: Enjoy

On the day you need to be super relaxed. The only way you’ll get that is if you put some effort in before the time. So use these tips and make sure your photos will show your face lined; not from frowning but from laughing.

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