How to Plan a Perfect Family Photo Session

Family Photoshoots can be intimidating, especially for those who don't photograph often. In addition to finding the right family photographer, you also need to plan outfits, prepare the kids, get the family coordinated for their shoot! Fortunately, there's many ways to prepare for a smooth, enjoyable family photo session. Let's talk about them.

1. Plan the Outfits

What you wear to the session will impact the overall mood and feeling of the shoot. Of course, clothing should be comfortable - because if you're not feeling comfortable in your outfit, the discomfort will be apparent in the final image. Colors, too, will also influence the aesthetic. Whenever possible, I always recommend families follow a color scheme. Matching colors not only makes the photos we capture more aesthetically pleasing, but it will also convey the closeness of your family. The best color choices for your family should take into account the season, environmental surroundings of the photoshoot location, and of course, the personality of your family.

Family Portrait of Mom, Dad, and Toddler Boy at pensacola park. Captured by Austen Hunter Photography, Local Pensacola Family Photographer. From how to plan a family photography session in Pensacola, Florida.
This family wore a Navy, Tan and Cream outfit scheme that contrasted nicely with the background.

One thing that's often overlooked is to wear weather-appropriate clothing to your session. Trust me - you don't want to be feeling too cold or warm while you're getting your pictures taken! It's a good practice to check the Weather App on your phone the day before and the day of your photoshoot so you can be aware of any important weather information.

2. Prepare the Kids

Children are precious, and probably one of the big reasons why you're considering a family photoshoot to begin with. To ensure a smooth session with your little ones, consider this advice:

Make sure the kids get plenty of rest the day of the shoot. Children, especially young ones, may find being posed and photographed a particularly exhausting event! And when they get tired, crankiness is soon to follow. A well-rested toddler or small child will make the overall photoshoot experience much more pleasant. Ensure that their outfit is as comfortable as possible, as that will help prevent them from getting fussy or looking uncomfortable in your photos.

Mom and Daughter Family Portraits at pensacola beach. Captured by Austen Hunter Photography, Local Pensacola Family Photographer. From how to plan a family photography session in Pensacola, Florida.
This little one was shy at first, but she quickly forgot about the camera when she saw beach critters.

Do your best to ensure that everyone comes to the shoot fed and hydrated. But bringing snacks to your session is another way to keep your little ones happy and calm during the photo session. Beware though, as not all snacks are created equal! Photoshoot-friendly snacks include dried fruit, Goldfish crackers, cheese cubes, or Jelly Beans. To avoid stains on clothes, snacks like chocolate and ice cream are best enjoyed after the shoot (and they are also a great incentive for good behavior during the session).

3. Enjoy the Shoot

With the planning and preparation complete, the last step is to be present and enjoy the session. If there's a family activity you like to do, bring it along! Blowing bubbles or kicking a ball around can result in some really precious photos. Get creative with it! Don't forget to let your little ones be the start of the show for a moment if they want to. That's usually when their best photos come out.

Family Portrait of Mom, Dad, son and daughter at pensacola beach photography. Captured by Austen Hunter Photography, Local Pensacola Family Photographer. From how to plan a family photography session in Pensacola, Florida.
A family photoshoot is about spending time as a family as much as it is about getting photos.

A family Photoshoot is as much as an experience as it is a service you receive. Photoshoots are a great excuse to spend time together as a family, so have fun with it and make the session personal to you. If you choose me as your photographer, you'll be in for a guided photographic experience where I'll help you highlight your family's bond in a bold and visual way.


Austen Hunter Photography is a Pensacola photographer who specializes in senior picture photography, beach photography, fashion photography, graduation photography, portrait photography and headshot photography in bold, traditional style, from Destin and 30A Florida, to Pensacola to Orange Beach and Gulf Shores Alabama. Austen Hunter has been published internationally and is known for his bold, graphic, and clean photographic style. He uses a variety of both natural light and off-camera flash to capture images. People usually book Austen for outdoor portrait sessions or sessions conducted at his home studio.

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