Preparing for your family portraits! | Butterfly Kisses Photography Blog

July 22, 2019

Preparing for your family portraits!

category: Portraits

We all know how important it is to have family portraits taken and updated at least every few years, but we all know it can be stressful leading up to the photo shoot. I want to share some tips to make it as stress free as possible!

beach family portraits


Find the outfits you want everyone to wear a month in advance and set them aside somewhere safe. Then have everyone try them on a week ahead of time. This will ensure everything still fits comfortably, and that you didn’t miss any stains or holes that you couldn’t see until they were being worn. And, if you do need to replace something, you still have time. Hello Amazon Prime!

Don’t forget to set aside shoes, jewelry, belts, and other accessories.

Preparing the family

About three to four days prior to the session, start talking with your husband and kids about the session. Tell them what to expect and how they should behave. If you plan to use a bribe, now is a good time to set that in place. Continue to talk to your children daily to prepare them for the session, especially if they’ve never met me before.

family photos

Pack a bag

This bag is separate from any diaper bag or any other bag for that matter! Two days prior to the session, pack a bag of everything you will need on that day – snacks, props, bottle with formula, pacifier, bribery item, etc. Then put it somewhere you won’t forget the day of. Be sure to include wipes in case things get messy, an extra hairbrush, and other “emergency” items, such as bobby pins and a backup lipstick. Bring a small favorite toy if you have a baby or toddler.

Day of session

On the day of the session, make sure everyone is well fed, but not overfed. We don’t want sick little tummies from overeating, but we also don’t want anyone getting “hangry” either. Do not get your family dressed in their photo clothes until after they have eaten and brushed their teeth. If the child is under 3, I recommend not getting them dressed until you arrive at the session’s location just in case of a potty accident in the car. This will prevent their outfit from being ruined prior to pictures.

sibling outfits

Please avoid

Avoid any colored drinks the day of the session. Stained mouths from food dyes are not easy to wipe off or edit out in post processing. If your bribe for them cooperating during the session is candy, make sure to avoid chocolate or any other type that can make a mess while we are shooting. I favor Smarties as a treat during a session. They are a no mess and easy to chew candy. Also avoid any sunburns that they may get on shoulders or face.

Session Day

Once you arrive at our sessions location, try to relax. Take a few deep breaths, and know I have you covered and that you are fully prepared. Kids tend to respond better to direction if their parents are not the ones telling them what to do. I generally asks parents to follow my lead, and if I need help, I’ll definitely ask for it. If a certain pose is not working with a child, I will try other ways to get another amazing shot. Trust your photographer – know that I will take care of things as best as I can, and will always try to deliver the best photos of your family.

I hope these tips will help you at your next family session. Here’s to a fun filled and stress free experience!

fun beach photography
family beach portraits