Preparing for Family Photoshoot

Lifestyle family photography is a great way to document your family’s raw emotions and real-time memories. Whether you schedule a family session annually or every couple years, documenting your family is so important because it reminds your family of it’s love for one another. It brings your family together, it brings joy, and in hard times it can be an important role in healing. As a family photographer, it is my job to capture the raw moments between family members and bring them to life again on paper.

Family sitting on ground together.  Daughter leaning into mother's arms while dad holds other daughter up in the air

Preparing the family for a photoshoot

There is always some stress involved in getting your family dressed and out the door for a family photoshoot. Mom’s take on many roles when it comes to booking, planning, dressing and preparing their family for the big day. Here are some tips to help make this process as easy as possible…

  • When picking out clothing, click here for ideas! I always recommend neutral and earth tone colors because they compliment my editing style. Simple is best! Please avoid crazy patterns, logos, busy jewelry and nail art. There are photoshoots for that style, but a family session is best kept simple to keep the viewer’s focus on you.
  • Be well rested and well fed. Yep, that’s right! Nothing makes a photoshoot more difficult than having hungry, cranky, sleepy kids and husband!
  • Be sure to leave plenty of time to get ready. If it’s in the budget, I like to recommend the mom get her hair and make-up done professionally. If you have this part of getting ready down to a science I recommend doing this early. How a mother feels about herself will reflect on her family, so a mom that is feeling pretty and confident will increase the chances of well behaved kids and husband. Leave the house early and don’t stress the family out on your high expectations of them. Create a peaceful vibe so that you aren’t showing up frazzled and disorganized.
  • Ask dad to be a cheerful participant. Dad’s, please cheerfully participate. This makes it so much easier on your family and especially the photographer. Great photographers know how to capture great images, but a negative vibe from the subject being photographed will reflect in the images. Think of this photoshoot as time with your family. You’re putting your phones away and actively being in each other’s presence.
  • Parents: Stop trying to force your kids to pose and smile. Leave this job up to the photographer. Do not expect every moment to be filled with perfection and everyone looking at the camera at the same time smiling. Yes I strive to capture ONE good photo like this, but just BE with your family and let me capture those tangible moments.
  • Have Fun!
Family standing next to tree tickling youngest member

Choosing Location for family photoshoot

I have different locations for lifestyle family sessions, and this can be dependent on the time of year. Most families opt to have their pictures taken in the spring, summer, and fall. In the Steubenville vicinity I typically take families out to the Richmond area where there is Jefferson Lake, farm land and fields. I do travel to the Pittsburgh area, which offers many great locations, but I typically use Schenley, Frick, and Mellon Parks. Some other good spots are King’s Creek in Weirton and Raccoon Creek in Burgettstown, PA. Of course I always ask families if they have a specific location in mind so I am always open to new locations!

Family standing in front of white barn

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