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How to Plan a Family Photoshoot

The holiday season is approaching, and you may be thinking about how to plan your next family photoshoot. To be honest, planning a photoshoot can be a bit overwhelming, and then when you add in additional people, it's a lot more to consider! But there’s no need to be stressed out about the process. Since having children, I’ve become more of an expert on this and I’d like to share my expertise with you. Here are a few helpful tips to help you get started.

Pick a date - I find that picking the date first helps a lot. It's important to select a date, so you can plan everything else around it. Having a set date will let you know when you need to order everything. Odds are you won’t be ready for a family photo shoot if it’s scheduled for tomorrow, so make sure you’re giving yourself enough time in advance to get your family picture perfect. Don’t forget to check what the predicted weather’s going to be if you’re planning an outside photoshoot!

Select a photographer - This is also a huge one! I realized that finding a photographer that is not only experienced, but one you're comfortable with is imperative. When you have a family, it's also important that your photographer is friendly – if they have prior experience working with children you can be more comfortable with your choice. Kids don't always immediately take direction, so having someone who will patiently guide them is worthwhile.

Each photographer has their own unique style, so ask to take a look at their portfolio first and see if they live up to your expectations – if you don’t like their sample photos chances are you won’t like the final product. Some photographers offer props! Ask for a list of the items they provide and build upon the theme you already have in mind.

Make sure you’re being mindful of your budget. You don’t want your photographer to break the bank! If you’re a first-timer you might not know how much this is all supposed to cost, so ask for prices in your initial conversations with photographers. Don’t be afraid to shop around and compare prices before settling down with a photographer.

Outfits - Picking outfits can feel challenging. The most important thing to remember is that you don't need to match exactly! I prefer the colors to be similar, but no identical outfits. In one of our recent photoshoots, I wore pink, my husband and son work blue and white, and my daughter wore pink and blue. If you’re still stuck on what to wear, try coming up with a theme or a color scheme. This will give you a better idea of what items you should be eyeing in your closet. Don’t feel pressured into buying new clothes for the shoot! You can use what you already have if your family’s outfits complement each other. Remember this is your photoshoot! If you like your family’s attire don’t change it for anyone – these photos are for you.

Hairstyles - There’s nothing like a bad hair day to ruin a nice photoshoot. Whether you’re booking an appointment or styling it yourself, make sure you plan to get you and your children’s hair done a few days in advance. This gives you time to decide what hairstyles look best for each member of your family. You may also want to adorn your child’s hair with barrettes and bows that coordinate with their outfit.

Time of Day - Timing is everything – especially when it comes to family planning. If you have young children, plan your shoot around their nap times. It’s a recipe for disaster if your kids don’t get their sleep; they can become cranky and less cooperative when you want them to be interactive during the shoot. Also, think about when your energy is the highest during the day. I prefer early afternoon shoots (like 2 pm). You want the time of the shoot to cater to your life… It also doesn’t hurt to plan the shoot around rush hour!

I hope this guide will help get your family photoshoots running smoothly. My last bit of advice is to get your photos done in time to be included with your holiday cards! Your family will appreciate them, even more, this year.

If you haven’t already, follow me on Instagram to see more ways I help make family life easier!

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