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How to Prepare for Your Lifestyle Family Session So You Get Best Photos Ever

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

four boys making silly faces and smiling for lifestyle family photo session wagon hill farm durham new hampshire

Okay, so you're all booked for your family photo shoot with your NH photographer! Now what...just wait for the date and show up to your session? Hey, if that's what you want to do, it's totally fine with me! Sometimes life gets too busy to do any planning for photos and what's important to you is documenting you as a family and remembering that you were together, and the thought of getting ready for photos is exhausting to you. If this sounds like you, a documentary/family story session might be the one for you, but I've got another blog for that later. Today, I'm gonna be talking to the families who want that "one good family photo to hang up or send to grandma" and want to be as prepared as possible. After all, you're investing time and money into this!

So here are a few tips for your family photos, inspired by the questions I get asked the most.

Plan Your Outfits

mom and dad with boy and girl smiling in field for lifestyle family photo session wagon hill farm durham new hampshire

My motto is dress comfortably and wear something that will be easy for you to move around in! Stiff outfits call for stiff portraits which means your personalities won't shine through easily. Also, avoid all-matching colors and outfits, but go for coordinating colors instead. Trust me on this! Ditch those all white T-shirts and jeans and go for neutrals with a little bit of color. Also, you can always text me with your outfit ideas if you want an extra set of eyes before arriving at your location!

Check your calendar (and double, and triple-check it)

Read over your appointment confirmation and mark that date and time on the calendar. Check it again. Then check it again. You don't want to show up at the wrong date or time! Plan to get there 15 minutes early at least. Depending on your location and the photographer's instructions, you may even want to get there earlier to have time to walk to the location.

Feed Your Kids (and make sure they nap)

mom and dad smiling at baby girl daughter in field for lifestyle family photo session wagon hill farm durham new hampshire

Sometimes our schedules shift due to the timing of the photo session. But please make sure that your kids are rested and fed before they arrive at the session! A hungry and tired child will make it difficult for the happy personalities to come out. So, pack those granola bars and fruit snacks and feed them in the car on your way to the session. Maybe get them an earlier nap. Fed and rested kids are the happiest kids!

On that note...

Prep Your Older Kids

blond girl smiling in field for lifestyle family photo session wagon hill farm durham new hampshire

Sometimes the pre-teen and teens are the most reluctant to get in the frame. Especially with their parents (ugh, you're so annoying, mom!).

So, do as much as you can to prepare them for the session. "Do it for your mother, or else" usually works. Just kidding. Tell them it won't be long and to think of some good jokes to tell their photographer. If the only way they'll come is to let them bring their favorite book, let them bring their favorite book.

But please, above all else, don't tell them they're going to Chipotle and getting their favorite ice cream and surprising them by showing up to the session. That will make everyone unhappy. Unless you bring Chipotle and ice cream to the session... I won't say no there.

Be Thinking About Your Final Product

We're here to capture beautiful photos of your family so you can actually look at them. So, how do you want to look at your photographs? In an album? On the walls? Let your photographer know. If you're unsure, ask their opinion. That's 👏 what 👏 I'm 👏 here 👏 for 👏. The last thing you want is to pay for professional photos so that they stay on your phone. If that's what you wanted, you wouldn't have hired me! You could have hired anyone with the latest iPhone, then bring them to any drug store or online print lab and get consumer-quality photos. It's much cheaper! But I know you didn't want that, which is why I'm here as your expert guide to your photo needs-- I help awesome families like you display your photos the way you like to see them, and with professional-grade printing.

I'm here for you. Don't be a stranger and ask questions before your session!


This post is written by NH Family and Newborn Photographer in New Hampshire. She serves Seacoast NH towns like Portsmouth, Durham, Dover, Exeter, Seabrook. Based in Rochester, New Hampshire, she also photographs Maine families around Kittery and York Maine. These family and newborn photoshoots around New Hampshire can be lifestyle or documentary. This post is on how to prepare for your lifestyle family session with Karen Wituszynski.

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