Preparing for your Family Session | South New Jersey Family Photographer | Most asked Questions and Tips


‘ What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” 
-Karl Lagerfeld

Preparing for your Family Session

So, you are excited that you finally booked a family session.  It may be because your kids have changed so much and you haven’t had a family photo taken in years.  Maybe your family is having a reunion and everyone is going to be together for the first time in years.  How exciting if your family is expanding with the birth of a new baby.  Or you soon will have an empty nest and want to capture the kids before they leave.  So many reasons to call your photographer to schedule a family session.  For some, this doesn’t happen that often and most aren’t quite sure what they should do, or wear.  Reading these tips about preparing for a family session can help you get everything together to ensure that you have a great time.

Number one question is….
“What should we wear?”

When planning your photo session clothing choices can make a big impact on the way the final photos turn out.  My advice is to coordinate but not match!!
Pick a color scheme. For example, blue and white.  Have everyone in those two colors but some wear blue pants and white tops and some in white pants and blue tops. Don’t be afraid to mix in some patterns (try to avoid small patterns and graphics).  Then have a pop of color. For example,  teal, red, yellow, pink or coral.  You can do that with accessories or have little ones wear the pop of color.

Grandma’s dress

In the above photo, everyone chose to wear a color that was in Grandma’s dress. Then they all wore either jeans or khaki’s for the bottoms. The family coordinated very well.  Grandma’s dress was the perfect starting point.

It also depends on where your session is going to take place.  If you are at the shore, bold, bright colors ( not neon, stay away from neon) look nice against the sand. Most patterns are OK however, graphics are not favorable for portraits. If you do decide on a pattern make sure it isn’t overwhelming and distracting. Some small patterns can make the camera do wonky things.
You can always send me a picture or two of your outfits and I can let you know what I think. Pinterest is also a great reference for ideas.

Preparing for your family session tips

Empty your pockets! Your keys and cellphones more often than not can be seen in your pockets.  For the ladies, make sure you bring a hair tie for long hair but don’t keep it on your wrist. They are easy to forget and in the moment of trying to take the photo, I may not notice the hair tie but I will see it when I am editing.  Put it in a pocket or bag,  Don’t keep it on your wrist for the photo session.

Guys, if you wear socks make sure they match your pants! When you sit and your pants leg goes up you will see your socks!

Make sure whatever clothing choice you make it is one that you are comfortable in. A dress that is too tight, a shirt that has popping buttons or a top that is too low cut will all be noticeable in the photos.  AND, try to make sure that they are wrinkle free as possible. Downy has a great product that sprays out wrinkles!  I love it! Downy Wrinkle Releaser.

Sometimes it is windy, especially at the shore.  If you have long hair or a hairstyle that looks windblown plan on a different hairstyle. Try a ponytail, wear braids, a messy bun or a pretty hat.  If you plan ahead it will be less disappointing that your hair isn’t cooperating.

Don’t forget the snacks!

If you have young children or babies, bring with you something that we can use to capture their attention.  A favorite toy, cookie, candy or noise maker will usually work.  If it is possible try to have a friend or family member that will not be in the photos come along.  They can help by standing behind me and trying to get everyone looking towards me and smiling.  I do my best to act crazy but it is easier if someone else can play peek a boo.

Take this time to pamper yourself.  When you feel good, you look good and you  will look confident in your photos.  Go and get your nails done.  Schedule a hair and makeup session. Make sure the guys have a fresh shave and trimmed eyebrows.  Feeling relaxed and looking your best will make you feel more comfortable during your session.

Make sure you arrive on time.  Sometimes you are scheduled for a certain time to catch the best light.  There are other times that I am doing two or three sessions back to back.  If you are late ,your session will be shortened. I won’t be able to add time onto the end of your session because I may be meeting another client right after your session ends.

And most of all RELAX and have FUN!!  You don’t have to be a pro at this!  I will guide you along the way and it is going to be a blast.  Enjoy this time together and maybe make a family date night out of it.  Plan to go to dinner afterwards and celebrate.

Please reach out with questions!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions and ideas.  I love to incorporate ideas that mean something to the family.  I also love 4 legged family members.  If pets are allowed at our location they are welcome to come along for a photo or two.

Thank you for booking your family session with Memories by Maria Photography.  I look forward to capturing these memories for you.

  1. Tania says:

    Very informative. Love the variety of families here 🙂

  2. Lydia says:

    These are some great tips and kudos to you on photographing the big family groups. I know it’s not easy.

  3. Ashley Mckee says:

    These are great tips & great photos! Also, as a fellow Jersey girl, I love them even more!!

  4. Stacie says:

    Snacks. Such a good tip. Also good call on emptying pockets and matching socks!! Those are things I personally always forget! I love how this guide would help me feel prepared and ready for a family session!

  5. Josefin says:

    Oh! When I see the pictures I just feel for gathering my own to have pictures of ALL of us!
    Love them!

  6. Great advice! Sticking with a color scheme makes a huge difference!

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