You did it! You booked a family photo session! That is one big to-do off your list. But now that the day is arriving, how do you get ready for it? Don’t stress – I’ve got you all squared away!
As a mom and pro photographer, I know the time-period (days and hours before a family photo session) can be stressful, disorganized, and a little frantic as there are so many last minute things to do. So I am taking the guess-work out of it and paving your way to your dream family session.
Here is my family session prep timeline broken down for you, with some of my top tips for how to get ready and breeze into the day stress-free and feeling and looking your best.
PRO TIP: Set a 2-day reminder in your phone for these dates so they don’t sneak up on you! (The FIRST day reminder is to allow you to schedule it into your day, the SECOND day is to make sure you got it done – and if you didn’t then you still have time to complete it that day.)
2 Weeks Out From Your Family Portraits
It’s time to choose your outfits!
I always advocate for ‘shopping’ your closet but, if needed, starting two weeks out leaves enough time to order something online (like Amazon, Etsy, etc) or swing by your local department store. And we all know those kids sometimes outgrow the very item we had picked out for the shoot! When picking outfits, choose something that makes you feel comfortable and confident. For a more detailed look at how to choose outfits, check out my blog post here.
1 Week Out From Your Family Session
Emotionally prep your family & let them in on the fun!
We want kids to be in a good mood and just as excited as you about the photoshoot. One way I’ve found to prepare my kids is to tell them that next week we’ll be doing a really fun activity and that a friend is going to photograph it. By focusing on the fun they’ll be having, instead of emphasizing that they need to behave that day, kids will be more relaxed and have more fun which translates into great photos.
1 Day Out From Your Family Photoshoot
Prepare your space a day before your photoshoot.
If you are doing an in-home session, do a quick walk-through of your space and put away any items that you don’t want in your photos. Most families focus on larger pieces, such as big kid toys, or an area that is a bit cluttered. This does not have to be a deep clean – personal items help to add personality to your photos.
Set aside everyone’s outfits (including shoes and jewelry) and have them all cleaned, wrinkle free, and ready for the next day. Have a plan of what you’ll do with your hair and makeup. If you plan to have your nails done, I would recommend doing it now, or even a couple days before. No one is at their best when they are last minute painting their nails, and trying to decide on makeup and hair looks right before the session. It will leave you feeling rushed, stressed, and maybe even disappointed if your hair or makeup style doesn’t work out because it was planned on a whim.
0 Days Out – The Day Of Your Family Shoot
Set aside some time to get ready first – these are your photos too. Do your hair and makeup how you like before helping anyone else – photographer’s orders! Remember, we secure our own oxygen mask before helping the kids with theirs.
Then check in with the rest of the family and see what is left to do. Having outfits laid out is a great way to encourage partners and kids to get dressed. Visually it’s appealing to have them laid out and makes getting ready feel really intuitive. This extra touch is exciting for kids too.
Don’t forget to eat! Eat before the session so nobody is hangry. And if your kids are anything like mine, have extra snacks and water/juice on-hand.
Last, but not least, relax and have fun!!! I am just a friend with a camera capturing a moment in time with your beautiful family. Come as you are.
I share more tips for you to effortlessly capture the beauty of your family.
Check out my blog here.
I’m located in Westchester County, NY and also photograph in New York City. I share my work here.
Have questions, want to discuss your idea for a session, or inquire with me?
Contact me here.