Gotta make sure that clothes stay clean! Did everyone remember to wash their face? Are we wearing shoes or going barefoot? Who remembered to bring a brush?!
There are a lot of factors to take into account when doing a family photo shoot, and it can sometime be a bit stressful (I know because I just did my family pictures!), but getting family photos done can be a lot of fun if you don’t let the craziness get to you! Here are some of our best pre-shoot activities to help make your family photo shoot go more smoothly.

family photo shootfamily photo shoot

Best Pre-Shoot Activities

Preventing Portrait Mishaps

  • Allow for plenty of time to get ready! There is nothing worse than having 5 minutes until you have to leave for a session and even though the kids are mostly dressed and ready to go, you haven’t done the first thing to get yourself gussied up. Allotting extra time cushions will also ensure that no one (mom) gets stressed out.
  • Make sure that everyone comes rested and well fed. Take nap times/feedings into consideration when scheduling your family photo shoot. I’m also a big fan of bringing snack for during the session.
  • Come knowing that everyone does NOT have to be looking at the camera and smiling at all times! When you are genuinely interacting as a family, your smile will be much more natural and these are the photos you will cherish because they are the ones that will really convey your family connection!
  • Remember that when your family is engaged in doing something that you love, your photographer will have the opportunity to take some beautiful and authentic photographs that might not normally happen!

beach family photo shoot

Fun Ways to Prepare for a Family Photo Shoot

Instead of your family photo shoot being something to dread, make it something to look forward to, that you know will be fun! Bring an activity that you enjoy doing as a family! Kiddos love blowing bubbles? Awesome! Are board game nights more your thing? Fantastic! Ideas are endless for what you could do during the shoot, here are just a few more suggestions: picnics, football, reading a book, piggy back rides, etc.

family photo shoot

Best Places to Shop for Props and Accessories, Pre-Shoot

ToysRus – great place for all things kid related, including a variety of family board games and books.

Dicks Sporting Goods – lots of options for the sport enthusiast family (soccer balls, footballs, croquet sets, etc)

Local Stores – Clothing and Accessories

Clothing can add such a fun element to the photo shoot, that’s why I recommend whatever you choose is comfortable and easy to move around in. You can check out this {LINK} for ideas on what to wear, but keep in mind that you want your clothes to coordinate, that doesn’t mean they have to be matchy matchy.

Crazy 8 – one of my favorite places for children’s clothing, there are some adorable options that coordinate so nicely together!

Once Upon a Child – a locally owned store offering brand name, gently used children’s apparel.

all the girls

Visual Inspiration

Nowadays, there aren’t many people who aren’t on Pinterest and have a healthy (or not so healthy) enjoyment of pinning images. I love having clients show me some sample pictures of things they like and want to use as inspiration for their photo shoot. It really helps me get a feel for the look my families are going for, and – lets face it – who doesn’t like looking at pretty pictures?! Also try talking to friends who have done a family photo shoot, ask them what they did, or even what they wish they had done during the shoot!

family of three

Now It’s Your Turn!

What are some things that you would have changed about your last family photo shoot?

Is there something you would have done differently?

Feel free to leave a comment below to share your thoughts with everyone about the best pre-shoot activities that you’ve done!