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Top tips to help you prepare for a family photo session

I’m passionate about helping families capture this time in their life as it truly looks with natural photos that help document the wonder and complete chaos of it all! As a mum and a trained children’s nurse, I have years of experience working with kids which is why my sessions are always family-led and fun. I use available light and engaging prompts to achieve natural, relaxed images which show genuine connection.

If you are thinking of booking a family photography session, I’ve put together some helpful tips and things to consider to help you get the best from, and most importantly ENJOY, your photography session!


I like to give people the option to have their family photography session outdoors or at home. Here are some of the pros of both: Being indoors eliminates the need to cancel for weather reasons. It also means that you can capture some of the details of your home environment that help tell your story. Indoor sessions are also better if you have a newborn or a baby who is not yet sitting up. Outdoor sessions are great for energetic children (and/ or dogs!). Plus the lighting is usually always good especially on an overcast day as the clouds act as a giant diffuser for the sun and help create beautiful, even, flattering light. If you still aren't sure - discuss the options with your photographer.

If your session is at home

Don’t feel like you have to clean the house before I arrive. We can easily clean up an area that we want to use for photos while I’m there. When I arrive, I will look for the best-lit areas for family and sibling shots. I often use the sofa or master bedroom for photos.

What to wear

This is the number one question I get asked in a pre session chat with a client. For me, the priority is that you feel happy and confident in whatever you wear. I recommend trying things on a few days beforehand. The last thing you need on the morning of your session is to realise that the kids clothes are covered in stains and you don’t have a single thing you like in your wardrobe! If you have a newborn, I suggest you have them in a simple plain onesie this way you can get some clothed shots and then be able to quickly undress them for some nude or nearly nude pictures. In terms of styling your family for your session, Pinterest has lots of ideas for colors that work well together in a photo. If your session is outdoors, you might want to think about the weather. If it’s chilly out but you'd rather not have everyone wearing huge great puffer jackets, a good tip is to wear some thermals underneath your clothes.

Be on time!

There is nothing worse than when a family arrives flustered and stressed. It affects everyone's mood and the last thing anyone wants is to feel tense and look it in their photos. As a mum of two, I know that getting the family out the door in the morning can be a logistical nightmare. But please leave yourself plenty of time. If you are running late - let your photographer know. Most will want to give your session the time it deserves so sometimes might suggest rescheduling if you are running very late.

Adjust your expectations

I think it's helpful to be realistic about what a toddler or young child is capable of when it comes to photo shoots. I have no expectations of them and will never try to force them into doing anything they aren't comfortable with. My job is not to make this time in your life look perfect; my job is to show you just how beautiful it is, just as it is. I want you to be relaxed and at ease while I am photographing your family. You don't need to be anything but yourself.

Prep your kids

In my experience, it's a good idea to prepare children for the session by telling them that a photographer is coming but without putting any pressure on them to behave a certain way. Make sure everyone is well-fed before the session starts. If you do bring snacks try to avoid chocolate or anything that will end up all over faces and clothes!

Trust your photographer

I know lots of people feel awkward having photos taken and worry about being asked to do cheesy posing. My job is to help you feel confident and guide you through a few relaxed, flattering set up’s. You don't need to be anything other than yourself. You are paying for a photographers directing skills so you don't need to worry about what your kids are doing either. We know how to encourage genuine connection to get the type of shot we know you will want!

Enjoy yourself!

This is the most important thing! Your family photo session doesn't have to feel like a trip to the dentist. Remember why you are doing this - you want to own a set of gorgeous photos that capture the genuine joy and connection in your family. You are paying not only for these images but for a joyful experience.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, I really hope it has helped answer some of the questions you might have had about Family Lifestyle Photography. Please get in touch if you want to know more about family photography or about any of the other photography services I offer, including:

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