I get it...getting family photos done can be overwhelming, so here's 7 tips to help you prep for your next family photo session.

I know how nerve-wrecking & stressful photos can be...there's a lot to think about--from clothes to location to family connection to displaying your images--not to mention you've got to get in front of the camera and smile!

I totally get it! That's why I put together 7 tips to help you prep for your next photo session, so you can feel prepared, relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera and get some beautiful photos.

tips to prep for your next

family photo session

choose a location that's true to you

The location of your photo session helps tell your story. Think about what your family is like, where you spend time, and what words best describe your family. This will help narrow down some locations to choose from for your next family photo session. Some locations include day parks, mountains, hot spots within the city, or even your own home. Don't be afraid to get your photographer's help on this!

HINT: If you've got young kids who are slow to warm up, choose a location that's familiar to them, so it's less daunting and easier for them to warm up. If you've got little ones, choose a location closer to home, so it's less travel time. That way they won't be antsy or irritable when they get there.

Choosing a location that's true to you and your story will help you prep for your next family photo session because you will feel relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera.

Summer family photos in Drumheller Alberta by Love & Sunshine Photography

don't wait until the last minute to decide what to wear for family photos

While wardrobe isn't everything, it sure tells a lot about who you are. Much like you did with location choice, think about how you would describe your family to someone and use those answers to help decide wardrobe and colours. Once you know the general vibe, choose a colour story that complements the vibe and location. From there, the easiest thing to do is to pick one statement piece (for instance, a dress you love and feel good in) and work everyone's outfits around that.

Stuck for ideas? Browse social media or Pinterest. Just don't spend all day there! Once you see a few outfit ideas you like, start building your own. Lastly, reach out to your photographer. A good photographer will always give you guidance and recommendations to ensure your outfits will enhance the photos (some, like myself, even have client closets where you can borrow pieces for the session!)

Putting together outfits for family photos can be a lot to take on, so ensure you make a plan a couple weeks in advance, if not more. You never know if you'll have to go to the store or order something online and there's nothing worse than doing all of that last minute and hoping it works out! Trust me, I've been there. Choosing wardrobe well in advance is one of the smartest things to do when prepping for your next family photo session.

ensure the kids are Well fed & well rested before family photos

Well fed & well rested are great tips to prep for your next family photo session. Think of the kiddos bedtimes/nap times and don't schedule sessions then. Make sure to have some food in everyone's tummies even if it's a snack. And if need be, bring something to snack on at the session! I always recommend choices that are not messy for obvious reasons. You can also encourage your kids by promising a fun treat afterwards. I know, I know...every parent has once said "I will never bribe my kid," but trust me when I say we all do it and it's okay.

Fall family photos at Fish Creek Park in Calgary by Love & Sunshine Photography

leave enough time for everyone to get ready for family photos

When thinking of how to prep for your next family photo session, don't forget to leave enough time to actually get ready! Moms are guilty of getting everyone else ready and leaving no time for themselves. So please, leave PLENTY of time for your own shower, hair, makeup, etc. Rushing around sets the tone for a rushed, disorganized session...not what we want! If you need to, bring in help...grandmas, aunties, neighbours. You have put forth the investment, let's make it the best experience we can!

remember why you're taking the family photos and have fun together

The single best advice I can give you when thinking about how to prep for your next family photo session is remember your why and be present. You've paid the money, gotten everyone ready and are about to step out of the car for family photos. Now is the time to just "be" with no other commitments or worries. Don't be afraid to throw your kiddos in the air, give kisses and embrace each other. Let your photographer see who you really are! Whether it's fun, loving, silly, cuddly, or shy, let's capture it! Just laugh, play & enjoy each other's company! This makes for beautiful, authentic moments and picture perfect smiles.

Trust the photographer to capture beautiful family photos

When prepping for your next family photo session, always remember to trust your photographer. I know that sometimes in the chaos of the moment, you may think "Oh gosh, this is a disaster!" You may be worried you won't get those perfect smiles with the kids running around or a partner who isn't feeling it. Or worried how you look. I can relate, I have a busy toddler myself. And I'm a woman-we worry about everything ha! Just trust the process. You've hired a professional and it's their job to guide you and capture the magic they see. Embrace the chaos of it all while the photographer captures those special little moments in the most beautiful way, no matter how wild they may feel.

think of how you will use your family photos ahead of time

Last of all, don't forget to print your photos! Digitals don't keep and it would be a shame to leave all the gorgeous family photos you receive lost on a hard drive somewhere. To prep for your next family photo session, before you even book, think about how you want to display your photos, whether it be prints, frames, or an album of some sort. Not only will this help you prepare, but it helps your photographer as well. Some photographers, myself included, even provide an option to order prints, frames, canvases and albums from them to ensure you get your images printed and on display! If you've got a plan for your images, it will be less overwhelming to make decisions once you receive your photos.

Which tip will you use to prep for your next family photo session?

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welcome to my blog

hey it's me

I'm Marcella (pronounced Mar-Sella), your friend behind the lens at
Love & Sunshine Photography in Calgary, Alberta.

Lover of nature, travel, dogs & chai lattes. And most importantly, my family.

Creative by nature, I genuinely love taking and editing photos, and thrive on building relationships and capturing beautiful, heartfelt, authentic connections.

This is where I’ll share my latest sessions, tips for clients, and perhaps even some inspiring info for running your own business.

Marcella xo

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I am a lifestyle photographer in Calgary, alberta, who specializes in families, couples, maternity & newborns.