Tips For Surviving Family Photos | Featuring Tips From A Photographer

September 09, 2016

It's that time again! Fall is upon us, and everyone is grabbing their pumpkins and PSL's, ready to take on the holidays! But first, family photos! Yes. Family photos are Fall's number one priority. The Christmas card photos won't take themselves, after all.

Luckily, I have lots of experience taking photos with my particularly active toddler, (as you can see from our mommy & me shoots) so I've rounded up the best tips for taking family photos. I even had my beautiful photographer friend, Brittany, of Brittany LeSueur Photography give me her top tips from the photographer's perspective! I am so excited to share this with you, so read on for how to survive family photos!

Brittany's Tips | A Photographer's Perspective

1. Prepare ahead of time. 
Have everything laid out and ready the night before. Plan on being early to your scheduled time. Nothing stresses kids out more than being rushed and shoved out the door!

2. Let the Photographer have control of the session. 
Sometimes this is hard with fussy kids, but I get so many "in-between" shots where the kid looks great, but the parents have less-than-pleasant looks on their faces because they are trying to tell the kids what to do. It kills me when I finally get a great shot of a difficult child and then have to toss it out because of this.
3. Educate your photographer on what your child(ren) are like. 
What are their interests? Are there little treats they enjoy or songs that they like? I have taken many photos holding my phone above my camera with Mickey Mouse playing or using little fruit snacks as rewards. A photographer will do what needs to be done to get the shot, but only you know what will work best with your children.

4. Make sure everybody is properly fed and well rested. 
Especially babies. If possible, schedule your session so that it does not interrupt with nap or feeding time. Nobody needs to be cranky because of lack of sleep or food; including Mom and Dad.

5. Have fun!
Really though. Family photos can be super stressful, and if you let this get to you, it will show in your photographs. Just get there and then enjoy yourself. Laugh, smile, and love on your sweet family. There is nothing a photographer loves more than a family that is just enjoying themselves and each other.

Larissa's Tips | A Stylist's Perspective

1. Don't stress TOO much.
If you're like me, you seriously worry that your outfits won't look right all pictured together, or the shoot will go horribly due to some unforeseen circumstances. I sometimes spend hours shopping/planning the family attire! Try not to get yourself too worked up - it will all work out! This is for if you don't want to stress, and don't feel confident in your styling abilities (although don't underestimate yourself!)

2. If you must stress about attire, stick with primary colors.
Here are my tips for picking outfits if you do want to be like me and majorly stress:

-The white tee and denim bottoms are sort of "out" and so don't try to do anything too matchy-matchy.

-Stick with primary colors - so for one of these shoots, I did red, blue, and I knew the yellow plants would be in the photos, so I liked how that would look for the end product!

-Don't be afraid of being too "loud" because prints or bright colors make you stand out in the photos!  In both of the photo sessions above, you can see that I'm wearing very vibrant outfits!
3. No majorly new hair cuts or colors in the weeks leading up to the shoot.
Trimming kid's hair is different than doing a full-on transformation. If you have long locks or a specific color of hair and decide it's time for a fun change, the weeks leading up to family photos isn't the time to do this. Trust me, I have personal experience!

4. Naps for alllllll the kids.
Brittany mentioned this above, but I'm including it because well-rested children make or break a photo session!

5. know your location (in regards to hair + what you wear)
Important thing to note - if you have family photos on the beach on a particularly windy day - wear your hair up! There's nothing worse than your hair flying all over your face during a shoot. Same for your little ones. Also, if you're going to the mountainous, scenic areas, be sure to wear appropriate shoes. Just know your shoot location and make sure to dress/style appropriately!
*Red & plaid photos by Brittany LeSueur Photography.

Hopefully these tips were helpful to you!

xo. L


  1. Such a cute post! I'll definitely bookmark for future use ;)


  2. What awesome and practical tips! These images are all so stunning! Beautiful

  3. What a beautiful family! Great tips. XOXO, Carolyna

  4. These are great tips!! I didn't think of a lot of these before :)

  5. These are amazing tips! and the photos are so pretty!

  6. Beautiful photos and great tips!


  7. You have a beautiful family and these pictures are great! I don't have any kids yet, but I imagine these tips to be extremely useful!

    Clothes & Quotes

  8. Saved this one for future reference. I am definitely passing on this info to my sister with kids! xo

  9. This is such a great post! I love the tip about letting the photographer know what your children are like! Thanks for sharing this!!

    xx - anna

  10. These are great tips! Coming from a large family I remember it was always so hard to get the perfect shot where we were all looking great!
    - Jessica
    Miss Moore Style

  11. This is such a great post! I will know what to look forward to one day :)

  12. I could've used these tips for our newborn shoot with Julius! He was great but Penny was running around all crazy. The treat idea would've been perfect. Will do next time. I hate the way I came out in the pics but I was rushed and it shows in my appearance lol

  13. Such a great post! Perfect since we are taking 2 year and holiday photos next month!

  14. Awesome tips! Totally agree on the resting part for the kids. Love the photos! The lighting is amazing!

  15. I'm bookmarking this post as we have holiday pictures coming up with our baby girl! So many good tips!
    xx Annette

  16. Such great tips! Shooting with the fam is always a challenge, so appreciate this :)

  17. Your photos turned out great! Such a cute little family!

  18. These are such great tips, and I remember seeing an article online about HILARIOUS family photos. I think they were photos from Walmart, or something like that. It was so funny because all of the photos were so awkward! So when I think family photos, I think of the awkward nature of it so this is wonderful. Awesome post and these photos are not awkward. They're so beautiful & I love your dress! xx Adaleta Avdic

  19. These tips are great! Sending them to my friends who have little ones!


  20. What a great post! I love the red dress with the leopard shoes!

    xoxo Madeline |

  21. Ah these are some great tips!! Especially when you mention to let the photographer have control over the session. You're totally right. It's important to always be ready in group shots!! These pictures came out great, such a beautiful family!!

  22. your family is beautiful, love these tips!

  23. These are definitely musts not only for family shoots, but any photoshoot! I mean I know I am less cranky before a good nap lol. You guys are a beautiful family! xoxo

  24. You have such an adorable little family!

    How 2 Wear It []


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