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  • Writer's pictureSianP Photography

How to prepare for your Family Photoshoot

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

Thinking of creating some family memories that will last a lifetime? At SianP Photography I understand that many people can be a little uncomfortable and shy when having their photo taken, which is why during my family photography sessions I ensure that they are kept fun, relaxed and with you in mind.

In this blog I will note down a few areas that may help you be best prepared for your photoshoot, most importantly you're going to have fun!

Before the shoot

Get the kids excited!

  • Have you ever heard about a smile being contagious? When you first tell them about the family photoshoot, tell them its going to be so much fun with lots of playing and running around outside!

  • Your little ones are probably part if not the whole reason you want to have a family photoshoot done, so if they want to bring their batman cape of their tatty old teddy bear, let them its ok. These are icons and items that mark this moment of age in their life and their personality, and years down the line you will be grateful it was captured.

  • Another trick is to make it into a day trip - arrange mini golf, or a visit to a favourite restaurant that evening. This leads them to thinking it is a whole day fun trip rather than them thinking the photoshoot is either scary, boring or a chore.

  • You can also let the kids help pick what to wear and what props to bring, this way they feel more involved in the process and are more willingly inclined to co-operate. ( unless they pick out that weird Christmas outfit you were given thats hiding in the back of the wardrobe for your spring photo-shoot, then maybe just swiftly give a different suggestion. )

What to wear

This is one I get asked advice on alot so hopefully this will come in handy for you all. SPRING For spring photoshoots pastel colours are great, pale blue, yellow, cream ect If you can, avoid any bright colours, the type of sunlight we have in the spring can make bright colours look even brighter and it can be very distracting within the image. Also try and avoid green, with so much green about in the spring, there is probably going to be some green colour cast, wearing green clothing will both make you blend in with the back ground and add extra green colour cast. Below are a selection of ideal colours for spring time photoshoots, these work well also for bluebell photoshoots.


Warm colours work well for summer shoots, warm pinks, creams and yellows. Floaty dresses are fun for summer shoots but if your more of a t-shirt and jeans wearer then that is absolutely fine as well. Clothing with print patterns are fun in small quantities, but do try to avoid all members wearing a different pattern on their clothing, that can be a little overwelming.


In the autumn think boots. Browns, deep reds, blues, greys and creams work well for clothing colours. If it's a chilly day and you want to throw in some wooly knitted scarfs thats great!


Reds, deep blues, emerald greens and purples work great in the winter, just match it with your wooly hat and knitted scarf and we are good to go.

Do try to avoid any clothing thats too bright or have large logos. These can take the attention away from you in the photographs which is not what we are wanting to achieve. You also don't all need to wear the same colour - don't all feel you need to turn up in red, or all in blue. Perhaps pick a base colour that everyone will wear, for instance red for an Autumn shoot and then add your own individual complimentary colours. Maybe dad could wear a red jumper matched with some denim jeans, mum could wear brown boots with some black leggings with a red knitted scarf. Then your two boys could be wearing red wellies with blue jeans and a blue jumper. It's working out so that you co-ordinate without looking like you've tried too hard. MOST IMPORTANTLY - wear clothes that you are comfortable in and that make you feel as gorgeous on the inside as you are on the outside.

Did someone say food??!!

No one functions well on an empty stomach - many families have it planned so that they will go to a restaurant after the photoshoot, although this may seem like a great idea, it can leave you hungry throughout the photoshoot. In my experience, hungry children can be rather unpleasant to be around. Even if you have just a snack to hand out before the photoshoot, it should be enough to tide you over without having complaining children.

Boy walking on a family photoshoot near Coombe hill

Don't arrange it for nap time

Now, when you first get in contact I will give you a list of days and times that I am free that I feel would be suitable for your shoot, however I am not a mind reader. If you know your child has a nap at 1pm every day, please let me know so we can avoid having the photoshoot due to start at 12:30. Try and work the shoot around the kids nap times to make it easier for everybody, they will be refreshed and ready to play and you will be stress free.

Leave the cheese at home

We are not here for pulling faces for 'say cheese', thats un-natural and uncomfortable for everyone involved. Asking your children to ''say cheese to the nice lady'' will result in strained, forced and uncomfortable photographs, instead allow me to interact with you children or better yet, for you to interact with them as you would normally because this will result in natural, happy and genuine photographs for you to love and enjoy.

Not everyone has to be looking at the camera

Contrary to belief, not everyone has to be looking at the camera for a great photo, some of my best work and most natural work is where some family members aren't looking at the camera. What makes a great family photograph is interaction and emotion, a photograph where you are all smiling at each other and in love will be more cherished by you than a photograph where you are all looking at my lens.

Bring something you love to do as a family

As stated above, the best family photographs are where there is interaction, so if you have something you love to do as a family, whether its sitting and reading a book, or coming prepared for tickle fights or bringing water guns, you get the idea, these are the images that you will remember and cherish for years to come.

Have Fun

Absolutely most importantly have fun! I love my outdoor family photoshoots and so will you, they are relaxed, fun, full of games, talking and adventures. Don't be afraid to throw your children in the air or spin them around in circles, tickle each other, laugh, play and joke about. Doing all of these things will allow me to capture pure emotion and true beauty of your family. If you are a little nervous thats absolutely fine, we will start off with a few gently prompts which will usually get the ball rolling.

Remember I am not just outdoor specialist for outdoor family photography. I also specialise in Outdoor Family Photography, Newborn Photography, Wedding Photography and Commercial photography. If you would like to book yourself in for a photoshoot right here in Buckinghamshire just drop me a message via my contact form and I would love to speak to you.

Just head over to my website and see my portfolios.

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