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5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photography Session

February 19, 2020

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So perhaps you’re thinking of booking a family photoshoot, or maybe you already have. 

Families are the most important people in our lives, and often our time together flies by without us realising. Getting proper photos all together is something every family deserves, at least once.

You might be here looking for some inspiration on how to get the best out of your family photoshoot. If so, you’re in luck. 

Here at Perfocal, we’ve overseen hundreds of family photoshoots. So many, in fact, that we consider ourselves experts on what makes an amazing family photoshoot!

The thought of a family photoshoot can seem daunting, and it can be hard to think of ways to look natural in front of the camera. Nobody wants photos awkwardly standing and smiling, anybody can get those kinds of photos. When you book a professional photographer, you’re after natural, candid photos that could have come straight from the pages of a catalogue. 

We’ve compiled our tips for the best ways to prepare for and make the most of a family photoshoot, so that you and your family can create some memories to enjoy looking back on for a lifetime.

A person sitting on a bench


Choosing an outfit for your portraits can be one of the most important things to consider when arranging a family photoshoot. The outfit you choose will be immortalised on the wall or in the family albums for a long time, so you’ll need to choose carefully.

There is a fine balance between choosing something that represents your personality and the fashion, and choosing an outfit that doesn’t blend and distracts from the most important thing – you and your family. 

We wouldn’t recommend choosing an outfit that is too plain, such as a simple black T-shirt and jeans. Your outfit is a great opportunity to add something extra to your photos, so pick an outfit with some flair. We recommend something simplistic with a contemporary twist. 

If you’re choosing outfits for the whole family, for instance, if you have small children, don’t feel pressured to try and match your outfits. Matching family outfits are outdated! If you want a harmonious look, you can try and keep to a general colour scheme, or share accessories with similar patterns or colours. 

Scene prep

If you’re having your family shoot in a studio, then you won’t need to worry about this step. However, if you’re doing a more unrestricted shoot with a choice of location, then make sure you put some thought into this. 

Photoshoots outside of studios are a fantastic way to keep your family portraits interesting. You could choose a local park (weather permitting) if you like the natural look; or a location of significance for you and your family (for instance a landmark of the city you live in); or even your family home. 

If you do choose to have your photos taken at home, make sure you prep the area before your shoot starts. Ensure all surfaces are clear and clean and keep floor spaces completely free. Any clutter will distract from your family’s smiling faces! The clearer the area, the better. 


Many people will feel awkward in the presence of a camera and may need a distraction to help them unwind.

It could be awkward to stand around in your family home. You’re too familiar with the space, and there may not even be enough room for a group of people to move around and sit naturally. We recommend going out to the park or a nearby green space to move around and play with your family members. This is an especially useful tip if your family shoot will include young children, as they may want to run and play whilst having their photo taken. 

Alternatively, a game to play with the family is a perfect distraction for everyone during a family shoot, including the kids! You may bring out a football, or play a card game or do a puzzle. It gives the family something to focus on, and will almost guarantee some laughs and smiles.

If this doesn’t appeal, you could also incorporate your pet. They’re members of the family, too! If you’re feeling hard-pressed for casual shoot ideas, bring out your furry friend to bring out some smiles and to stop everyone from staring awkwardly at the camera.

A group of people posing for the camera

Extra time with the photographer

When a photographer arrives for your shoot, they need time to prepare before the shooting can begin. It’s important for them to be able to set up any equipment, scout out the best locations at your venue in terms of space and light.

If you have small children, this step is even more crucial. It is important for your photographer to become acquainted with young members of the family so that they feel at ease. It’s imperative that everyone is comfortable and happy and that it’s captured in your family portraits, so make sure you factor in extra time for your photographer to say hi to the kids!

A woman holding a baby posing for the camera

Are you thinking about booking a family photoshoot? Great idea!

In the lifetime of a family, there are scores of precious moments that you would never want to forget: births, birthdays, childhoods, anniversaries, teenage years, weddings, the list goes on. All of these moments deserve great photos to honour the memories. You can hire a professional family photographer simply and affordably.

Here at Perfocal, we guarantee quick and simple booking, an amazing professional photographer who will travel to you, and 48-hour photo delivery every time.

We do all this so you can have everlasting memories for the family moments that matter.

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