Family Photography Prep Guide: 20 Stress-Free Tips for Perfect In-home Sessions

I love capturing in-home family sessions because they offer a charming and cozy way to peek into a family’s daily life. It’s about capturing precious moments in the comfort of your own space, where everyone can just be themselves. And the best part? You’ll have these heartwarming memories to look back on and cherish forever!

Keep scrolling as we share our in-home family photography session prep guide. Let’s dive right in!

  1. Declutter with Purpose
    Ensure the area is neat and free from unnecessary items. A less cluttered space will direct the focus toward the family and the moments you’re capturing together. Declutter your house thoughtfully to maintain your family’s charm while minimizing distractions.
  2. Skip the Deep Cleaning
    Deep cleaning isn’t needed for family photo sessions because the focus is on the people or objects being photographed, not how clean and perfect the space is. Tidying up a bit is good, but spending lots of time and money on deep cleaning isn’t necessary, especially for just one family session. Plus, a slightly messy environment can add character to the family photos
  3. Choosing the location: Bedrooms, Sofas and Gardens
    There’s no need to feature every corner of your house! You’re welcome to choose a few favorite spots with great natural light for pictures, but there’s no pressure to make it a whole house showcase. We can also snap a photograph in your yard or any other cozy location you love around your home.
  4. Finishing Touches: Creating a Cozy Canvas
    Prepare and set up a space that’s comfortable and shows off what makes your own family special. Brainstorm specific props, and images you want to capture, incorporating personal touches. For example, add a favorite book, family heirlooms, and photo frames you absolutely love.

    The goal is to enhance your home’s character during the family photo session without allowing the decor to take center stage.
  5. Prepare your outfits a week in advance
    Now that your living space is photo-ready, let’s turn our attention to your wardrobe choices.

    Choosing the right clothing is one of the most crucial tips for ensuring you love your family photos. Avoid waiting until the last minute to choose outfits for young kids or have them try on, only to find out they don’t fit anymore. It’s essential that your children feel comfortable in their clothes and agree with the clothes you’ve chosen.
  6. Dressing for Comfort and Style
    Dress in clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable. If you’re not feeling your best, don’t hesitate to switch it up! Remember, simplicity is key – wear cozy clothes that complement each other without being overly matchy-matchy.
  7. Harmonizing Color Schemes
    Choose a color palette for your photos that’s easy on the eyes and complements your home’s backdrop. Forget about perfect matches for mom and dad; go for colors that feel right together. Stick with a few favorite clothes or a style that looks super cute on everyone and fits the vibe of your home for a natural, cohesive look.
  8. Layering and Textures
    For a simple yet stylish look, layering and mixing textures can be effective. Select a charming and cozy combination for mom to wear, such as a snug knit top paired with her go-to denim pants, allowing her to infuse her unique flair. Dad can wear his go-to shirt and trousers, for a laid-back look. Let the kids wear what they love, as long as it’s not too distracting.
  9. Be prepared with backup clothes
    Having other outfits on hand is a smart idea to handle any unforeseen mishaps during the sessions, especially when dealing with children. Prepare to wear other outfits, either for a different look or in case clothing gets stained.
  10. Prepare the kiddos and make it fun for them
    Talk with your kids ahead of time to get them ready for the photo session. It’s important not to spring it on them unexpectedly; when they know what to expect and who to meet, they can better prepare themselves mentally.

    If you have a shy child, reassure them that they’ll have a great time and can even play some games during the session. Let them get excited by keeping the atmosphere fun, light, and relaxed, to help them feel at ease.
  11. Let your kids be kids
    Children and camera sessions can be a tricky mix. We totally understand that preparing for a family portrait session might seem daunting, but there’s no need to worry. When parents actively engage instead of just giving commands, they will feel happier and more relaxed. That will show in the pictures!
  12. Make sure the kids are rested and fed
    Here’s a crucial family session prep tip for parents! Before the photo session, ensure that they have had enough sleep and food. Scheduling the family session when they’re most alert and content helps prevent crankiness and ensures a smoother, more enjoyable experience.
  13. Avoid stress and rush by dressing early
    Minimize stress and rush by getting the kids dressed early. This allows ample time for any unexpected delays or changes and ensures families a smoother, more relaxed start to the day. By avoiding last-minute wardrobe decisions, Mom and Dad can focus on enjoying the photo session without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
  14. Don’t forget snacks!
    Get ready with a light, non-messy snack like grapes, sliced apples, baby carrots, and some water! Don’t give snacks that will make a mess or get stuck in their teeth, unless you want it to.
  15. Incorporating a playful activity your family love
    Think about the activities that your family enjoys together. Encourage the kids to bring cherished playthings into the picture, or let loose with a twirl, or a silly dance. These tips don’t just keep the little ones entertained —they also capture families’ joy and curiosity as they interact with their surroundings
  16. Rewards Work Wonders
    A little incentive never hurts! Whether it’s a favorite toy or the promise of a special play after the session, getting them excited by offering a small reward can help motivate kids and encourage them to cooperate. Just remember to keep it simple and non-distracting, and avoid anything that might cause stress or interfere with capturing that perfect photograph.
  17. Welcome Your Pets to Join the Fun
    Feel free to invite your furry friends to join in on the fun! Including your pets can add an extra layer of joy and spontaneity to the photo session by bringing their unique and super cute charm side to the mix.
  18. Embrace surprises
    Despite meticulous planning, we can’t always dictate every outcome of the pictures. Young kids may act unpredictably, even when they’re well-fed and rested.

    In situations like this, parents tend to become anxious and start attempting to direct their children, but this never leads to genuine a smile. Relax, take a deep breath, and trust your photographer to capture your family’s natural beauty.
  19. Candid Photograph
    It’s not necessary for everyone to constantly face the camera throughout the session. So, feel free to cuddle, play with each other, share laughs, and embrace the joy of the moment without feeling the need to always face the camera. These are photographs of lasting memories we love capturing.
  20. Focus on the moment!
    An hour before the photo session, let go and be in the moment. Focus on capturing the spontaneous and candid moments. Be truly present with one another, and let the moment’s authenticity be captured. Every effort you put in will pay off beautifully in the final photograph.

In Home Family Photography Session Prep Guide

And that’s our family session prep guide! Getting ready for an in-home family photography session doesn’t have to be complicated. With a bit of simple planning, a touch of creativity, and an open heart, you can create an unforgettable experience and capture lasting memories.

So, relax, enjoy the process, and get ready to freeze these precious moments in time.

After Your Photo Session: What Comes Next

As soon as the photography session concludes, the anticipation kicks in with a wait time for the photographer to edit photos and deliver the full gallery.

Good things come to those who wait, and in the meantime, you can start envisioning how you’ll display these beautiful photos in your home.

Often, the photographer will provide a sneak peek of the images to ease your anticipation.

Curating your home gallery

Next up is the delightful task of crafting your own home gallery.

This is an opportunity to let your imagination run wild with an array of display choices, be it a sophisticated gallery wall, a comprehensive family photo grid, or a selectively arranged photo ledge.

It’s all about converting your living space into a visual narrative of your own family’s life adventures, affections, and shared moments—a sanctuary of memories to cherish forever.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does an in-home family photography session typically last?

Sessions typically last around 1 hour to 2 hours, which should give us plenty of time to get a variety of shots, change outfits, and have a few breaks for light snacks or cuddles. Remember, the goal for this session is to take photos and create a collection of images and pictures that you’ll treasure, so there’s no rush.

What should we expect during an in-home family session?

During the family session, the photographer will capture pictures of your family’s natural interactions and individual personalities. They’ll find a location with great natural light and backgrounds for pictures that complement the scene.

Don’t hesitate to mention the favorite spaces or ideas you absolutely love. The aim is to create photos and images that are authentically you.

Can we request a specific shot or pose on family sessions?

Absolutely! Let your photographer know about your ideas and the shots you want. If you’ve seen certain pictures, ideas, or poses from other families that you find inspiring, feel free to share them too.

What happens if I have a shy child who goes uncooperative during the session?

It’s completely normal for young ones to sometimes feel pressured, shy, or restless during a photography session.

Experienced family photographers know how to engage with them and capture genuine images and moments even amidst natural behavior.

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