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Planning Your Family Photoshoot

You’re watching your kids do something amazing, goofy, or something that totally captures their personality and you wish you could capture that moment in time to serve as a reminder of how they were. ”They grow so fast,” is far from just a cliche, after all. As a father of two, I know this all too well.

So now it’s decided. Time for family photographs! Going to be a great time, full of smiles, laughs, and love all around! Well, not always, unfortunately. What is supposed to be a time where family love is on full display can quickly devolve into temper tantrums, disagreements, and refusal to participate. So, how do you avoid these pitfalls of family photographs? Start with hiring a professional and following these tips!

1. Let Your Personalities Show

We’ve all seen the instagram photos of what seems to be the perfect family, but we rarely have the behind the scenes of what it took to get that shot. The greatest piece of advice I can give is to just let everyone be themselves. If your little ones are adventurous, let them explore rather than doing a lot of sitting and posing. We want our kids to be their natural selves, which can make for a smoother photo session!

2. Set Aside Expectations

You probably have expectations that your family will fully cooperate and they will absolutely nail the poses you’ve imagined for them and everyone will be willful participants. One can hope, right? Even if the session is going just as planned, it’s important to maintain a sense that things could change in an instant, and that’s ok! Allow yourself the freedom to be surprised by the imperfections! This will translate to an authenticity of your family and capture everyone in their truest form.

3. Bring The Snacks!

Being hangry is real; for kids AND adults. Your children’s favorite snacks can serve as an incentive and help to prevent a full blown meltdown 🤯 No one wants that! Bringing a favorite toy can also help, and might even act as cool prop! You know your children best, so any reward to give after a job well done is totally up to you!

4. Dress Comfortably

Your photographer can help with color coordination, but by far one of the most important (and sometimes overlooked) parts of your wardrobe is your shoes! It’s important to wear comfortable shoes for the environment you will be in. If you’re going for a stroll in the woods, maybe leave the high heels in the closet. Make sure to check the weather for the day so no one is sweating after a walk to a different location or no one is shivering when sitting still for the photographer.

5. Keep Your Schedule In Mind

When booking a session, it’s important to keep in mind your family’s schedule. If you have a child who is not a morning person, scheduling a morning session might not be best. Also keep in mind nap schedules and meal times and do your best to plan around those.

6. Communication With Your Photographer

Communication with your photographer is extremely important. Be honest about the style of photographs you’re wanting as well as the differing personalities in your family. Share your kid’s favorite animals, shows, or games. Do your kids love playing rock, paper, scissors? Do they love to play tag? Let your photographer know! These can serve as both prompts to capture wonderful candids as well as serve to take their minds off the fact they’re being photographed.

As you can probably tell, it’s quite all right to not have the “perfect” day when it comes to getting your pictures taken. All you need is everyone to be happy and to be authentic. Those two ingredients will almost certainly provide you with photos you will cherish forever.

Chris Rodriguez

Photographer | Chris Rodriguez Photography

interested in booking a session? Please go to or email me at

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