Family Photography Sessions: How to book & prepare for a shoot

Family photography sessions are a great reason to bring loved ones together, dress your best, and create memories that last a lifetime.

Why book a family photography session?

To answer a question with a question, how old are those family photos that are currently hanging up in dusty frames on your wall?

All jokes aside, one of the best reasons to book a family shoot is to keep the photos in your home updated and current! Don’t you want guests to see how much further dad’s hairline has receded over time? (I lied when I said “all jokes aside”). Putting new photos up on the wall is a very refreshing feeling even if it seems like a small change.

How to book a family photo session.

The the most difficult part of planning a family photography session is coordinating a date with your family.

Your best chance for booking a shoot is to find 3 dates (at least 2 months in advance) that everyone is available, and then contact your photographer to see which of those 3 dates they have available.

Once you have a date solidified with your photographer, expect a deposit of anywhere between 30 – 60% to be due at the time of booking. This is standard practice, and acts as an insurance policy for both you and your photographer should unforeseen circumstances arise.

Preparing for a family photography session.

Just as you prepare for your session, your photography prepares for family photography sessions, too. Batteries must be charged, storage cards ready, preparing any props, and blocking out the session slot are all things that a photographer must do to prepare for a shoot. My point is, the worst thing you can do is be late for your session. In fact, some photographers will charge for time spent waiting after the planned start time.

Making sure that you are not late to your photoshoot means that any outfits, makeup, etc. must be planned ahead of time and executed with good time management.

Coordinating outfits with family can be difficult, so break it down by sticking to the basics. Stay away from flashy patterns. and go with a single color for everyone to match (Neutral colors never fail).

If you have trouble with color coordination, ask your photographer what will look good in the environment the shoot will take place in.

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What next?

You have picked your date, booked your shoot, and coordinated outfits with your family. There are plenty more optional steps you can take to make sure that you are ultra-ready for your shoot date.

Do you have any specific poses you would like to do? Check Pinterest for family posing ideas. Your photographer would love to know what direction you’d like to take things.

What small group photos do you want? Of course there’s going to be one big group photo of everyone, but what other groups do you want photos of? All the girls? All the guys? Father & daughter? Aunts & nieces? Make a physical list of all of the photos you’d like to have taken so nothing gets missed!

Preparing for a family photography session may seem like a lot of work, but I promise that the results will be worth it!

Please feel free to reach out to me at if you have any questions regarding booking, or would like to schedule a shoot. You can also request a booking through my site.

Now that you have heard from me, what are some other ways for folks to prepare for a family photoshoot? Let me know below!