Planning Your Family Photo Session | Family Photographer, MS

There is no better time for a family photo session than the present! Now is the time to capture photos of your family before they grow a little taller and more independent, and they no longer fit in that cute shirt you bought. Although sweet moments taken with your phone can capture that toothless grin you love so much, it just isn’t the same as having it hanging over the mantle. I know, gathering your family up for a family photography session can seem overwhelming, no matter the size of your family. Before planning the next family photoshoot, here are a few thoughts from a photographer in Brandon, MS to get ready for your family photo session:

Choosing Your Style: Trendy or Timeless Family Photo Session?

Something you should think about before prepping for your upcoming family photography session is where you plan to display the photos. Will they be in the main room over the fireplace mantle for all guests to see? If so, what color is your family room? With fine-art portrait photography, the entire picture is a piece of art, down to the bow in your little girl’s hair, or the blade of grass right by your foot. For a masterpiece that you will enjoy for years, the goal is to create the right look carefully. Make sure the colors in the photos will match the décor and style of your home. Is your home and family-style trendy, or do you crave classic, timeless pieces to pass down for generations? 

Trendy: By going with a stylish look, you will be able to capture the year and decade of the photo; think: high school yearbook. Looking back at old photos where hairstyles and clothing were trendy, it evokes nostalgia and memories that we can smile at. 

Timeless: On the other hand, appearing more timeless will make it a little harder to guess the decade, but it may be something you’ll want to hang on your walls for a more extended time. The choice is up to you. Just be sure to be yourself. Choose styles and settings that symbolize your family now.  

What to Bring to Your Family Photo Session: Props

Props are one way to add a deeper meaning to your photos. If you like the idea of having an accessory in one or two of your photos, decide on something that tells the most about your family. If you need help, your local family photographer is an excellent resource for prop brainstorming. Here are a few questions to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Is there a hobby you love? 
  • Is there a child’s outfit that has been passed down for generations?
  • Do you spend a lot of time with a musical instrument or tool? 
  • Do your kids have an affinity for a stuffed animal, toy, or piece of clothing? 
  • Do you have a special announcement to make?

Where to Begin: Location

Although props are optional for your family photo session, a great setting is essential. Not only can focusing more on a great location create a timeless look (if that’s what you’re going for), it is also an excellent opportunity to pick a place where your kiddos are familiar. A familiar location will help even the most nervous littles loosen up faster because they’re on “their turf.” Here are a few great location ideas:

  • The playground your kids love;
  • A park with a scenic view;
  • A setting that matches the theme of your home;
  • Somewhere you’ve always wanted to go; 
  • A hotel with event space or gazebo;
  • The zoo; or
  • The street with your favorite cafe. 

What to Wear: Comfortable

While we want to look our best, it’s also essential to feel comfortable during your photos, because you’ll have to be able to move around. Be sure to practice moving around in it, because your photographer will need to pose you to show the most flattering angle, show your family bond, and to create a great family heirloom. 

PSA: Comfortable does NOT mean frumpy! Opt for a flowy dress if you’re feeling fancy or even a great blouse. Can’t find a thing to wear? Family photos are an excellent opportunity to splurge on a new outfit. You’ll feel beautiful and confident – and that’s the whole point!

What They Should Wear: The Family

When planning the outfits for the rest of the family, make sure clothing styles complement each other. Keep in mind, “complimentary” does not necessarily mean the same color, just colors that pair well together, or the style is similar (i.e., casual, formal, business casual, etc.) But, just like you want to be able to move, comfort is vital for them, too. 

As another rule of thumb: solid prints are better than patterns because patterns will make the portrait look “busy” or “loud,” and it will detract from your family and the bonds you share. 

Stuck on Clothing Options for Your Family Photo Session?

Be intentional with the clothing you’re choosing. If you’re still unsure, think back to whether you want your photos to be timeless or trendy. Are you excited about looking at photographs of yourself all dressed up? Or, are you wanting a more relaxed and natural feel to the family session? Choose the clothing for you and your family that reflects your personality. When you feel confident and comfortable, it will show through in your photos. When in doubt, call your photographer for ideas specific to your family photo session.

Preparation is Key: Be Ready, Not Rushed

If you want photos for the family Christmas card or life announcement, be sure to discuss it with your family photographer. The photographer has a process, and each one is different. Be sure to allow for enough time for uploading, editing, ordering, and delivering, as well as the time you’ll need to fill out and mail everything out on your end! 

If you’ve meant to get your hair trimmed or colored, do it with enough time that it can be fixed if need be. Typically 3 or 4 days before the session is the latest to try to get your hair done to allow for enough time to find another stylist in an emergency. The last thing you want is to have incredible photography, but a terrible haircut. 

One thing that I cannot stress enough: plan for a few extra minutes to make sure your hair, makeup, or shirt is how you want it to be. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and not feel rushed. The last thing you want before leaving the house is to have a whole household on edge and hollering at each other. A few days before the session, have everyone try on the outfits to be sure they fit, then hang them up in your closet for safekeeping. The night before, lay out the clothes to be sure there aren’t any stains or other surprises. 

At the session, it’s smart to bring a hairbrush or makeup, snacks and toys for the little ones, and even food and water for the whole family just in case they need a pick-me-up. Hangry and stressed do not make for a memorable photo experience. 

Contact Your Mississippi Family Photographer

Booking a family photo session can be full of excitement and curiosity. Although there are a few steps to take before you leave the house, you’re setting both you and yourself up for success. In the end, the photos will be enjoyed for years to come. Don’t worry, once you’re in the session, my goal as a Brandon family photographer is to help you enjoy an experience that is as memorable as the photos themselves, you’re job is to relax! Contact me today to schedule your next family photography session.  

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