Oahu Family Photographer | Honolulu Portrait Photographer

Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photography Session

Whether your family is small or large, I love capturing family photos in a setting that is most comfortable to you all, and often times that is your own home! As a DC & Northern VA family photographer, at home sessions are some of my favorites, since they portray families in the beautiful, comfortable light surroundings of their own homes. We will likely capture a few posed photos of everyone looking at the camera, but the focus of the session will be to capture those sweet giggles and authentic moments of everyday life! A two year old playing with her toys, a proud toddler showing me his bedroom, or a teenager on the front steps of the house she grew up in; these all make for such meaningful images captured on the authentic beauty of analog film. 

In addition to sessions at home, I love photographing families outdoors at locations with wide open spaces, where little ones can run and play. Family photos can be done all year round, and there are some amazing backgrounds for family photos in DC & Northern VA, from national parks to historical venues and botanical gardens, the options are endless. 

Sessions can take place either at sunrise or an hour before sunset, depending on the light and location. I like to keep sessions very relaxed to keep little ones engaged and having fun, and the sessions are usually about an hour- but we’ll have up to 2 hours to allow time for breaks if need be! Capturing your daily life of happiness and love is my goal, and we’ll focus less on getting the ‘perfect’ smiles and more on the best laughs during hide and seek! Below are some tips to prepare for your portrait session.

Below are some tips to prepare you for your photo session. 

Here’s a short video about preparing for a family photo session:


*It’s a good idea for everyone to wear outfits in the same color palette.  Soft colors and pastels are nice for a soft airy look. Clothing with thin stripes and patterns are not liked by the camera and will look distorted. Also, pendant necklaces move around a lot and can easily be off center.

*If your kids see that you’re excited about the photo session, they’ll have a much better attitude, and we'll probably get more authentic smiles.  If you’re having fun, they’ll usually join in!  Also, lots of hugs and words of affirmation from Mom and Dad on the day of the shoot really helps get kids in a great mood. Bribing is a last resort.  :)

*Men may want to shave right before the session so as not to have a 5 0’clock shadow. 

*Bring your lipstick/gloss and a mirror to reapply during the shoot.  They usually wear off within the first 20 minutes for some reason.

*It’s also a good idea for everyone to brush their teeth right before leaving the house and not eat any snacks until after the session.  Goldfish teeth aren’t a great look in portraits.  ;0)

*Make sure the kids are well fed before the shoot.  We want them to be happy and content.  Since the session will probably take place around dinner time, you may want to bring drinks and snacks for the ride home.

*For toddlers, you may want to bring some of their favorite toys or their favorite stuffed animals as props. They will love those photos when they grow up!

I’d also like to know what your vision is for your portraits.  Do you like more posed portraits or casual documentary style portraits?  Do you have certain poses or combinations in mind (dad with each of the kids, just the kids, dad and mom…)?  How many images would you like from you session, and do you want the options to purchase more? 

Thanks so much!