Family Photographer | Taylor Verner Photography

As a family photographer, one of the common questions I hear is “How do I plan family photos?” I get it- the idea of wrestling my kids and husband into nice clothes on a Saturday afternoon sounds overwhelming for me too! So, let’s ease those worries and jump into some tips to ensure your family photoshoot is not only successful but also a whole lot of fun!

Family on Boathouse Row, Philadelphia During Family Photography Session

Choosing the Right Family Photographer

Selecting the perfect photographer is like finding the missing puzzle piece. It’s crucial to do your homework. Here are some specific tips:

  • Research and Reviews: Read reviews from other clients to get a sense of the photographer’s reputation. Websites like Yelp and Google Reviews can be goldmines for insights.
  • Portfolio Exploration: Take the time to browse the photographer’s portfolio. Look for consistency in style and quality. Are their previous works aligned with your vision?
  • Specialization in Family Photography: Opt for a photographer with experience in family and childhood photography. Their familiarity with capturing those precious family moments can make a significant difference.
  • Approach to Working with Differently-Abled Children: If you have differently-abled children, inquire about the photographer’s experience and approach. A photographer who understands and accommodates special needs can create a more comfortable environment.

Setting Goals and Communicating with the Photographer

Your photoshoot should tell your family’s unique story. Start by setting clear goals and communicating them to your photographer. Here are some additional tips:

  • Personalized Consultation: Consider photographers who offer personalized consultations. I often meet with my clients in person or through Zoom to understand their vision better. This gives us a chance to connect, and I get to know more about the family dynamics, preferences, and any specific details, especially when it comes to differently-abled children.
  • Creating a Storyboard: To ensure everyone is on the same page, I create a storyboard for the shoot. This lays out the plan for our time together and serves as a visual guide for the day. It helps set expectations and allows for adjustments based on the family’s unique dynamics.
  • Discussing Preferences: During these consultations, we delve into preferences for the shoot. Some families prefer a candid, documentary-style approach, while others lean towards more posed shots. Understanding these preferences helps tailor the photoshoot to capture the essence of your family.
  • Planning for Differently-Abled Children: If you have differently-abled children, this consultation is especially crucial. We discuss any specific accommodations or considerations to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone.

This personalized approach not only strengthens the photographer-client relationship but also contributes to a more relaxed and enjoyable photoshoot. Don’t hesitate to express your ideas and expectations during these consultations – after all, it’s your family’s story we’re telling.

Choosing the Right Location

Location can make or break your photos. As a family photographer, I understand the importance of selecting the perfect backdrop. Here’s how I can assist you:

  • Consultation on Location: During our personalized consultation, we’ll discuss various location options. Whether it’s a scenic park, the comfort of your own home, or a vibrant urban setting, I can help you decide on a location that meets all of your family’s needs.
  • Matching Your Vision: I want your photos to reflect your vision. By understanding your preferences and the mood you want to convey, I can suggest locations that align with your family’s personality. Whether you’re looking for a casual, playful atmosphere or a more formal setting, we’ll find the perfect spot together.
  • Consideration for Differently-Abled Children: If you have differently-abled children, accessibility is a top priority. I’ll make sure the chosen location is easily navigable, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Choosing the right location is a collaborative process, and my goal is to make it stress-free for you. Let’s work together to find the ideal setting that enhances the story of your unique family dynamics.

Selecting the Ideal Time

Timing is everything. Think about your children’s routines and energy levels. My best shots often come during the golden hour when the lighting is soft and warm. However, if your kids are morning enthusiasts, a daytime shoot might be more suitable. Always plan around your family’s schedule to capture those genuine smiles.

Coordinating Outfits and Themes

Matching outfits without being too matchy? Challenge accepted! Here’s a tip that can make a significant difference, especially for capturing those genuine smiles:

  • Mom’s Outfit Sets the Tone: Moms, consider choosing your outfit first. How you feel about how you look can set the tone for the entire photoshoot. Opt for something that makes you feel beautiful and confident – it can truly make or break the photos.
  • Coordinate Around Mom: Once mom has chosen her outfit, coordinate the rest of the family’s attire around it. Pick colors and styles that complement, rather than match exactly. This creates visual interest and allows each family member’s personality to shine through.
  • Comfort is Key: Keep in mind the comfort of differently-abled children when selecting outfits. Choose fabrics and styles that allow for movement and comfort while still aligning with the overall theme.

Choosing outfits should be a fun and stress-free process. By starting with mom’s outfit and building from there, you’ll not only achieve a cohesive look but also ensure that everyone feels great and looks their best in the photos.

Need help choosing your outfit? Visit Tish Boutique in West Chester for some of the best styles around!

Creating a Comfortable Atmosphere

Relax, it’s just a photoshoot. Kids can pick up on stress, so keep it cool. Bring along your child’s favorite toys or comfort items. During one session, a child insisted on having their teddy bear in every shot. It turned out to be a heartwarming addition to the photos and helped the child feel at ease. In another session, each child help a matching ghost stuffed animal for a spooky Halloween touch! Your family photographer will have additional ideas for how to incorporate special items.

Your Family Photographer Can Capture Candid Moments

The magic happens when you let loose. Encourage natural interactions and capture those spontaneous, genuine expressions. During a shoot with a particularly energetic family, we ended up having a playful tickle fight. The laughter and joy translated into some of the most heartwarming photos.

Reviewing and Selecting Images

Collaboration is key in the selection process. Work closely with your photographer to review proofs and discuss any desired edits. My clients can expect an online gallery in about two weeks. This gives them the opportunity to review each photo and only pay for the ones that resonate with them the most. Plus, they can do it wearing their favorite slippers, without having to take time out of their busy schedules to meet with me in person.

Preserving and Sharing the Memories

Don’t let those photos collect digital dust! Print and frame your favorite shots or create a beautiful photo album. I often help my clients use their favorite photographs to decorate their home. They also like to share their images with friends and family on social media, celebrating those special moments together. It’s not just about the pictures; it’s about reliving the memories.


So there you have it, a guide to planning your perfect photoshoot. Remember, it’s not just about getting great pictures – it’s about creating an experience and capturing the essence of your unique family dynamics. Find a family photographer who understands your vision, communicate openly, and most importantly, have fun! Your family deserves to be celebrated, so go ahead and plan that unforgettable photoshoot.


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