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10 Tips- For a Successful Summer Family Photo Session

As a parent I know all too well how easy it is to hide behind the lens.  The cell phone camera and I are quite good friends as I tend to grab my two little ones cute moments each day.  Today I am sharing 10 tips for a successful summer family photo session.  Just as important as catching your little one’s firsts-is getting into the picture yourself. Thankfully we were able to make that happen at Portrait Innovations last weekend and I am THRILLED to finally have a family photo up on the wall.  Being present in my kid’s memories, as well as the photos is important to me.


10 Tips for a Successful Photo Shoot

1. Be the “HYPE” man-woman-parent.  That’s right!  The photo shoot is going to be the BEST thing since slip n’slides and you need to sell it.  The kids were all set for getting their pictures done by the sweetest mom in the world.  That’s what we used.  And for the most part it works.  If all else fails, see below: Bribing.

2. Color Scheme. Figure out the shades of colors you are going for.  I loved how our shades of blue theme turned out for our summer family photo shoot.  When I was thinking about what we would all wear I wanted something that constitutes as being “just enough” matchy-matchy, but not in your face matching outfits.  Turns out that the shades of subtle blues was exactly the look I was going for.  So I emptied out everyone’s closet with everything white, gray, and blue.  Loaded a big laundry basket up and threw them on our bed.

Plus it helped that we could use all of the items we already owned.  I’m ALL about having a good excuse to go shopping, but tend to be on the thriftier side-see shopping a “season” ahead from the sales racks and guessing what size the kids will be… YES.  I am that mom in the Target sale section.  But it works for us and that’s all that matters.

Family Beach Photo


Favorite NEW Family Photo

3. Do a test run.  Have the kids put on their adorable outfits and practice.  Plus it helps to find out that perhaps those pair of shorts you had your eye on that would be the perfect compliment to the family shot are just a tad too small.  Ahem.  Mom’s guess was a little off.  Plus I always make sure that they are comfortable in what they are wearing.

Why on earth are toddler clothes so scratchy sometimes?  Want to know why your kid won’t put on that adorable dress?  It feels like sandpaper. Just a little FYI.  Along with all girl’s Halloween costumes-why?  Em picked out a Scooby Doo outfit made of soft fleece. Winning. End Rant.

4.  Bring examples of photos you would like.  Did you see the CUTEST family photo on a blog(on Pinterest-go bloggers!).  Don’t assume your photographer can understand what you are trying to describe-a picture is worth a thousand words? YES. Plus you don’t want the added delay of playing artistic creator with little munchkins running around.

5. Bring extras.  Of everything.  I kid you not.  I mean clearly you always need to be prepared… who knows when a water bottle or worse(?!?!) will explode all over one of your kids.  Come prepared with one or two backups.  But be mindful that kids do not typically like wardrobe changes.



Props are a MUST

6. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion.  Is your ultimate goal tons of family photos?  Or would you LOVE a shot of just the two of you(parents)?  Say it or forever hold your peace.  The hubby and I asked for several pictures of just us and come to think of it I literally can not think of a time we had pictures done professionally of us, ever.

I definitely enjoyed being able to just take a couple of brother and sister shots.  The dynamic duo are best friends and the last real picture I have of the pair together is from the last Fourth of July(shuddering with guilt).


7.  Food for thought.  Don’t bring food-or snacks.  Make sure the family is FULL of food so no one gets hangry-it’s a thing.  We all ate a large breakfast and then brought snacks to eat in the car that would not stain or ruin their clothes. Plus kid’s are a ticking time bomb and delaying the inevitable will only make things worse… unless you are dealing with a baby.  Then by ALL means feed the baby when the baby gets hungry.



Looking WAY too Old

8.  Time of day matters.  Are your kids crazy in the morning?  Or do they thrive after their nap time?  Think about the average time they truly have a love for life and that is your window of opportunity.  We chose morning and it was the best decision for our family.

9.  Bribes.  We typically try not to bribe the kids…but life happens.  There may or may not have been talk of a veggie tray with multiple double-dippings allowed on ranch.  Whatever works.

10.  Enjoy yourself.  You will get shots of your family.  They may not be perfect, ahem toddler pouting ahem, BUT they will be ALL yours.  Those memories are priceless.

Summer Family Photo Shoot

Summer Family Photo Session

Summer Family Photo Shoot Success

The complementing shades of blue worked wonders with Portrait Innovations NEW summer backdrop.  Turned out to be the perfect way to capture our growing family.  I finally was able to step out from the shadows and be present in our family’s photo memories.

 I am beyond grateful for immediately being able to put up new pictures in the house.  Our old ones(cough, from last year, cough) are now stored away.  Goodness do I need to visit Portrait Innovations more often!
When was the last time you did a family photo shoot?  
What is ONE tip that you would love to share?
Would love to hear from you!
 Thank you to Portrait Innovations for sponsoring this post.  As always all thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own.

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