5 Ways to Prepare for a Stress-Free Family Session
A man and a woman taking a picture of their son.

You’ve finally scheduled your family session! Now what? How do you prepare for it so that everything goes as smoothly as possible and you can all enjoy the experience? Check out these five tips to help you get ready for your big day.

Choose the right photographer

1. Choosing the right photographer is one of the most important steps in preparing for a stress-free family session. Make sure to do your research and choose a photographer whose style you love and who has experience photographing families.

2. Once you’ve chosen your photographer, it’s time to start planning what to wear. Coordinating outfits can be one of the most stressful parts of family photos, but it doesn’t have to be! Pick a color scheme that you love and that will complement each family member’s individual style.  I offer my clients a consultation as a what-to-wear guide to help ease the stress of planning the session. 

3. Another important step in preparing for your family session is to make sure everyone is well-rested and fed before the big day. A cranky toddler or a grumpy teenager can make for some challenging photos, so make sure everyone is as happy and relaxed as possible. This goes for feeding and getting a nap in for Dad, too.  Dads can be just as grumpy for photos as the kids.  Not all the time, but I have seen my fair share. 

4. Finally, don’t forget to plan for some fun! Family photos should be a joyful experience, so make sure to bring along any props or toys that will make your little ones smile. And don’t forget to let your photographer know if there are any special moments you want them to capture.

Have a vision

It is important to have a vision for your family session before you even step foot in the photographer’s studio. What are your goals for the session? Are you looking to capture some traditional posed shots? Or are you hoping to get more candid, natural photos? Once you know what you want, it will be much easier to communicate your desires to the photographer.

If you’re not sure what kind of photos you want, take some time to browse through family photo albums or search for inspiration online. There are endless possibilities when it comes to family photography, so it’s important to narrow down your options before the session. This will help ensure that you’re happy with the final results. If all else fails, ask your photographer.  We are there to help you.  With 20-plus years of photographing families, I know I can be a great resource for my clients. 

Plan ahead

One of the best ways to prepare for a stress-free family session is to plan ahead. This means thinking about what you want to wear, what time of day you want to take the photos, and where you want to take them. It’s also a good idea to have an idea of what kind of poses you want to do. Planning ahead will help the session go more smoothly and help you get the results you’re looking for.

Another way to prepare for a stress-free family session is to make sure everyone is on the same page. This means communicating with your photographer about your vision for the photos and making sure everyone in the family knows what to expect. It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. By preparing ahead of time, you can avoid potentially stressful situations and make sure everyone enjoys the experience.


A family is posing for a photo in a park.

Be prepared to be flexible

1. Be prepared to be flexible: One of the most important things you can do to prepare for a stress-free family session is to be prepared to be flexible. Things will inevitably go wrong, and it’s important to be able to roll with the punches. If someone is running late, take a deep breath and try to relax. If a child is having a tantrum, see if there’s anything you can do to help defuse the situation. The more flexible you are, the less stressed you’ll be.

2. Have a plan: Another way to prepare for a stress-free family session is to have a plan. Know what you want to accomplish and have a general idea of how you’re going to go about it. Having a plan will help you stay focused and on track, even if things start to go off the rails.

3. Be prepared for anything: Finally, it’s important to remember that anything can happen during a family session. Be prepared for anything and everything. Have backups of your plans in case something goes wrong. And most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!

Be yourselves

The best way to prepare for a stress-free family session is to be yourselves. Be natural and relaxed around the photographer. Don’t try to pose or act like someone you’re not. The photographer will capture your true personality in your photos.

Another way to prepare for a stress-free family session is to wear comfortable clothing. Choose clothes that you feel good in and that won’t make you feel self-conscious. You want to be able to relax and have fun during your session, and uncomfortable clothing will only make you more stressed.

Finally, make sure to communicate with the photographer before your session. Let them know what you’re looking for in your photos. This will help them understand your vision and ensure that they capture the photos you’re hoping for.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to having a stress-free family session. Just relax and be yourselves, and the rest will fall into place.


We hope these tips have helped you prepare for a stress-free family session. Remember, the most important thing is to relax and have fun. Your photographer will take care of the rest. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to help!


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a photo of giliane mansfeldt owner of giliane mansfeldt photography and a newborn in a bowl

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