Family First: Preparing for Your Minnesota Portrait Session
A family sits on the grass in an autumn park.

As a family photographer based in Minnesota, I understand the importance of capturing memories that last a lifetime. Family portrait sessions are a great way to do just that, and with a little preparation, you can ensure that your family portrait session goes smoothly and that you get the most out of your session.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for your family portrait session:

Choosing the perfect photographer

The first step in preparing for your family portrait session is to choose the right photographer. Do some research and find a photographer whose work you love and who has experience working with families. Look at their portfolio, read reviews, and check their availability. Once you find a photographer you like, book them as soon as possible to ensure you get the date and time that works best for your family. 
Once you have chosen a photographer, decide on a location for your family portrait session. A great outdoor location can make all the difference when it comes to capturing beautiful images of your family. Look for a spot with plenty of natural light and an interesting background that will add depth to your photos. In addition, consider the time of day and how the lighting will look at different times.

Set the right expectations from the start

Before your session, decide on the type of photos you want to get and make sure that both you and your photographer are on the same page. Discuss what type of poses or activities you want in your images, the location of the shoot and any other details that will help create an atmosphere for a successful family portrait session. 

Discuss your vision with your photographer

Once you’ve booked your photographer, it’s important to discuss your vision for the session. Do you want a casual, candid style or a more posed look? Are there specific locations or props you want to incorporate into the shoot? Discussing these details with your photographer ahead of time will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that you get the photos you want.

Choose your outfits carefully

Choosing the right outfits is key to a successful family portrait session. Coordinate your outfits, but don’t match too much. Choose colors that complement each other, but avoid busy patterns or logos. Consider the location of your shoot when choosing your outfits – you don’t want to wear heels if you’re going to be walking on uneven terrain, for example.  
Be ready to have fun

Plan for the weather – it’s Minnesota after all

Minnesota weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to plan for the weather when scheduling your session. Check the forecast and be prepared for rain or shine. If the weather is bad on the day of your session, don’t panic – your photographer may be able to reschedule or find a covered location to shoot.  At my studio, I watch the weather starting the week of the session.  Then if it looks like rain, I will contact you the day before to come up with a backup plan.  We can either reschedule the session or pull the session inside at my studio. 

Get plenty of rest

Getting plenty of rest before your session is important. Make sure everyone in your family gets a good night’s sleep the night before your shoot so that everyone is well-rested and ready to go.   I like to say there are no Photoshop buttons for a cranky, crying child.  There just is no magic button to fix that in post-production.  

Bring snacks

Food isn’t always the first thing on your mind when preparing for a session, but it’s important that everyone in the family has had something to eat before your session. A hungry family won’t be in the best mood for photos! Bringing snacks and water is a good idea, especially if you have young children. You don’t want anyone getting cranky or dehydrated during the shoot. Bring a few snacks that won’t make a mess, such as granola bars or fruit, and plenty of water to keep everyone hydrated.

Most importantly, relax and have fun

The most important thing to remember during your family portrait session is to relax and have fun. Your photographer will guide you through the process and help you feel comfortable in front of the camera. Don’t worry about getting the perfect shot – the best photos often come from those moments in between the poses.  The real and authentic laughs and giggles.  During a session with me, I will pose you for more traditional photos, but will keep snapping away when you take a break, or are laughing together about an inside joke.  Those moments, are the real you. 

Preparing for your family portrait session doesn’t have to be stressful. By choosing the right photographer, discussing your vision, choosing your outfits carefully, planning for the weather, getting plenty of rest, bringing snacks and water, and relaxing and having fun, you can ensure that your session goes smoothly and that you get the photos you want. As a family photographer in Minnesota, I would love to work with your family to capture memories that will last a lifetime. Contact me today to schedule your session!  Check out our family gallery by visiting here


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