Your Complete Family Portrait Pre-Session Checklist

Got the date for your family photo session on the calendar, your location picked, stylist booked and wardrobe chosen? Already met with your photographer to plan the details of the session? Great!

Now comes the fun part: looking forward to creating the family portraits you’ve been dreaming about. I always find that families have a great time ‘on-set’ or ‘on-location’ – having a unique opportunity (in this busy age of overscheduling and connectivity) just to focus on one another and have fun for a couple of hours. 

But maybe you are a little nervous? Worried about how the kids will behave? What if this happens, or what if that happens? Your photographer should have your back, but take a peak at my handy Family Portrait Pre-Session Checklist below to make sure you have all your bases covered! 



·       A change of clothes for the kids - for variety and in case of spills and dirt

·       Hair ties for long hair on breezy days

·       A blanket to sit on for outdoor sessions, one that matches the style of your wardrobe

·       Clear, non-messy drinks with reusable straws and bite-sized snacks

·       Favourite toys and comfort items for little ones

·       Coordinated accessories, hats, shoes, umbrellas, etc.

·       Tissues and wipes

·       Lip gloss and makeup for touch ups

·       Hairbrush or comb

·       Manicured and trimmed nails

·       Squeaky-clean faces and hands

·       Glare-free eyeglasses, but no sunglasses or transitions lenses

·       Yourselves well rested - be sure ALL family members get a good night’s sleep before the session 

Once you have your bag packed, there are just a few more things to think about.



·       Talk to the kids, even little ones, about the session ahead of time so they know what to expect. Tell them they are going out for some fun family time and a photographer will be there taking pictures!

·       Arrive early and dress the kids on-location to avoid them getting their clothes dirty beforehand

·       Come with full hearts and empty pockets - put phones, wallets and keys, etc. in a handbag instead

·       Keep smiles and looks of love on your face, so that when the photographer gets the best shot of the little ones, you look great too!

·       Keep on looking at the camera, not at any toy or person trying to get the attention of the little ones

These tips are just a few ways you can ensure you will get wonderful images from your session.

Wondering what happens AFTER your session? Jump on over here to grab my guide on Planning and Curating Your Family Portrait Wall. Having your images on the wall is the best way to enjoy their beauty day after day!

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