3 Ways To Prepare For Your Family Portrait Photographers

preparing for family portrait photographers
If you have a San Diego family portrait session coming up, there’s no need to be nervous! With a little advance preparation, you will be all set for your family portrait photographers. There is absolutely no need to fear the camera or the date on the calendar. In fact, the portrait shoot is a time to be close with your family, and to preserve a memorable moment in time.

Often, we have clients remark that they couldn’t believe how relaxed and comfortable they were during their San Diego family photo shoot. But before the photo session, they were a bundle of nerves. They tell us afterwards that they couldn’t believe how much they built it up in their heads. When in actuality, it was a really amazing family bonding experience. Take a note from them and be ready to have a great time!

To help you prepare for your San Diego Family Portrait Photographers, we have created the list below. These tips and insights will give you and your family everything you need to make the most of your photo session.

1) Go Shopping

This is of course optional. But everyone in the family will enjoy looking their best for the photo shoot. If you have outfits already picked out at home, then perfect! But if you’re looking for that special something to wear, a professional photo shoot is a great excuse to go shopping. Whether it’s a trip to Fashion Valley or an impulse purchase on, a few signature outfit choices can bring out your family’s personality. Here are a few ideas of things to look for:

  • Bright primary (or seasonally appropriate) colors
  • Layers to match the weather, such as cable-knit sweaters with interesting textures
  • Distinctive hats that let you be expressive. For example, if we are photographing down by the shore, then a chic beach hat could be the way to go!
  • Other accessories to match the environment of the family photo shoot, such as sunglasses or sandals
  • Comfortable and distinctive clothes that represent each of you, and that you can move around in

Things to Avoid

There are some style choices that look good in real life. But they may not work as well for a family photo shoot. For example:

  • Matching clothes. It works well to look visually consistent with your family, like you all belong together. If someone is wearing a suit and everyone else is decked out in tank tops, it would be an odd combination. But try not to look overly matched up. If you have multiple kids, let them dress uniquely, at least for some of the family photos. Otherwise, the effect may look to unnatural and staged, if everyone is too uniform. Be yourselves!
  • Tiny and intricate patterns. These may look stylish in person, but it can be tricky for the camera to pick up the small details. Simpler patterns work better when photographing group shots and photos of the family together.
  • Fad clothes. Unless you are trying for a specific effect, it’s better to let fads come and go. For example, if there is a bold new fashion choice that has only been in style for a month, you may want to avoid it. Otherwise, your family photos may end up looking dated quickly. Go for style choices that have stood the test of time, such as a vintage sundress or a clean white tee and jeans. Your photos will look much more relevant over the years, without that “what was I thinking” feeling?

2) Meet Up Before The Family Portrait Photo Shoot

It can be tempting to squeeze a session with San Diego family portrait photographers into a busy week. The holidays may be coming up, or you have a quick vacation, and you want to get the shoot done. You may even be racing out the door in separate cars to arrive on time.

If at all possible, try to do the opposite. Schedule your San Diego family portrait session when you have a moment to breathe. For example, choose a day where you have the morning to spend together as a family. Make breakfast and take your time. Go for a walk together. If you start off with a relaxed energy, and you’re not frantically trying to make it at the last second, you will be able to enjoy your shoot.

Also, try not to plan anything essential right after the photo session. If the shoot runs a little over, or you have to walk back to your car, you will want to allow for this. If everyone is stressed and thinking about the next thing on the calendar, it will not be as fun. Your minds may even be distracted throughout the shoot. So give yourself some time, or push other events to another calendar day. You’ll be glad you did.

3) Bring A Change Of Clothes

Remember how we suggested going shopping prior to meeting up with your San Diego family portrait photographers? Well, we still think it could be a good idea. But we also suggest bringing along a change of clothes for each member of your family.

This could be helpful for several reasons. First, if we get a lot of coverage of similar shots, a change of clothes could help to add color and visual interest to the remainder of the shoot. It will provide a nice variety of photos for you to enjoy later. Second, we may suggest doing something active, such as playing in the sand or rolling in the grass. We often plan these types of photos ahead of time. But if the mood strikes, or we see a particularly interesting photo opportunity, we may give the option to get a bit dirty. And if you are wearing fancy new clothes, you may not want to jump right in.

Third, something may happen on the way to the photo shoot. You never know! For example, you may spill a few drops of Pumpkin Spice Latte on a new blouse. Or the kids’ pants may have mud stains you didn’t notice before. So best to be prepared!

Wrapping Up Our Family Portrait Photographer Tips

We hope these three tips help you to be prepared for your own family photo shoot. As mentioned, our professional San Diego family photographer team will ensure that you are relaxed and comfortable the entire time. The resulting images will be a loving tribute to your family, and will be enjoyed for many years to come. Contact us today to talk over the details of your own family portrait session!

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connect with our studio


True Life Portraits (a division of True Photography)

(760) 271-4853


connect with our studio

True Life Portraits
a division of True Photography

(760) 271-4853