Mukilteo Beach park family photos of family with baby boy

Family Photography Session Tips for Common Concerns

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

Family photography sessions are about capturing the love and joy within your family. However, they can also bring along a flurry of questions and concerns. Rightfully, so. You are investing your time and money to have your family photographed. Let’s address some of these concerns and provide helpful family photography session tips.

Mother with five children for family photography session tips example

Family Photography Session Tips for the Concern: “What if Rain is in the Forecast?”

In Seattle, it rains…often. As a Seattle photographer, I spend my days studying the weather apps. It is a part of the job. This family photography session tip is that flexibility is key. Often we can get a one-hour break in the rain, perfect for your family session. If rain is in the forecast, I will keep in contact with you. We can decide if it looks like we should reschedule or wait and see until we are a few hours before your family photo session.

If it does rain, you have a few choices. The first is to move your session to a morning session time and have it in your home. Another option is to move your session to a location with cover to stay dry. If it will only be lightly raining, we can embrace it. My family photo session tip for keeping a rainy session is to be prepared for water drops on clothing and to move to a wooded location where trees can provide some extra shelter. Finally, we can reschedule your photo session to another day based on my availability.

Family portrait by the water as they watch the sunset in Seattle

One bonus family photography session tip is about the time of year you schedule your portraits. If you always have jam-packed fall schedules with sports, school, and work events, and zero flexibility, don’t add to your stress by booking fall family photos. Instead, opt for spring or summer when things are calmer and there is a better chance of nice weather.

Okay, enough about the weather. I will say, that things always work out one way or another. Don’t let the fear of rain or the potential of having to reschedule or move locations deter you. Not one family has regretted having their family photos taken (yes, even in the rain.)

Parents with beagle and one year old son during family photos in the Snoqualmie Valley.

Another common question about family photography sessions is, “Can I Include My Dog in the Family Photos?”

Absolutely! Your pup is part of the family, so why not include them in the photos? Pets can add a dynamic, fun element to the pictures.

Dogs do add an additional level of chaos. However, it is beautiful chaos. Think of them as another sibling for your kids to love on in photos.

Here are a couple of dog-specific family photography session tips to help make the process even smoother. First, selecting a dog-friendly location is key. I will help guide you into the right location based on a few questions about your dog (like, how distracted they get, or how well they do around other dogs, people, or water). Next, arrive 15-20 minutes early for your photo session to give your dog time to adjust to the new surroundings. And finally, ensure you bring along a leash, their favorite treat, and dog clean-up bags for any messes.

Family photography session tip feature mother and son during photos in Seattle area

The next concern is “What Happens if my child gets injured or has a rash on picture day?”

In the face of unexpected events like injuries or rashes, remember, we have two options – reschedule your session if needed, or embrace these temporary changes. Life is full of unexpected moments, and sometimes they can add a real, human touch to your family photos.

That’s the simplest answer. However, let’s talk about this in a little more depth.

If your child breaks their arm (or leg, or finger, or foot), and has a big cast, we can always reschedule for after the cast comes off. I completely understand not wanting a bulky cast taking over your yearly family photo session. When one of my daughters broke her hand, I immediately did the math to our family photography session to ensure we’d have enough time to get her cast off.

Similarly, if your child has a rash, bruise, or scratch on their face just before your session date, reach out. Typically, I will have families send a cell phone photo of the injury to decide how best to proceed. If it is not super visible, I may advise we proceed. Or we reschedule for once it is healed.

The main family photography session tip here is to loop in your photographer as soon as possible. I can help ease any stress or concern you may have surrounding the injury and picture day!

Mother with three girls during family photos on Snoqualmie Pass

What if a Pimple Pops Up on Picture Day?

I thought that after I made it into my 20s that acne was a thing of the past. Yet, picture day seems to be the time that my body likes to betray me with a little breakout! Of course, that added stress of not feeling like your best is not what we want.

Woke up with a pimple on picture day? No need to stress. My family photography session day tip is to let your photographer know when you arrive that hey you have a pimple. Of course, a little concealer can help with redness. Small blemishes can be easily edited out during post-processing, ensuring your family photos come out perfectly.

Father and son during photos for family photography session tips

Family Photography Session Tips for Handling a Busy or Shy Child During the Session

As a mother of six, I have plenty of family photography session tips to help manage different child temperaments. Whether your child is energetic or shy, the goal is to make them comfortable and capture their true personality. This is the reason that many parents feel like their family is better suited for a mini session.

However, family photos is not about giving children a short period of time that they must “behave.” Instead, my approach to family photography is about allowing children to warm up and/or get their wiggles out.

Boys jumping during family photos on Mercer Island, WA

Your child is free to be exactly who they are. If that is busy, wanting to run and throw rocks into the river, dance, twirl, jump. Beautiful. I am here for it.

If they take time to warm up. If they need to snuggle a parent, observe the process first. Fabulous. We have time, and I will respect their needs. I will take my time and earn their trust that family photos is a safe space for them.

Family photos at Gold Creek Pond at Snoqualmie Pass

What if I’m Not Comfortable Wearing a Trendy Outfit?

Don’t look good in a boho midi dress? You’re in the right place. Neither do I. But even more, if it is not something that you’d wear, don’t wear it. If you’re always in a dress, beautiful. My number one family photography session tip on what to wear is to BE YOU!

The goal of a family photo session is to capture your family’s unique spirit, not to keep up with the latest fashion trends. If you’re not comfortable in a trendy outfit, choose something that reflects your personal style and makes you feel confident.

I have lots of tips on what to wear and help each family who needs a little extra guidance.

Mukilteo Beach park family photos of family with baby boy

Final Family Photography Session Tips: Enjoy the Process!

Seattle photographer, Neyssa Lee, looking at her Sony mirrorless camera
Hi, I’m Neyssa Lee!

These family photography session tips aim to ease your concerns and help you prepare for your session. Embrace the unexpected, stay true to yourself, and most importantly, enjoy this special time with your family!

When you hire a photographer who aligns with your goals and values for family photos, you can rest easy. Trust in them to do their job and beautifully capture your family.

Discover what it is like to work with me for your family portraits.

You can even peek at my favorite Seattle Locations Guide to see where you’d like to have your family photographed this year.

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