How can you have the best family photo session?
If the thought of having family photos stresses you out. Keep reading! Family photos don’t have to be stressful, you can have a relaxed experience with these tips for the best family photos.
Of course, selecting a photographer you love their style, feel connected to their work and personality, is a major factor. (If you want a fun, laid back experience, I’m your gal. However, if you’re looking for a posed, “picture perfect” photographer, you’ll want a different photographer).
After that, there are a few things to consider when booking your session that will help you tremendously.
The first tip for the best family photos is to think about YOUR typical schedule during the year.
When is your family busiest? When is your calendar full to the brim and when is it a little slower? For most families, fall is SUPER packed. From the start of school, sports, dance practices, classroom parties, and holiday planning, there is little room for anything extra. This might not be the best time for your family photos then.
By selecting a time of year when your calendar has a little more flexibility you’ll feel less pressure trying to have photos done. Remember it isn’t just the actual session, you add in getting everyone hair cuts, picking out outfits, and what about that dreaded rainy-day reschedule?
Spring or summers are slower for my family, and that’s when I like to have my own family photographed. Plus, a bonus is most photographers are not slammed (like they are during fall, the busiest season), and have more flexibility themselves. So, a win-win, right?!
My second tip for family photos is to look at sunset times.
I photograph families 1-2 hours before sunset as that is when that most flattering (and magical) light is.
You can read more about photo session timing with Why Photo Outdoor Family Photo Sessions Take Place 1 Hour Before Sunset.
During the year, this time can fluctuate a lot. During the fall and winter, that means starting anywhere from 4-5pm, possibly earlier! This can be great for those who are early to bed, but what if your session takes place on a weekday? Are the kids even out of school yet? Can you get off and home from work in time for family photos?
During the spring and summer, sunset can be as late as 9pm, meaning sessions start at 7:30 or 8pm! While I love a good late summer session, several of my kids are little and go to bed at 7:30pm. If that is going to be late for your little ones, then another time of year would be better for your family.
Unsure about when sunset is? I love to get a good starting point using this Sunset website. You can enter your location and it will give you the sunset, then back track an hour to get an idea of approximately when your session would start for that time of year!
Okay, so what’s the 3rd tip for you to have the best family photos?
My third tip for the best family photos is to consider the benefits of each season.
I truly believe the Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful places, year round. We are spoiled here with green year round, mild seasons, and access to mountains, rivers, lakes, and the ocean all without going very far.
Each season has plenty to offer for family photos. There are also plenty to consider. But if you’re always a fall family photo family, read through each season and think how you could vary up your photos by selecting a different season next year.
Winter is beautiful and mild in the Seattle area.
Winter sunsets are truly gorgeous, and they are early, meaning you don’t have to worry about keeping littles up. Plus, because it is winter, locations are usually less crowded, giving your family the entire place to be captured. Another winter perk? A short trip to the mountains and you could have family photos in the snow! Another reason I love being a Seattle Family Photographer is the mild winters and evergreen trees, offering options for photo sessions year round.
For more reasons why you might love winter family photos, check out Why You Should Have Family Photos Taken in Winter.
Spring brings with it a fresh hope and a beautiful backdrop for family photo sessions.
After a long winter, the sight of blossoms all around is enough to excite anyone. Those blossoms can also serve as a beautiful backdrop for family photos, not to mention a fun activity of picking flowers for mom. Remember how we talked about considering your calendar? Spring is usually a little less busy than fall, leading to a less stressful overall experience.
For more reasons why you might love spring family photos, check out Why You Should Have Family Photos Taken in Spring.
Summer’s more predictable weather make for great family photos.
Tired of runny noses and tons of layers on everyone for family photos? Summer’s warm evenings may be the perfect time for your family. Warm weather means less layering to coordinate, plus, you could even go barefoot and end the session splashing together in the river.
For more reasons you might love summer family photos, check out Why You Should Have Family Photos Taken in Summer.
Fall color is hard to beat for photo sessions.
Who doesn’t find themselves taking a moment longer to stop and appreciate the beauty of the leaves changing? Plus, cozying up in scarves and boots with those rich, fall colors, make for great family photos. If your schedule isn’t super full, you don’t mind a runny nose or grey day, then fall might just be the perfect time of year for your family photos.
For more reasons you might love fall go read Why You Should Have Family Photos in Fall.
Okay, so this has a TON of information on how to have the best family photos. But if you’re a skimmer and just came down here, here’s my top 3 tips for the best family photos.
- Think about YOUR typical schedule during the year. – Select a time of year where you’re not already super packed. Trust me, you’ll thank me for this one.
- Look at sunset times for when you want family photos. – Sessions happen one hour before sunset. Can your child stay up that late? Or can you get off work in time if sunset is early?
- Consider the perks of each season for family photos. – If you always have your family photos the same time of year, read through my list of perks above for each season. Maybe switching things up is just what your family needs!
Now you’re ready to book your family photo session with confidence! Make sure you’re on my newsletter list to get first dibs at family sessions!