10 Tips for a Successful Photo Shoot


by Fiona Yates

Photographs are visual history, and catch a moment in time that we can turn back to again and again. Whether it is a wedding, a birth, a kiss or a grin, the image can catapult us back to the celebration of life. Here are some tips that will make it a good experience both emotionally and visually for families.

1.Research. When choosing a photographer, first check with friends and families for personal referrals. If that doesn’t work, try the following keywords “lifestyle family photographer” or “relaxed family photography” (include your area in the keywords).

2. Book early! There is nothing that will deflate the air your holiday picture balloon of excitement faster than to find out that your favorite photographer is already booked! I start getting Fall inquiries in early summer. So book early!


3. Keep an open mind. You may have the perfect family photo in your mind and although your photographer will try their best to capture your vision, things don’t always go as planned. Go with the flow!

4. Mom, pick your outfit first. Find something you really love and feel comfortable moving around in but is also flattering to your figure but don’t over stress. Pinterest is a good place for inspiration. Build the rest of the families outfit colors around yours.

5.  Accessorize!  Don’t be afraid of popping color through bold necklaces and fun scarves. To mix it up, you can even switch out some accessories half way through your session!

6. Prepare kids (and DAD!). Sometimes the hardest person in the family to photograph is Dad. If he has apprehension, talk about it and explain why this is important to you and ask him to get on board. For kids, don’t hype it up too much. Treat it like a fun family outing.

BridgetteMaternity3WEB7. Bribe away. I have yet to photograph a family who did not have some sort of bribe waiting for kiddos at the end of the session. Totally fine! I keep things moving and fun but sometimes the reminder of a waiting treat is all a three year old needs for a final shot.

8. Relax. Expect your kids behavior will not be perfect (does that even exist?) on a photoshoot. They are meeting a brand new person and they can feel tension from mom and dad. Don’t spend the whole session discipling. Your kids may have nervous energy to get out and that is ok!

9. Don’t focus on the negative. When your photographer delivers your photos, your eye may first go to some part of your body you don’t like. Or your wrinkles. Or your double chin from when you laugh. It is ok to see these things. But then step away from the photos, realize that no one else will focus on these things and look at them again like your kids will. They will see a happy mom, who took the time to capture these moments.

10. Print! If your photographer gives you the digital files, print them! Don’t let them hide on your computer forever. If you don’t have frames ready, make a photobook !BlogPic2

Fiona Yates is a professional photographer our family has used for all our major events. Her exceptional eye catches the small details that tell a larger story than most traditional family portraits. We asked Fiona to share her tips for creating a successful photo shoot. Don’t wait to schedule those precious family portraits! There is no rewind to now.





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