family photo session checklistFAMILY PHOTO SESSION CHECKLIST

      So, your family photo session is just around the corner. I know the ‘to do list’ when getting your family ready for pictures is long! I’m sure you’ve researched color combinations and planned out the perfect outfits for your family. You have talked with your photographer to find the best location in Northeast Ohio. Even thought about the perfect place in your home to hang your new family portrait. You’ve prepared your children for the session. And crossed your fingers that they are in great moods and eager to cooperate on picture day. Momma, you are doing great! I know it is a ton of work just to get your family out the door on a day to day basis. Getting everyone ready for pictures is no small task! That’s why I wanted to share a little checklist for your to run through before your family photo session.

      You have the big items covered! But, it’s the little details that are so easy to overlook in the hustle and bustle. And, it’s those little details that can make or break a picture. Over the years of being a portrait photographer and working with families, I’ve noticed a few things that are often overlooked or forgotten.



      I’m guessing I am not the only one with a cell phone always with me. If anyone in your family typically carries their phone in a pocket, remind them to take it out before picture time. It is so easy to forget it is there, but in pictures the outline of a phone can be very noticeable.


      This is the one that I need reminded of myself! As a busy mom, if my hair isn’t in a pony tail, then I am guaranteed to have a hair tie on my wrist – just in case! A hair tie on the wrist is something I am so used to, I don’t remember to take it off my wrist when someone is snapping a picture of me. It’ s not the end of the world for a cute cell pic of the girls and I playing in the yard. But for a professional family portrait, I sure wouldn’t want it there. That’s why it is number 2 on our checklist of things to remember before your family photo session. On your way to the session, remember to slip them off your wrist and stash them in the car.


      If you wear transition lenses, it’s easy to forget that they will get dark and look like sunglasses if the sun is out. You may decide not to wear your glasses during the family session. But many times, family’s decide to wear their glasses because it is a distinct part of who they are. In that case, I often recommend opting for a pair of non transition lenses if you have the option. Or temporarily removing the lenses from the frames if you feel comfortable doing so. This way you still look like you. But no one will ever be able to tell the glass in your frames is missing. Of course, only do this if you feel comfortable removing the glass. If you can see well enough without them or have contacts to wear. And be sure to do it at home where you have a place to store the glass safely.


      I have no doubt that you spend a lot of time planning out what each person in your family will be wearing. And it was probably such a relief when you had that all figured out! Don’t forget to plan out what shoes each person will be wearing. It’s a little detail that is so easy to overlook. But, a pair of old sneakers paired with an adorable sweater vest and bow tie on your son will stand out like a sore thumb. Also, be sure to try the shoes on a week before with young children. This helps to make sure they still fit. Those growth spurts seem to come out of no where! And it helps to make sure they still look great. And didn’t accidentally get colored with purple magic marker to match a favorite tutu dress. Can you tell I have a three year old?

      So far, all of our checklist items have been things to double check before your family photo session. But I also have a few tips on things to bring with you to the session.


      Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy. Add ‘bring happy kids to family photo session’ to your check list. And then just check it off! Unfortunately it isn’t quite that simple. But I do have a few tips to help keep your little ones happy on session day.

      1. Be sure to bring snacks along. Nothing makes little ones crabby faster than a rumbling tummy! And I’m fairly certain most children also have hollow legs where copious amounts of food goes before ever hitting their belly. So, snack breaks during a session can often make a difference between a happy child and session full of tears. It’s also helpful to plan for clean snacks so that mouths, hands and clothes aren’t stained or messy for pictures.
      2. Being thirsty is a close second to being hungry. I always recommend that parents bring along a bottle of water for each child. Especially in the warm summer months here in Northeast Ohio.


      Mom, you may have planned to wear a pair of killer heels for your outfit. Great! I love a pair of amazing shoes! But I also know I don’t wear heels nearly as often as I used to since I’ve had my little ones. And my feet remind me of it anytime I put heels on. I love to tell my moms to slip a pair of flats into their bag. That way they can slip them on if we walk from location to location. Or they are there as an option if you end up playing games, like ring around the rosie,  with your kids during the session and need something a little more comfortable. And, if nothing else, mom’s always love slipping them on for the ride home.

      Do you have any items to add to our family photo session checklist? If so, I’d love to hear them! Just add them to comments below!


      Great content! Keep up the good work!

      Thank you!