5 steps to prepare for your family portrait session/Utah Family Portrait Photographer

I hope you do your family photo shoot at least every couple years, because even though we think we stay the same, we do not. We change, kids grow and time flies by so fast, you won't remember the last time you had your family pictures done. Once you decide that you are ready to have your family pictures taken and find a photographer that you feel confident in and comfortable with, it's time to prep for your session. 

1. Pick a date. Or at least pick a season. For example, did you know you don't have to wait till the fall to take family photos for your Christmas cards? You can wear Christmas colors during other seasons, have a session in an urban setting where you can't really tell what season it is and you can even bring hats and mittens if you feel rebellious and play dress up for a shot or two for your Christmas card. Wouldn't it take some stress out of your already busy holiday season if you get your Christmas cards done in May? But that was just an example. Pick your favorite season or time of the year and contact the photographer you choose at least a few weeks in advance. 

2. Pick the location. I know, I know, I know. This is a hard one. You can always ask a photographer for advice or a recommendation for places to photograph near you and they certainly will tell you the locations that they know and love that will be a good fit for you, but I would encourage you to brainstorm locations that are either special to your family (do you go to a specific park, or canyon on a hike often as a family, or you have a well-lit home where you and your loved ones love to hang out?) or think outside the box (do you have access to a really fun or unique location, like an airplane hangar, your rich uncle's mansion, a boat or a museum?). 

3. Pick out your outfits. Does thinking of outfits stress you out? Please don't. There is help. There is Pinterest (check out my boards HERE), there is your photographer that you can ask for advice and then there is your mom, best friend, or someone you trust and whose taste and style of clothing you secretly admire . Ask for help. The biggest piece of advice I will give you is to NOT match. Pick clothes and colors that go together. I would start with mom's dress (and for the occasion why not get something new? :)) and build up from there. 

4. We're about a week away from the date of the session and this is where you should get your hair colored, if you were planning on it, and get your nails done. Make sure everyone's outfits are ready and will stay clean and start talking to your family about the upcoming date, discuss some family portrait ideas and maybe excite them by suggesting to go out for ice cream or out to eat afterwards.

5. If you followed the steps above, on the day of the family pictures you should really have nothing to worry about other than everyone is well-rested (especially young kids), fed before the session (especially young kids) and you have a few not-messy snacks, water and back up outfit (if you have younger kids).

BONUS Step: I don't really bring any props to my sessions, so if there is something you want to include, don't hesitate to let your photographer know.