Georgia Lilley Photography

Launceston, Tasmania


How to Prepare for your Family Photography Session

So you’ve booked and scheduled the family photography session – congratulations, by the way! But what comes next?

There are a few things you can do ahead of time to make your session run as smoothly as possible. Here are my tips on how to prepare for your family photography session:

Get excited!

Letting the family know well in advance about the photoshoot is the best way to prepare everyone involved. Build up a little excitement around it for the kids, and let them know you’re going to be hanging out with a friend and that she will be taking some photos of you all having fun.

Make sure Dad is on the same page so that you’re working as a team to prepare the kids. You might even consider including the kids in the preparation process, too. Seek out their ideas and appeal to their independence or creativity.

For example, perhaps you could let them choose their outfit (out of two or three options you’ve already curated ahead, if you prefer), or ask which toy they would like to have their photo taken with. This is also a great way to make sure the photos capture their unique personality – after all, this is why we’re taking photos, right?


Plan the important stuff ahead

Remember to schedule any haircuts or nail appointments a week or two in advance if that’s something you intend on doing. I also recommend planning your outfit at least a week before your session, and laying everything out the night before. You don’t want to be scrambling for what to wear the day of!

Feel free to run ideas by me if you are having trouble deciding – I’m always happy to help!

Remember to make sure Dad and the kids are organised well ahead of time too so the day of the session is as relaxed as possible.

Eat beforehand AND bring snacks

It may seem like obvious advice, but sometimes the simplest things are the things we forget! Try to eat something light before arriving to your session if you can, and bring snacks and drinks for the kids to cover all your bases.

I’m not a huge fan of bribery, but having some favourite snacks on hand (don’t let them know you have them in advance, though) can be a successful bargaining chip if they start losing interest or going completely feral. I also keep toys and stickers on hand just in case.


Prepare for your toddlers to rebel

If your toddler says they don’t want to be in the photo, we say “okay!” and move on. Respecting their boundaries is important to me.

They may be a bit anxious about the new person (me) and surroundings. It’s ok if it takes them a little bit to warm up to me. The worst thing we can do is pressure them or bribe them immediately. Coaxing a toddler can be a delicate task, as I’m sure every parent of a toddler is aware! So we will only try the bargaining approach as a very last resort..

Whatever happens, it will likely just take a bit of time, so try to stay patient and keep the experience fun. And don’t feel bad if it gets a little chaotic – I’m a parent, I understand, and we will get through it together!

Take the pressure off

You don’t have to look perfect, you don’t have to give perfect smiles or be in the perfect mood. Take all that pressure OFF and leave it in the car. No matter what happens before you arrive, once you’re in the session, just relax, enjoy yourselves and remember how much you love each other. Those are the memories worth capturing.


I hope these tips help you feel more confident about how to prepare for your family photography session. Please reach out if you have any additional questions or if you are ready to schedule your session.

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