Summer is a great time to book a family portrait session. The kids are off school, grandparents or college-aged kids are visiting, and the weather’s great! Now that you’ve got everyone in the one place, here’s what to know about planning for a summer family photo shoot that you’ll cherish for years to come.
Find the Right Photographer
Consider what you want to achieve with your family portraits and keep that goal in mind when reviewing photographer portfolios. Are you after a natural-looking shoot outdoors, a fun one with props, or a formal approach? Browse portfolios, considering each photographer’s approach and technique. Be sure to look at their group shots to see how they handle posing, lighting, and backdrops. Check out reviews and ask friends and family for referrals.
Find the Right Location
Location is critical to a great photo shoot. Think about places that will reflect your family’s interests and personalities or ones that have meaning to you. Parks, beaches, historic houses, lakes, libraries, murals, or retro settings are all popular choices. If you’re not sure where to start, your photographer will have some local recommendations – including some wet-weather backups! Don’t forget to consider how your chosen location looks at different times during the day. Some places are at their best during the “golden hour,” while others are better served by a daytime or night-time photoshoot.
Plan In Advance
With wedding season and plenty of local events on the calendar, summer can be a busy time for professional photographers. Don’t book at the last minute. Planning ahead means a higher chance of successfully booking your choice of photographer on the day that you want. Try to have some backup days available just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate and keep your portrait date in mind in the weeks leading up to it – avoid risky activities or drastic hairstyle changes!
Choose Outfits and Props
Organize a cohesive, complementary “look” by selecting outfits in advance. Aim for comfortable, classic outfits that work well together but that still let each family member express their personality. When selecting outfits, consider your backdrop or setting, color and style, and local climate conditions. For example, if your photoshoot will take place on a green lawn, avoid head-to-toe green outfits that will blend in with the background or red ones that will evoke Christmas. Props can help elevate an outfit or add extra personality to your shoot – children’s toys, parasols, books, or sports gear are just some options.
Have a Plan for Wrangling Pets and Kids
If your photo shoot will involve young children or pets, bring backup clothing, diapers, snacks, water, and a plan for keeping them on task. Your photographer will be able to help with posing, energy, smiles, and organization, but having a family member who will be taking the lead can help the photo shoot run smoothly. Be mindful of young kids’ routines – a photoshoot during naptime might not get all the smiles you want!
We know you want everything to be just so for your summer family portrait session. But expecting perfection is a recipe for disappointment. Remember, you can’t control the weather, small kids and pets, or even other people enjoying a public space. Relax, go with the flow, and enjoy the experience – you’ll get the best results this way. Your photographer is an expert at what they do and will take multiple shots to make sure you get the images you’re after.
Book Your Summer Family Portrait Session with Freed!
If you’re ready to capture the memories of this summer with a family portrait session, talk to the team at Freed. With extensive experience photographing children and adults of ages across a variety of settings, our expert team will ensure that your photos are worthy of your living room wall.