family of three in park

Family photos serve as beautiful memories that your family is sure to look back on for years. They’re often passed down through the generations, and sometimes they even make for great laughs. Whether it’s a special occasion or just a yearly tradition, family photoshoots are a wonderful way to document the growth and bond of the ones you love most! We know what you’re thinking, “Getting the family together for photos sounds stressful, so I’m going to pass”, but we strongly recommend you reconsider. That’s why we’re here to help you prep 🙂 

Choose the right photographer for your family photos

Step 1: Choose your photographer. Yep, this one is obvious, but there are tons to choose from. At Three Twenty Studio, we take family portraits outdoors and in-studio! Whether you work with us or not, selecting the right photographer is the first and crucial step in preparing for family photos. 

When you’re looking for a photographer, we suggest doing the following:

  • Find someone experienced in photographing families 
  • Find someone with a consistent style that you like
  • Make sure they can accommodate your family (keep in mind pets and young kids) 
  • Read reviews

Another shameless plug here: We’ve worked with families big and small, and families that included babies and animals! Also, you can peep some reviews here

The location of your family photos

The location you choose for your session can significantly impact the overall feel and aesthetics of your family photos. We suggest keeping it simple and taking your family size into account when looking. If you’re a family of 2 or 3, you can take family photos just about anywhere; if you’re a family of 30, you might be limited a bit. Some places to think about are in a studio, at a local park, beach, botanical garden, or even your own backyard. Like we said, it can be just about anywhere!

Family photo outfits

Believe it or not, this is a huge pain point we hear from people. So we’ll try to make it simple for ya! Gone are the days of perfectly matching outfits; instead, try going for complementary colors and styles. Consider a color palette that works well with the location and colors your family might already have. Not everyone wants to get new clothes for family photos. You’ll also want to consider the season. Working together on outfits is essential to avoid busy patterns and logos that might distract from the focal point: your awesome family! 


Another pain point coming your way: scheduling. This can be quite stressful, especially when you’re trying to organize a big family. So, when you start the scheduling process, we suggest reaching out to your family and seeing what days work best for them. Also, ask them to give you multiple days, that way, when you reach out to a photographer, you can let them know the days that work for you guys right off the bat. Pro tip: We suggest not scheduling when it’s supposed to be nap time, haha. That never works out well 😉 

Prep everyone else for your family photos too

You’ve done your homework; now it’s time to prep everyone else. Talk to your family about the session and what to expect. If you don’t know what to expect, ask your photographer. When preparing everyone for the family photos, it’s important to keep a positive attitude because they’ll likely feed off of you. So try making it sound exciting and fun! For young kids, bring along some snacks and their favorite toys to keep them engaged during breaks. Patience is key when working with young children or a large family. Be sure to let them be themselves and allow the photographer to capture their genuine expressions and personalities.

Get some rest and relax

When everyone is well-rested, chances are, your family photo session will go a lot smoother. Make sure you aim for a good night’s sleep before the photoshoot and encourage everyone else to do so as well. We also suggest trying to plan a calm morning leading up to the session. Avoid any last-minute stressors and plan on getting to your session about 15 minutes before it starts. This will give you extra time if your chill morning doesn’t quite go as planned 😉 

Embrace the awkward 

We get it; family photos can be awkward, especially if you have a family member or two that don’t want to be there. That’s why we tell our families to embrace it; it’ll be worth it. 

Whether your family is just you and your significant other, you two and your pets, you and your children, or your entire family tree, our team at Three Twenty Studio would love to be a part of capturing and preserving your memories! Reach out today!

Family Photos: How to prep for your family session