5 Tips to Getting Better Family Photos | Long Island Family Photography

Family photo sessions can be stressful and I aim to make the process as easy as possible for my clients.  Here are 5 tips to getting better family photos that you should remember for your next family photo session!

fall family photo session


I get a lot of questions about what to wear and I can definitely consult with you on this process. It is an important element to getting the best out of your family portrait session!  Stress-Reducing Tip: Don’t leave this task until the last minute! Getting yourself camera ready and all the kids dressed is difficult enough as a parent, let alone trying to plan coordinating outfits an hour before your session time! Take the stress out of this by having everyone’s outfits prepared and ready ahead of time. For those pickier kids – have them approve their clothing selections in advance and try everything on for comfort if possible.  


Nobody likes to be hungry- and combining that not-so-great feeling with a family photo shoot can lead to hangriness and overall misery especially for young kids.  Make sure everyone has been fed BEFORE you get in the car and head to your session.  For little ones, a nap is important especially for those later summer sessions that might interfere with their typical bedtime.


Kids will be kids. Even if they aren’t listening to prompts and don’t want to smile for that traditional holiday card portrait THAT IS OK!  We have all been there! Believe me, the photos that you will love the most both now and in 20 years are those that capture the true spirit of your family at this moment in time. If your child is running and jumping when you want him or her sitting, just take a deep breath, let it go, and always keep a happy face!  The worst photo is that of a child happily playing and a parent looking angry in the background. If your toddler is JUST NOT HAVING IT (it happens- you are not alone) don’t panic. Pick the child up, spin them around, throw them in the air or just cuddle them in close.  And remember – we only need a split second to get that perfect image.


This is the time to amp up the affection and bring on the hugs! My approach to family photography is to create feeling photos. These are photos that convey how you felt in the moment, not just what you looked like. The most important element to creating this type of imagery is to STAY CONNECTED physically to your family. I always tell my clients to pay attention to their hands. Make sure they are always touching another person in your family and not just hanging at your side. An example would be to pull your child in close and place your hand on their cheek or on the back of their head. I often ask sisters to touch their foreheads, and little kids to pretend they have magnets in their heads or arms that are attaching them to their siblings!


When all else fails, or even if it hasn’t, a promise of a reward for kids can work wonders! Whether it is a nonmessy snack break during the session (think crackers not chocolate), or going out to their favorite restaurant afterward-only you know what can truly motivate your children to cooperate to the best of their ability.  (Just don’t turn it into a threat of being taken away or it can backfire quickly into a crying, messy situation!)

I hope these 5 tips to getting better family photos were helpful! Family photography is so important. Not just for you as parents, but for your kids and their kids. There are some things you can control as you try to get the best out of your photo session, but leave the rest to me! Connect with me and we can start planning your custom long island family photo session!

  1. […] can also visit my Pinterest Board for some further outfit inspiration! Also, check out my 5 Tips to Getting Better Family Photos. Contact me to start planning your next family photo […]

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