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Family portraits are great, they can be lot’s of fun and the results can be fantastic. There is the chance that things can not go quite so well and you should be aware of some simple tips to make sure the whole family is prepared for the day of shooting. So, I have put together some simple tips to help make your family portraits are a success!


Clothing, one of the most important influences on the end result. Of course, the clothing choice is ultimately that of the clients, but here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Avoid distracting colours, prints and patterns.
  • Logos and writing on clothes are very distractive and should be left out, putting a shirt on backwards can resolve this if out on location already.
  • Ideally colours will be coordinated with the family.  To make things easy, sometimes the family all  in white tops can work.
  • Casual clothes work best with outdoor shots, formal wear is best suited to indoors – with exceptions.
  • Make sure your clothes are comfortable, this may reflect in the end result if you are not comfortable,  remember the shoot may take some time.
  • Bring a change of clothes, for two reasons.
    • Things may not ‘click’, whether its the location, coordinating with the family, a good coordination even planned is not guaranteed so having backup is great.
    •  Also if something is spilt or goes wrong, you have a change there ready to go. (Some may wish to do a wardrobe change also.)
On location can mean we are away from amenities and services, be aware of:
  • Bathroom. Toilets may not be available, go before the shoot!
  • Food & drink, bring some light refreshments with you and have a bite to eat prior. Hungry faces don’t show up well on camera!
  • Get a good nights sleep! Another thing that doesn’t look good in print is tired, angry faces. It pays for everyone to get a good nights sleep.
Children and babies can make shooting challenging, your photographer has their own tricks to success with young ones but some advice for parents:
  • Bring a friend or family member that is not included in the shoot to stand with the photographer and keep the kids happy, amused and active.
  • Bring the kids favourite toys, these can be used by the friend or photographer to keep the children in high spirit during and between shots.


Above all, bring your sense of humour and have fun. Happiness and good moods are a direct influence on the result, happy people make for great shots!