Planning for Your Family Portraits | Edmonton Photographer

Planning for your family portraits: does this phrase make you shudder a bit? Getting everyone ready and out the door for a family portrait session can be overwhelming to say the least. By the time we arrived for our last family portrait session, no one was feeling very love-y. We overcame, but had I been better prepared, it would have gone a lot more smoothly! So do as I say, not as I do 😉

These 4 tips will help you plan in the days and weeks prior to your session.

1.  Choose your clothing carefully and in advance.

Choose your outfits well in advance! This is not the day-of-the-session type of decision – trust me! I always recommend starting with mom’s outfit and building the rest of the families’ wardrobe around hers. Neutral colors and soft, flowing fabrics will result in soft and organic images: think creams, oatmeals, gentle pastels, lighter shades of brown, tan, gray, and blue.  Make sure that your chosen outfits are comfortable and allow for some movement. My clients often text or email me images in advance and I am happy to give advice and help you come to a cohesive look! redwagon’s curated closet is also available to be used for all sessions and can help with dresses for mamas and clothing for your littles.

2. Get Dad on board!

I know that often dads are unwilling participants in family portrait sessions. But it is so important for dad to cheerfully participate. redwagon sessions are fun and my clients (even dads!) often comment on how enjoyable and easy the actual session was. Please feel free to schedule a pre-session consultation and make sure to bring dad. We’ll have a coffee and get to know each other a bit, and you’ll both get to see examples of the heirloom artwork that will be end result of your session. Seeing these gorgeous products and being able to envision how you can use the images we create in your home, makes the process of actually getting the portraits taken less painful. The images we will capture are a legacy, and will be passed down to your children, and in turn their children. Ultimately, dad will be so glad that he gave this time to your family.

3.  Be well fed.

Don’t come to your portrait session with an empty stomach. Sometimes, depending on the time of year (and when the sun is going down!) families will  come to their session and plan to eat supper after.  If this is your plan, make sure everyone has a snack before and consider bringing some water and non-messy bite sized snacks (think fruit snacks, goldfish crackers etc) to the session as well.

4. Schedule time to get ready.

When booking the date for your session, make sure you will have some time to get everyone ready. Racing home from work and then rushing around to get everyone fed, dressed and ready is no fun and it sets the tone for a disorganized, unhappy session. Consider booking on a day when you can take a few hours off, or your kids aren’t in school. For mom, having hair and makeup professionally done is always encouraged. When mom feels pretty and at her best, this will set the tone for the rest of the family as well. Make sure that there’s lots of time for baths, grooming and dressing. Having some extra time will make a big difference.


redwagon offers extensive support before a session, including a pre-session consultation, a Welcome Kit with Studio Look Book, wardrobe consultation and access to the Curated Closet: a studio wardrobe with gorgeous floaty dresses for mom (sizes XS-XXL) and adorable, neutral options for your littles.

Get in touch to start planning your session today!

redwagon photography can help with planning for your family portraits and is an Edmonton photographer specializing in organic, natural light Family, Newborn, Maternity, Child, and Baby Photography in Edmonton, Alberta and surrounding areas including but not limited to Stony Plain, St. Albert, Leduc, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park and Barrhead.
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

redwagon photography is an Edmonton Photographer specializing in natural light family, newborn, maternity, child and baby photography in Edmonton, Alberta and surrounding areas including but not limited to Stony Plain, St. Albert, Leduc, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park and Barrhead.