Wedding Photographer Blog

Family Photography Session Tips

Mandy M - Thursday, September 03, 2015
Family Photography Session Tips
Photography sessions don't have to be the same ol', same ol' when it comes to styling, location and posing. In fact, we find it incredibly more interesting and engaging when it happens more organically, and when we can discover a way to let the true personalities of your family members shine.Here's what we recommend at Fusion:

Choosing Your Photographer

1.  Ask for recommendations!

2.  Look at their portfolio or website.  Usually, what you see is what you get.

3.  Check their work to see if they are used to working with kids, a large group, etc.  Scout their social media networks - filter the creepy's.

4.  You don't have to select the most expensive photographer, but remember that this is an investment of your memories, a great photographer can artistically create something a typical selfie or Uncle Larry cannot.  Typically, in the photography world, what you spend is also what you get.

5.  Schedule in advance!  Talented photographers usually fill up fast in the Fall.  And, you may have to reschedule if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

6.  Good photographers will listen to what you want.  You should also have an idea what YOU want and communicate it to your photographer ahead of time.  

7.  Rely on your photographer for suggestions, and value their opinion -  they are, after all, the professional.

family portrait session on railroad tracks


Portrait photography has come a long way from a blank white screen in a studio and and a cheesy pose. Your photographer should be able to provide input for possible locations - including your own home.  Here is what we suggest:

1.  Make a list of some of your favorite spots you've visited around town.  Continue to do this as you come across places.  Share these with your photographer.

2. Pick a location that matches your family’s personality.  You’ll want these pictures to reflect this time in your lives.  

3. Once you have found a few possibilities you are really like, discuss them with your photographer. They typically can provide insights on the location such as permit requirements, lighting, etc.

4. Browse family pictures online for location inspiration.  Check out our Pinterest board under FusionPhotog for all kinds of location inspiration.

baby portrait with angel wings

The Wardrobe

A good photographer SHOULD help you with outfit selections, but just in case you don't have angel wings on hand ;)...Check out these tips for endless outfit and color inspiration:

1. Layer!  Adding layers to your outfit not only adds texture to the picture, but allows you to have different looks.

2. Avoid clothing with large graphics and logos.

3. You don't all have to wear matching white and khaki linen.  Coordinate your colors instead.   Stick to a common color palette and loosely coordinate.

4. Try to avoid clothing that is seasonal unless that is what you are going for.  

5. Consider what will go well with the colors of your home - assuming you are going to do more with these pictures than keep them on a flash drive.

6. For a photo that stands the test of time- opt for clothes that are classic rather than super trendy.

7. Be comfortable. There is nothing worse than being uptight in a photo because you are wearing an awkward or uncomfortable outfit. And it WILL come across in your photos.

family portrait session in backyard

family portrait session in backyard with parents out of focus

The Poses

Your photographer is sure to have suggestions and guidance on posing, preparing yourself in advance for some creative options can make it easier to perform during the session. Here are some of our favorite family picture posing ideas…

1. Get in close with each other - too much space looks awkward.  Trust us!

2. Don't be afraid to have fun and be natural.  You should NEVER have to stare right at the camera and say "cheese"!

3. Lying down offers an alternative perspective.  Bring a blanket.

4. Hold hands and hug.

5.  Don't be afraid to kiss.  Kiss your kids, kiss your partner, kiss your dog.  Kissing = happy!

6. Try and be as natural as possible.  If you can't then pretend that you are. 

7. Don't be afraid to just do what you do, and relax.

family portrait session with adult children

How to Look Your Best

ANGLE: For a slimmer appearing waistline, angle your body towards the camera instead of facing it square on.

DON'T SLOUCH: Remember to push your shoulders back and don’t slouch. (After a few shots we usually forget to sit or stand straight)

BACK LEG: Put your weight on your back leg, you’ll feel more comfortable and look natural instead of robotic

DON'T HANG: Don’t leave your arms hanging straight down. Try touching the person next to you or rest your hand on a nearby object.

So there you have it, folks! Our critical pointers for successful and non-conventional family photography. Contact us at to schedule your next family session!

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Fusion made our experience fun, relaxing, and comfortable and it shows in both our engagement and wedding photos! They listened to what we wanted, and they make our engagement shoot and wedding day photographs reflect us as a couple. My photos are beautiful!!!

Allison & Kevin

Allison & Kevin