Preparing for a Family Photo Shoot

Time can fly by so fast. With the flurry of activity in your life, you may barely notice the speed with which your kids grow and change.

The baby you’re cradling in your arms? Soon, he’ll be going to school. Time will come when that clingy baby who won’t let go of you now will begin exploring, become more independent, and choose to spend more time with friends.

While it is impossible to freeze time, you can have the next best thing – take photos of your family and preserve all the precious moments and memories.

Why should you have a professional take your family pics?

Sure, you can take pictures of your family using your phone or tablet. This will allow you to capture special moments spontaneously and easily share them through messaging apps and on social media.

But for family photos that you will prominently display at home, photos that truly capture this specific moment in time, photos that encapsulate the youth and vigor of your loved ones, you should choose a professional family photographer to help you.


First and foremost, a professional photo shoot for your family ensures that everyone is in the pictures, and no one has to be left behind because he was designated to take the pictures.

Picture quality is another advantage of professionally taken pictures. Indeed, camera technology for mobile devices has grown at such an incredible pace. But often, these devices still pale in comparison to professional gear.

Finally, in a professionally taken family photo, the focus is on one thing only – your family. Nothing else.

Dressing up for the photo shoot

One of the key concerns many families have before going in for a scheduled photo shoot, whether outdoors or in a photographer’s studio, is what to wear.

Here are some helpful tips you can follow.

●      Keep it simple

As much as possible, avoid clothes that are too fashion-forward. As much as possible, stick with the time-tested classics. Remember, you and your immediate family members aren’t the only ones who will look at your photographs. In the future, the new additions to your family will also take a look at these.

Avoid wearing clothes that have a busy pattern. This will only make the photo look to busy and distract from the main subject: your family.

●      Prioritize comfort above everything else

Certainly, you will want every family member to look his or her best. But more than anything, your choice of wardrobe should depend heavily on everyone’s comfort. That can mean putting on comfy shoes or even dressing for the weather if the shoot is going to be held outdoors.

In most cases, semi-casual clothes are the better choice because these can make everyone look put together without compromising comfort. And when your family is comfortable, relaxed, and in good spirits, your photographer can draw out each family member’s unique personality.

●      Settle for a theme

Instead of coordinating and wearing similar outfits and hues, pick a color family and wear clothes that match that theme. Matching outfits obscure the individual personalities of your loved ones.

As much as possible, avoid fluorescent or neon colors as these may not be flattering for the face. Consider using accessories like necklaces or even your kids’ favorite toys to break color monotony and generate interest for the photos.

Preparing for the shoot

As with most things, proper preparation is the key to success.

Before the photo shoot, you have to make sure that everyone is involved and invested in the success of the final product. That includes your spouse and kids. Keep everyone in the loop, from what you expect from them to what they should wear.

Remember that enthusiasm is contagious. If you feel excited for the photo session, your kids will pick up on your energy.

On the day of the photo shoot, make sure that everyone is up and ready as early as you possibly can. This will enable you to head to the location or studio relaxed and ready. That extra time will also allow you to manage any surprises.

Set aside some money for unforeseen emergencies and come to the studio after everyone in the family has eaten. You may also want to bring some snacks and drinks.

If you have questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to ask your photographer. Just like you, he and his team are invested in the success of your photo shoot.


Stefanie Descheemaecker is the Studio Manager at Stu Williamson Photography at The Palm Jumeirah – Fairmont Hotel in Dubai. She has been with the company for almost 3 years and is the driving force behind the success of the business. A keen amateur photographer, Stef combines her natural creative eye with a strong business acumen to help Stu Williamson Photography become the most trusted and successful photography business in the UAE.