So you've got a family photography session coming up. Excited? Chances are he's dreading it and you're worrying if the kids will behave! But you've booked it anyway because you want some photos to look back on that you are actually in. Sound familiar?


I've put together this guide to give you an idea of what to expect and a few tips on what you can do to make your session go as smoothly as possible so you can just relax and enjoy it...



First up, clothes! This is usually the first thing people worry about. It's really important to think carefully about what you wear for your session as these are images that will be displayed on your walls for many years to come, that will be passed down to your children and your children’s children. So it's probably best to try and avoid Peppa Pig dresses or Thomas the Tank Engine tops and follow these simple tips…





The good news? There are a lot of colour options for you to choose from during the autumn. You can go soft or deep. Think creams, dusty pinks or soft browns. Or how about burnt orange, mustard yellow, berry reds or navy shades. These all work very well in this season. Whatever colour palette you choose, I would advise you to pick a base colour you love and then add in co-ordinating neutrals such ivory, white, pale grey, beige. Try and avoid black and neons whatever the season.




Don't try to match everyone's outfits. Think complementary and cohesive, not matchy-matchy. Be careful to avoid choosing too many different colours or patterns. 3 or 4 colours is a good rule of thumb. The interest and textures should be in the landscape we shoot in, which will allow the focus to remain where it should - your family. You should also make sure that you all dress for the same occasion and weather. An Oscar-ready mum, a dad in a t-shirt and the kids in chunky winter coats don't make for very cohesive images! 




You don't need to go all-out glam for your session. You want to look like you and if you aren't comfortable in what you are wearing it will show in your photos. So opt for a smartish casual look. Avoid logos and branding, anything fussy, and anything too trendy that will date quickly. Keep it classic. It's also worth bearing in mind that it may or may not be cold. You don't want to spend all that time choosing fab outfits just to have to cover them up in coats that you hadn't factored in! Layers, chunky knits, hats, scarves and jackets can keep you warm and avoid the need for big winter coats. 





Check out my Pinterest boards for some inspiration on choosing outfits for your autumn session. If you need any help or advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  


Whilst you may be worrying about what you'll wear and how well behaved everyone will be, and whilst I'd love to guarantee that there will be no tears or tantrums or that the weather will play ball, I can't. What I can tell you though is that when it's all over you'll be so glad that you captured these early years together. And we'll have some laughs and giggles whilst we're doing it. I know how stressful having your family photographed can be, so I'm here to help to make it as relaxed and as fun an experience as I can. So take a look at this guide and feel free to give me a shout if you have any other questions.


If you fancy a little bit of advice on what to wear from a well-seasoned fashion professional, I recommend a consultation with Becky's Wardrobe. Becky is on a mission to help women positively connect with and rewear the wardrobe they already own. She works with women to style their existing clothes, learn how to manage their wardrobe and to shop more considerately. She also rents out her own personal wardrobe for others to enjoy. Take a peek at her Instagram.

So perhaps she'll have something you can rent that will look amazing on you in your photos? Or maybe you already have the perfect outfit but need some guidance on how to really wear it? Keen to help women create looks they love and that they feel good in, Becky will help you confidently step into any moment. Including a family photoshoot!  

Becky offers a tailored service to families that have booked with me. So if you're struggling with what to wear to your session, why not a book a 15 minute complimentary telephone conversation with Becky. After your consultation, you can agree on a bespoke price tailored to you. 



Next up, misbehaving children! Please don't worry about this. Kids will be kids and as a mum myself I've seen it all before. I've got lots of tricks up my sleeves. So don't stress and don't worry if they won't look at the camera or give me a big cheesy grin because I'm after natural moments and smiles anyway. There are a few things you can do to prepare your kids for a family photo shoot though. Just click the button below to find out what these are.

For those with young children, I would usually recommend having the shoot in the morning so they are bright and alert. It is best to avoid scheduling the session right before nap time, for reasons I'm sure I don't need to explain! But you know your kids better than anyone else. Schedule the session for when you think they will be at their brightest. There is no time limit but family photography sessions can generally be done in less than 2 hours. It's usually quite obvious when the kids have had enough! In regards to location, this is really up to you. I am happy to have the session in your own home or garden, or out at a location of your choice such as a local park or somewhere that means something to you as a family. If you need any help deciding on a good spot, just let me know. A little caveat here is that if your chosen location requires entrance and/or parking charges, these will be added to your fee. 


It’s a good idea to bring some snacks and drinks with you for the little ones, although nothing too messy, please! Wipes, obviously. It’s also wise to pack a change of clothes for the younger ones, just in case. If you have any cuddly toys or special items that you'd like in the photos please do feel free to bring them along. Mums might also want to bring some touch-up makeup and a hairbrush, which leads me on to...



Well, we are in England so let's face it, there's a very real possibility the weather won't be on our side! Blue skies and wispy clouds are of course lovely but don't be put off by thicker cloud cover. Skies like these can make your photos really atmospheric. Whatever Mother Nature has in store for us, we can take a call the day before. If necessary we'll just reschedule for another time that's convenient for you.







After your session, I will head on home and spend some time choosing the best photos to tell your story. When they are ready you will receive an online viewing gallery of around 30+ beautifully retouched images. This will typically take around 2 weeks. After you've had time to look through your gallery, you can choose which digital package you would like to purchase. If you are interested, I can also send you info on some lovely ways you can display your images. Because it would be a shame to let your investment exist only on your hard drive.


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Family Photographer | Newborn Photographer | Baby Photographer | Business Photographer | Lingfield | Surrey | East Sussex | West Sussex | Kent | Copyright © {2020}  | Jo Leeson Photography