Have you taken a look out your window yet? If not, run! Spring has sprung, folks. Budding trees. Beautiful flowers peeking out. The sun is actually starting to feel warm again. That means it’s the perfect time to schedule your family photoshoot! With such beautiful weather, you just can’t go wrong. Especially not if you follow these 10 tips for success:
- Choose the date carefully. Ideally, pick something a few weeks away, for various reasons. Maybe you want a chance to get the perfect haircut but need a few weeks to settle into it. Maybe just another couple sessions at the gym will put you right where you want to be. Or maybe you just need a bit of time to corral everybody’s schedules for the picture. Whatever your reason, giving yourself a little breathing room pre-spring photoshoot is a great idea.
- Figure out your photoshoot style. Use that extra scheduling time to ask yourself some questions. What do you want your photoshoot to be like? Formal? Informal? Part of it depends on your kids, of course. You can only get so formal if you have squirming toddlers! So consider your kids’ ages and individual needs as you decide whether doing a fun home shoot is a great idea or whether maybe a more structured photoshoot with a Chicago family photographer in a studio might be best. Since the weather’s beautiful, you might also want to take advantage of the great outdoors. It all depends on your family’s needs.
- If you have kids, factor that into your planning. Kids are gonna kid. That’s what they do! So when you’re thinking about a photoshoot, little details like timing are especially important if youngsters are involved. Don’t schedule the shoot during naptime, for instance. That’s just asking for cranky tiny tots. Similarly, if you have older kids, don’t schedule the shoot when they’re supposed to be doing soccer practice or some such fun activity. Pick a date that works for everyone as much as possible.
- Remember snacks! If you have kids, feed them before the shoot. Then be sure to also bring along some treats. Juice boxes or water bottles are also a good idea. Nothing messy, mind you—but a few favorite goodies are sure to keep the smiles on the faces of little kids and older ones, too.
- Pick everyone’s clothes ahead of time. Don’t try to throw outfits together the night before. That’s an outright nightmare! Instead, spend a few days figuring out what people will wear, making sure you dress for the weather. Sure, it’s spring, so spring-like clothes are wonderful. But take along several outfits, maybe including one with long sleeves, just in case. Multiple outfits also allow for more variety at the shoot. Plus, if one gets messy because … kids … then you have several backups.
- Speaking of clothes—coordinate? Yes! Match? Eh … careful with that! If your family members wear similar shades of blue, for example, that’s fine. Or if you choose patterns that sort of resemble one another, also okay. What you don’t want is for everyone to be wearing the equivalent of a uniform. The photoshoot is supposed to be fun! Let people express their individual personalities! Matching is really not necessary. What is important is some color. Spring is all about colorful flowers and sunny days and bright green grass. Choose outfits that reflect the season!
- Consider props. Bring along some accessories like sports equipment for kids or fun hats, a favorite musical instrument, or anything else that reflects the individual character of each family member. And as we said earlier, bring multiple outfits, both for fun and just in case.
- Where’s it gonna be? Location matters—that’s a given. Maybe you have some special family places you want to visit. Or maybe you want to follow the spring weather to a beautiful park. Whatever your whim, it’s all good, with a couple caveats. While you should definitely pick a few places, remember that you want to maximize your photoshoot and not spend the entire time driving between locations. So places that are close together are good. Also—scout out the locations you’re considering, to see any rules they have about photoshoots. Finally, talk to your photographer. He or she will definitely have great suggestions to go along with your needs!
- Chill! Spring is here. After you’ve done your photoshoot prep, there’s every reason for you to just relax and enjoy the amazing weather with your family. If you’re having fun, that will absolutely be reflected in your pictures. It’s fine if kids goof off somewhat. That’s part of who they are and what they do and in years to come you’ll look back and smile at their antics. You want the photographs to really reflect who you are as a family. You can only do that if you allow yourselves to act naturally. Trust your photographer and enjoy the day.
- Choose your photographer carefully. Last but not least, you want to pick someone you trust. Do your research online into family photographers in Chicago. Talk to friends. Make phone calls. Meet the photographer beforehand. It’s important that you feel comfortable and like there’s some kind of rapport between the photographer and your family. His or her job is to guide you through the shoot, and that can only happen if you feel comfortable openly communicating your family’s photoshoot needs.
None of these tips are rocket science! But if you follow them, you’ll be well-prepared for a successful, fun photoshoot. The photos will be permanent memories, of course, which you’ll hand down through the generations. That said, you also want to remember the day itself fondly.
I’m a professional family photographer based out of Chicago, IL, with years of family portrait experience. Please review my Chicago family portrait photography section for information and samples of my work. Then book your session today!