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Preparing For Family Sessions | Mariah Meyer Photography

Preparing for your family session is a lot more simple than you might be thinking, just a few steps and we are going to make this nice and easy for everyone. Whether it's for a regular family session or extended photos with everyone these guidelines are the same.

Make a list!

Initially you will want to make a list of photos you want to capture. Examples would be; family, mom and kids, dad and kids, individual, etc. For larger group sessions you might have grandparents and grand kids, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc.

If there are any specifics, send them over. Send your ideas, pinterest boards, anything you would like to try or past photos you would like to recreate. Having these things in advance help me prepare if I need to do anything on my end or bring anything along.

Prepare the kids!

See this post about how we can make your session go smoothly with the kids, getting them prepared for their photos and the session. Remember, that kids are exactly that, kids. Things aren't always going to go according to plan and that is 100% okay!


This might seem like an odd one, but make sure that anyone who needs their hair cut (or dyed) has appointments set up before your session date. That way you aren't rushing the day before hand if they do need them.

Relax! We are going to go with the flow and capture some great memories. I am here for you from the start to help with ideas, locations, outfits and anything else you might need for your session.

Outfits Choosing outfits for yourself and the rest of your family can get overwhelming. I get it. I want to make that process as easy as possible for you!

Images that flow together is always the goal and outfits are the key component to doing that.

In short, classic styles will help to create timeless images.

1. Keep location in mind. When picking outfits keep in mind the type of backdrop or location that will be in your images. If you are on the beach you want to have a lighter feel with your outfits, a tall grassy green field, you want to avoid green. Patterns in the backdrops means avoiding patterns on clothing.

2. No big distracting graphics/character shirts or heavy patterns, small brand logos are usually fine. Patterns are not totally out of the question. Choosing lighter small patterns that aren't distracting can work quite well. (See the first family photo on this page.)

3. No neon or exceptionally bright/flashy colors, they really just don't work well for photos. They tend to create color casts on the subjects of the photos. These colors include bright pinks and oranges often found on spring/summer infant and toddler clothing.

4. Pay attention to shoes, you want them to match the outfits or be neutral to match anything. (In studio shoes don't generally show in photos with adults. Children's shoes however will be in photos most of the time.)

Remember that barefoot IS an option. In studio children and adults alike are often barefoot for photos. Outdoor locations like the beach also work to be barefoot.

5. Layers and accessories are your friend. It makes it super easy to switch up the look of your photos by adding or taking away a sweater, statement necklace, jacket, even a hat. There are number of simple swaps to help change your look effortlessly.

6. Make sure that outfits are complimenting to each other, not matching exactly. No one should be wearing the exact same color (no all white, or all black, etc.) Pick a color scheme and then outfits for each person creating a variety. Change up the shades if you're only using one or two colors for a larger group and don't be afraid to add in neutrals.

So where do I find outfits?

There are plenty of places to find outfits! Starting local I see many good options at Kohls, Target, TJ Max, and other stores alike. I also suggest checking out H&M and Gap to get ideas.

The best way to find the perfect outfits is to browse online, and see what you like first, then try to find items that match that style. Make a board on Pinterest and then narrow it down to what you really really like.

Also, check on what you already have! You might find that you have the perfect outfits already at home! If ordering clothing online, be sure to order well in advance so that your items arrive in time and you can make sure that it fits.

If at any time you feel lost or have questions please ask me! I want to make your photo session as easy as possible for you and I am always willing to help you with outfits when needed! Many clients will send me photos of what they are thinking and I will gladly help you out!

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