Getting the most from your outdoor family shoot


An outdoor family photo shoot is a great way to capture special moments that will last a lifetime. With the right preparation, you can make sure that your outdoor photo shoot is truly magical and memorable. By following some simple tips, you can maximize the fun and get the most out of your outdoor photo shoot. Here are some handy tips to help you prepare and things to bring to take away some of the stress so you are left with having a great connected fun time together. 

Planning your outdoor family photo shoot

When it comes to planning your outdoor family photo shoot, there are a few key considerations that can make all the difference. First, think about the overall theme or style you want to achieve. Are you looking for a whimsical, fairy tale-inspired shoot, or do you prefer a more relaxed and casual vibe? This will help guide your decisions when it comes to choosing locations, outfits, and props.

Next, it’s important to find a photographer who understands your vision and has experience working with families. Take the time to research different photographers and look through their portfolios to get a sense of their style and approach. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions about their process and how they work with children.

Once you’ve chosen a photographer, discuss your ideas and expectations with them. They can help you brainstorm locations that fit your style and offer suggestions for the best time of day for lighting and weather conditions. Remember, the key to a successful outdoor shoot is planning ahead and being flexible. Make sure everyone in the family is well-rested, well-fed, and dressed comfortably to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Location Location Location

Finding the perfect location for your family’s style is a crucial step in planning your outdoor photo shoot. The location you choose will set the tone and atmosphere of your photos, so it’s important to consider your family’s unique style and preferences.

First, think about the overall vibe you want to achieve. Are you drawn to natural landscapes with lush greenery, or do you prefer an urban backdrop with vibrant city scenes? Consider what locations resonate with your family’s personality and interests. Do you have a particular location that is meaningful to your family?

Next, think about the activities and experiences you enjoy as a family. Are you avid hikers, beach lovers, or park enthusiasts? Incorporating your family’s favourite activities into your shoot can make the photos more meaningful and authentic.

Your photographer can help make suggestions on the best time of day for lighting conditions at your chosen location, however, make sure the time is suitable for your little ones. There is no point having a sunset shot at 8 pm if your children normally are in bed by then. 

Lastly, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and consider unconventional locations. Whether it’s a local carnival, a botanical garden, or even your own backyard, unique locations can add a touch of personality to your family photos.

Dressing for success: coordinating outfits for a stunning family photo

When it comes to your family photo shoot, coordinating outfits can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of your photos. While matching outfits might be tempting, it’s actually better to coordinate colours and styles to create a cohesive and visually pleasing aesthetic.

Start by selecting a colour palette that complements each other and suits the location. Soft pastels, earthy tones, or even bold pops of colour can all work well, depending on your family’s style and the backdrop of your shoot. Avoid wearing all white or all black, as this can wash out the photos or create a stark contrast that takes away from the natural beauty of the moment.

Consider the style and theme of your shoot when choosing outfits. If you’re going for a casual, outdoor vibe, opt for comfortable and relaxed clothing that reflects your family’s personality. If you’re aiming for a more formal or elegant look, dress in coordinated outfits that are a bit more polished and put together.

Don’t forget to think about textures and patterns when coordinating outfits. Mixing textures like lace, denim, or knits can add visual interest to your photos. However, avoid busy patterns or logos that can distract from the main focus – your family’s connection.

The weather isn’t always on our side during outdoor shoots, so have layers ready if it gets cold.

Lastly, make sure everyone feels comfortable and confident in their chosen outfits. When everyone feels good, it will shine through in the photos. Allow each family member to have some input and express their personal style while still staying within the overall vision for the shoot.

Setting the mood: incorporating props and accessories

When it comes to your outdoor family photo shoot, incorporating props and accessories can take your photos to the next level and set the mood for a truly memorable experience. Props and accessories can add an extra layer of fun and personality to your photos, allowing you to showcase your family’s unique interests and hobbies.

Consider bringing props that reflect your family’s personality and style. For example, if you’re a family of bookworms, bring along some of your favourite books or even create a cozy reading nook in the outdoors. 

Remember to use props and accessories in moderation. You want them to enhance your photos without overpowering the main focus – your family’s connection and interaction. Keep in mind that simplicity is often key in creating timeless and beautiful photos.

Getting the kids on board: tips for engaging children during the photo shoot

Capturing beautiful and natural photos of your children during an outdoor family photo shoot can sometimes be a challenge. Kids can easily get distracted, restless, or camera-shy, making it difficult to capture those perfect moments. But with a few simple tips, you can help engage your children and ensure a successful photo shoot.

Firstly, it’s important to choose a location that appeals to your children. Whether it’s a park with a playground or a beach where they can build sandcastles, selecting a location that offers opportunities for fun and play will help keep their interest and energy levels up.

Next, come prepared with their favorite toys or props. Bringing along items that they love can help keep them engaged and occupied during the shoot. Whether it’s a beloved stuffed animal or a favorite toy, incorporating these familiar items into the photos can create a sense of comfort and familiarity for your children.

Additionally, be patient and flexible. Allow your children to express themselves and be themselves during the shoot. Sometimes the most magical moments happen when they are allowed to be spontaneous and natural. Don’t be afraid to let them explore their surroundings or take breaks when needed.

And now let’s talk about snacks

Sometimes a child can start to get hungry or thirsty during a shoot. It’s a good idea to bring some not too messy and quick snacks for them to eat and a drink they can easily have. This is particularly important if the location is more remote without a shop or cafe nearby.

Maidstone family photo shoot

Posing with purpose: capturing natural and authentic moments

Capturing natural and authentic moments during your outdoor family photo shoot is essential for creating lasting memories. While posed shots can be beautiful, the true magic lies in capturing genuine interactions and emotions. To achieve this, I try to encourage the families I work with to be themselves and feel comfortable in front of the camera.

Instead of instructing everyone to say “cheese” and forcing smiles, I encourage natural interactions and moments of connection. I help direct the families I work with to engage in activities they enjoy, such as playing games, having a picnic, or going for a walk. This helps create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, allowing everyone to let their guard down and be themselves.

During my shoots, the golden rule is that we are led by your child (or children). If they don’t want to do a suggestion, we just go with it rather than tell them off so we keep the dynamic happy. If they want to play hide and seek, we do it. If they want cuddles rather than playing because they’re a bit shy, we snuggle in. 

Another key tip is to let go of perfection and embrace imperfections. Some of the most memorable and meaningful photos come from unexpected and spontaneous moments. 

During the shoot, I focus on the little details. Capture the laughter, the hugs, the funny faces, and the small gestures. These are the moments that truly reflect the love and bond within your family.

Displaying and sharing your beautiful family memories

When you receive your photographs of your beautiful moments from your outdoor family photo shoot, it’s time to display and share your memories for all to enjoy. One great way to showcase your photos is by creating a digital album or slideshow that can be shared with family and friends.

In addition to digital albums, printing and framing your favourite photos is a timeless and classic way to display your family memories. Choose frames that complement your home decor and find the perfect spot to hang them. Whether it’s a gallery wall or a dedicated space in the living room, seeing your cherished family moments displayed on the walls will bring joy and warmth to your home.

Sharing your photos on social media is another great way to spread the love and share your family’s joy. Take the time to curate a collection of your favourite photos and share them with a heartfelt caption. This allows you to connect with family and friends, near and far, and share the happiness that your outdoor family photo shoot brought to your life.

To book your own outdoor shoot for your family, click here.

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