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The ultimate guide for a great photoshoot experience in the park | Atlanta Family Photographer

Part 1

We all want those great unique images on our walls that represent our family in the best way possible, RIGHT?

Well, that is actually easier than someone might think if you just remember a few guidelines for the ultimate photoshoot experience. Keep on reading to be well prepared for your BIG DAY!!!

Family sitting on stones in the park

Family photos are a special occasion, and I want to make sure everything goes as smoothly a possible! Here’s a comprehensive checklist that will walk you through every step of the portrait process to help you feel confident and prepared for your session.


#1: Things To Do Before Your Session:

  1. Make hair, nail, and/or makeup appointments for before your session. Make sure your roots are touched up and you aren’t wearing chipped nail polish to your session! These are small details but we want everything to be perfect.

  2. Plan your outfits at least a week in advance—don’t wait ‘til the last day, trust me! You want to wake up feeling relaxed and prepared, so plan these details out early. Feel free to text me photos of your wardrobe if you’re having a hard time choosing! I’m happy to help.

  3. Prepare your kids (and husband!) with laid-back, low-key references to let them know what’s happening. Tell them you will be “hanging out with our friend Nina on Saturday!” or “going to the park to play!” and keep things fun, lighthearted, and casual. Families have shared that this tip is especially helpful if they have a particularly shy child.

  4. Brainstorm about special types of images you want captured. Some families bring heirloom quilts, a special stuffed animal, an embroidered keepsake, etc. Some families know they want a very specific type of photograph taken. If you have these preferences, be sure to brainstorm them in advance and let me know as well!

  5. Review all the things we talked about in our consultation a few weeks earlier. If you need more information , please get in contact as soon as possible to clarify things. Please get my WARDROBE STYLING GUIDE HERE.

  6. And of course, make sure everyone gets a great night’s sleep and eats a good meal beforehand.

#2: How to Dress for Your Session:

  1. Obviously, dress for the weather! We want everyone comfortable!

  2. Don’t wear matching clothes— no more jeans-and-matching-shirts these days! Instead, wear colors in a complimentary color palette, such as earth tones and neutrals.

  3. No tennis shoes, T shirts, or shirts with writing on them!

  4. Be careful about undergarments. While I am very experienced at Photoshop, editing out bra straps or panty lines is difficult and time-consuming. Choose clothes that properly covers your undergarments, in all types of movement scenarios.

  5. I recommend women wear medium or long dresses instead of pants because they capture movement and generally photograph more flatteringly. Short dresses will be a challenge when we do any seated photos, so keep that in mind.

  6. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes you can move in. If your dress gets suddenly too short when you bend over, or your pants are too tight to sit down in, opt for more breathable pieces. Be prepared to move!

  7. Do opt for accessories! Bowties, suspenders, hats, flower headbands, chunky scarves, beautiful flowing dresses and skirts—these create visual interest and movement in your photos, and really help the images stand apart.

  8. If you have a little girl with bright or chipped nailpolish on, go ahead and remove it. Neon pink and vibrant turquoise nails will almost undoubtedly clash with your beautiful wardrobe choice, and yes, it will show up in the photos.

  9. Remind gentlemen to take bulky items like phones and car keys out of their pockets before we start snapping photos.

#3: What to Bring to Your Photo Session:

  1. Any personal appearance touchup items you might want, including things like lipstick or a hairbrush.

  2. Snacks on snacks on snacks, and if necessary, treats to bribe kiddos with! (However, it’s best not to tell kids about the treats before the session; wait until the kids start getting fatigued before you pull out candy card! They’ll usually perk right up then!) Also, make sure the snacks/treats won’t stain lips or fingers! Stay away from chocolate and lollipops.

  3. Bring WATER. We will be in the park for a while and kids run around. Stay hydrated for happy smiles.

  4. Walkable shoes. We will probably be walking short/moderate distances on unpaved trails, possibly with hills. Walkable shoes are a must! If you just love your wedges, bring them to change into before we start shooting.

  5. A change of clothes for the kiddos, in case anyone gets muddy or dirty. As a photographer, I love when kids interact fully with their surroundings, and I’m thrilled to photograph them playing in water or running through the grass. As a parent, you might not be too keen to let them back into your car, covered in mud. Feel free to bring a change of clothes or shoes. Maybe even a towel. You never know!!

  6. A beer. Just kidding! (kind of!) But seriously, if a beer will loosen up hubby a bit beforehand, I totally support it :) And of course a glass of wine for you. You made it that far. Now enjoy the process and let me do my JOB.


Stay tuned for the next Post where we talk about Posing and what to expect after your Photoshoot in the park!

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or contact me with any questions you might have


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