Avoid These 5 Mistake During Fall Family Photos

Photography • November 8, 2023

As a professional photographer, I’ve had years of families with kids of all ages in front of my camera, and I know how important it is to capture our growing families in a timeless and meaningful way.

I’m also a mom

And though I’ve niched down to brand photography, I know many of my personal brand photography clients are moms too. Today I’m spilling my favorite tips to help you get through the pitfalls that this joyous (yet stressful) event can bring!

5 Things to Avoid during Family Pictures

1. Styling to a Trend

Picking out a wardrobe for your family photos can be the most difficult part. My suggestion? Choose a color palette that you enjoy looking at. These photos will be on the walls of your home, and they’ll be on your phone every time you wake it up – what colors bring you joy? Look around your spaces, and not at the latest trends or popular mock-ups. Many of our fall photoshoot years are in similar colors, and that’s OK! It’s about YOUR aesthetic.

2. Going into YOUR closet FIRST

When choosing clothes for your photo session, start with the hardest person to dress, or the one with the LEAST amount of viable options. (For me, this is my husband.) Then, go down the line (my 12 year old son is next, let’s just say he’s a trifle picky with his fabrics). My daughter and I are last, because we often have various options in our closet that can help pull the family color palette together.

3. Rushing

Instead of barreling through a session, take your time. Plan on taking some breaks, as kids need snuggles, snacks and movement to stay happy. Forcing something is only going to hurt the final outcome, where you want a general feeling of natural joy. Go ahead and tease a reward for the family after your shoot is done, but set the expectation that that is in the future… tonight… much LATER. (I know- delayed gratification can be tough for kids (and adults alike), but taking your time should make the experience more enjoyable so the focused time together is it’s own reward.

4. Apologizing. Don’t do it.

Does your family want to spend their Saturday morning taking family photos? Perhaps not. Is your life partner going to grumble a bit? Most likely. Stay strong. You do a lot for your family each and every day. Let them know how important it is to you to preserve these moments. (You have my permission to pull the Mother’s Day card – everyone is so willing to help you out on that day and make you feel special – let them know that this is another time you can help Mommy feel SO wonderful). If possible, this will get them on board, let them feel a part of the team, and allow you to capture a fun time that will be enjoyed for years to come.

5. Never Printing

As in, print your photos. Please. Sure, go ahead and print your holiday cards, and share them on instagram, but take it one step farther. Print wall art and smaller snapshots to keep for various projects and familial needs that arise during the year. (In my household, the kids use them for locker decor, play audition headshots, gifts for grandma, etc.)

Not only will you enjoy them and get more bang for your buck, but scientific studies have shown that when children see pictures of themselves, it increased their self-confidence. When family photos are displayed and children see themselves as a part of a unit, it gives them a sense of accomplishment and belonging.

Pro tip: for printing, I recommend MPIX, which is the consumer arm of the professional print lab I use: Miller’s Lab.

Taking your own photos?

I’ve created a free resource on how to get better pictures of your kids! Check it out here for the exact DIY breakdown of how I snapped our own family photos this year.

My purpose in business is to help women get their faces in front of their business in a professional and beautiful way -so they can shine their light and make greater impact. Whether you have the budget for a professional photoshoot or not. Many of the same principles apply to families, and I hope this guide helps you capture those moments you cherish most.

I get it.  There is nothing natural about stepping in front of the camera.  Grab some inspiration in this guide!
  • My 10 best poses and how to set them up
  • Confidence boosting tips to make you feel relaxed
  • My favorite prompts for natural expressions

how to pose your body
+ 10 photos every business needs

Posing Help