Family Session Prep Guide

Thanks for booking your session with me! I'm so excited to capture some special moments for your family! This guide will go over what you need to know for your session by answering some common questions and telling what to expect. Contact me if you have any other questions!

Section 1 - Prep Guide

1. What to expect from me

In a typical session I take some traditional posed photos where everyone is smiling at the camera, but also a lot of candid shots of your family interacting naturally. I find that real moments make better photographs. When you tell a kid to look at the camera and say cheese, they usually comply - but most often it isn't their natural smile. So it's best if you don't tell your children that they have to look at the camera and smile! It will only look forced and uncomfortable. Instead, tell them that you're going to have a fun time playing together! It's ok if your kids are wild - let them play and run! It's also ok if they're not in the best mood, it happens. But trying to force them to look happy usually just has the opposite effect. We'll roll with whatever comes and take a break if needed.

I will provide some direction, but will also step back occasionally and let you guys be while I snap some photos. Sometimes it helps to pretend like I'm not even there! I will give you some silly prompts and maybe play a game or two. Don't stop moving! Movement makes pictures interesting and shows off your personalities. Don't be afraid to joke and laugh with each other.

Tell dad not to worry too much, but focus on having fun with the family! Interactions with each other like hugging, holding hands, and kissing are always welcome. And this goes for everyone - don't be too concerned about looking at the camera, unless I specifically say to. 

2. What to wear

  • Something you'd normally wear that matches your style & personality
  • Some simple patterns are good, but avoid very bold ones
  • Variety - don't be afraid to mix up the colors and patterns a little. Everyone matching in the same exact outfit can be boring. "Coordinate, don't match" is a popular phrase to remember. (Though some people like matching - if that's your thing, I won't judge!)
  • Avoid neon colors & large logos
  • Long ruffles on sleeves & collars may fly in the wind and possibly in your face, so it's probably best to avoid them
  • Avoid clothing that highlights areas you don't want highlighted
  • Make sure kids are comfortable in their clothes

3. Tips

  • Make sure children (and grown-ups) aren't hungry during the session. Bring some non-messy snacks for the ride.
  • If you've scheduled a beach session, expect wind! The beach is almost always windy, so set your expectations accordingly.
  • Try to avoid sunburn in the days leading up to the session by wearing sunscreen. If you're worried about tan lines, try to pick an outfit that will minimize showing them.
  • Don't make drastic hair changes you've never tried shortly before the session, like a new haircut or dye. It might not come out the way you like, and I can't Photoshop that!
  • Plan extra time into the day's schedule - photo shoots are held when the lighting is best, so being late will affect how much time we have
  • Bring a few props if you'd like. These can include toys, bubbles, a blanket, football, or something else the kids like or the whole family would enjoy!


4. What happens after the session

I send a sneak peek with some images from your session within a week. It usually takes between 3-5 weeks to edit & deliver your full gallery of photos (summer months are busier). I don't place a limit on the amount of photos you receive. I take great care in going through and picking out the best moments and fine-tuning the look (colors & lighting).

I will upload your photos to an online gallery on my website and send you the unique link. You can download the pictures in full quality, share them, and order prints directly from the gallery. This is a screenshot of what an actual gallery looks like: 


Thanks for taking the time to read through this guide! I hope it was helpful, and I can't wait to meet you and your family! Contact me by email at [email protected] if you have any questions. Follow me on Instagram & Facebook to stay up to date with my sessions (@ashleyhomanphoto on both). See you soon!