Family pictures are a time-tested, patience-trying ritual for both family and photographer. GigMasters has tips on how to work with your photographer to make your family photo shoot the best possible experience for everyone. Avoid a disastrous day, and you can look back on your amazing family photos with pure joy. 

  1. Hire a Great Photographer

    Interview photographers before signing the contract. You’ll want one that can make your family feel comfortable, but also think on their feet when things go haywire. Search photographers on GigMasters and take great care to read reviews and profiles. This will give you a good feel for how the photographer runs a shoot.
  2. Coordinate Outfits (Not Matching)

    Aim for a coordinating color palette instead of matching outfits. If you’re dealing with a large family, you’re more likely to get a cohesive look by limiting the color choices instead of dictating a uniform. Plus, you’ll get a more authentic and comfortable representation of your family’s personality. Sites like Design Seeds have a ton of color combos to inspire you, but you can also look to your favorite sports team, university, or colors of the seasons.
  3. Try for Portraits First…and Last

    You managed to get everyone in coordinating outfits – so shoot fast! If you’re dealing with little kids, they will get fidgety and impatient. As soon as that happens, take a break and do a candid or activity session. At the end of the shoot, request one more try at portraits. By that time, everyone will be more comfortable together. You may get a less formal version than you envisioned, but there is nothing wrong with that! 
  4. Plan on Action & Candid Shots

    While you might want the perfect family portrait with everyone smiling at the camera on a serene beach, you might not get it. Sometimes the best picture is the one you didn’t plan. Lean on your photographer for great ideas of how to capture the spirit of your family.
  5. Pick a Meaningful Location

    Find a location that is family favorite: your kids’ favorite park, the vineyard where you got married, even an arcade. A fun, fulfilling day is really the best way to bring out those true, unforced smiles. You’ll really see the best in everyone, and the camera will too.
  6. Let the Photographer Run the Show

    We know it’s temping, type-A’s, but let the photographer run the shoot. They do this almost every day, and have a great eye for details. Let them pose you, arrange your family, and give direction. They know what it takes to create a mantle-worthy shot. 
  7. Schedule Your Photo Shoot Now

    Family photos are supposed to capture your family as they are now. Don't wait to lose weight, grow hair, or let the kids grow up a little. Taking annualy family pictures are the best way to hold memories of a time period that notoriously goes way too fast. 

Do you have tips or ideas to make family photo shoots run more smoothly? Better yet - have a horror story to turn into a teaching moment? Tell us in the comments!

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