5 Tips for a Successful Family Photo Shoot

Whimsies owner, Jessie Wright, & her family captured by Jen Fariello in 2014. Family photos become treasured keepsakes.

Fall is quickly approaching, which means now is the perfect time to schedule those family photo sessions for your holiday cards. And while we all love to have great photo keepsakes, let’s face it, family photo sessions can be stressful. In order to help you prepare for a successful family photo shoot we talked to Charlottesville based photographer, Jen Fariello and Whimsies children’s boutique owner, Jessie Wright, for tips on how to make the most of your photo session to perfectly capture the moment for posterity.

Children’s outfits from Whimsies, photographed by Jen Fariello.

Choose your wardrobe carefully. Wardrobe is key to a great photo session and it should be viewed as an important investment in your photography session.  Your family should coordinate, but not go overboard on the matching outfits. Choose kids’ outfits first unless you have a favorite piece you want to wear.  Keep your location in mind when choosing your outfits but have your clothing represent you as much as possible. Try to avoid neon colors.  

Layers are always a good option when taking photos with children as nothing ruins a mood faster than being too hot or too cold. Plan coordinating jackets, vests, cardigans, tights and hats that can be easily removed or layered on depending on the temperature. When choosing an outfit for a newborn, you are better off choosing something snug fitting, as otherwise the baby can get lost in the clothing.

Make the outfits special but keep comfort in mind. You want to make sure that everyone is comfortable and can relax and have fun during the session. Whimsies has so many wonderful children’s outfits in store right now. If you would like help choosing coordinating outfits, Jessie and her team are always happy to help. You can even call ahead with ages and sizes and desired color palette, and they can pull some options for you to choose from.

Children’s outfits from Whimsies, photographed by Jen Fariello.

Everyone should be well rested and well fed. Get plenty of sleep the night before and don’t try to squeeze too much into the same day as your scheduled session. Eat before your session. We all know that hungry and/or tired kids are not likely to smile happily for family photos. It is a good idea to pack a small (non-messy) snack and water, just in case your little ones get hungry or thirsty in the middle of the session.

Children’s outfits from Whimsies, photographed by Jen Fariello.

Don’t be late.  Make sure you know where you are going and how long it takes to get there. Nothing is more stressful than showing up late for your photo session. And nothing can derail a photo session faster than stressed out parents.

Trust your photographer. In all things, listen to your photographer. They know the best locations and best timing for the lighting (morning or just at dusk are best). Communicate your hopes and desires, but ultimately let the professionals make the decisions.

Have fun! The most important advice that Jen Fariello offers is for families to have fun at their photo sessions. When parents treat the photo session like a big adventure and have a fun date with their kids, then the realness of the moment will shine through in the final images. Above all, play, laugh and set your intention on making great memories with your family. Then you’ll look back on your photos and reflect on what a special time you had together.

Contact Whimsies at 434.977.8767 for help in choosing children’s outfits for family photo sessions. Contact Jen Fariello at jenfariel[email protected] to schedule a fall family photo session.

Whimsies | 434.977.8767 | 2035 Bond Street, Unit 150, Charlottesville, VA | @whimsieskids