When you book your family photo session with me a lot of the questions that I’m asked in the run up to the day are things like what should we wear, where is a good location and so on. These are obviously things that are important for you to think about if you want photos out and about, but when you actually think about it, they’re the superficial elements of your photos.

I want to put it to you that the important elements of your photos are far deeper than that; it’s about how you can show the authenticity of your family and those relationships, how you want to display your photos after your shoot, and how much fun you want to have in front of my camera!

So here are four things you will NEVER regret doing on your family photo session. They’ll make your shoot infinitely more enjoyable and your photos better to boot!

fun outdoor baby shoot St Albans

1. Put your phones out of sight

I get it, life is so busy. And phones are so hard to ignore. I’m as guilty as anyone. I’ve had to turn all sounds, vibrations and alerts off because I got like Pavlov’s dog with mine. It buzzed, I looked. It was awful!

The one time you don’t want to be distracted by phones is during your family photoshoot. Just embrace the fact that you’ve taken some time out to do this for your family and enjoy your time together!

St Albans maternity photography
St Albans maternity photography
I had a shoot a number of years ago where Dad wouldn’t stop checking his fantasy football team and work emails. Not only did a lot of photos have him in the background on his phone but the Mum looks increasingly annoyed in the photos too. Get everyone on board for focused family time in advance and put everyone’s devices out of sight!

You will never regret taking an hour away from technology and enjoying your shoot with your family. Your photos will also thank you.

fun outdoor family shoot St Albans

2. Plan some activities in advance

Especially if you’re feeling like you’re going to be nervous in front of the camera, plan a few activities for your shoot.

If you pick something that you always have fun doing as a family, you will not only forget the camera is there more quickly, you’ll also have happy memories of a favourite activity to look back on.

family photo session, family photos at home, documentary shoot, documentary family photos
For example, if you always play Uno together and it turns into a heated game then why not do that. Or if you love cuddling up with your kid and reading them stories then start there.

You’ll never regret planning the photo session itself rather than your clothes – it’ll help everyone relax and the whole shoot run more smoothly.

girl using climbing frame in verulam park st albans

3. Be yourselves

This is the most important thing; be yourselves!

Make sure you aren’t trying to be something you’re not and that means wear clothes that fit you, suit you and that you feel comfortable in. I talk about this all the time but if you’re a jeans and t-shirt family then don’t choose your photoshoot to suddenly decide to be a dress and suit kind of couple. You’ll feel (and look) really uncomfortable and end up disappointed with your photos.

outdoor family photographer in St Albans
Same thing with activities… If you’re natural homebodies or a family of outgoing adventurers then trying to go against the grain and do the opposite then it won’t feel natural to any of you. I know this can feel tempting when you’ve seen photos that I may have blogged or put on social media of other families, but they look great because those photos are that family BEING THEMSELVES.

You’ll never regret being yourselves. Never forget, everyone else is already taken!

St Albans family photography in the park

4. Trust me, I’m a photographer!

I’ve got you! I’m going to be there every step of the way holding your hand and you are going to have fun.

You won’t regret leaning in to the experience and just trusting me with your photos and with your photoshoot adventure.

laughing brothers in the autumn woods
You’ll never regret trusting me, but you’ll need to have a shoot with me to find that out 😉

If you want to see some more images from other family shoots check out the family photography gallery and then let’s chat about how I can help your family out with your own gorgeous photos.