Capturing Memories: A Guide to Planning Your Extended Family Photo Session

Family photos are more than just images captured in time; they’re cherished memories that tell the story of our lives. However, organizing an extended family photo session can seem daunting with so many schedules to coordinate and details to consider. I am going to lead you through my best tips for planning your Extended Family Photos! With some thoughtful planning and preparation, you can ensure that your family photo session is a fun and memorable experience for everyone involved.

Set a Date and Time:

The first step in planning your extended family photo session is to choose a date and time that works for everyone. Consider everyone’s schedules, including work commitments, school activities, and other obligations. Keep in mind that if you are wanting an outdoor session, your photographer will likely want to photograph within 2 hours of sunset, or sunrise for the most ideal, soft, lighting! This also may vary based on the location of choice. So be sure to chat with your photographer as you choose a date with your family if you have a particular must have location you want!

Choose a Location:

Selecting the right location is key to capturing beautiful and meaningful photos. Whether you opt for a scenic outdoor setting like the desert, forest, red rocks of Sedona, or prefer the comfort of your own home, choose a location that reflects your family’s personality and style. Keep in mind factors like lighting, accessibility, and the season when making your decision. Your Photographer can help you plan out the best location for the size and abilities of your group!

Coordinate Outfits:

While matching outfits are a thing of the past, coordinating colors and styles can help create a cohesive look for your photos. Consider choosing a color palette that compliments each other and the chosen location. Avoid busy patterns or logos that can be distracting and opt for timeless and classic attire instead. Another great way to plan your outfit palette is to consider the decor in your home where you will be displaying your images, and plan color tones from that! I send all of my clients a detailed style guide on how to plan outfits that coordinate!

Communicate with Your Photographer:

Open communication with your photographer is essential for ensuring that your vision for the photo session is realized. Share your ideas, preferences, and any specific shots or poses you have in mind beforehand. Discuss logistics such as the duration of the session, any special requests, and contingency plans in case of inclement weather. For most extended family sessions I have photographed, we go into the session with an idea of groupings that are important to each family, and prioritize those groupings. Example groupings to consider include: Full Group. Grandparents and Grandchildren. Grandparents and Adult Children. All Children together. A family Photo of each family unit. A photo of just the Grandparents. If time permits and depending on age of the children, it is also fun to get playful photos of each family unit together and individuals of each kiddo.

Prepare Your Family:

Finally, prepare your family for the photo session by setting expectations and emphasizing the importance of cooperation and enthusiasm. Encourage everyone to relax, have fun, and be themselves during the shoot. Remind them that the goal is to capture genuine moments and emotions that will be treasured for years to come. Preparing your little’s ahead of time is also key. When I am photographing a family with small children, we often take breaks to allow the children time to explore and remain as stress free as possible. We can be flexible in how we get all the desired photograph groupings, and they may not happen in the order that we envision. Keeping things stress free and flexible shows in the photos! Your genuine smiles, and joyful memories with your family will shine through!

Planning an extended family photo session requires some time and effort, but the memories captured are priceless. By following these steps and approaching the process with creativity and enthusiasm, you can ensure that your photo session is a success. So gather your loved ones, contact your favorite photographer, and get that extended family session scheduled! You won’t regret it!

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photographing Phoenix Maternity, Birth and Brands

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