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What to bring to your family photo session

Even if we try to be ready and prepared for every possibilities, there will always be an unexpected situation! One if the most recurrent questions I have is what to bring to your family photo session. What should we wear question, will have its a separate blog! 

lifestyle pictures parents with toddler girl mum hold daughter and laugh during Atlanta family photo session

I have created here under a list of what to prepare and bring to your family photo shoot. My objective is for you to have the best relaxed and joyful time with your dear ones.

Wether you booked a regular or a mini session, there are a few items you should probably bring along for your photo shoot.

Let’s talk first about what to bring for your kids

family with 4 little kids standing on a bridge holding hands during Brookhaven family photo session

N°1. A diaper bag 

Wether we have a full or a mini-session together, always bring your diaper bag if you have a little one. We will always find time to include a diaper change, or a pacifier / stuffed animal search.

Even better, you can also use it as a hand bag and put your car key and phones in it! For once, not everything will end up in your hand bag 🙂

N°2. A full belly but also snacks, water and bribes!

Kids with a full belly are always more cooperative and in a better mood.

Snacks and bribes are the answer to a lot of kids problems during a photo session! But make sure the snacks are not too messy and if you can stay away from gums. It will be a lot easier to have everyone smiling at the same time at the camera!

When all else fails, bribes usually save the day. Having three kids I will never judge you, I know how stressful it might be for you! I often have amazing pictures thanks to bribes. « If you listen for five more minutes you will get a (fill in the blank)! Â». Now they know they will get more at the end.

N°3. Rewards for the end of the family photo session

When they are a little older, you might have to play the reward card. If they are old enough to understand, it’s a good idea to prepare them for what’s to come before the session starts. Explain how much the photos mean to you so they know to be on their best behavior. A lot of families pick something fun to do, as a treat after the session, if their kiddos are good listeners. Like dinner at their favorite pizza place or an ice cream cone, a trip to their favorite playground! So many options here!

If they are not interested in treats, don’t worry, I have a lot of tricks to get beautiful smiles out of them!

N°4. Small eye catching toys

If they are too young to follow directions, bring an object that you think might help me get their attention when it’s time for them to look at the camera. 

It can be their favorite toy, a stuffed animal or just a familiar item. It will help them relax and enjoy our time together. A couple of them will be enough to grab their attention and make them laugh as I have a ton of other tricks up my sleeve to get the best genius smiles.

N°5. Wipes and paper tissues

Whatever the age of your children, wipes and paper tissues are the answer to so many messes, smudges or dirt situations! Getting lifestyle pictures might sometimes requires hands digging in the soil. Once swiped with a wipe or paper tissues, there is no more trace of it! 

What to bring for Mum to your family photo session

parents with toddler dad hold daughter standing in a park in Atlanta GA during family portrait session

N°6. A little touch-up make-up

If we do a regular photo session, you might want to bring a few touch-up items such as lipstick or a hairbrush. 

N°7. Bring walkable shoes

Not that much during a mini session, but during a regular family photo shoot, we will probably be walking short distances on unpaved trails. So if you plan on wearing heels (which help you look a little longer and add a nice flattering touch!), you might need another pair of shoes. 

What to bring for all the family to your photo session

Parents and toddler walking and holding hands in a park during lifestyle photo session in Atlanta

N°8. Extra layers (depending on the season) and props are fun items to bring

Adding extra layers allows for more variety in your pictures and gallery. They can be theme oriented or not. 

Props can be as simple as a blanket (clear solid color is the best), hats, statement scarves, rain boots, suspenders, jacket, cardigans…

N°9. Change of Clothes

As with kids, we never know what might happen, don’t hesitate to store another set of clothes in the car! Apple sauce, mud, water, unpredicted puddle jump or fall… you got it right?!

If this is minor, don’t worry, I will edit it out!

young parents with toddler daughter mum holding daughter and smiling in a park in Atlanta GA during fall mini-session with laure photography

This list is not a must-have or here to scare you, it is just a guideline to help you prepare in advance and fell more relaxed on your session day! If you bring none of them, we will still be fine, I always have a few things with me 🙂

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I'm Laure Pascal-Glorieux, a French photographer, now living in Atlanta GA, who believes in the amazing power of pictures.