What to bring to a Family Session

Happy Friday Eve!

This blog is all about family sessions! Family sessions are some of my absolute favorites! Those, and maternity sessions 🙂

Being prepared for your family session is the first step to having great photos in your final gallery. Here are a few things to consider bringing to your session to set you up for success. And, shout out to the Ratowski family for their perfect little session with their perfect little one❤️

The smallest Ratowski working very hard during tummy time at the session!

1. GRACE. Family sessions can vary as much as families themselves. Some are loud, some quiet. Some goofy, some more serious. Some like to do formal photos, some want more candid shots. Some kids love to get their pictures taken, some would rather be anywhere else in the world. Your family session will be unique to you, so if everything feels like it is falling apart during your session, roll with it! If your kids have a meltdown and won’t look at the camera, it is okay. I am a teacher; I’ve taught first graders to seventh graders. Give yourself and your family grace for your session and we will make it work! I am confident that we can get great shots of your family ❤️

2. Snacks and Water. Having some of your kids favorite snack and drinks can be a game changer in a session. During my family session , I like to do big shots of the family together, breakout combos (Dad and daughter, dad and son, daughter and son, mom with the kids, mom with each kid, mom and dad, etc) and this is a great time for taking a break! As a first grade teacher, I only gave my students a task for 10-20 minutes before I switched it up. One big value to having me as your photographer is that I bring 5 years of formal teaching experience to your family session to ensure high quality, beautiful images. Having a break for water and a snack provides a reset for everyone and keeps your session running smoothly.

3. Family Quilt. I love to get shots of families sitting together. These shots give your final gallery so much variety, and they give everyone a chance to rest too!! The sitting poses I use for families flatter almost everyone. I bring a white blanket to most sessions for these shots, but it is really special when families use their heirloom quilt. Favorite blankets that are neutral in color work well for this as well. I bring a shower curtain liner to make sure your blanket and backsides stay nice and dry during this set of photos.

4. Aunt, Grandma, or a babysitter. This may be the absolute most game changing person at your session!! Having an extra adult that your kids know, love, and trust will make your session go a million times more smoothy!! Another person can stand behind me to help kids look at the camera, calm a fussy little one, or take the kids for a short walk break while I get some pictures of the parents. They add so much to your session!

Brad and little with favorite toys!

5. Favorite Props. Props and really special family items can add a lot to a final gallery of photos. Examples of favorite props can be balloons for a birthday, a sonogram for a maternity or couples session, or favorite toys! Doing a few shots with bubbles are adorable as well! Bringing a few of your child’s favorite toys to your sessions are so fun to look back on as your child grows up. This is a great way to get creative at your session and is ABSOLUTELY optional! I will get those beautiful, classic shots of your family whether you have these props or not, but they add something special and personal to your gallery.

As always, I am here to support you as you plan for your family session! check out my website to fill out the contact form and book a session! I can’t wait to see you!!!

Brad and Cristin, I always love to take your pics!! ❤️


  1. Cristin says:

    You are so amazing 😍 I love all these tips and tricks! Love you!!!!

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