hands hold black and white photograph over wooden surface, title 5 Tips for a Stress-free Family Photo Shoot Subtitle plus 10 themes you can pull off with what you already have

5 Tips for a Successful (and Stress Free!) Family Photo Shoot

Is an upcoming family photo shoot stressing you out? Check out our top 5 tips for getting results you'll love, without the pressure: 

Great photos are ones that capture the loving bond that unites your family. They're fun to share with friends and serve as treasured keepsakes. But the pressure to achieve Pinterest-worthy photos often works against you in the moment. 

Attempting a photo shoot with multiple subjects, some of whom may be young children, family pets, or even shy adults, is hard enough. When you add the pressure of perfectionism, it's a recipe for disappointment.

That's why we're sharing our top tips for a stress-free family photo shoot. Work through these steps ahead of time and you'll be prepared and relaxed by the time the camera is clicking away.

We'll also share 10 easy holiday photo themes anyone can create using things you (likely) already have. But first, here are our top 5 tips for photo shoot prep: 

#1   Have a Plan  

Whether you've booked a professional photographer or you're taking the DIY approach, there are several things you'll want to plan for ahead of time. 

These important details include the style or theme, location, lighting, props, and wardrobe for your shoot. 

Going over these details in advance will help ensure your photo shoot goes off without a hitch!

We even created a checklist to help you with your planning. You can also use sites like Pinterest to gather ideas and inspiration. 


#2  Keep It Simple

At Urban Southern, we believe simplicity is often the key to avoiding stress. Cutting out the noise and focusing on what is most important helps us honor our values and live every day with intention. 

This certainly holds true for our own family photo shoots! Just look at some recent examples from members of the Urban Southern family. 


        Owners Daniel & Rachel with their 3 adorable kids!          Sadie, our store manager, and her husband, Matt              

Our production assistant, Joetta with her husband, Derick, and 3 beautiful children.

As you can see from the photos above, you can still achieve beautiful results without all the extras. 

While there is nothing wrong with staging an elaborate photo shoot if that's what you enjoy, it's not a requirement. If the idea of choosing a theme or picking out props adds to your stress, don't do it!

Keeping your photo shoot simple is a great way to take the pressure off and let your family shine.


#3  Use What You Have

Similar to our advice to keep it simple, using what you have when it comes to equipment, props, and wardrobe will help minimize your stress.

Take cameras, for example. If you're using a professional photographer, great, this part is already taken care of. If you're doing it yourself, there's still no need to worry.

Thanks to advancements in technology, most people can capture great family photos with nothing but their smartphone. Sure, they may not have all the fancy functions of a DSLR camera, but you’re better off sticking with what you have than using unfamiliar equipment. 

Making the most of what you already have also goes for props and even wardrobe. Rather than buying a bunch of stuff solely for the photo shoot, consider what you may already have. 

If you're drawing a blank, check out our slideshow at the bottom for some great ideas that utilize items you already own. You might be surprised to find that you already have everything you need!

#4  Make it Personal, Not Perfect

A simple way to ensure you'll love your family photos is to focus your energy on making them personal, not perfect.

As much as you may love a flawless result, a family photo that tells a story will always be extra special. So take a moment to think of ways to make your next photo shoot specific to your family.

Incorporating an activity your family enjoys doing together, a location with sentimental meaning, or a special family tradition, is a much better use of your time than worrying over every tiny detail.

#5  Do a Test Run 

Our final tip for taking the pressure off of your family photo session is to set up the space ahead of time (if possible) and take test photos.

These can be taken without anyone in the frame or with any adult willing to act as a stand-in. This will help you see what's working, what's not, and what you may have forgotten to consider.

Most importantly, you'll be able to fix any issues ahead of time, instead of troubleshooting on the fly. Trust us, you don't want to be worried about a lighting issue while simultaneously praying your youngest (or furriest) models don't run out of patience!

So now that you know how to set yourself up for a stress-free family photoshoot, check out the slideshow below for 10 fun ideas for holiday photos that use what you already have!


10 Festive Ideas for Holiday Photo Shoots (that use what you have) by Darci






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