Look Amazing in Family Photos | Philadelphia Family Photographer

If you’ve never had a photo session with a professional portrait photographer, chances are you may feel a little bit nervous about what to expect. And that’s completely normal… In fact, I hear from our clients all the time that they’re apprehensive to get their pictures taken for all sorts of reasons, ranging from being “unphotogenic”, to feeling awkward in front of the camera, to wanting to lose a few pounds before booking a session, and everything in between. To help you feel a bit more at ease leading up to the day of your session — and during the actual shoot — I’m  giving you some of my tips on how to look amazing in family photos below. 

mother and son cuddling on white bed for studio portraits

Chat With Your Photographer Before The Session

Sometimes simply talking through the process with your photographer can help you feel much more at ease. For starters, they’ll walk you through each step of the session-day process so that you know what to expect. Second, getting to know the person who’s going to be photographing you can help you feel much more relaxed and yourself on the day of your shoot.

One of my favorite things to do is booking a pre-session design consultation prior to my client’s portraits. It gives me the chance to get to know my clients as individuals and plan a custom session that meets their vision. It also gives my clients a chance to get to know me, browse through my studio wardrobe closet and get a chance to view the luxury products that I offer. 

I’ve found that in-person meetings build trust, and trust is important. When you trust your photographer, you will be more relaxed at your portrait session and that will show in your pictures.

Choose a Meaningful Location

I highly recommend choosing a location that’s meaningful to you and your family, not just a pretty place. An experienced photographer can make almost any location look great. Rather than focusing on having a pretty background, choose a location that tells your story. Years from now when you look back on this time, you’ll want it to be about more than just frolicking in the park.

Take a little time and think about your favorite places to spend time together. Even if it’s not picturesque, I promise that you won’t regret doing your portrait session in a spot that is special to your family. If you have any questions or would like to run an idea by me, feel free to leave a comment below.

mother an son showing us how to look amazing in family photos

Be Authentic to Yourself

Have you ever packed for a vacation and decided you were going to bring four different novels and a couple workout outfits even though you rarely read or workout? That same sort of mentality can occur when you’re prepping for a photo session, as you try to reinvent who you are. Instead, relax and show up on session day as your authentic self. 

You’ll get the best results from your portrait session when you style your wardrobe in a way that fits your personalities. If you normally wouldn’t be caught dead in a maxi dress, don’t wear one to your session. Embrace your ripped jeans and leather jacket or whatever clothes make you feel your best. Forcing yourself into an outfit that doesn’t feel “you” will only make you uncomfortable and hate the way you look! Let’s stylize a session that allows you to BE YOURSELF and tell a story. 

Go Ahead and Glam it Up

It’s a fine line between not being true to who you are and wanting to look amazing the day of your shoot. The key to feeling amazing and comfortable on your session day is to elevate the traits you really like about yourself. 

If you love flowing dresses, find one that you feel incredible in. If your hair is your favorite feature, head to the salon and get it straightened/curled to perfection or spend the few hours beforehand focusing on your hairdo. 

If you know that having your makeup professionally done, pamper yourself by scheduling a makeup session with a makeup artist. Do these things only if you feel like it will make you feel your best and not because you feel like you “should.” 

mother and son sharing a laugh while playing a game during their portrait session

Do Something Fun!

I can’t stress this one enough! DO SOMETHING fun, something that you love doing together as a family. Something that will allow you to actually hold each other close, smile, laugh, and play a game.

You can’t fake natural chemistry and there’s nothing quite like a genuine smile and capturing pure happiness, when your goals is to feel confident and look amazing in family photos. If you’re in an environment and doing something that you really enjoy, those emotions & chemistry will flow naturally and the photos will be more authentic.

Know That We’re Pros at This Stuff

One of the reasons why people experience post-photo stress is that they might not have had the best images taken. Because of the lens, selfies create a distorted image of your face. 

Also, lighting and angles seriously matter. We’re pros at this stuff. We know which poses to put you in that’ll make you look and feel amazing and we know how to position you against the light (and how to use additional lighting techniques) to create a stunning portrait. 

lifestyle family portraits of mother and son in neutral studio

A Recap of my  5 tips on ‘How to Look Amazing in Your Family Photos’

  1. Book a consultation to meet your photographer on the phone or in-person.
  2. Choose to have your portrait session at a location that is meaningful to you and your family.
  3. Stay true to yourself and let your true personalities be the highlight of your session.
  4. Do something fun! Sharing an activity/ playing a game as a family makes for the most natural poses and laughter in your photos.
  5. Trust your photographer to capture stunning photos like the pro they are.

I hope that you enjoyed these tips on how to look amazing in family photos, and that they got you excited to schedule a session! The entire experience from session planning, wardrobe styling, on-location shooting, right through to the product selection and design process is exciting and fun.  

I love what I do and can’t wait to start planning a meaningful and special portrait session with you. 

Please click HERE to schedule a free phone consultation. I’m looking forward to talking with you!


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meet ann


Hello & welcome to the ABP blog! I’m a Philadelphia based portrait photographer creating beautiful, light-filled images for families looking to create lasting memories and women creatives excited to grow their busineses with branded photos. On the blog,  I’ll share my most recent sessions, travels,  photo tips and more. So grab an iced coffee and . hang out a while!

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