How to Get the Most out of Your Fall Family Photo Sessions

Every year, November sneaks up on us. Every. Single. Year. Suddenly, we find ourselves drowning in Thanksgiving cooking and Christmas wrapping. It is holiday overload and the added stress from your upcoming family photography session is just enough to put most of us overboard. Read on for some insider tips from our Photography Mom and professional photographer Kelsey Smith for some insider tricks to get the most from your fall family photo session and make it an enjoyable experience for the whole family.

Family photography sessions can be fun, easy, and enjoyable for everyone, including mom if you just know how to plan it!

How to Get the Most out of Your Fall Family Photo Sessions


What’s the absolute best way to get a great session experience for you and get the best work from your photographer? Book early! That’s it! So many of us wait until the last minute to book our session and then we’re extremely stressed trying to get those Christmas cards addressed in time.

The best way to make sure you catch your photographer at their best is to book them early in the season. You’ll get your images back quicker, you’ll have a better experience with your non-stressed photographer, and this year you can actually get your cards addressed without having to pull an all-nighter. It’s just an all-around win for everyone!

Another way to eliminate the stress associated with your fall family photo session is to follow these few tips to make your outfit shopping the easiest it’s ever been. First, consider the location when you’re picking out your outfits. Beachy clothes (and barefoot!) for beach sessions, dressier ones for urban, earthy tones for a session set in the woods, you get the idea. Next, keep clothing as timeless as possible.

Check out your parents’ photo wall for reasons why 80’s clothing should have stayed in the 80’s. Keeping your outfits timeless will keep your photos from looking dated and possibly ending up on After this, mom’s outfit gets picked before anyone else’s. I know how this sounds but just trust me. If you’re comfortable and happy in what you’re wearing, it’ll show in the images. Kids and significant others are less concerned with what they wear and it is much easier to plan their outfits to coordinate once you’ve found something you absolutely radiate in.


The biggest factor in actually enjoying your fall family photo session is picking the right photographer. It’s overwhelming, I know. There’s just so many different photographers, so many different styles of photography and so many pages to sift through on the internet. It’s ok, take a breath. When you’re ready, sit down and think about what you want the end result of your session to be.

Finding your Style of Photo Session

Are you looking for fun, messy, and adventurous photography that captures your kids in their natural state? Do you want a day-in-the-life session with a documentary approach? Are you looking for that perfect, backlit portrait where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling? Start there on Google rather than searching just your location and photographer. You’ll get much better results in your search if you know exactly what keywords you’re looking for.

When to Book your Fall Family Photo Session

Now that you’ve found the perfect photographer, booked early in the season and have already rocked out your outfits, let it go. Yep, that’s it. Just let it go. Any photographer worth their salt will know exactly how to get genuine smiles out of your kids. Instead of bribing, threatening, and stressing, just let that control go right to the photographer and watch the difference in how your kids enjoy the session. Make this whole day an experience for the entire family.

Go out to dinner or for a root beer float after. Not as a bribe but as a way to continue to enjoy your time together. Changing your perception of your session from a task to an experience will really change the entire day around. You should leave your session feeling connected to your family, not stressed out. If you found yourself having a great time with your session, make sure to book the same photographer early again for next year. Your kids will be more receptive to someone they know already. Plus, your photographer will know exactly what to do next year to get those beaming smiles. Win-win, am I right?

The whole goal here is genuine, beautiful portraits. Making this entire process less stressful for you, your family, and the photographer will give you those results. If you follow these tips, you’ll *hopefully* end up with photographs that make you smile every single time you see them. This leads me to my last tip. Print through your photographer, if you can.

Most photographers have paired with some great non-consumer labs to offer high-quality prints and products that just aren’t available on a consumer level. You’ll get better colors, better quality, and products you’ll be proud to hang on your walls. Better yet, you’ll get albums your kids will treasure for a lifetime.

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