Do you want to take your next family photo session to the next level and enjoy the process?  What would it be like if your next photoshoot felt less like a chore and more like a fun day out enjoying the people closest to you?  

Keep reading to find out the secret to epic family photos you will treasure forever!  

There is one little word that describes almost every amazing family photo, and that is RELAXED.

Photography can tell your story, but the emotion of the moment is what truly makes that memory epic!  

If you feel stressed, uptight, or uncomfortable no amount of skill can erase those emotions from the photos.  But if you walk into the session RELAXED and truly use the time to focus on your family and enjoy the moments together, you will walk away with family photos you will cherish forever!    

When parents relax, kids often follow!

Here are 5 tips to help you make your next family photo session more RELAXED:

Realistic Expectations

The best photos come when you give yourself and your children grace to simply be, enjoy the moments together, and set any expectations to the side.  

Families go through different seasons as children are added to the mix, change, and grow.  Your photos should reflect the season of life you are in, the joys and the challenges.  Young children like to move, and that movement can add so much life to your photos!  Being a parent can be exhausting, but that sacrifice of time and energy for your children is beautiful and will certainly be something you want to look back on and remember.  

Before your next photoshoot, think about the season of life you are in and embrace it in order to make your photos authentically beautiful.  

big family laughs together on the bed of a truck

Think Ahead

There are a few different ways you can plan ahead for a smoother photo session.  First, make sure it is scheduled for a day and time that your children will be well rested, fed, and hydrated.  

Bring non-messy snacks to the session.  

Make it fun!  Treat the day like a fun family outing.  

Plan your outfits beforehand so it isn’t a last-minute stress.  If you do a little planning ahead, it is so much easier to RELAX when your session starts.  

In between snacks, games, climbing trees, and playing at the park these kiddos had a lot of fun at their session.

Location!  Location!  Location!

If you have young children, think about their favorite places.  

Do your kids love the beach?  Try an adventure session and spend time at their favorite spot while getting amazing family photos.  Pick a favorite park or spot on the river or even try an in-home session.  Does your family love gardening?  Try a session at a local nursery or greenhouse.  

If your kids are in a familiar and fun environment, it will be so much easier for the entire family to relax!  Taking a little bit of time to think about the location will make the photos so much more meaningful for your family.  

This water-loving family naturally had a blast with a photo session by the Rogue River!


Even when we have realistic expectations, plan ahead, and pick the best location, following directions and keeping kids in one spot can be a lot to ask of active kiddos!  

Plan a reward for everyone after the session to give them (and you!) something to look forward to.  Take them to ice cream afterwards, try a new bakery, or get a special drink.  When you plan a reward following the session, you can RELAX a little more, equip your kids for a successful session, and get the bonus of making more memories!  

Best thing about a downtown session in Grants Pass? There are some amazing bakeries that this girl got to try after her session.

Go with the Flow

Regardless of how much preparation goes into a session, sometimes you just have to go with the flow!  As a mom and a photographer, one of the biggest things I have learned is to walk into every session (ones with my boy included!) with one expectation.  

I want to enjoy the moments and capture the connection.  That’s it!

Spontaneous hugs are the best!

If a suggestion or pose doesn’t go over, there are so many more to choose from!  I aim to get the most important shots first when everyone is fresh.  Then everyone can sit back, RELAX, and just enjoy being together while I capture the magic and beauty of your family.  

The moments that you live today will never happen again, and those are what you want to treasure for generations to come!  

Thinking about including pets in your next family portrait session? Check out this article about when you should When to Include Pets in Your Family Portraits - Grateful Moments Photography.

Thanks for reading!