Preparing For Your Family Session

with Kelly Morin Photography



The ones that matter, that you share your life with

Family sessions, whether in the home or outdoors, are not like they used to be. Relaxed and interactive, we’ll be sure to document the missing teeth, skinned knees and love.


Preparing for your family session

(Part I)

After you have booked your family session with me, I will send you over a pre-session questionnaire to get to know your family a bit better! If we’ve worked together before, I may or may not have you fill this out again. It just depends on how long ago your last session with me was. Once I receive that back, I will be able to suggest possible location ideas, if needed. I’ll send you the styling guide so that you can get started on putting together your families outfits, and we’ll stay in touch the months/weeks leading up to your session!

A few essential things I want to note; If it rains, we reschedule! No big deal, please don’t stress. We will keep in touch and decide what to do if the weather looks terrible or iffy.

Kids should be well rested and fed before your session time. Tired and hungry kids are cranky, and nobody wants that during photo time, right? Things happen, naps get cut short (and it’s always when you don’t want them too) so don’t fret if things don’t go as planned.


Preparing for your family session

(Part II)

PARENTS, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE keep your iPhone put away, unless you want to pretend it’s another member of the family. You may think waving the cell phone in front of little Johnny while he watches Elmo on YouTube is the sure fire way to get him to laugh, but most likely he will want to hold it himself (little Johnny is an independent boy, after all!) and will then enter the ‘zone out’ stage where he refuses to let that magical little device leave his death grip.

Family sessions are for immediate family only. If you would like to invite Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles, please let me know and we can book an extended family session.

Please keep all snacks and bribes put away and only take them out in the event of a true emergency. As in, nothing else is working and your kid is for real not having it. I am not above bribing, but again, unless you want the Teddy Grahams a part of your photos, try and keep them put away.


Preparing for your family session

(Part III)

In the event you have a child who ‘seriously ain’t having it’, take a deep breath. We can take a break for a few minutes, and try and figure out what the problem is. Some kids are fussier and want nothing to do with photos, and this is how they’ll be no matter what day we do photos. Others, if there is an issue, we can try and figure out what it is. Please refrain from scolding, yelling or disciplining your child during the session. Now, if it’s necessary, by all means. But kids often have split moments of peaceful or happy expressions, so you want to always look camera ready. Kids need reminded and can get a little wild in front of someone new. But, we want to try and not ‘sweat the small stuff’ during photos and get through this together and avoid any epic meltdowns.

Botton line is we want to focus on fun, snuggles, play, and your love for one another. And please know that I have three VERY wild children of my own, so I’ve pretty much seen it all and I do have tricks up my sleeve.

If your child is sick, please, please, cancel your appointment. I dislike rescheduling, as I am sure you do, but I would MUCH rather reschedule if a little one is sick than have a crying, runny nosed baby who feels and looks awful during your families photos! Kids get sick, it happens, and I completely understand!


What to Expect at your

In-Home Family session

In home family sessions will take place late morning to early afternoon. This allows for the best lighting indoors. If you have a scenic area around your home and the weather is cooperating, we can definitely try and take a few images outside at your home as well. This really is just dependent upon the location and situation.

Before I arrive, you are more than welcome to send me photos of different rooms and spaces inside your home if you are unsure of where you think we will use. Do your best to declutter any areas we decide to use, but, please don’t feel you need to hire an interior decorator or completely change your home on my account! These sessions are supposed to be authentic, and that means capturing your families life at home, exactly how it is.

During our session planning, I typically try and discuss any ‘activities’ or anything specific you might want to do. Yes, snuggling, reading books and sink baths are all great ideas, but sometimes it’s nice to have some other ones. Does your family love to cook or bake together? Are your children into art? Let’s come up with a few ideas on activities to have up our sleeve to entertain the little ones. Did I mention sink baths? Those are my favorite...When I arrive, I try and take a quick run through of your home and choose the best spots for photos. At that time I will make a game plan and share it with you as to what order we will photograph what and where. Please allow for 1-2 hours for your session.


What to Expect at your

Outdoor Family Session

Outdoor family sessions are available May-October and take place at sunrise or sunset. You may be saying...but that doesn’t work with my child’s sleep schedule. Well, it may not, but it’s the best time of day for lighting, and I promise you that midday outdoor photos are not something you want!

Upon booking, I will have you fill out a questionnaire for me so that I can get to know your family a bit better. After I read through this, I will suggest some locations to have your session. Sometimes, I am able to accommodate special location requests, but typically we will hold your session at a location that I have personally scouted out. This helps me to know when/where the sun rises and sets, where shadows are and how best to shoot in that environment.

When it comes to what to wear, that is definitely the most important decision when planning your family photo session! Please refer to the session styling guide for tons of information on how to dress your family for your upcoming photos!

Get ready to interact! Upon arrival, we will do a few naturally ‘posed’ traditional photographs (stand and smile and look at the camera!) and then we will move on and I will begin prompting you on different ways to play and interact with your children. Have fun, if you look like you are enjoying yourself, it will show in the photos ;) I promise!

Family F.A.Q.S.

What should we wear?

Please refer to my What to Wear styling prep guide to learn more about how to dress your entire family for a session! I have created an extensive guide with shop suggestions and more!

Can Grandma, Grandpa, etc. come?

I do book extended family sessions upon request but they must be booked in advance. Please, please only bring those family members who are to be photographed at your session. You may think that Grandma will help get your little one to smile during photos, but I can promise you, that nine times out of town, your little one is going to end up screaming and running towards Gam Gam or Pop Pop and rejecting the idea of participating in our photo session. Grandparents can visit after the photo session. It’s only an hour or two, they’ll make it, I promise ;)

What if it rains on my session date?

Then we reschedule! As simple as that. I stay in touch the week before your scheduled session to discuss weather. Trust me, I keep an eye on things. We will decide together if we want to ‘go for it’ or reschedule depending on how things look, and if we have to reschedule, then no big deal. Weather can’t be helped! Please note, this is for outdoor sessions only. In home sessions will not be rescheduled due to weather. Unless there is a tornado or a snow/ice storm making travel unsafe.

Can our dog come?

Pets are MORE than welcome to join in for in home sessions! Outdoor sessions, I will leave that up to you. You know your pet. If you feel they are well behaved enough to listen and will sit calmly in the car or somewhere once their part is done, they don't bother me a bit.


Family Session Success Checklist

  • Make sure kids have napped and have eaten before photo time! treats/snacks should be offered after photos!

  • Put the iphone/ipad away, and don’t bring it out during photos unless you want ittobeapartoftheshot!

  • Please make sure that you have discussed my style of photography with your spouse and/or they have read my prep!

  • R-E-L-A-X! Seriously, if you get wound up, the kids get wound up. Try and take a deep breath and go with the flow! Oh, and have fun!