It’s easy to get overwhelmed when preparing for a family photo shoot. Some might say it can be more even more so when you’ve opted to have your photographer come to your own home. Preparing for an at-home family photo session doesn’t have to instill panic and fear if you can take a couple of deep breaths and consider some simple advice.

  1. Declutter to Prepare for At-Home Family Photos

    This may seem obvious, but main thing I tell clients to focus on is decluttering the areas of the home you’d like to be in the shots. A good rule of thumb is to concentrate on the areas in the home with the best natural light. I also recommend to clients to have a laundry basket nearby so we can quickly put loose odds and ends into it and shove them out of the room, if need be. As long as the clutter is behind the camera, it won’t affect the quality of your photos.

  2. Don’t Forget the Outside of Your House

    Clean up the yard of any obvious attention distractions – meaning, garbage, toys, or other objects not meant for the photos as props. Put them away in the garage, or trash can. Don’t worry so much about making sure the yard is perfect because even if a bit overgrown, it will look great as a backdrop.

    Don't forget to straighten up and declutter the front porch while cleaning up before an at-hom family photo session so your photographer can capture you and your kids in front of your house without visual distractions. Mother and son on front porch of Washington DC row home.

  3. Plan Your Clothing Ahead of Time for Your Family Photos at Home

    As with any other photo shoot, it’s best to keep your wardrobes simple; free from logos, and anything that might detract from your faces. Solid colors work best, but we can incorporate patterns as well, especially if there are a few of you in the family. When you work with me, we’ll chat about what works best and I can give you some specific recommendations based on your family’s size and personality, if you’d like.

    Prepare for your family photo session by laying out clothing ahead of time to see how items coordinate. This family chose a palette of red, white, and blue to visually tie their outfits together.

  4. Part of Getting Ready for Family Photos is Remembering to Eat (and Feed the Kids) Beforehand

    With all of the running around to prepare the house and family, make sure you don’t forget to eat. All of you should have full bellies before the photo shoot. This will ensure you all have the attention spans to last the duration without getting cranky. That being said, having some snacks at the ready is always a smart go-to trick in case the kiddos need a little pick-me-up!

  5. Relax!

    Once the shoot is under way, the best thing I can recommend is to kick back, relax, and have some fun! The hard part is over and now you can move on to enjoying the time we have together. Plus, your laid back and relaxed attitude will translate to film, making for outstanding pictures.

    Relaxing and having fun is a great way to make sure your family photo session is a succes.


Check out more of my tips below:

Preparing for Newborn Photo Session

How to Prepare for a Family Photoshoot

Newborn Photo Shoot Tips for Moms


Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.About the Photographer and Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!