How To Plan Your Own Family Shoot, Northamptonshire Photographer


My aim the last two years, has been to try and get in more photos with my kids. I don’t always want to be the one behind the camera. I want to have those memories of us together documented. I’m so, so passionate about Motherhood Sessions - so I’d be a bit of a hypocrite if I wasn’t getting myself in front of the camera too!


There can be so many reasons why you’re not in photographs with your children. Perhaps you aren’t feeling great about your skin, or the weight you’ve gained, or just generally feeling uncomfortable. Perhaps you never have anyone with you at the time and asking a stranger is just awkward. So today, I’m giving you a few easy tips on how you can get yourself in some images with your children - and have some photographs that will become part of your visual family legacy. I understand that there is an investment to booking in a photo shoot with a professional, so I hope these tips are helpful to you over as you spend time with your children throughout the summer holidays!

    My first tip is to make a very loose plan. Whilst you may be drawn to really natural images, there is often a lot of planning that goes into them beforehand! Decide on the type of photos you want - do you want them in your home or outside in a favourite park? Or maybe in a field somewhere? If outside, think about the time of day - do you love that beautiful golden light? Then you’ll need to plan to get these images in the evening (about an hour before sunset). Once you have narrowed down the look and feel you’re going for, it’ll then help you to plan the next stages of the shoot.

    When you see any of my family photography, I will have always prepared my client with some useful information about clothing - what to wear and what to avoid. Spend a few minutes bringing some clothes together and seeing what works. I’d always advise against matching everyone - but that’s totally up to you ;)

    Although you’ve chosen a specific time of day you’d like these images to be taken, getting the timing right is key here. Think about when everyone is happiest and let that be the deciding factor. If children are really miserable late afternoon, then obviously avoid this part of the day. They need to be able to co-operate for a few minutes, so if after an afternoon nap is when they are happiest - do it then. My children are older now, so they are staying up so much later. There is a period of time after dinner when they’ll often get a second wind, and will have loads of energy to run around - but after school, they are properly tired and just zone out for an hour.

    Letting your children know that you want some photos together is really important. I know for my children, they need a little warning. If I tell them I need them for 5 minutes for something, they’ll often just get on with it (not always, but mostly!) but if I catch them off guard, they are more likely to refuse.
    Giving your children incentives works a treat! Think stickers, sweets, a trip to the park a.k.a bribery :)
    You have to be prepared to move fast as their attention span really doesn’t last for long.

    My last tip is to find someone who is willing to take the photos for you. I’d probably say don’t ask your husband half way through the Cricket World Cup, but that’s just me!! Ask them to take lots of photos - not just one click, but fire away. Those moments in-between are most likely going to be the ones that stand out to you. It’s really about the connection between you all, rather than a forced smile looking at the camera.


Don’t make excuses about not being in the photos. Your children will never see your ‘flaws’. Take the time now to get in front of the camera - yes it is an effort and does require a little bit of planning, but you’ll be so glad you did it! xo