Family photos are truly priceless, but if prepping for your family photography session feels overwhelming, know that you’re not alone! We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to family photos with kids to make every step — from actually getting your family in front of the camera to getting your images on your walls — easy as 1, 2, 3! 📸 We’ve packed this guide with tips and tricks straight from professional photographers for capturing beautiful family photos that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
Table of Contents
Family photo outfits for maternity
One of the most important aspects of maternity clothing is comfort. First and foremost, make sure you’re wearing something you are comfortable in, as a photo session can often take at least an hour.
Many pregnant women will opt for a maternity dress or a maternity gown, and oftentimes, these dresses are ankle-length or floor-length. These dresses, also known as maxi dresses, tend to be looser-fitting and flowy, which allows for better movement both for photo opportunities and for the comfort of mom-to-be. The material of the dress can often help with comfort as well; for example, a lace dress or a chiffon dress tends to be a popular choice due to their formal appearance while also being made of a breathable fabric.
If boho-style maxi dresses are not your style, some pregnant women will opt for a bodycon dress instead, which is a more form-fitting style that will truly accentuate your baby bump.
Best time to get maternity photos
You may be thinking that you need to have a visible baby bump in order to do maternity photos, but the fact of the matter is that it’s entirely up to you to choose when during your pregnancy you’d like to have your photos taken and at whatever time you are most comfortable.
There are many ways to showcase your pregnancy aside from your own baby bump. For the photoshoot, you can bring along photos of your sonogram, as well as any other fun props you might like to include in the photographs, such as a pair of baby shoes or some newborn clothing. The props will make for some very cute maternity photos, especially in the close-up shots.
See more tips for your maternity photoshoot in this post.
#1 pose idea: Airplane!
Get those biceps ready! Babies love being lifted up in the air, especially when seat belts and tray tables are not involved. For this airplane pose, grab baby boy or baby girl and lift them high into the sky! ✈️ (Tip: Airplane “whooshing” noises help to get the giddy smiles and giggles going from the whole family.)
Airplane is a great opportunity for dad to be the heavy lifter while mom shows off her awesome outfit and/or accessories, 👗 taking a moment to have some fun in front of the camera. Feeling shy? That’s fine, too! Mom can also just hang out behind dad, looking up at her cute baby. Everyone can get involved in this one, making it interactive and fun, especially toward the end of a shoot to really let loose. Remember: your airplane can fly as gently (or as acrobatically) as desired. This pose is easily adaptable.
See our post on family photo ideas with babies for our top 5 poses for you and your baby.
Best time of day with babies
When little people are involved, it’s always best to try to time your shoot when they’re happy and rested. 👼🏼 If you have an early riser, take advantage of the beautiful natural light in the morning and schedule your photos early. Baby is happiest in the evenings? Aim for a golden hour shoot! Remember: when baby is happy, grown-ups are happy. Every location is different, so review the route options on the destinations page, and consult with your Flytographer for their local tips for what might work best for your family. Crowds, lighting, weather, and more can impact your photos, and with little ones, it’s always a good idea to take into consideration elements you may not otherwise have on your mind. ☔️
How to use baby pictures
Having family pictures to share digitally and on social media is always incredible, but don’t forget to print photos of these special moments as well. Especially if you’ve spent the time and money hiring a family photographer, don’t let that effort be for naught! Whether you want photo prints for your walls and frames or photo books for the grandparents, make something tangible with your images. 📚 Flytographer shoots are such a perfect time to capture photos for a variety of reasons, so if you have specific wishes, don’t forget to ask your Flytographer for specific groupings that you can use later for a variety of purposes.
#1 pose idea: Monkey in the Middle
One of the best ways to capture an energetic toddler is to make them the centre of attention! Oftentimes toddlers are comfortable in front of the camera, but sometimes they are not. 🙈 Surrounding your toddler with family members makes them feel at ease and will lead to more natural interactions, and in turn, more natural images! This “monkey in the middle” pose also works whether you’re sitting, standing, running, swinging, or jumping (more on some of these below), so put that toddler front and centre! Get in close for a family cuddle, and add a tickle or two for some of those silly candid shots with big toddler grins. Just like those baby years that flew by, these fickle toddler years will too, so enjoy this time to be together celebrating all your moments together as a family thus-far.
See our post on family photo ideas with toddlers for our top 5 poses for you and your toddler.
Family photo outfits with toddlers
Not sure what to wear? Some helpful outfit ideas and recommendations for photos with your toddler are to keep in mind the environment and activity level of your toddler. Wearing flat/comfortable shoes helps you keep up, and choosing forgiving styles and colour schemes in case you get down on the (dirty) ground will help you feel a little more at ease with whatever comes your way. Anticipate movement, and be prepared.
Best time of day with toddlers
Most people want iconic golden hour photos, but remember, remember, remember: you know your kids best! We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we know who is boss on photoshoots, and it’s not us. Toddlers are happiest when they’re rested 🥱 and fed 🍽 so keep that in mind when it comes to your shoot start time. Consult with your Flytographer to choose a route that flatters the time of day when your crew is happiest, because no matter how beautiful the sunrise may be, happy toddlers (and in turn, happy parents) always make for a better experience.😊 Natural light and happy kids are a delightful duo that always leads to really great photos.
#1 Pose Idea: Swing the Youngest
“Swing the Youngest” is one of our classic posing ideas and a real kid-pleaser. 99% of kiddos like to be swung, and those who are swinging are sure to wear out long before the swing-ees! 😅 To give grown-ups a break, this can be a fun idea for older siblings, or even a mix of a parent and sibling as they swing the youngest family member. This “pose” is also super flexible and easily adapted whether you’re in sand, grass, hard ground, or even while jumping off curbs, rocks, and more. Mom wearing a dress? Use that spare hand to play with the dress or toss hair to feel fresh and candid. Get creative and have fun! ✌︎
See our post on family photo ideas with kids for our top 5 poses for you and your little one.
How to use family portraits
Getting family photos on vacation is the perfect way to get dreamy images in beautiful locations for the walls of your family home! 🏡 Changing up (or creating) a gallery wall of great photos from your vacation means not only is everyone in the photo, but you have the amazing memories of a trip to remember every time you look at your walls.
Don’t forget using your family pictures for social media, holiday or Christmas cards, or gifts to grandparents are perfect uses following your photoshoot.
Best time of day
Choosing a time for your photo shoot can be subjective, but typically mornings are the best time for many families — the start of the day means everyone has fresh (and clean 😉) clothes, there are fewer crowds, and if you’re in a warm climate, typically this also means cooler temperatures and less direct sunlight. As a parent, it’s also helpful to schedule early so you can lead with, “We’re going to start with some fun photos together, and then when we’re done we get to have some yummy food and enjoy the rest of our day with zero-pressure to take photos!” It’s a reassuring thing to “check off the list” and know that no matter which selfies do or don’t turn out, you’ll have a stunning gallery of family photos as keepsakes when you’re back home.
Flytographer specializes in natural light photos, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there is a bad time of day! ☀️ Check with your local photographer for their thoughts and preferences if you’re flexible on timing since each area can vary greatly in terms of light. There can be a huge difference between what time of day works well for your kids (😴) and the time a photographer may suggest, so work together to make a well-timed shoot happen, leading to happy, FUN, successful family pictures!
#1 Pose Idea: Casual Stroll
Perhaps the most obvious pose idea for the whole family, but one of the best ones to lead with: the casual stroll! Do you remember being a teenager? I do. It wasn’t perhaps my most comfortable season in life (although teens have come a long way in terms of comfortability in front of a camera, ahem, thanks to social media). The casual stroll is a great way to get everyone comfortable together. All you have to do is… stroll! It gives teens a chance to walk free with their hands in their pockets, by their sides, or folded across their chests in sweet resignation! The sky’s the limit. Just stroll. Together. Cool and casual. 😎 Let your Flytographer capture the candid moments as they transpire.
See our post on family photo ideas with teens for our top 5 poses for you and your teenager.
Location & activity ideas
Having teenagers means hearing all the opinions, so why not use those opinions to your advantage? Take a look at your destination page and let your teen help choose your Flytographer and route! It’s a great way to include and get everyone excited together. While you’re at it, make tentative plans for what to do after your family photoshoot as well. 🍽 Flytographer shoots aren’t your typical family portrait session, so try and let go of some of the pressure for perfection and start the conversation off on the right foot! 💃
How to Use the Photos
As parents we know time is fleeting. Capturing the faces and attributes of growing kiddos and teens is the only way we can cherish this time long after kids grow, so don’t miss the opportunity to capture your family vacation memories. Remember to take your treasured memories from digital images on your iPhone, Android or computer and into your hands! 🤳 Photos not only can decorate your walls, but also be perfect gifts for grandparents and extended family members, posts on social media, a refreshed living room gallery wall family Christmas cards and/or holiday cards, and more! 💌 Having great photos (group photos!) of your entire family during this season in life is priceless.
Capturing memories with the family
A family photo session can be so much more than just a checkmark on your yearly family to-do list. It’s quality time with your built-in best friends, a time capsule for those fleeting childhood years, and a chance to make priceless memories together (especially on a shoot in a new destination! 🌎) Feeling inspired? Connect with a local family photographer in your hometown or on vacation!
“Elana was wonderful. She was creative and patient with our family. We love the photos she was able to get despite our active 9 year old and our less cooperative teenagers. She worked her magic and captured our family and personalities. The backdrop of Hanalei Bay was spectacular and she really knew the best angles. I highly recommend Elana.”
“Amanda is AMAZING! She was early, outgoing, funny, professional but felt like a longtime friend at the same time. We met her in Central Park, she knows it so well. She was terrific with my girls and captured the most amazing photos for us. She had us laughing and made it so much fun. We weren’t having the best time in NY, she really helped us out a lot and made our trip so much better. I can’t wait to print every photo and put them all over our house and my office. Definitely going on our holiday cards. I will tell everyone I know that goes to NY to book with Amanda!”