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Getting ready for a family or maternity photoshoot is a lot of work! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with it all. But, if you take some time to plan, it will all get easier and most importantly, done!
These 10 steps will be all you need to prepare for your own Maternity Photoshoot or Family Photoshoot.
I’m always on the lookout (aka Instagram) for dresses, makeup, kids outfits and hair ideas for Photoshoots. We are planning to have our next family photoshoot in November 2021, so the planning has begun!
I will talk about each step in detail and point you towards some additional resources just in case you get stuck. Happy Planning!
Step 1: Find a Photographer, Book your Location, Date and Time
Ok, so this step is a no brainer, without it you don’t have a photoshoot to plan for, right !?! But, within this step there are other steps.
So, if you already have a favorite photographer, go ahead and check this one off your list! You can add all the details to your Family Photoshoot Planner to stay organized.
But, if you don’t, head offer to this article for help ➡️ How to Find a Family Photographer
Step 2: Use color theory to guide your outfit choices
I always start my planning by deciding on what colors we will wear. I base this palette on the location of the shoot. If you begin by creating a color palette, choosing outfits is that much easier!
For Help with this step check out the blog post ➡️ 10 Tips for Choosing Family Photoshoot Outfits. It walks you through the process I use to chose colors for our family Photoshoots.
Once you have completed this step, you can add your chosen colors to the free checklist document below!
Step 3: Start searching for outfits
The larger your family is, the more complicated this step can be. If you are planning your first maternity Photoshoot for your first baby then all you need to worry about is yourself and your partner! That will give you plenty of time to research and try on outfits. The only tough part may be finding just the right dress for your baby bump…but it’s not only possible but can be one of the absolute best dresses you wear besides your wedding dress!
If you add a few kids to the mix, it gets a little tougher. There’s a lot more planning involved and a lot more coordinating of colors to do. But, it is totally doable with a few shortcuts and a proper amount of time to plan, at least a month or more before the shoot. So, it’s time to get shopping or searching your closets!
The amount of stores out there with outfits for your family or maternity photoshoot is endless! It can get difficult to narrow down your choices, or to find just the right dress. But, there are a few tried and tries shops and ways to find the perfect outfits for your Family Photoshoot.
I’ve found that it is SO much easier to decide on a dress when you see it in an actual photoshoot! The way a retailer presents a dress is often not the same as it will look in a photoshoot.
So, I’ve taken some time to gather real examples and share them with you. You can see them on the Family Stylin Instagram by following us there.
Or for another shortcut…take a look at our ➡️ Shop the Blog Page. It’s got links and examples of my favorite dresses, shops, outfits, makeup, hair products and accessories for Photoshoots!
I’ve added a section to the Family Photoshoot Planner to put in pictures of outfits you choose to see how they all look together. Take some screenshots of the dresses and outfits you are finding and put them all together to see how they look!
You can also head over to our ➡️ Family Stylin Facebook Group to get ideas and share your finds with others that are planning their Family and Maternity Photoshoots.
Step 4: Purchase a few options for each person in the photoshoot
If you are shopping online sometimes it is hard to tell how a piece will actually look in person. The colors may be slightly different than what is represented in the pictures. I always buy from places with a good return policy, like free return shipping, so I can try a few different outfits without too much risk.
Don’t forget about the shoes! If you are taking a beach photoshoot I think that shoes are optional. It’s a lot easier to walk and play on the beach with no shoes on, especially for kids. But, if you are having your Family Photoshoot or Maternity Photoshoot in a park or field you want to pick some shoes that compliment your outfit. If you are wearing a long dress you can always cover your feet with the dress when sitting if you prefer shoes not to show. Check out our Shop the Blog or My Favorite Shops page for ideas and places to find outfits and shoes for Photoshoots.
Once all of the outfits and shoes have arrived it’s time for the next step!
Step 5: Purchase Accessories
This step is an optional one, but fun! If you have not already, consider getting some accessories and don’t forget about the shoes. Hats are a great addition to photoshoots! They are fun and can create movement when you put them on or throw them in the air. I highly recommend bringing some for everyone!
But, there’s one note about hats. Don’t forget to take them off for some photos! I made the mistake last time of not taking off the kids hats at any point in the photoshoot and now all of their pictures were with hats. I would have liked to have some without hats, although they were very cute.
Step 6: Lay out all of the outfit options together, including the shoes!
See which ones make your eyes feel happy when you see them together! If your eyes aren’t feeling anything at all and you need some outside help…take a picture and share the photos with friends or even better on our Facebook Group! Get some feedback from others on your outfits to help you narrow down your choices.
Step 7: Steam or iron your outfits
Steam, iron and hang your outfits for your photoshoot in a special place. Keep everything together to make getting ready on the day of your photoshoot that much easier!
Step 8: Makeup preparations
Makeup is an important step. You will likely only need makeup for yourself, unless you have teenagers and need to get them options as well. If you are doing your own makeup, check out our Shop The Blog page or My Favorite Things for some recommendations on foundation, primers, bronzers, highlighters and more. Doing your makeup for Photoshoots is different than every day makeup. You need to use something to contour and highlight certain areas so your makeup doesn’t look flat in the pictures.
If you are having someone do your makeup get them booked! If you don’t have a person in mind to do your makeup, ask your photographer, they may have a recommendation for you.
Step 9: Hair Preparations
Don’t forget your hair! If you are able to, make an appointment to get your hair done the day of your photoshoot. If you have to DIY it than make sure to practice doing your hair before the big day so you will be ready to quickly get your hair done just right. Here are the products I used to do my hair for Our Family Photoshoot Spring 2021.
I used this curl cream in my daughter’s hair and it worked out great! It smells good and isn’t sticky at all. It made her curls bouncy, intact and soft.
The day before Our Family Photoshoot Spring 2021 I also used this Olaplex Moisture Treatment for both my daughters hair and I. I love everything Olaplex and this product did not disappoint.
Step 10: Prepare the Kids
Make it Fun!
If you chose to have the kids wear a hat or other accessory you may want to let them wear it once or twice before the shoot so they feel comfortable with the new addition to their outfit. Or, if you think they would rather be surprised, give their accessories to them on the day of the shoot as a gift! Wrap them up and make it fun!
Don’t Forget Naps!
Keeping everyone happy and well rested the day of the shoot is important! You don’t want cranky subjects. Try your best to get your youngest kids who still need one, to nap before the photoshoot. But, if that doesn’t work out, and they fall asleep in the car, be sure to leave a little early so they can nap in the car before the shoot. Every little bit helps!
Bribery may be necessary!
Consider some special treats for the day of the photoshoot. I got my kids some rock candy sticks because they very rarely have a candy that special. They are also pretty and if you need to use them during the shoot it may look good in pictures! Big colorful lollipops are a good option too, although they can be sticky and messy so it’s best to save them for last.
My kids were happy with getting their special treat after the shoot. And honestly, my photographer made the process very fun for them, so it didn’t end up being an issue at all. The flowers at the location were enough fun for them to be happy with the whole photography process.
Bonus tip: if you can…start your search for outfits early! When you start early and aren’t shopping for your outfits the week before your photoshoot, you have time to save some money! If you begin scouting out companies for outfit choices early on you can plan your purchases around when a sale is happening. Leaving everything to the last minute may just end up costing you more money.