Photo Tips

6 Tips for Your Family Photo Shoot!

Me Ra Koh

Have you ever booked a family photo shoot and then hung up the phone with a knot in your stomach because although the photographer might be a pro, you are NOT when it comes to having your picture taken?  Switch the tables.  Have you ever booked a photo shoot and hung up with a knot in YOUR stomach because you want a game plan for your photo shoot?  If you answered yes to either side of the scenario, this post is for YOU!  Here are 6 Tips for Your Family Photo Shoot (with a bonus tip tucked in there too)!

Love these 6 Tips for Your Frisco Family Photo Shoot from Me Ra Koh!

Wear Complimentary Colors, but Here’s the Twist!

If your family is going to be photographed, go for color!  Look for colors that can compliment each other well.  If there is a mother and daughter, find a way for them to both wear the same color but in different ways.  Notice how mom has the lilac cardigan and her daughter has almost the same color scarf.  This strengthens the presence of the ladies in the family.  Don’t be afraid of patterns, as long as there isn’t a distracting logo, your good!  Golden Rule, the special twist that I tell all my clients…”Mom, where what you feel most BEAUTIFUL in and have your family compliment you.”  For more advice on What to Wear for Photos, check out this post that I did with my Stylist.

Love these 6 Tips for Your North Dallas, TX Family Photo Shoot from Me Ra Koh!

Scout a Fun, Creative Location

Before the shoot, scout out an interesting location.  Look for fun textures, old barns, wheat fields, abandoned buildings, brick, ivy, cement steps, etc.  It’s always fun to mix up your family photo shoot with unique backgrounds and locations!

Love these 6 Tips for Your Family Photo Shoot from Me Ra Koh!

Share the Spotlight

Take turns focusing everyone’s attention on each person in the family.  The simple act of everyone turning and giving the youngest daughter a BIG smile brings out the best reactions!

Love these 6 Tips for Your Family Photo Shoot from Me Ra Koh!

Let the Toddler Call the Shots (in the beginning 🙂

There is nothing I love more when I start a family photo shoot, and the toddler has their own idea of where to sit.  For example, this little guy wanted to sit by himself off to the side!  Isn’t that the BEST!!!  I encourage mom and dad to let me take a handful of shots because this way the toddler feels like I’m on his side, but it’s also the sweetest season to photograph.  He won’t always be this independent for family photos.  So we take a few with the toddler calling the shots, and then he’s usually up for my ideas after that. (But I have to admit, I think his idea wins every time!)

Love these 6 Tips for Your Family Photo Shoot from Me Ra Koh!

Give Them a Squeeze

Touch, hugs, the “BIG SQUEEZES”, the BIG–Wrap-My-Arms-Around-Mom and Dad, is a great activity for a family photo shoot!  Pre-tweens that may be a little unsure of the shoot, don’t hold an ounce back if they are asked to SQUEEZE dad with all they’ve got!  Don’t worry about focus being sharp.  The story of this photo is all about content.  I LOVE that this little guy is looking right at the camera, but he isn’t sharp.  It gives me a sense of feeling how wrapped up and safe he is in dad’s arms.

Love these 6 Tips for Your Family Photo Shoot from Me Ra Koh!

Shoot Down and Frame Out

Women want to look their best.  And I’ve got two ways to make this happen.  Have mom squat down to her child’s height and go for the same BIG SQUEEZE!  With her squatting down, you are able to shoot down on her which causes her to naturally lift her chin and get rid of any double chins.  But let’s not stop there!  Frame out whatever isn’t necessary.  Women don’t usually like their arms (no matter how hard the work out).  We don’t need all of mom’s arm to know she’s holding her little one.  See how I framed half of her arm out?  We also don’t need much background or anything to the sides of them.  I’m getting in tight with this photo so we are drawn to their beautiful blue eyes.

Love these 6 Tips for Your Family Photo Shoot from Me Ra Koh!

More Help with What to Wear

Whether you are the photographer or mom in search of a photographer, keep these six tips in mind so everyone can look their best, relax and have a great experience.  And in the end, you’ll have your BEST family, holiday photo ever!  If you want more advice on what to wear for your photos follow the link.  How to dress is important, but how to capture the beauty of your family is priceless.  You’ll take a deep breath and feel much more confident about your family portrait session after you read these tips for your family photo shoot!

Love these 6 Tips for Your Family Photo Shoot from Me Ra Koh!


  1. Linnea says:

    Me Ra!! I am laughing so hard right now. I love how you wrote about what happened that day. We had SO much fun! The pictures are simply AMAZING!!

  2. Theresa LaFrance says:

    These are absolutely stunning! I love the color shots, you have such a creative eye. The black and whites are beautiful. The families look so “real”, no fake uncomfortable smiles. They will treasure this pictures forever. Thank you so much for all the helpful advice and ideas.

    Hope all is well with you and your family! Enjoy your summer.

  3. Sarah says:

    I’m laughing at the story of Linnea’s family too. I can just picture it. Disclosure: I’m her older sis 🙂

    P.S. Great photos!

  4. denise karis says:

    PERFECT POST!! I really can’t get enough of posts like these! Thank you so much!!

  5. […] out Ms. Me Ra’s six tips for photographing your family. (We could really only follow the first couple… since […]

  6. What a great post! Thanks for writing and sharing. LOVED it!

  7. Excellent post and work – I’ve pinned this for a reread before we do our sheet.

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