So you’ve booked an outdoor family session, and now you’re wondering what’s next.

Maybe you’ve never done a professional photoshoot before, and you’re not sure what to expect at all. Maybe you’re nervous because you have no idea how to pose in front of a camera, or maybe you are just excited and trying to soak up all the information that you can about the big day.

Either way, I’m here to help you feel as prepared as possible for your family photoshoot with Little Dragan Photography.

biracial family cuddling on blanket in large field outside photo

First, there’s the location.

If you’ve already chosen the location, feel free to skip ahead. Otherwise, let’s think about where you want your photos done. 

Some of my favorite spots are ones that are very dynamic - they have lots of different features that make this one location feel like it could be three different places! Maybe they have a lake, a bridge, an open field, or even some buildings.

verona wi high school senior portrait epic campus madison fall
verona high school senior portrait epic campus madison wi
verona high school senior couple photo on stairs fall leaves epic campus

One of my favorite locations in the Madison area is the Epic campus in Verona because of how many different features they have! I could do a photoshoot there every day and still come home with unique photos from the day before.

If you don’t want to think too hard about the location, don’t worry! I will do the work. I usually pick 3-5 locations that I think would be great in your area, let you know what I love about them, and let you decide from those choices which sounds like the one you are envisioning. 

From there, all you have to do is show up at the chosen location on your photoshoot day!

Second, what should you wear?

I will be sending you an entire pdf all about what to wear on your photo day! Feel free to take inspiration from what you see online, and coordinate, but don’t MATCH your entire family.

I love how well this family coordinated all their colors to match a fall color scheme! They didn't all choose one color, yet they all look cohesive in their look.

large multi generational family portrait on bench under tree maywood sheboygan wi
toddler parents family photo fall maywood sheboygan wi park

Next, the photoshoot.

I usually arrive a half hour early to make a plan for the photo session. To make sure you feel secure knowing I will be there, I will let you know when I arrive. I also will let you know what the parking situation is like - if parking is something that gives you anxiety, trust me, I get it!

Usually families are feeling a little shy when the photo session first starts. Don’t worry, those jitters will go away quickly! We aren’t just there to get the shot and go home, I want to make sure you have good memories of this whole experience as well. I make sure to talk you through the process and will get to know you along the way. By the end of the session, we will feel like great friends!

I will have a few spots picked out ahead of time that I think will create some magical family photos. Typically, I like to start with some of the classic posed shots, and then we can move into the more free and candid ones.

Posed shots are a great way to start because they make sure we get those classic pictures that your parents will want on their wall, and they help you start to feel comfortable in front of the camera.

parents posing for camera holding 3 month old baby fall family photo
proud parents looking at each other holding toddler baby girl barn rustic setting
biracial parents posing for camera holding toddler baby boy mountains golden field

Another way I will help you feel comfortable is by showing you a few of the pictures on the back of my camera as we go along. This always helps clients get a boost of confidence as they get this little sneak peek, because you can see what I’m seeing - a beautiful family in a beautiful location!

Next, I will often move into some walking shots. I love doing these because they always feel different from family to family. They also let you admire the beautiful location that we have chosen. And who doesn’t love a cute candid family photo?

toddler holding hands with parents family maternity portrait by lake
biracial family of four holding hands walking portrait
toddler holding hands with parents looking at camera as they walk away in golden field family photo

The best part of family photos is the unpredictability of the children involved! Especially if you have toddlers or babies, some of the best photos of the day are going to be the unplanned ones! Even if we are walking to the next planned spot, I will always keep my camera on and ready to go so that I don’t miss a precious moment.

happy smiling toddler girl wearing pink dress running toward camera
happy smiling toddler holding pumpkin wearing stripes

I like to get a variety of different poses, so if possible, I always try to get some sitting photos as well. Maybe we will have a bench at the location, or I can bring a blanket for you all to cuddle up on. Either way, I love the intimate feeling that sitting photos creates.

parents sitting on bench with toddler between them wearing fall colors
parents snuggled on picnic blanket in front of lake with toddler sitting between them

If you’re still worried that you’re going to feel uncomfortable with different poses during your photoshoot, I can assure you that I have an eye for this and will help guide you along the way. Maybe you need to relax your arm slightly or bend your knee, or maybe you're feeling self conscious about what to do with your hands! Don’t worry, I will be giving lots of little cues along the way about what to do so that you look comfortable, natural, and happy in your final images.

Lastly, I always make sure to get all the different combinations of family members together. Of course, you want the entire family in your photos, but it’s also always good to have photos of mom with baby, or dad and baby, and so on. Or just the kids! No matter how many family members you have, we will make sure to get all the combinations that you want.

dad holding toddler daughter wearing pink outdoor spring photoshoot
grandparents holding grandchildren on park bench under tree maywood sheboygan wi

At the end of each session, I will ask if there’s any photos we missed. This way, in case you had a certain photo in your head that you wanted, we make sure we won’t miss a thing! Please don’t be afraid to speak up if there’s something you still want. Remember, these are YOUR photos to have forever. Let’s make sure we get the images you want for the rest of your life TODAY. 

The entire session should take about an hour to an hour and a half. It goes by quickly as we make our way from spot to spot and do all the different combinations of poses and family members. If it’s cold, we’ll make sure we go as quickly as possible, but it’s always a good idea to bring a jacket or even a blanket so that you can bundle up in between shots.

As we head our separate ways, I will let you know how long you can expect to wait for your photo gallery to be delivered. I know how exciting it is to see the photos you’ve just taken and that wait can feel grueling! This is why I make sure no time is wasted in editing your photos and returning them to you. And as the photographer, I’m just as excited to see them as you are!

During the editing process, I will make sure to take my time making the photos look just right before sending over your gallery. I want you to have the highest quality gallery that you can possibly have. That way when you show your friends and family all your pictures over social media, or have them printed and hung on the wall, you will know that your time and investment were so worth it. 

Your experience with Little Dragan Photography should be something that you will remember forever, and will gladly boast about to your friends.

biracial family playing with toddler in large open field boulder flatiron mountains