How to do professional family photography?


9 Jun 2022

As a general rule, family photography seeks to capture a very specific moment of family life in a natural and spontaneous way that will become a beautiful souvenir to give to the grandparents or to decorate a special corner of the house.

If you want to do family photography, in today’s article we are going to give you some tips so that your family photo sessions are spontaneous, emotional and very natural. Because at the end of the day, what your clients who want to keep a more special family photograph will be looking for is to be able to remember for the rest of their lives precisely this beautiful stage that their children are going through at the moment.


“In family photography, an ordinary afternoon can become an unforgettable memory for the whole family”.

Introduction to family photography

Family photography is very wide and varied and you can find in the market a great variety of family reportage that can go from when a couple decides to have a baby and remember this moment with a pregnancy session, to covering all the important moments and stages of that precious child.

Within the different types of family photo sessions, there can be all kinds of modalities and styles. We are going to list some of them for you.

  • Studio sessions based on more posed and traditional photography.
  • Casual outdoor reportages.
  • Family portraits.
  • Spontaneous family or lifestyle photography.
  • Creative, thematic or fine art photography sessions.

As you can see within family photography, there is a wide variety of styles, but what is most important when it comes to planning and marketing a family photo shoot? Let’s take a closer look.

What types of family photography can you do?


Before family photography became fashionable, some parents only decided to book a family photo session for very specific or important events in their children’s lives, such as a christening or first communion.

Nowadays you can find a multitude of sessions with children on the market. The ones we are going to show you below are just an example, but the truth is that you can offer your clients as many family photo shoots as you can think of.


You could say that family photography begins with these sessions where expectant mothers want to keep a precious memory of their pregnant belly.


These reports are organised during the first 10 days of the baby’s life and are intended to capture, in a more artistic and creative way, those positions adopted by the baby in the mother’s womb and its first expressions, which will change very quickly.

>> Newborn photography: top 10 newborn websites


This very natural session is becoming more and more fashionable and is a precious reminder of one of the most beautiful and unique childhood stages in the life of a mother and child. Breastfeeding.


Follow-up of the first year

It is also very fashionable for parents to have several mini-sessions spread over the first 12 months of a newborn baby’s life.

No doubt this is a very nice way to keep a precious souvenir of this special year and if it is in one of the formats of Arcadina Labs format, all the better.

>> 10+1 questions that photographers ask about Arcadina Labs


It can be a photo shoot prior to the big day, where photos will be taken at home with the christening clothes and all the details.

This session can also be complemented with a photo shoot during the ceremony.

Smash cake

Many parents want to celebrate their baby’s first birthday in style and make a different kind of memory of this moment. In the smash cake sessions the little ones will be faced with a delicious and appetising cake that they can smash and enjoy to their heart’s content.

As this session is so popular, many photographers offer it to older children and even organise sessions for adults.

First Communion

These sessions have become a classic every spring.

A few months before the big day, a studio and/or outdoor session can be organised to get some beautiful images of the child dressed for his or her first communion that will later serve as a souvenir for the family.

As you would expect, on the day of the first communion, you can also make a reportage during the ceremony and with the rest of the family and friends.

>> How to take the best communion photos? 3+1 tips for 2022

Thematic reports

In the off-peak months, when there is no campaign in sight, small temporary campaigns can be launched with a specific theme.

At the end of spring, many photographers organise photo shoots with seasonal fruits or evoking a day at the beach in the studio.

In autumn, fine art or more creative reportage recreating this beautiful season of the year is very fashionable.

And the rest of the year, thematic reports of the children’s favourite cartoons or, for example, special sessions for Halloween are also in great demand.



Without a doubt, this is the star session of the whole winter. Few children’s photographers can resist organising a Christmas decoration for these sessions. In addition, these shoots usually bring in multiple benefits thanks to the sale of products.

>> Turn your Christmas photo shoot into the best gift for this year

If you have an area on your website where your customers can buy from the comfort of their homes, such as a private gallery or a public gallery where they can buy a Christmas story directly. Your revenue will increase before the end of the year.

>> How to deliver photos to clients? Use the private galleries

Family study sessions

Another of the classics of a photo studio is the family photo shoot in the studio. When the family wants a more formal photo of all the members, the classic studio sessions are the most demanded.

Although it is a more classic and posed type of shoot, you can also add your own personal touch by playing with different settings and props.

Family outdoor reportages

And with the arrival of the good weather, families want to go out into the countryside or take a walk along the beach at sunset. These outdoor family photos are pure spontaneity and one of the most popular with the kids.

Normally in all these photo shoots there is always room for the parents to appear, so that all these children’s photo shoots end up becoming different family sessions adapted to the stages of the children.

What is documentary family or lifestyle photography?


Within family photography, the style that is most in demand and that parents like the most is documentary or lifestyle.

In this particular style, the idea is to get natural photographs of the family members, taking a nice walk in the open air. In this type of photo reportage, the idea is to avoid the traditional posing and to look for a more natural look:

  • Bringing out flattering features to the protagonists.
  • Get them to forget about the camera and be themselves.
  • Create a pleasant and fun atmosphere to make the images a bit more fun.
  • To capture the complicity that exists between family members.

How to do a family photo shoot?

When planning a family photo shoot, there are several things to consider:

  • Where is the shoot going to take place – in the studio, on location or even in the family home? Depending on whether you have to travel or not, you will have to plan the type of props, lighting, sets, etc. that you will need to use.

  • How old are the children? If you are going to work with young children, ideally you should have some kind of game or treat ready to gain their trust and get them to be more natural and calm.

  • Advise families on the most appropriate type of clothing and colour ranges to avoid any unpleasant surprises on the day of the photo shoot.

  • If it is going to be an outdoor shoot. Look for locations you like ahead of time, try to go another day at the same time to see what kind of light you will have and plan an alternative if it rains that day.

  • Prepare your equipment according to where you will be shooting.

  • Use your creativity to create unique scenes and take care of the composition of the images.

  • Always be alert and never stop shooting. Especially with children, you never know when an emotional family photo will come along.

Perfect places for a family photo shoot

If your clients want to get out of the studio for an outdoor photo shoot and the session is with children, the possibilities for an outdoor family photo shoot multiply.


  • Look for places close to your location where children can play, jump and run around. A beach, a park with plenty of green space or a countryside area are perfect places.

  • If you live in the city, you’re bound to find a skate park, a park with a large playground or a fountain for the kids to play in if it’s already hot.

  • The accessories for this type of session can also be very useful. Take toys, musical instruments, a teepee or Indian tent for the reports with very young children or a colourful umbrella.

  • If the family has pets, encourage them to bring them to the session that day. They are also part of the family.

  • And if the little protagonist has a great hobby, such as playing football or another specific sport, you can prepare the session around this hobby.

Tips to make your family reportage a success

In order to get the best out of a photo shoot with children where several people will be portrayed, you can follow some of the following recommendations:

  • Meet in person before the session to get to know the protagonists and talk to their parents about the kind of memory they are looking for.

  • Create a script for the session. Although spontaneity is usually sought after in this type of reportage, there must be a prior preparation process behind it. Plan a series of photographs that meet your clients’ expectations and then give free rein to your creativity.

  • If the shoot is to take place outside your studio, make sure you bring the necessary equipment for the whole shoot.

  • Stand at the same height as the children to get closer shots.

  • And enjoy the session, it’s the only way to capture the best family photos.

How can I sell my family photos with Arcadina?

Once the family photo session is finished and the images have gone through a subtle post-production process, it is time to present the photographs to the clients and try to close some extra service to make the report even more profitable.

>> Want to know how to boost your photography business with Arcadina?


Thanks to the Business section of your website, you will be able to create all kinds of private galleries for your customers to view:

  • View your photographs.
  • Make a selection to print or create a photo album.
  • Purchase prints for the family or more digital photographs.
  • Order from home to print your most emotive images on canvas, methacrylate or any other professional format.
  • Etc.

>> Enjoy more space with the new Arcadina Business Plans

If what you need are public galleries to sell, for example, your family sessions directly, you can also have them with any of the Business plans.

>> Selling photographic services on the Internet: all the keys here

And the best way for you to promote your various family stories online is to have a professional website with an integrated blog.

>> Start with Arcadina

Family photography: the best souvenir you can offer to families

As you can see, family photography encompasses many different sessions, styles and specialities, but in the end what clients are always looking for is to keep a precious memory of this moment in their family’s life.

To say goodbye for today we would like to share with you the testimony and one of his Retrato Familiar websites of the photographer Luis Bañeres.

>> Interview with Luis Bañeres

And as has become a classic, here’s today’s question: what kind of family photography do you like to do the most? We’d love to hear your answer in the comments.

Arcadina goes with you

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Fulfil your dreams and develop your professional career with us. We offer you to create a photography website for free for 14 days so that you can try our platform without any commitment of permanence.

Arcadina is much more than a website, it is business solutions for photographers.

If you have any queries, our Customer Service Team is always ready to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We listen to you.

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