5 Tips for a stress-free outdoor family session.

It’s the time of year when people start thinking about family sessions, and I wanted to put together a little list of 5 tips for a stress-free Minneapolis outdoor family photography session.  That way if you are thinking about booking a family photography session in the coming months, you can start planning ahead.

If you have had sessions with me in the past, you know I have a detailed guide on what to expect at your family session, and these tips (and more) are covered in more detail in the guide.  If you haven’t booked a family session with me before, this is a little preview of the type of information that I cover in the family photography session what to expect guide.  Past clients have told me they love my prep guide and it makes their session stree-free.

Family photographer northfield mn


Plan outfits early


No one likes to be rushed, especially when planning what to wear in pictures that will display in your home for years to come.   Start planning your outfits early, so you can avoid being stressed the week or even the day of the session.

Here are a couple tips consider while planning outfits.

Coordinate, don’t match.  Pick 2-3 main colors to incorporate into the family’s outfits.

Start with mom’s outfit.  Find something comfortable to wear, and then dress the rest of the family around your outfit.  If you wear something you love, you will be more relaxed and comfortable during the session.

Don’t forget the shoes – Make sure your shoes match your outfit.   Skip shoes like bright colored Crocs or light up super hero shoes for kids.   Barefoot is always a great option for little ones too.

Lastly, the studio wardrobe is available for use.  Just set up a time to come in and check out the options available for your family to wear.


Set your kids (and husband) up for success.

The happiest people are sessions are the ones that are well rested and well fed.  Naps and full bellies will get us far at a family session.

Bonus tip – A beer to ease dad’s nerves can also be a helpful tool if he’s not a picture guy.


Happy parents equal happy kids

If you are stressed about the session, worried if the kids are smiling, or just having a bad day, it can impact the personalities of your little ones.  Be upbeat, positive, and excited about pictures (or fake it for them 😉 ).  It will also show in your pictures.  No one wants to look stressed or worried in pictures.


Bribes are welcomed and encouraged

In my experience telling kids they will have something taken away if they don’t cooperate never goes over well in images.     You will just end up with pictures of kids on the verge of tears and forced smiles.  Instead offer a reward or bribe.  Ice cream is great for summer sessions, and works for all ages.  Or have a special toy or snack in the car ready for them after the session.  The promise of something they love after the session always helps cooperation.


Trust your photographer

I’ve spent a lot of time finding perfect locations for your session, knowing what time the lighting is best for each location, having little games to get your kids to smile, and other tricks to get you amazing pictures.  Plus, but the time of the session we’ve spent plenty of time talking about your session, that you will feel completely comfortable and know exactly what to expect.



The biggest thing to keep in mind for your session is to have fun.  You are capturing a special time with your family, the people you love most in the world.  The session will include both posed and more candid and relaxed poses.  They are a great mix of pictures that will be great for holiday cards and gifts for grandma, and also ones that capture the spirit of your kids and connections between you all.  I look forward to giving you amazing memories of your family this summer and fall at your outdoor family photography session.

To book your session, contact me today.  Use the contact form, or email me at Info@StephanieBennettPhotography.com. You can also check on recent sessions on the blog, or follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see what’s new.

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