Wedding photographer, Chipotle enthusiast, and lover of all things chocolate and book-related.

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family photo of little girls playing in a field in San Antonio

Let’s face it, although family photos are a wonderful keepsake to remind you of how much you love your family, the process of getting those photos can be… well… stressful. I became a family photographer because on those super frustrating hard days, when your children are driving you crazy and life seems like it’s coming apart, I want you to be able to look at those family photos and remember just how blessed and loved you are. How beautiful and amazing and important your family is. Your family relationships are the most important things on this Earth. Your photos should help you to feel that on the difficult days. So let’s take as much stress out of getting those photos as we possibly can! Here are my five tips on how to have stress-free family photos!

1. Bring a “Family Photos Flash Bag”!

Have little ones? I encourage all of my families to bring a “Family Photos Flash Bag”, a small bag with a few essentials to be prepared for every family photo contingency! Hot or cold, wind or sun, rain or any other crazy thing!

  • snacks (great for bribing) and water (hello, we live in Texas)!
  • light sweaters or jackets that match your family photo colors – I have seen way too many family photos ruined because little sister was freezing in her sleeveless dress and had to wear her big black coat instead.
  • hairspray and bobbypins
  • flip flops or flat sandals (for littles to change into so their nice shoes won’t get ruined and for mom to be able to rest her feet from those heels!
  • touch up makeup for Mom

2. Plan your family photos around your kids’ routine!

I always try to schedule my sessions for the best lighting possible, but if that time slot lands right on your kids’ normal dinner time, no one’s going to be happy. The same goes for nap time or bedtime! I know I personally don’t want to take family photos in an itchy dress when I’m hangry or exhausted! Just let me know y’all need an earlier time and we’ll make sure you have a location and time slot that will give you beautiful HAPPY photos.

3. Select your outfits the week before and TRY THEM ON!

Don’t wait until the night before (or even the day of) to drag those clothes out of your closet. Most of them will be wrinkled and not *quite* clean anyways. Try them on a few days before; you don’t want to get all the way to your session and have your toddler throw a tantrum because they can’t stand those shoes that are too small. Then you can spend the couple days before your family session focusing on those little details that will really send your session over the top!

4. Come with an open mind!

We’ll play games, get into tickle fights, and do my best to bring out your true selves! Photography is all about capturing the relationships you have with each other right here in this moment in your lives. So come with a smile and an open mind to all the fun things we have in store! If you get really into it, your children will recognize that and follow your lead!

5. Breathe.

If you’re rushed and tense and stressed your kids will pick up on that and become even more antsy and less likely to cooperate. So take a deep breathe and REMAIN CALM! I’ve got you covered! If you follow the steps above, then I’ll take care of everything else! We’ll have a fun, stress-free family photos session and you’ll have photos to cherish for years to come!


What other things should you bring to a family session? How else can you make your family session stress-free? Let me know in the comments!

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5 Tips for Stress-Free Family Photos | Sara Welburn Photography

February 3, 2020

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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