top of page

Ultimate Guide to Family Photography

Everything you need to know to book your Family's Photoshoot.

The reason it is so sweet is because it goes by so fast!

We have heard it said plenty of times before and I will say it again, they do grow up so fast!

In a blink of an eye they go from snuggling in our arms to too busy to come out of their room for breakfast.

And the beautiful memories we create along the way will be the only things that will remind us of our well lived and loved life.

Family photography is what binds generations together. Every time we visit my childhood home, my kids pour over my childhood albums and spend an afternoon giggling and laughing and listening to all the stories their grandma has to tell about their mom’s childhood.

What is Family Photography?

Simply put, Family Photography is creating and preserving stories of fun, love and laughter. It captures the love and connection of your perfectly imperfect family and creates heirlooms you will pass on to generations. You spend an evening with your photographer doing things that your family enjoys the most, you play games, tickle your kids and let them run wild and your photographer bottles up all this magic and love for you in gorgeous images of your family.

Why is Family Photography important?

Family photography captures the history and growth of your family. It creates the stories you will tell over and over again to the next generation. It brings the loved ones closer and reminds our children they are loved. After all, happy memories are the most important legacy we can leave our children, isn’t it? And sometimes photographs are all we are left with.

What to expect from a Lifestyle Family Photoshoot?

Lifestyle Family Photoshoot is photographing your family in your element. It does not require you to drive to a studio in pristine outfits, sit on a bench and smile into the camera. Rather lifestyle photography takes you to parks or fields or hills. You play and have so much fun with your kids running around bare feet, giving bear hugs in your wind swept hair while your photographer captures all this love and magic.

Lifestyle Family Photography captures the true essence of your family.

How often should I take family photos?

Family Photos are a great way to capture the growth and little stories of your family. So how often you take professional family photos really depend on how much you value creating and capturing these stories for your family.

I usually recommend getting one professional photoshoot for your family per year. It's so sweet to watch them grow year after year in the family albums.

What age is good for Family photo shoot?

You will find a lot of articles on “the best age to get Family Photoshoot”, but I have a slightly different philosophy. We moms carry too much guilt around for every little thing and I sincerely hope this is not one of them! No baby/child/tween/teen/adult, ever, is too big for a family photoshoot. If you missed out on the first years of professional photoshoot, don’t fret and book a session now. A family photo of young adults laughing is just as priceless as a family photo of a little toddler snuggled in her parents arms.

There is never too late to create a Family Heirloom!

What time of the year is best for Family Photos?

While most families prefer getting a Family Photoshoot in fall, with the holidays coming up it's the perfect time to get a family picture for Holiday Cards.

However more and more families are embracing other seasons for their Family Photoshoot. Spring is especially gaining popularity, with all the beautiful cherry blossoms and wildflowers covering up the scene, it's just as beautiful as fall.

What time of the day is best for Family Photo sessions?

Ever heard of the term Golden Hour? It's the span of time, about 40 minutes before a Sunset or 40 minutes after sunrise when the sun is still low in the sky and covers everything with beautiful golden sunlight.

This is the most popular time to get gorgeous, magical images of your family.

I photograph every single one of my family during Sunset, this ensures I am able to preserve your memories in the most beautiful imagery.

How long do Family Photo shoots last?

Typically Family Photoshoots last about an hour. This usually includes the meet and greet with the photographer and discussing any last minute questions or suggestions. An hour is a good enough time to get comfortable in front of the camera, to open up enough to play some games or have some meaningful conversations. Both parents and kids start to relax and open up 15 minutes into the photoshoot, this gives the photographer enough time to create opportunities for a fun, emotive and love filled photo session.

I never rush my families or keep a tab on the time, instead I just go with the flow. If kids are having fun, I roll with them and click a few fun pictures even after an hour is over. On the other hand, if the kids are starting to get tired, it's typical for younger kids to start getting hungry or tired at the end of the photoshoot, then we call it a day and let the little ones relax.

What should I look for in a Family Photographer?

Your Family Photograph will capture some of the most intimate and sacred moments of your family’s life. You will let them in in an intimate space!

So choose someone you can jibe with, someone you can trust. Someone that won’t rush you or your kids around trying to follow a workflow.

Of course your photographer should be able to produce amazing pictures( you should check their portfolio to see if you like their work) but most importantly they should be able to provide you with an experience that is stress-free and catered around the comfort and safety of your family. Check this out to see what working with me looks like.

And how will you make sure your photographer will be able to do all the above things? Well, get on a phone with them, talk to them, share your worries and concerns and excitement and see if this is the person you can let in your home.

You can tell a lot about a person within just a few minutes of talking to them.

How much does a Family Photoshoot cost?

Long Answer: It depends!

Like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. You might be able to find a photographer as cheap as $100 and as expensive as $5k. You will see an obvious difference in the product and the experience they provide to you. For most people, Family Photoshoots mean a lot, you would want to make the most of it and preserve your memories in the most meaningful ways.

Take your time, do your research and do not fall for “sales”. Most likely the photographer you choose now will be your Family Photographer for years to come, they will photograph your newborn child and take their graduation pictures so choose wisely.

Short Answer:

With me, you book your Family Photoshoot with a sitting fee of $300. The session fee includes all the post and pre consultation and the actual photoshoot. After the photoshoot preview, you get to choose from one of the collections. Check out my investment page for more info.

Can I include my parents in my Family Photo session?

Yes, of course! I believe grandparents play a vital role in our children’s life and it's only fair that we capture the special bond they share. With that being said, I ask you to bring only one set of grandparents at the photoshoot, having a huge extended family at the photoshoot actually takes away from the intimate experience that Family Photography is.

Can I include my pet in my Family’s Photo session?

Pets are family! Aren’t they? For a lot of parents, their pets are like their babies and I totally respect and love that notion.

Pets in Family Photoshoots look absolutely adorable! Of course I need to make sure to pick a park or trail which is pet friendly, but other than that, pets are always welcome!

What should we wear for our Family Photoshoot?

That's a million dollar question right there!

You will choose your outfits depending upon the location of your photoshoot, time of the day and season.

I share with you my complete Style Guide after booking. But here’s what you need to know in a nutshell:

  • Choose your Color Palette

  • Don’t match, Coordinate

  • Skip the logos

  • Use your style, not a pinterest board

How do I prepare for the Family Photoshoot?

The best way to prepare for your Family Photoshoot is to talk to your photographer.

Do you have certain expectations?

Is there a particular picture/pose you are looking for?

Are you worried about kids(read husband) getting cranky?

During our phone consultations we go over every little detail to create a Family Photo session of your dreams.

We discuss locations, outfits, props and poses. We discuss your expectations and make plans to turn them into reality

I give you tips and tricks on how to get your folks excited for a photoshoot!.

What not to do at a Family Photoshoot?

Let’s discuss some don’ts 🙂

Family Photoshoot can be as fun or as stressful as we make it.

I know this is an important day for you and I will make sure it turns out exactly as you expected. But here’s a list of things to avoid to minimize your stress:

  • If there is just one thing that you take from this list, let it be this! Do not come late for the photoshoot. Give yourself and your family plenty of time to get ready and be at the location at least 15 minutes early. This is especially important if you have little kids. Rushing kids is the sure shot way of throwing them into a tantrum.

  • Do not discipline your kids at the photoshoot. It's the time to create lasting memories and you do not want them to remember getting scolded everytime they look at the family photos.

  • Do not try to fix their clothes, hair, or faces at the photoshoot. Wind will blow the hair and dresses will get dirty. Happy dirty kids are far cuter than sad anxious kids in pristine clothes.

  • Do not force little Johnny to smile into the camera. In 10 years from now you will be so excited to see their authentic frown rather than their fake smile. All emotions are good and should be appreciated!

  • Lastly, don't stress about getting everything perfect! Life is not perfect and neither are we. So just try to relax and be in this moment. You are surrounded by little humans who love you more than anything in this world. What else can be more beautiful than that? Just close your eyes and take it all in!

What props can I use for Family photography?

Less is more and simple is beautiful for Family Photography. I do not use elaborate props for my family photoshoots. My work is playful and requires everyone to move around and just be present in the moment. Of course I encourage you to bring your child’s favorite lovey or their ukulele if they like to play. I want this session to be about your family and not the props that you don’t identify with.

What to do on the day of a Family Photo session?

The most anticipated day is here! You have your favorite outfit, props, location and time figured out. All that planning is going to pay off now. Today, just try to relax and get some rest. Family Photo session is your time to create lasting memories, so make sure no one feels stressed because they don’t want a certain outfit or shoes.

Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and be at the location at least 15 minutes early.

Once at the location, just let go of all the expectations and stressors, just be in the moment and follow your photographer's cue.

What to do after the Family Photoshoot?

The hard and the most fun part for you is over! It's now my turn to dive headfirst into editing and create magic out of your gorgeous pictures. So just sit back and relax. And while you are awaiting the arrival of your beautiful pictures, it would mean the world to me if you could write me a review. Your review is what gives wind to my sail!

When do I get pictures back from my Family Photo session?

Editing is where I get to take your pictures from Aww to OMG!

This is where I infuse my artistry with your emotions and create magic. I hand edited every single image and put my heart into the process.

It takes me about 2-3 weeks to get back all your pictures. I do share a sneak peek a few days after your photoshoot.

When your pictures are ready, I share those with you via a slideshow. At this time you get to purchase your collection and get your digital images and print credits.

Where can I print my Family Pictures?

It is so important for me that you walk away from our experience together, something tangible to hold on to.

Every collection comes with a print credit that you can use in my store to print your pictures and create family heirlooms.

What good are those memories getting dusty on the digital cloud? Life belongs in print! Isn’t it?

How do I book my Family Photography session?

So glad you asked! You can book your Family Photoshoot on my Booking Page with a sitting fee of $300. The session fee includes all the post and pre consultation and the actual photoshoot. After the photoshoot preview, you get to choose from one of the collections.

Let’s create some Beautiful Stories?


Hi! I am Heena.
Your very own Family Photographer!

I am a mom and to two little munchkins and just like you I am a memory keeper of mprecious little family.


This is why I created this Memory Keeper's Handbook. My hope is with this Memory Keeper's Handbook you will be able to preserve the beautiful and fleeting moments of everyday life.

I believe the most important legacy that we give our children is happy memories.



DIY your Fall Family Photoshoot

Create memories that will last a lifetime.

Get your guide today!

Thanks for submitting!


Would you like to learn more?

I send weekly tips, fun anecdotes and exclusive deals to my VIP email list

Thanks for submitting!

Maternity photography by Bay Area Family Photographer


Sunset Maternity Sessions in Bay Area



Newborn Sessions in Bay Area



Sunset Family Sessions in Bay Area

Family photography by Bay Area Family Photographer

Are you ready to create happy memories of your family?


Beautiful Stories Photography

Maternity | Newborn | Family

bottom of page