How to have the best family session | Abbotsford Photographer

Have you ever thought, I should really update our family photos? If so, you’re not alone! Booking family photos have a bad reputation of feeling stuffy and stressful, and for those reasons booking a session gets put off.

But there is a solution I promise you! I’ve been a Abbotsford Photographer for just over 5 years, and I’ve met so many families who book sessions, and have the same thoughts in their initial email. They’re nervous about what to wear, how to get their kids to smile, and also look fabulous themselves!

So, i’m going to walk you through my process, and HOPEFULLY, this will give you that little push to book your session. Because I LOVE shooting these sessions, and they truly produce magical images that will bring you ALL the feels.

Abbotsford Photographer

Step 1 | Before booking your session

Before you send off 10 emails to a bunch of photographers, do some research over on their social media. Get to know them as a person, because this will make a HUGE difference in your experience. Spending an hour with someone who makes you uncomfortable, or cringe is not ideal. They should be hyping you up, laughing along with you, and have great energy.

Their personality is also going to play a big part in how your session will go. If they’re happy and excited and playful, your kids will be too!

** One thing you should also figure out before doing your research is your budget. There are a variety of session costs, and this is dependent on what you’re looking for. Average cost of a lifestyle session is around $400-$600. Studio portraits start just above that. If you’re budget doesn’t allow, keep your eyes out for photographers who offer seasonal mini sessions!

Step 2 | Booking & Planning

Once you’ve decided on a photographer, you can finalize your plans for a date, location and time. When you hire a professional experienced photographer, they will help you do all of this. As an Abbotsford Photographer myself, I have a list of locations that I offer, and i’ll know what time of day is best for lighting.

** I highly recommend shooting as late into the evening as you are comfortable with. When the sun is low it gives a beautiful glow to your images. I recommend my clients nap kids a little later, and bring on the treats! If sunset is too late, I have a few locations that give you a similar feel, but earlier in the day!

If you have a location that is special to your family, or you’d rather shoot in your home, do it! Having an environment that you feel comfortable in, or that has a special meaning, gives a whole different aspect to your images.

Step 3 | Planning your outfits

Insert instant stress right? WHAT THE HECK DO WE WEAR?
Most professional Abbotsford Photographers are going to have style guides that help! You can check out mine here
Another great way is to go back to your photographers social media and browse their images. You’ll get lots of inspiration from REGULAR folks, who were in the same boat as you. Pinterest can be helpful, but it can also be super overwhelming. This is another great spot to lean into your photographer for help, we truly want you to have the best experience!
Step 4 | Packing and travelling to your session
If you have small children like myself, I know the way to their heart is with a reward. It can be treats, but it can also be anything special that motives them. Packing snacks & something to drink is 100% recommended, we take breaks, and we all need a snack some times.
Having a spare change of clothing is also important, because you never know if something gets spilled, and this takes a big load of stress off the drive to your session, kids are messy, the end. LOL
Don’t worry about toys, or music, or things to distract them (aside from a reward) I bring all that with me. I have a portable speaker for music, and I take ALL the requests. But if you’re child has a special toy or blanket that makes them feel safe, don’t hesitate to bring it, or worry about it being in images. This is a special part of your child’s life, and they’ll be MUCH more comfortable. PLUS I always offer to take a special photos of them with said item.
** Make sure to research how long it takes to get to your session, and tell yourself your sessions starts 30 minutes before it actually does. Nothing makes a parent more stressed than being late (Been there, I have 2 kids and we never get out of the house on time)
Abbotsford Photographer
Step 5 | Your Session Experience
This is a big one, and i’m going to start off by saying, I want your session to be an experience that you enjoy, and not just an hour where you have your picture taken. I DO NOT spend an hour with my camera in your face and asking you to say cheese. NOPE, not happening.
I start of your session with lots of conversation, and getting to know you and your family! We usually have a little walk to the location, and then get settled in. My first official step is get some music going, this is my favourite part, and kids perk up right away. Then we get moving around, dancing, walking, playing tag, rock paper scissors, whatever! Usually about halfway through, i’ll get everyone to cuddle together, look at me, take the everyone is looking photo, and then we go back to play time. This could also include telling stories from your past, or questions about who has the cleaner room, or which parent is the better cook.
I know you want at least one photo of everyone looking, and I typically deliver a few of them. But my main goal as your Abbotsford Photographer, is to document your family as they are, their personalities, and quirky smiles, cries, and outbursts. I LOVE IT ALL~
**Side note, one of my favourite photos of myself and my kids is of my song screaming, me laughing my butt off, and my daughter loving me adoringly. It’s just who we are!

Step 6 | Delivery of your images

After your session, I usually take a few weeks too curate a gallery of images for you to enjoy. This includes a slideshow, and a collection of around 60 + images. This is emailed directly to your inbox, and available instantly to download and share! You can also order prints and products right from your gallery, shipped directly to your door. No more download, upload, etc. SUPER EASY!

BONUS STEP | What makes booking with different?

There are truly some amazing Abbotsford Photographers, and i’m so honoured to be working along side them! My approach to my sessions is to give you an experience, with having photos taken as a bonus. It’s time you get to invest with each other, learn something new, try a new activity, and have so much fun! I have a very bubbly personality, and a ridiculous amount of energy!

Some things I love including in my sessions is sometimes beverages for mom and dad (if they partake) And I love to bring my polaroid camera along, and take a handful of those for you to take home right away! Just a few added things to really pull your session together!

I also, love taking the last 10 minutes of your session to snap some images of just you and your partner. As parents, we really don’t do this enough either!


I hope this helped nudge you closer to booking your family session with me! It can be so much fun, you just have to trust in the process!

If you missed the link above for the style guide, here it as again STYLE GUIDE

View some of my previous clients on my Instagram

I believe everyone deserves to be free and comfortable to be themselves unapologetically. 
I support all types of love, genders and colors. This is a safe and open place to create.

Specializing in intimate photography & Elopements