Welcome and thank you for choosing Photoplay Studios to capture your family portraits in the upcoming weeks. Every year we photograph many families, some new, and many more are lifelong customers. We love seeing families grow and change over the years. A family portrait session is not just about taking a few photos of the family, for us it’s about creating lifelong memories that make you smile every time you walk past a beautiful piece of artwork on your wall.

We thought we would put together a few ideas on what to expect from a family photo session and some helpful tips to prepare for your session, after all its not something you do every day.

Our approach is simple, listen to you, our clients, create a family story, capture a moment in time and deliver amazing photographs you will treasure forever.

Thank you for trusting us to tell your story.


Imagine this:

A beautiful spring day, the new leaves on the trees create the perfect setting, your kids are playing happily, giving us their “best” smiles – this is what you imagine as a larger than life canvas on your lounge room wall that you admire every day and guests in your home go “wow” every time they see it….your family portrait.

Getting to this takes planning and a relaxed approach…getting the WHOLE family dressed and ready for a portrait session is not easy – trust me I know!
We always try to make the session at a time to suit the youngest members of the family. No point trying to photograph children when they are tired & hungry. With many years experience, I find mornings work best for family sessions. If your young children have daytime naps, we plan the session when they are most likely to be awake and not due for a sleep.

Make sure the kids have full tummies, bring a spare change of clothes if they are likely to find the first muddy puddle (peppa pig has a lot to answer for…). We have lots of games to play and find most children are busy having fun during the session. If we do encounter kids who would rather be swimming with the ducks than sprinkling fairy dust amongst the trees, make returing to “the job at hand” a game. Relaxed parents make for giggly, happy kids.

The day before your portrait session get everyone’s clothes out and ready, it will save a huge amount of time on the day and may just save your sanity.

We understand getting everyone out the door is time consuming, give yourself plenty of time so you are relaxed and ready to have some fun with the kids during the photo shoot. Plan to arrive 10 minutes early, you will be more relaxed & we often have multiple portrait sessions on the same day.

When we first meet at our arranged location the kids are excited and for many young children those first few moments when they are in a new place can either see them being very interested in the new person and camera, or hiding behind a parents leg. If your toddler is inquisitive, introductions are briefer as many great portraits are captured in those first few moments. If your children take longer to warm up, we spend the time getting to know them and slowly start playing games that lead to great photographs.

We try and discourage “say cheese” for the camera but promise we have loads of other tactics to engage and get your children laughing and giggling. We don’t expect them to “perform on queue”, kids will be kids. The best way to keep your kids happy for the camera is to not get stressed if they are not doing what’s asked of them – kids will pick up on this VERY quickly. Its best to keep things light and fun.

We kindly ask that during your portrait session you don’t use any recording devices to film/photograph any part of the session.

Beyond the issue of IP, it’s quite distracting to work with someone recording over your shoulder. Thanks for your understanding.


  • Coordinate without matching.  The days of everyone in denim jeans and white shirts are long gone
  • Textures work well especially for ladies, it adds interest and subtle depth to your photos
  • Less is best.  Simple clothing works best for kids.  For little girls accessories work well for individual portraits but can become “too much” for a group shot
  • Dress for your location.  Relaxed casual for the beach. Long pants and layers are great in a winter park
  • Be comfortable, it will show in your photos.  Avoid clothes that are ill fitting at all costs
  • Avoid large logos on shirts and tops, it’s one of the first things you will look at when you get your photos
  • Avoid bold colours on just one person as your eyes draw to dominant colours
  • Ladies avoid horizontal stripes, in a nutshell its not flattering unless you are a supermodel
  • Don’t apply “more than the usual” makeup.  It works for a glamour session but not a family portrait
  • Don’t over think it!  If it looks good and suits your family’s style, then go with it!


Thanks for taking the time to read this information prior to your session, we hope it helps! If you have any further questions, please just pick up the phone and call for a chat or flick us a quick email if it’s easier. We can’t wait to meet you soon for your family portraits.

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