Top tips to make your outdoor family photography session amazing!

If you really want to create artwork that will wow you and visitors to your home, outdoor photography is most often the way to go. No matter how perfect a studio is (and I’m pretty partial to my own amazing setup!), outdoor photography trumps it for majesty and wow factor in most circumstances.

Outdoor sessions for families are a wonderful way to capture memories and celebrate the love and bond between family members. Whether it’s a park, beach, or countryside, the natural surroundings provide a beautiful backdrop for your photos and the lighting you get from sunrise or sunset (known to photographers as the “golden hour” when the sun is low) really can’t be replicated.

Here are my top tips to get the absolute best results!

1. Planning planning planning

Well before your shoot think about outfits, what props to bring, and what type of shots you want to capture. Consider the time of day, location, and the time of year. Your photographer will be able to help you plan the best time and location for your session.

2. Dress for success!

Choose outfits that complement the natural surroundings and make you feel comfortable and confident. Avoid clothing with bold patterns or logos that may distract from the faces in the photos. Also consider the weather conditions and bring layers or sun protection if necessary.

3. Bring a piece of you along 

Props can add personality and interest to your family photos. Items like balloons, tutus, umbrellas, or anything else that reflects your family’s interests and personality can be amazing. Chat with your photographer for ideas! 

4. Four legged friends want to play too

If you have a beloved furry friend at home, consider bringing them along. Nothing brings out the fun more than a cheeky pup running around.

outdoor photography in long grass

5. Consider the lighting

Outdoor lighting can be unpredictable so it’s important to make the most of the light available. If you’re shooting during the middle of the day, your photographer may suggest finding a shaded area to minimize harsh shadows on faces. If you’re shooting in the early morning or late afternoon, the soft, golden light can create a warm, romantic atmosphere.

6. Let YOU shine through

Outdoor family photo sessions are meant to be enjoyable and relaxing. Encourage your family to be themselves, have fun, and let their personalities shine through. Let your children play and interact naturally, and don’t be afraid to let your family members get close and cuddle.

7. Get creative

An outdoor family photo session provides endless opportunities for creative and unique shots. Ask your photographer to try different angles and perspectives, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different poses and activities.

8. Read the room

It shouldn’t be hard work. Family photo sessions can be tiring, especially for children, so don’t be afraid to take a little break if you need to. Sure, the perfect lighting will fade and that window is short, but a beautiful lit photo of a tantrum is no good either. Keeping the vibe light and fun will show in the final artwork you put on your walls. Breaks give you a great opportunity to switch up your poses and locations too.

Want location inspo?

Check our family gallery for the best spots in Melbourne.

The final tip?

Trust your photographer! Chat with them and plan the session together.

Making the most of an outdoor family photo session requires a bit of planning and preparation, but the results WILL be worth it. With the right combination of preparation, creativity, and fun, you can capture beautiful, natural, and meaningful family memories that you’ll cherish.

So I suggest that you embrace the outdoors, they give you a unique chance to capture stunning, natural, and fun family memories in a way that you just can’t with in-studio. With the right preparation, creativity, and a focus on having fun, you can make the most of your photo session and be able to proudly put a stunning reminder of your families unique personality on the wall for you to enjoy every single day. 

I’ll leave you with one final exciting thought. As great as your first outdoor photography family session will be with the right planning, the second and third will be even better as they get to know you, and you trust the process.