How to Prepare for an Extended Family Session|Utah Family Photographer

Fall is coming! It is my favorite time of year. I get start feeling crafty and I want to bake constantly without the consequence of doing the dishes of course ;) One of my favorite parts of fall is the family photos. 

Extended family sessions are so special. So many times it's the first time the entire family has been together and being able to capture those special times is so cool! I know I love it when I get to be with my family when it has been a few years since I've seen them! Here is a photo from the last time my dad's family got together. A 4 generation picture!!

 Photo Credit to Stacey Moss Photography

Photo Credit to Stacey Moss Photography

Now, extended family photos can be very stressful for the person planning and organizing the event! So here are some tips to help prepare for these events!

1. Scheduling- It is so hard to get everyone together. So instead of trying to get everyone together randomly, schedule around an event when everyone is already together. Like a family reunion, a birthday party, an anniversary! 

2. Feed your children- I know this seems like a strange request. Most family sessions are during the dinner time. Especially during this fall time. There is nothing like the wrath of a hungry 3 year old. Or a hungry 17 year old for that matter. Hunger makes people grumpy and that can make everyone else grumpy. So feed your people before the session! 

3. Color Coordination- For large family sessions, I suggest coming up with 2-3 neutral colors that everyone may have in their closets. Grays, blues, whites, yellows etc. Then allow for "pops" of colors! Purples, pinks, teals, coral, red. That way there is conformity with personality.

4. Communication- Make sure that you communicate with your photographer about what you want. Is this a special occasion? Is this a 4 generation photo? How many different families are going to be involved? Are young children going to be there? Are there any special photos that you want? Be very specific so that nothing is missed! 

5. Come up with a list- I have a general list of photos that I plan on taking at each extended family session. If there is anything special that you want to add, let me know!

  • Three Generation Photo
  • Grandma and Grandpa with the "original siblings"
  • Grandma and Grandpa with grandchildren 
  • Grandchildren
  • Grandma and Grandpa
  • Original siblings"
  • Individual families

6. Location- It can be difficult to come up with a location to accommodate 20+ people. The backyard may not always work, so be sure to have a couple of different ideas in mind and run through it with me. I always have several locations on hand if you ever need some suggestions.