Surviving a Family Photoshoot | North Oaks, Minnesota Child & Family Photographer

How to make your next family photo session a stress free one.

Family photos are truly timeless and such a great keepsake for future generations.  Getting the family together to take those perfect portraits can turn into chaos if not approached correctly. There is usually a lot more to consider when it comes to a family photoshoot since there are members of all ages, which means that there is some extra coordination involved.

Below are some family photoshoot ideas and tips to keep you and your loved ones calm and smiling the whole way through.

  1. Timing is everything. If you have younger children involved in the shoot, try and arrange the photoshoot at a time when they would be well rested. A rested child makes for happy photos. On that note, make sure that all family members have gotten enough sleep the night before as this helps with the fun and relaxation aspects of the session.
  2. Dos and don’ts of bribery. Get your family excited about the photoshoot instead of offering a reward in return for their cooperation. This tends to lead to forced smiles and an irritated bunch of people. If you do have small children coming along it’s not a bad idea to give the photographer some bribery options in the form of toys or small food items to make those difficult moments a little easier

    Behind the camera we are playing peekaboo with his favorite toy.

  3. Relinquish control. As much as you’ll want to direct your children on where to stand and how to pose, it’s best to leave that to the photographer as they know what works best. Not having this pressure will also make you feel more relaxed.
  4. It’s not just about the posing. The best photos happen when you’re having fun so joke and play with your children, hold your partner’s hand and just let the moments happen.
  5. Plan ahead. Discuss all of your requirements with your photographer beforehand so that the family photo session can just flow. Let your photographer know if you want specific pictures taken.
  6. Keep those sugar levels up. If everyone is well fed, the photoshoot will also run a lot smoother. It’s also not a bad idea to take a few snacks and some water along for those who might need it

Enjoy capturing your memories.


Michele is a lifestyle portrait photographer in North Oaks, Minnesota.  She works on-location or in her studio located in the northeast neighborhood of Minneapolis.  To schedule your next session visit: mQn Photography | Minnesota Family Photographer or e-mail michele@mqnphotography.com

The Simplicity of Clothing Choices ~ North Oaks Minnesota Family Photographer

I wanted to tell you that picking out clothes for your portrait session should be fun and stress free!  Yes that’s right!  Ideally you should start with a color scheme that I like to say “matches the couch”  What does this mean?  Pick a color scheme that coordinates with your home decor, so when you get your prints you can hang them all over the place and they will blend perfectly with your walls.  Is this super important?  NOPE!  Is this wonderfully ideal? Sure, but it really doesn’t matter; what’s most important is that you start with one piece of clothing you love and coordinate around that piece.  Like most times I find some adorable dress or outfit for my daughter and I just coordinate the rest of us with her.  But this past spring I had a dress that I loved wearing and when I found the perfect spot for spring pictures I took that dress and walked to everyone’s closet to find what would coordinate.  My son already had something but my daughter and hubby needed something new.  So I just went to Target because I knew they just needed something plain.  BOOM within two days I styled us up and had our session.

clothing choices

Seriously how cute are we? See how my dress is adorable and everyone else just coordinates? Perfect family images! hehe


For timeless images, I suggest loose fitting solid colors, avoiding busy patterns or logos/words. Jeans, overalls, sun/slip dresses and khakis are classics and photograph well. I especially like boys in jeans and girls in simple sundresses.

For trendier and more modern images, I recommend having textures whether it be hats or other accessories such as scarves or funky belts. If children are being photographed together, clothes that are similar in style give a more coordinated look. Consider dressing in the color white sparingly, for this color often reflects light strongly.

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How adorable are these guys? You know what mom did? She took them to The Gap and told them to pick out whatever they wanted for the photo session. You know why that works? 1) they loved what they were wearing 2) Pretty much everything in Gap for kids will coordinate with each other (you can do this in other stores like Janie & Jack or Gymboree as well) and 3) Because of reason 1 and 2 we had one of the best sessions because kids were happy which then made mom and dad happy! Win win! And seriously Gap you should be calling me to get the modeling information on these handsome guys.


I highly suggest clothing for each family member that has the same tone, not necessarily the same color.

extended family clothing choices

When we met my hubby’s family up in Tahoe we all knew we wanted to get an extended family picture so we made it easy and just told everyone to bring something navy, grey or white with them. It worked out perfectly.


Bare skin or a tightly fitted onsie is my favorite on newborns and babies. You may have other clothes to put on baby, but keep in mind; baby may get grouchy when there are too many clothing changes. Diaper covers are a great idea too!

Clothing choices for photography sessions mQn Photography

I suggest showing me a few outfits that you are considering and allowing me to help you make the final choice on what would best suit the look and feel you are going for in your child’s portraits.


Michele is a lifestyle photographer in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.  When she’s not photographing children and their families or volunteering photographing NICU babies, she dresses her kids in ridiculous outfits and takes pictures of them.