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  • Writer's pictureKlara

How to Plan the Perfect Outdoor Family Photoshoot: Relaxed, Adventurous, and Heartwarming Moments Captured - Oxfordshire Family Photographer

Updated: Mar 25

perfect outdoor family photoshoot Oxfordshire

The weather is warming up, and now is the prime time to start thinking about updating those family portraits. My diary, just like many other photographers', is starting to fill up for Spring and Summer family photoshoots and so I thought now is the perfect time to write this blog post about planning your perfect outdoor family photoshoot.

Family photoshoots are fun and special occasion, however I know that preparing for them can be a little stressful. Here are a few tips how to make sure everything goes smoothly and you feel prepared, confident and excited for your upcoming outdoor family photoshoot.

Book in advance

perfect outdoor family photoshoot Oxfordshire

Being prepared pays off. If you are set on a certain photographer, book in advance. Don't wait until the last minute, as many photographers, myself included, book out several months ahead. I always try my hardest to fit everyone in, even the last minute enquiries, but it is not always possible, so if you are wanting to book a family session, book it in advance. Spring and Summer are photography prime times and so booking ahead in February or March is a great idea to make sure your family gets in at the date you want.

Location, location, location

perfect outdoor family photoshoot Oxfordshire

Location is an important thing when it comes to a photoshoot. It can make or break a photo session. I have a list of beautiful locations I have scouted, but I am also open to your suggestions if you have a favourite place. Or even your home if you have a garden, or if you'd like to photograph in your street. During the planning process we will agree on a location that fits you best and that will work for your needs. Wildflower meadow? Woods? A city? I can accommodate most locations!

Season & vibe

perfect outdoor family photoshoot Oxfordshire

Who said that you can only have photoshoot in Spring or Summer? You absolutely can have a beautiful family session in Winter or Autumn. I've covered reasons to choose Winter session in my previous post.

Most families however choose Spring or Summer session.

Choosing the season you'd like your photo session to take place in depends on what kind of vibe you're looking for. Winter and winter outfits make the photos feel more cozy, heartwarming and snuggly, while in Summer you can frolic around a gorgeous meadow with your kids in a beautiful summer dress. Both will get you some beautiful portraits, just think about what vibe you'd like to capture with your photoshoot and go from there!

Time of the day

perfect outdoor family photoshoot Oxfordshire

Sunset sessions are the best option as they provide that dreamy golden light, creating dreamy, magical photographs; however I fully understand it is not always ideal, especially with younger children. My 8 years experience as a natural light photographer allows me to be flexible when it comes to the time of the day as I can work with all sorts of lighting conditions.

Every family is different and so we will plan your session for time that suits your family. Babies and toddlers are usually in good mood just after a nap, so we can work around their nap and snack times to ensure they are in a good mood throughout the session.

Outfits & accessories

perfect outdoor family photoshoot Oxfordshire

Outfits can make or break a photoshoot, but please do not worry - I am here to help you plan your outfits for your session. The most important key to choosing the right outfit is to feel comfortable and confident in it. Everyone has their own awesome style, and so choose outfit that feels true to you. Try to colour coordinate (but not match!) outfits with the rest of your family within the same colour palette (earthy tones, pastels, bright colours, neutrals... - that's up to you and your style, but try to keep to one colour palette when styling your family).

Mixing solid colours with patterns for added interest, but please try to avoid large prints or logos as they can be quite distracting.

Layers and accessories are always welcome. Have a cute fedora hat? Bring it along! A nice chunky cardigan? Sounds amazing for snuggly photos with your babies!

I provide a styling guide and support throughout your planning so you can count on me to help you choose your outfit if you're stuck.

Prepping your family members

perfect outdoor family photoshoot Oxfordshire

As the session is approaching, start preparing your family members for it. Discuss it with your kiddos, prepare them for the adventure and get them excited for the experience.

If you are planning to have extended family photographs taken, ensure all people involved know where and when to be, get together and start planning your outfits and get excited for the upcoming session.

Dads are usually not as keen on photos as mums are, so it is a good idea to have a conversation about how much family portraits mean to you and your family, it might just sway them to be happier to participate on the day (if not I have some tricks up my sleeve to get them comfortable and happy on the day, don't worry :)

Be prepared on the day

perfect outdoor family photoshoot Oxfordshire

There are a few things you can do to ensure the day of the photoshoot ends up being a positive experience:

  1. Plan ahead to arrive at the location without feeling rushed and stressed. Kids can pick up on stress so try to remain calm, optimistic and excited for the session for it all to go smoothly. Ensure your kiddos had a nap before the session and are fed and happy before we begin.

  2. Pack snacks - kids love snacks and it is good to have a little bribery if they're not feeling up for photos. Few little snacks can lift the spirits and turn a cranky toddler into a happy smiley one, getting some beautiful, happy and heartwarming photographs out of your perfect outdoor family photoshoot.

  3. Pack spare clothes - my outdoor family photoshoots are very relaxed, capturing your family during play and adventure, so there is a chance you might get dirty. Having packed a spare clothes for your kiddos and even yourself will help us continue your session uninterrupted if an accident was to happen.

  4. Relax, I've got you - I know putting trust into your photographer can seem daunting, but trust me, I've got you. I have over 8 years of experience in dealing with families and kids with so many different personalities and there hasn't been one session yet where we would have to cancel. I've got you. I'll help you feel relaxed and confident and through gentle prompts I will guide you into position and help you spark emotion and actions, resulting in heartwarming photographs you'll treasure forever. Just trust me, I've got you.

  5. Make the most of your session - have fun, explore with your kids, play, laugh and enjoy your memory making experience. One thing I can promise you is that I will not make you stiffly pose and smile into the camera. My goal for the session is for you and your kids to enjoy yourselves, and to capture those beautiful memories for you.

perfect outdoor family photoshoot Oxfordshire

Ready to start planning your perfect outdoor family photoshoot? Shoot me a message and let's chat about your beautiful memory making experience.


The Second Star Photography is a professional mobile studio, providing in home newborn and family photography sessions within Oxfordshire and areas of Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire. Enjoy the luxury of professional newborn photography session in the comfort of your own home. Klara is first aid trained professional newborn and family photographer covering Bicester, Banbury, Aylesbury, Abingdon, Oxford, Thame, Brackley and The Cotswolds among other areas of Oxfordshire, Bucks and Northamptonshire.

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