Family Photo Sessions – Everything You Need To Know

Make no mistake. Doing family photos is a labor of love. And they don’t just happen magically by themselves. There is planning involved – quite a bit actually. For some, family pictures are eh um – stressful, and for some it is exciting and fun to plan out all the details. But regardless of which emotion you empathize with more, I wanted to share with you all the details involved with planning a family photo session with Samantha Sloan Photography it the effort to take away as much of the guesswork and stress as much as possible. My hope is that this post will help answer some if not most of your questions!

Family Photo Sessions - Everything You need To know


When you contact me to book your appointment – I will ask two questions:

What are you using the photos for?

What date were you wanting to have your session?

I can then let you know my availability and if that date works and then we will talk about location ideas as well as what time works best. I’ll talk more about that in the next section. If you are booking one of my mini sessions, then the location will already be chosen and all you need to do is simply click on your choice of time.

Once those details are figured out, you will receive a booking confirmation email as well as an invoice. Once the invoice has been paid – you are officially booked!

San Antonio Family Taking Pictures In Southtown With Photographer Samantha Sloan Photography


Like I stated before, if you are booking a mini family session with me, then your location and the times are pre determined. BUT, if you are doing a full family session then you get your choice of location.

Naps, Meals, Moods

If I were to take a poll and asked how many people would like to take pictures if they were hungry or tired – the answer would be a big fat ZERO – and I don’t even need to take a poll to figure that out. No one, not even me, wants to feel unhappy when they are taking pictures. That is why I always encourage parents to plan their family pictures around their kids schedules as well as their own. Well rested and well fed humans take great pictures 😉


San Antonio and the surrounding areas have many wonderful choices of beautiful locations perfect for family pictures. 

My first question I always ask my clients is whether they want something urban or something with green in the background. From there I list off the choices that I think would fit their family best depending on what time of day they prefer to do photos as well as the ages of the children and if there are any pets going to be included in the photos. 

Session Start Time

Depending on which location you choose will depend on what time is best for pictures. There are some beautiful parks and fields that are gorgeous to photograph in the evening as the sun is setting, but maybe that is close to your child’s bedtime. It really can be a balancing act trying to choose the right location and start time that best fits your family’s needs. Don’t worry – I am here to answer any questions you may have!

What To Wear

I could write an entire blog post about this topic alone. My single best piece of advice is for you, mom! Find something for yourself first! Treat yourself. After all, you are going to the effort to plan this whole photo session and you deserve a treat. Once your outfit is chosen – build off of that for everyone else’s outfits 😉

But to keep it short, my biggest no no’s are:

No teeny tiny prints – I’m specifically talking about the kind of micro prints that can be found on men’s dress shirts. My camera cannot read all that “information” and it will cause an effect called miore. I cannot fix this in Photoshop – trust me, I have tried. 

No neon colors– yall, just don’t. It’s not 1992. 

No matching the whole family in the same print – it’s not 1984 anymore either 

My biggest “Do’s” are:

Do where something that will coordinate with your location color tones – I can help you with that.

Do keep the family on the same side of the color wheel – for example, keep everyone in neutrals, or everyone where fall colors. Don’t mix a fall rust orange with a bright Spring pink tone.

Prints are good but don’t over do it. Layers are awesome!

Check out my Pinterest Page for some inspiration

Make- Up – If you aren’t getting professional makeup done (I have referrals!), then I suggest wearing a lot of make-up. Over do it even. The camera isn’t forgiving, unfortunately and you can put a lot on and it won’t look overdone. Double up even 😉

Stone Oak Family Portrait With Beautiful Texas Skyline


The day has arrived! My biggest tips for photo day are to keep a normal schedule for the little ones. Don’t stress – or they will pick up on that.  Make sure everyone has had a snack before the session and go potty/change diapers before you leave. Always plan on things taking longer than you think. Allow for traffic and plan on your kiddos needing to go potty right as you arrive- because that’s how it usually goes, right? Ha ha, I am a mom too! 

Oh, and please PLEASE do not try to do the session if you aren’t feeling well. We can always make up the session at a later date when everyone is healthy again.


Yay, you made it! I will text you before hand and let you know exactly where to meet. Sometimes I even drop a pin if I need to.

If clients run more than 25 minutes late, then we have to reschedule for another day so please try to be on time. 

If you have small children, it never hurts to bring along bribes. I try to make it as fun as possible but sometimes having a lolly pop as a reward can work wonders. My goal is for y’all to have a good time. My family photo sessions are 45 minutes to an hour long. That gives me enough time to capture images of the family together, the kids, the parents, individual shots of the children and everything in between. 

Picture Of San Antonio Family Taken At Landa Library


After the session I will post your sneak peek on social media. I will also invoice you for the remaining amount due. You can expect your online photo gallery within 7-10 business days from your session date. 

When you receive your online gallery, I will also send along directions on how to download your images, tips for keeping them safe, as well as how to order prints and products.

I offer professional prints through my ordering system. These are great quality and come from my pro lab and are delivered right to your door! You can see the full price list on my Pricing Page.

Referral Program

Now that you’ve been through the process its time to tell your friends and family about your experience! Referrals are an essential part of my business and I am extremely grateful for them!! As a thank you, every time you send me someone and they book, YOU get a $50 credit on your next session! Credit is good for any photo session and does not expire!

session. Your credit is good towards any type of session with me – even my family mini sessions!

Ready to book your session?! Call me at 210-379-8213 or send me a message

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