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What to Expect from an Outdoor Family Photoshoot

Updated: May 13

What does a session out in the elements look like?

Outdoor Family Photoshoot Field

Been wanting to book an outdoor family photoshoot but nervous about what it will look like? It's like when you look up the menu for next week's restaurant trip in advance - you want to know what you're getting yourself in for and be prepared.

Every photographer will have a different way of conducting their photo sessions, but there are still things to be aware of that will probably be part of every photographer's shoot. My style of photography is more relaxed and candid, although I make sure to snap some posed pictures during a shoot.

After booking your outdoor family photoshoot

You'll get an email from me with some handy little reminders about a week before your session.

Wondering what to wear? Wear what you love! Pick clothes that you feel comfortable in. Try to avoid matching outfits, but feel free to coordinate. Take my advice and don't wait till the last minute to pick out an outfit! Take a little look at some mood boards on Pinterest.


I love taking pictures with everyone sat on the ground, so if you'd like something to sit on, I'd advise bringing a neutral rug or old tablecloth to spral out on.

If you have any little ones that might get tired and distracted whilst they're not being photographed, consider bringing some toys and snacks.

Have chat to your kids about the photoshoot to prepare them. Explain that we’ll be going for a nice walk and to have some pictures taken. There’s plenty of time during the session for kids to run around, pull faces, fall over, so there’s no need to put any pressure on them to ‘behave’.

Outdoor Family Photoshoot a child in a tree with a toy

The weather

Frustratingly, I cannot control the weather. I will be keeping an eye on the weather forecast before our session, and if heavy rain or strong winds are forecast I will be in touch to rearrange. Unfortunately, being in the UK means wet weather is likely and can appear at any moment. However, that does not mean we have to move our session. Umbrellas and wellies can give such a cute feel to your images, so if you are up for having an atmospheric photoshoot then so am I!

Image Posing

There are some poses I will always ask you to do to get formal and candid shots, and you'll find my favourites below. Although I love a candid image, I'll let you into a secret: most of my candid photographs are as a result of prompting. Below I have featured a family photoshoot from a while ago that was a dream to work with and were up for me asking them to run all over the place.


Outdoor Family Photoshoot Traditional

To start and end a session, I love to get some formal shots of the whole family that will tend to be more on the serious side. This is more of your typical family photograph with everyone looking at the camera - perfect for a Christmas present to grandparents. Once we've got a few formal shots out the way, then we can get onto some more fun activities.


Outdoor Family Photoshoot Field

In a very similar style to the traditional group pose, I love to get a shot of the whole family from a different perspective. This will usually be with the parent(s) looking at their child(ren) from a few steps away. This is a great variation on the usual family group pose.


Outdoor Family Photoshoot Sitting

I love to get some shots on the ground (this is when that handy blanket comes in useful), but this is often more fun in the warmer months. Throughout these more formal shots, I will ask you to look at the camera and then look at each so you are not constantly having to stare down my camera lens.


Outdoor Family Photoshoot Walking

I am a big fan of walking shots. This is why high heels are not really that useful during a family session with me if we're shooting in the countryside! These shots will often involve holding hands and, as can be seen here, some silliness.


Outdoor Family Photoshoot Whispering Siblings

Siblings being siblings is the best kind of fun to capture. I often ask brothers and sisters to whisper silly words to each other to capture those gorgeous little giggles. Some brilliant photos are caught when I've asked kids to try and make their parents laugh whilst I photograph them.


I try to get to know you all as fast as I can so I can do some individual headshots that best fit your personalities. I want to capture the seriousness or craziness of each person. Spending a few minutes focusing on each member of the family is a great way to get some timeless headshots.


I will try to capture every different combination of your family that there is! Each parent on their own with each child, different siblings with each other, and parents together. If I have missed one, let me know - you are the one who knows your family the best. Whether it's a piggy-back, a traditional pose, or just two toddlers playing on the ground with each other, I want to take pictures of the relationships within your family.

What to expect

The bottom line is, I'm going to take you for a stroll in the countryside or in a town and snap some photos along the way. I want to get to know your whole family so I can get the best photos possible, so I will ask you questions such as "if you could be a food, what kind of food would you be?" and I might ask you to do some silly things like sneak up on family members.

If you let me know that you are not that comfortable in front of the camera, I'll prompt you as much as I can. I get it - I am not at all comfortable in front of the camera, but I want to make sure you have as much fun as possible during our session together. I believe it should not just be a photoshoot, but a fun day out.

Outdoor Family Photoshoot Autumn

After the photoshoot

The hard work is all done! You can go home and relax. I'll be back in touch in the coming weeks with your edited gallery and you can decide how you'd like to display your new family photos.


Olivia Hill Photography

Thank you for joining me over here! If you don't know me, I'm Livi: a photographer from Cambridge. I love to knit, bake and read - yes, I am indeed a twenty-something-granny.

Although I studied Classical Studies at uni, I always knew I would end up doing something creative with my life and this seems to be it. I have always loved taking photographs, but that passion came alive when I started my photography diploma.

I'm here to give you an insight into photoshoots, encourage you to get behind the lens and hopefully excite you about photography.

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