How to Prepare for a Stress-Free Family Picture Day | Loudoun County Family Photographer

It’s completely natural to feel uncomfortable in front of the camera.   So I thought I’d share some tips on how to feel relaxed during a photoshoot and have a pleasant experience.

I used to cry when I was little when somebody had to take a photo of me.  I was camera shy growing up. For the longest time, I felt so tense being in front of the camera, constantly thinking about whether I look good, whether my hair is okay, whether I am showing my right angle; all of these things can make the experience feel unpleasant and uncomfortable, and most importantly can show on the final image.

Photo shoots are meant to be fun!

So here are my 7 Tips to take the stress out of picture day



Why is this important? There has to be a connection and trust between you and the photographer.   Whether you meet face to face, during a phone call, email communication, etc., establishing a connection with a photographer is an important and the first step that will make the experience more enjoyable and relaxed.  Make sure you are familiar with the photographer’s shooting and editing style.  Spend some time reviewing the photographer’s website, blog or social media posts to make sure you know what your final product will look like.


Choosing the right outfit is also an important factor.  Follow your photographer’s advice to get help with choosing the right outfit for your session.   Two years ago, we did a family photoshoot and the photographer did not like any of the dresses I picked.  I trusted her advice and her vision so I wore the dress she picked for me, that I would not wear otherwise.  The dress was beautiful, but completely not my style.  But, I wore it, and I am glad I did, as I was very happy with how it made me look on the final images.


About three to four days prior to the session, start talking with your husband and kids about the session and what will happen and how they should behave. If you plan to use a bribe, now is a good time to set that in place. Continue to talk to your children daily to prepare them for the session. However, letting your kids be free and not under constant pressure to pose will make your photographs look authentic and experience more pleasant.


Two days prior to the session, pack a bag of everything you will need on picture day – snacks and water for kids, props you may use during the shoot, bribery, etc. and put it somewhere you can grab it and go. Be sure to include wipes in case things get messy, an extra hairbrush, and other “emergency” items, such as bobby pins and a backup lipstick.


On the day of the session, make sure everyone is well fed, but not overfed. We don’t want sick little tummies from overeating, but we don’t want anyone getting “hangry” (angry because they are so hungry) either. Do not get your family dressed in their photo clothes until after they have eaten and brushed their teeth. This will prevent spills and other messy accidents.


If you have young children, avoid any colored drinks the day of the session until after we are finished. Also, get them to wear a bib or drop cloth if they drink anything on the way to the session to save their shirts from wet spots or stains.


As a mom who had her family photographed, I know that the first thing we, moms, do is constantly worry about the kids’ behavior, trying to stop them from running, telling them to pose, etc..  STOP! Let kids be kids, let them explore and run and have fun. Don’t forget to breathe. Take your family out for pizza or ice cream after the session.  Make this experience a memorable one.


a family jumping during a family photoshoot in leesburg by bella luna photography

a dad is playing with his daughters during a family photoshoot in leesburg by bella luna photography








My name is Ksenia and I am the photographer behind Bella Luna Photography, LLC located in Leesburg, VA. I am a mother of a boy and a girl, and a wife to a very supporting husband.

I’ve always been fascinated by the art of photography, especially portrait photography. It was something about looking into the person’s eyes and thinking about their stories. After our son was born, I realized how important it was for me to have professional photos taken of us, capturing our love, giggles and connection. That is why I decided to pursue a path in photography.