What To Expect From An Outdoors Family Photo Session?

February 25, 2021 Estimated reading time: 3 min

I get this question all the time and I LOVE it, setting the right expectations it's so important to enjoy the family pictures experience to its maximum! Life is all about expectations, right? Today I'll walk you through everything you need to know about outdoors family sessions with kids, the ins and outs of it! Enjoy

It will be chaotic

I'm sorry to spill the beans, but yes, it will be chaotic. Family Photography is all about LIFE, and life is messy with little ones. We'll embrace and ENJOY the chaos. What you see posted on IG, Pinterest, and this blog is picture-perfect. You'll get those too yet the process is not smooth as you would think. The kids might start super shy, or even super hectic running wild and exploring the gorgeous outdoors location. A little one might trip over and get dirty in the first 10min and then cry tons because of his outfit. A baby might be waking up from a nap and it will take him/her some time to be happy :)


The beauty of family photographers is that we thrive in this chaos. We see SO MUCH beauty during the chaos. While you dry a tear or give a comforting hug your photographer will snap THE moment that will melt your heart. I always tell my clients that there is calm after the storm, there is no tantrum or sadness that doesn't disappear with time and patience. Once kids get in their zone, what you as a mom might see as chaos, we - photographers - see it as GOLDEN candid moments.

Magic unfolds unexpectedly. It's the in-between moments that will take your breath away. 

Remember this on session day! Parents are usually surprised when they see their family portraits. They can't believe how those gorgeous photos exist, when did it happen? how did you capture THAT during the chaos? well, that's the superpower of a professional family photographer ;)


You'll exercise ;)

Yes!  Outdoor lifestyle photography is all about having fun with your family while exploring the epic location. This will mean playing with your kids, throwing them up in the air, chasing them with tickles, or playing hide and seek. Your kids will call the shots and the professional family photographer will embrace their personalities. 

Expect the outdoors photo session to be fun and active! (well, unless you're hiring a classic portrait photographer that poses you, in that case, you'll be standing/sitting and looking straight at the camera). For all things lifestyle photography, movement is embraced to capture the most candid moments that will melt your heart decades from now! The main goal is to capture your family's essence :)

Beach Family Photos - Cape Cod 6

There will be tons of down time

Good news! your family photographer won't be clicking the entire time ... hehe

It will start slow and the momentum will build up as time goes by. You'll also have breaks in between, this is perfect for snacks or for the kids to play wild for a while. I love this downtime, I get to have deep and lovely conversations with parents. That's how I become really good friends with them, we bond! By the time the session is over, I want to hug them SO tight. A friendship is born on session day.

During this downtime, your photographer might also capture epic moments like the one below. We had JUST arrived at Mayflower Beach in Cape Cod. The boys were ahead of me walking to the ocean. I was walking behind them talking to mom, then I saw THIS moment and snapped it! To this day it's one of my favorite beach family portraits and you don't even see the ocean! These boys never knew I took this photo, the session had not officially started yet, and downtime is precious and unexpected ;)

Summer Beach Family Session Cape Cod

Magic will unfold unexpectedly 

This is what you can expect in a family photo session outdoors. We're at Duxbury Beach, it got a bit chilly, and the little one decided to hug mom to get a bit warm... and voila!! Magic happened. It's not posed, it's not forced. These are moments that just take place and the family photographer sees the opportunity to do an epic capture.

Your session will be full of these moments. You might miss some and see them as ordinary, but we see them as extraordinary. We shoot what we feel, and a candid hug/kiss/run speaks volumes to our artistic soul.



Flexibility is key, raincheck exists for a reason

When you book an outdoors family session, have peace of mind that your photographer always has other dates reserved as rain checks. We can't control the weather but can be prepared. In Boston, we can get tons of snow or rain, sometimes we need to push the date out, and plan B comes into play. Be flexible and trust your photographer, she/he will shoot if the conditions allow it. Overcast is GOLD, we thrive in this weather and we create magic. So no need for it to be sunny with clear skies, we just shy away from inclement weather (and rain!). 

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If you have the right mindset during session day, you'll rock your family photos. It's all about not having unrealistic expectations for an outdoor family photo session. Magic will happen, your portraits will be gorgeous, and you'll have Fine Art with your family's memories yet the journey and experience will be fun/chaotic/lovely. If you embrace it you'll LOVE it!! And remember, you'll be SO surprised at the magic captured. Ordinary moments are gold, beautiful WILL be remembered!



About Andre Toro Photography

Andre Toro is an award-winning family and personal branding photographer based in Boston, MA. She calls her style Real Art Photography, which she defines as Fine Art inspired by candid moments. Andre is a passionate soul, obsessed with human connection, and emotive storytelling. She believes love is raw, messy, and beautiful. To inquire about booking a photo session, please contact her at andre@andretorophotography.com

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Get to know my work

Duxbury-Beach-Session-Big-Family 1/5
Joshua-Tree-family-vertical-Monica 2/5
Spring - Boston Family Photographer - Maternity Photo - Andre Toro Photography - Cherry Blossoms 3/5
Joshua-Tree-California-Travel-Sessions 4/5
Beach Photo Sessions - dad and daughter dancing - Andre Toro Photography - Cape Cod 5/5

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