Family Session Client Prep Guide

You’ve booked your photo session. Now what?

Thank you for booking a photo session with ChiaraBella Photography!  Here is some information to help you prepare for your session.

What to wear

The clothes you wear during your photo session can really elevate your images. Don’t stress though—just follow a few simple rules. 

1. Avoid NEON colors and graphics on shirts.  Neon will reflect color onto your face and graphics can be distracting. 

2. Coordinate colors among family members, but DON’T MATCH.  Find 2-3 complementary colors and have all family members wear something in those color families.

- Here are some examples I love from past sessions -

3. Patterns are okay, just not for every person in your group! Make it interesting with different textures and fabrics.

4. We will be sitting on the ground at times, so clothing should be comfortable and allow you to move and sit down.  

5. Don’t get a haircut the day before a session or try a new makeup look that day.  Likewise, don’t pick “statement” clothing  - we want you to stand out, not your outfit! Be you!

 If you need ideas, just put "what to wear for a family photo session" into a Pinterest search.  I also have a Pinterest page with suggestions - 


What will we do in our session?


Have fun!  This session is about capturing all of you as you connect as a family for a few moments, away from the chaos and noise and busyness of your life.  We are catching this moment in time for your family, whatever it authentically is.  Not perfection, just you!

While I will ask you to look at me, most of the time I will ask you to look at each other and enjoy being with each other.  Really look at your kids and your partner and see in them what makes you love them!

If the kids don't want to sit still, it's okay!  If they don't want to smile, it's okay!  If they want to stand on their heads, it’s okay! I will do my very best to make the session relaxed and fun for everyone so that smiles are not a rarity and your kids’ true selves shine through. When you fill out the client contact form, I’ll use the information you give about your family and your kids to tailor our session for you and help things run smoothly, so please remember to submit the form before our session.

We will be standing up, sitting down, laying down, tickling, hugging, kissing, snuggling and maybe singing and dancing, jumping and running. Low stress!

And while smiles are great, laughter is even better!

How to prepare you and your family for your session

Naps—they’re not just for kids!   Children who normally nap should definitely get their nap in before our session if possible.  While you’re at it, take one yourself!

Empty bellies = bad smiles!  Children and adults should eat before the session to ensure happiness and energy!  Make sure to check faces and especially teeth for crumbs and leftovers! Dry, colorless snacks like crackers, animal cookies, and water are good to bring if you think your child will need to refuel. 

Say cheese! (no, please don’t!!)  Practice your smiles!  Know what you look like when you smile so you are comfortable when I ask you to smile. And if I ask for a bigger smile, go with it!  The life really comes into your eyes when your authentic smile comes through! 

Bribery - it’s only bad if it doesn’t work!  I do my best to make our sessions fun and low stress, but every now and then, some kids just aren’t into it.  I recommend having a bribe or two in your back pocket just in case - ice cream after the session seems to be a popular one!

What about Fido?  Your dog is a part of your family, so it’s fine to bring him/her to your full photo session.  Just know that as hard as it can sometimes be to get all the humans focused, it’s much harder and takes extra time in your session to get your furry friend facing forward!  Bring treats and a leash and we’ll plan to take some photos with your pet and some without!

 Last thoughts and FAQ’s

Communication - I do most of my communication with families through email.  I have 5 kids though, so I may not return your email immediately depending on what’s going on in my house!  

Please arrive early !  Your session is timed for optimal sunlight & to fit in my schedule and I cannot guarantee that we can go past our allotted time, so please arrive at least 5 minutes before we are due to begin. 

Weather  -  As we know, weather changes quickly.  I will consult with you about the weather one day before the session if it looks like we could have rain/snow/extreme cold/etc. Generally, unless it is raining at the time of our session, we will go forward.  I will bring plastic to go under the blanket to try to keep you dry, but expect to get a little wet and muddy if it’s been a wet week.   

Cancellations  -  Except for emergencies (yes, sick kids count!), cancellations must be 24 hours or more before your session in order to reschedule without losing your deposit.  I’ve blocked out that time for you, so please do your best to make it.

After your session - I will send your gallery to you by email within 7 days (10-14 days during the fall season).  You will have one week to choose and download your included images, as well as any additional images you wish to purchase.  After that time, the gallery will expire & the images will be deleted from the website.  There is a $25 fee to re-upload the gallery after the expiration date.

 Let me know if there are any other questions!  See you soon!