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How to Hire a Family Photographer on Vacation

How to Hire a Family Photographer on Vacation

My family loves to travel. Our kids have been to fourteen countries and experienced wonderful once in a lifetime memories. But the best thing we ever did was to start hiring a family photographer on every vacation. Selfies are going to go down in history as the most pointless way to document a family vacation. Instead, an outdoor photography session that features the most iconic locations of your trip is a great idea. This article will walk you through what to wear for family portraits outside on your next vacation. And I’ll give you my top tips on how to find and hire a family photographer in your vacation location.

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importance of knowing what to wear for family portraits outside

Finding the Perfect Family Photographer on Vacation

First things first, let’s find that perfect photographer for your family photoshoot before looking on what to wear for family portraits outside. Google is an okay place to start, but really you’re most likely to find active photographers on Instagram. Start by looking at portfolios to gauge their expertise in outdoor photography sessions. Pay attention to how they capture natural light, color tones, and the candid moments that make family portraits so special.

1. Understand Your Family’s Style and Vibe

Begin by defining your family’s unique style. Are you more traditional or contemporary? Do you prefer candid shots or posed portraits?

Consider the vibe you want for your family photo session. Are you aiming for a fun, playful atmosphere, or something more serene and formal?

2. Research and Shortlist Photographers

Start your search online, but go beyond a basic Google search. Check out social media, especially platforms like Instagram, where many photographers showcase their work.

Look for photographers who specialize in family and vacation photography. Their expertise in this area will be invaluable.

3. Reviewing Portfolios

Once you’ve shortlisted a few photographers, take a deep dive into their portfolios. Look for diversity in their work to ensure they can handle a range of styles.

Evaluate if the locations they have chosen are appealing to you. Usually destination photographers have a handful of their favorite locations where they know all the best angles.

4. Evaluating Their Approach to Candid Moments

A significant part of family photography is capturing those spontaneous, candid moments. See how the photographer handles these in their portfolio.

Look for photos that capture genuine emotion and interaction between family members. Determine if the entire family looks comfortable and at ease.

candid moments for family portraits

5. Communication and Compatibility

Reach out to your top choices to discuss your vision and see how well they communicate as professional photographer. A good photographer should be keen to understand your expectations and be able to provide input.

It’s essential that you feel comfortable with your photographer. This rapport will translate into more natural and relaxed photos.

6. Checking References and Reviews

Don’t hesitate to ask for references or look up online reviews. Feedback from other families can give you insights into the photographer’s working style and reliability.

Positive reviews that highlight a photographer’s ability to connect with children and capture the essence of a family are particularly valuable.

7. Discussing Logistics and Pricing

Be clear about your vacation dates and the locations you have in mind. Make sure the photographer is available and willing to be flexible if the weather is bad that time of year.

Discuss pricing and packages upfront. Ensure there are no hidden costs and that you understand exactly what is included in the package.

8. Making the Final Decision

After considering all factors such as style, portfolio quality, communication, reviews, availability, and pricing, make your decision.

Trust your instinct. The right family photographer should feel like a natural fit for your family’s vacation photoshoot.

By taking these steps, you can confidently choose a family photographer who will capture beautiful, timeless photos that reflect your family’s unique personality and the essence of your vacation. These photos will be cherished memories for years to come, so choosing the right photographer is worth the extra effort.

what to wear during photoshoot

Working with Your Photographer

Once you’ve picked your photographer, it’s time to discuss the details. This collaboration ensures your family’s personality shines through in every shot.

Are you envisioning summer family pictures on the beach or a cozy autumn shoot in the woods? 

Your photographer can offer advice on the perfect time of day for the best natural light, contributing significantly to the final image. 

In the end they are an expert at outdoor photoshoots so they will likely have a lot of suggestions and maybe even a blog post or digital download with their guidance.

Essentials on What to Wear for Family Portraits Outside

Now, let’s chat about what to wear for family portraits outside. This is probably the most common question and, believe me, it makes a huge difference. The right outfit choices can turn a simple photo into a stunning portrait. Aim for a cohesive look that complements the vacation backdrop. Think solid colors or subtle patterns that resonate with the outdoor setting.

Choosing a Harmonious Color Palette

A cohesive color scheme is a cornerstone of stunning family portraits. You can choose bold colors, neutral shades, or jewel tones, just make sure they harmonize well. Avoid clashing patterns and neon colors that can cause distracting color casts. Instead, think about the colors that not only look good on you but also blend beautifully with the natural surroundings of your outdoor shoot.

Comfort Meets Style

Comfort should not be an afterthought, especially for young kids. You want everyone to be at ease during the photoshoot. Choose clothes that are a good fit, keeping in mind the climate and terrain of your vacation spot. If you’re on a beach, light colors and bare feet might be a great choice. For mountain settings, layers and warm colors can make your photos look realistic and natural.

Outfit coordination for a good shot

Outfit Coordination for the Whole Family

Coordinating doesn’t mean everyone in matching white shirts and blue jeans. It’s more about finding a balance where each family member’s outfit complements the rest. For instance, if mom’s dress is a floral pattern, perhaps the rest of the family could pick colors from that pattern for their outfits. Some family photographers go so far as suggesting outfit choices based on a color wheel or using a styling service, but that’s a bit much in my opinion.

Avoiding Fashion Faux Pas

We all have those trendy pieces we love, but remember, timeless is the name of the game for family portraits. Steer clear of overly trendy items, large logos, or bold patterns that might date your photos. Instead, opt for classic pieces that lend a timeless look to your family photos.

Accessorizing for Added Flair

Accessories can be great accent pieces – a statement necklace, a stylish hat, or even a fun pair of sunglasses. But remember, the focus is on your family’s faces, so keep it subtle. A pop of color in accessories can work wonders in bringing some personality to your photos.

Final Touches Before the Photoshoot

In the days leading up to the photoshoot, try on your outfits. This is a good idea not just for checking the fit but also for seeing how the colors and styles work together. You might find that switching out a shirt or adding a scarf can make a big difference. And don’t forget about shoes! They might not always be visible, but when they are, you’ll want them to fit into your family’s outfits seamlessly.

Creating Lasting Memories

So there you have it, your comprehensive guide on how to hire a family photographer on vacation and what to wear for family portraits outside. These photos are meant to capture the essence of your family in a natural, comfortable setting. With the right photographer and outfits that reflect your family’s style, you’re all set to create memories that will last a lifetime.

colors are important for having a good shots

Multigenerational Family Photoshoots

A growing trend lately is taking vacations with extended family. A multigenerational family vacation absolutely calls for a family photo shoot. Capturing younger generations with older generations is an easy way to hold on to memories long after everyone goes home.

Photo Gifts for Grandma

After a vacation portrait session you have the benefit of using those photos for personalized gifts. I have made family vacation photos into wall art, blankets, jewelry boxes, wind chimes, photo albums, phone cases, and luggage tags. My best advice is to head to Shutterfly and see what great photo gifts are on sale.

Memories Now and Later

The most important thing about outdoor family sessions is to have fun. You might think the purpose of the photos is only about the final photo, but my biggest tip is to be silly and have a blast during the photoshoot. At the end of the day you don’t want to look back on the photos and remember a miserable experience.

Your next family photos are both a fun way to spend your vacation day and a great way to to solidify the memories. I’m sure the family photo outfits you picked out are a great option. So, take a deep breath and say cheese. We can’t wait to see your family vacation photos posted online after your photoshoot!

FAQ: How to Hire a Family Photographer on Vacation


  • Veronica Hanson

    Veronica Hanson blogs from whatever country she happens to be in at the time, currently she's hanging out in Japan. She's been living as a nomad remote entrepreneur with her family since 2020.

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