Preparing for a Family Photo Session at Your Home | Pittsburgh in-home Photographer

I’ll try to keep this simple and to the point because one of my goals for your family photo session is to keep everything as simple and as stress-free as possible! So let’s talk about preparing for a family photo session in your home!

A family enjoying time together on a sofa; a mother holding a baby, a father playing with a toddler, everyone smiling.

What do we wear? 

Do not, I repeat, do not run out and make yourself crazy trying to buy everyone new matching outfits. You’re going to think I am crazy but I vote for keeping it REAL! I suggest you dress casually and comfortably like you would any other day of the year!

The same goes for the kids! Dress them in a casual and comfortable outfit they love. Or you can even let your kids pick their own outfits! Even if your three-year-old wants to wear the dress she has worn EVERY DAY for the last four months and your five-year-old insists on the Spiderman costume he refuses to take off. I’d actually love it if they did this!

Please do not stress out trying to coordinate everyone’s clothing!

little girl in super hero costume Preparing for a family photo session at your Pittsburgh home

Remember, this session is not about the perfect portrait, this is about capturing your real and very awesome, and unique family. It’s about remembering how life was at this exact time.

However, if you really want, you could always try to get them to wear something dressier for the beginning of our session and I will get a few posed family photos, and then let them go change into whatever they want to wear.

What rooms will you be photographing in?

This is entirely up to you! I promise to only enter the rooms and areas of the house that you are comfortable with! I’d love to use the rooms that get great natural light and I usually stick to the main living room or family room where your family usually spends most of the time.

I also love for the kids to show me their bedrooms so I can get a few photos of them in there! I think it is so very special and important to get a photo of your child in their room. We can also go into the master bedroom, playroom and kitchen, etc. It is entirely up to you.

What if my house is a mess

Whatever you do, do not deep clean for me or for the session. If you really feel like you need to clean up, I vote for quickly stashing any clutter into a laundry room or spare bedroom. I do not judge a sink full of dishes or a messy bathroom.

If you follow my work then you know that I embrace reality. And if you were to pop into my home on any given day, I most likely will have a sink full of dishes, a messy bathroom and a pile or three of laundry on the couch.

I just ask that you allow me to open the curtains and blinds to let in all the light that we can.

mom and daughter play on couch for photo session

We’re so boring, what will we do!?

No, your family is not boring, I promise. What do you normally do when you are all home together? What activities do your kids love to do as a family at home?

If you need some inspiration, here is a blog post of ideas!

A man lifting a cheerful child in the air inside a home.

And depending on the weather, we can go outside for photos! We can get some on the porch and in the front and back yards!

A black and white photo of a family of five and their dog sitting on the front steps of their home.

Say no to cheese.

Seriously, please do not feel the need to look at my camera and smile the entire time. Just play, cuddle, and interact with your kids. I do not know many adults that are comfortable being photographed so I tell my clients, do not look at me. You will feel so much more relaxed and comfortable when you get to just look and interact with your children.

Once you are all relaxed, I will have you look and smile for some images.

I want to include your fur baby!

Yes, I want to include the family pet(s)! They are a part of the family too! If your pup and/or kitty is comfortable and somewhat relaxed around me, then I want to definitely include them in your photo session! I am very much a dog and cat person and I love doggy kisses, so no worries there!

dog on bed with family and baby in south hills home

And yes, the Grandparents too! 

I am also happy to include other family members like Grandparents, Great Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles! Please feel free to invite them over to be included in a few photos!

Elderly man holds a baby, woman embraces him, and young boy sits beside them on a couch, in a family home setting as the newborn photographer prepares for the shot.

So, just relax, I’m a professional who has photographed hundreds of families in the last fourteen years. I assure you that our session will go smoothly and it will even be fun. I promise you that you will treasure these pictures for your lifetime. 

Have a look at my family gallery to get an idea of what your session will be like! 

Have more questions? Concerns?  
Please get in touch to ask me anything!  

Are you on Instagram?
I’d love to connect with you there!

If you have not already booked and you are interested in a newborn or family session please do not wait to get in touch. I know life gets busy and these things tend to slip to the bottom of the to-do list, but it’s time to make it a priority! Please get in touch before my schedule is filled up! I only accept a limited number of clients each month, so once my schedule is filled, it is filled. I can’t wait to hear from you and to plan a unique session for your family!

~All images by Mary Beth Miller Photography ~

Mary Beth Miller Photography specializes in lifestyle and documentary family, newborn and Fresh 48 photography in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and many of the surrounding areas. Mary Beth has over ten years experience photographing families, newborns and babies in the Regent Square, Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, Greentree, Point Breeze and Highland Park.  Her style is very relaxed and natural and your family session will feel like a stress-free Sunday afternoon with your family!

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  • catie

    oh lovely pictures! ReplyCancel

  • Brandi

    These are great tips!! Thank you for these!ReplyCancel

  • Kami

    This is so helpful!  It’s wonderful to find a photographer who is so willing to help set you up for a successful session!ReplyCancel

  • I love this.  Your sessions sound so relaxed and fun!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryne

    These are so fun! Great ideas!ReplyCancel

  • This is such a great post!  So helpful for your clients!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin

    What great info to share! I learned so much about your sessions.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey

    Such great tips! I just love the beautiful everyday moments!ReplyCancel

Mary Beth Miller Photography


Established in 2009
Family & Newborn Photographer serving the greater Pittsburgh area; Wexford, Mars, Cranberry Twp., and also serving Boardman, Poland, and Canfield, Ohio.

Mary Beth Miller Photography

best newborn photographers in Pittsburgh Expertise logo award

Established in 2009
Family & Newborn Photographer serving the greater Pittsburgh area; Wexford, Mars, Cranberry Twp., and also serving Boardman, Poland, and Canfield, Ohio.