I'm an Appleton, WI based family photographer that loves capturing genuine moments with laid-back playfulness.
Extended family photo sessions can be a lot to manage depending on the size of the group. They are such a fun experience WITH a plan. Without a plan, not so much. That’s why talking before a session, especially an extended family session, is crucial. Also crucial – generating some prompts for a successful family photo session beforehand!
All families are different and interact with each other in different ways. I always want to honor that before shooting. If families aren’t lovey-dovey, that’s okay! If they are, great!
It’s so helpful for me to talk about family dynamics before a session, which is something you can’t always get from a written questionnaire. The best thing you can do as a photographer is to make families comfortable interacting in front of your camera. Pre-session Zoom calls help tremendously with that.
After I’ve spoken with the family, I jot down some potential prompts that might work well given the family and ages of the children. Some prompts work no matter the age of the children and some are best suited for younger kids.
During this extended family photo session, I used these 5 prompts for a successful session and I love the way the final images turned out! They were a mix of posed and candid with a true reflection of this family’s love for one another. If you’re feeling stuck on what to do at your next extended family session, give these a try!
I took along some super cute flower glasses for the grandkids that I purchased on Amazon. The kids loved having something fun to wear and it made for such sweet photos! Also, a bench is a must-have IMO. I don’t love lining everyone up in one line, so getting people on different levels is helpful for a better photo. I used this bench multiple times during the session and it was a lifesaver!
I hope this post helped get the wheels turning for prompt ideas for your next extended family photo session. They are SO much fun to photograph and the families I’ve worked with so far have been amazing! They truly appreciate the time and thought that goes into an extended family session.
For more extended family photo session ideas, check out Extended Family Must Have Shots and this post about Extended Family Photos – The LeClairs! If you’re interested in scheduling your own extended family photoshoot, send me a message on my contact page.