5 tips on How to make your Family Photo Shoot a Success – Anchor Studio

January 20, 2021

I want to make sure your family photos are perfect in every way possible! At Anchor Studio that begins with a service right from our initial email or telephone chat where I get to know you, your family and the vision you want captured for your newborn and family photo session with me.

My goal is for you to absolutely love your photos, display them in your cozy home or condo and share them with your family and friends – I want you to cherish that moment captured in time with your loved ones.

Here are my top 7 tips below to help you plan in advance for your upcoming session with me.

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What do your dream family photos look like?  I personally love soft and elegant tones as you’ll notice from all the items in my client closet that my clients an use.  I recommend neutral colours with soft, flowing fabrics…. think creams, very soft pastels, oatmeals, light browns, tans, greys, and slate blues.  Want to showcase the fun and spunky side of your family?  Choose coordinating colours but not too “matchy-matchy” with bold accent tones such as hues of grey with yellow and mustards. Adding accessories like scarves, headbands and hats also look lovely. Below for examples to show you some of my favourite clothing options.

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Locations are really important when it comes to capturing the vision you want for your session – are you a family that like to explore the city, wander open fields, be on the beach or stay cozy at home and have me capture you in your space? Here are sample galleries to show you various locations in Toronto as well as my go to studio spaces.

Your home:  for that cozy, intimate, relaxed feel;  See sample galleries

On location: Toronto and the GTA has so many beautiful locations; See Sample locations

In-studio: Always a safe bet with our all white wall studios; See sample galleries


The best time for lighting is the two hours before sunset and after sunrise.  The top concern for my clients is always nap times which I agree are important. When possible pushing a nap time to get children to stay up later than their usual times is however recommended for the ideal light in photos. Yes I can shoot at any time of day by utilizing areas of open shade but good lighting equals to more beautiful photos with dreamy light. Another tip is to not show up to a photo shoot on an empty stomach.  I meet many families who come to a photo session with dinner scheduled at the end.  If this is your plan, be sure to give everyone a healthy snack before the photo shoot. Full tummies = better giggles and more playful photos.

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Don’t be afraid to pick up your children and toss them in the air. Give your wife a sweet kiss on the check. Tell your husband how much you love him and appreciate him for being there for your family. Have fun. Laugh. Giggle. Embrace.Snuggle. Play. Doing these things (yes I guide you through these poses) will allow me to capture the emotion and true beauty of your family. I want you to show mw who you really are and have the opportunity to capture your love through my lens.

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Please… leave the “cheese” at home. Cheese = fakes smiles. So many times I have found parents who stand behind me and scream, “Say cheese” Yelling and demanding young children to look at the camera to smile will only stress your children out and will result in unnatural and often unflattering, fake smiles. Step back, and allow the me to naturally interact and talk with your children. Let me be goofy and get their gorgeous smiles. I’m pretty good- don’t you agree?

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At Anchor Studio, my goal is to educate you so that you know what to expect during your session with me. If you’re prepared ahead of time, it will result in a successful photo shoot and ultimately gorgeous, timeless family images that you will treasure for a lifetime.

Here are more blog posts in different locations in Toronto both outdoors and in-studio showing why you should hire a photographer to capture your beautiful family.

Family photo shoot at Scarborough Bluffs

Family and maternity photos at Scottsdale Farm

Family and cake smash photo shoot at Mint Room Studios

Family and cake smash photo shoot in The Solarium Studio

Family photos at The Evergreen Brickworks

Anchor Studio Photography specializes providing a full service experience that starts with booking your session and ends with getting beautiful tangible heirloom products being displayed in your home. My style of soft, candid and timeless photos can be seen in all my maternitynewbornchild and family portraits in Greater Toronto Area, including Oakville, Mississauga, North York and Richmond Hill. If you are interested in booking a portrait session for your family, you can click here to book your session. I am now booking sessions for summer 2021, so don’t hesitate to get in touch soon!

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