A Family Photo Session Checklist

by Eric Von Lehmden | July 28, 2015

I will admit it...I forget things. I forget where I left my phone, I forget where I parked, I forget what my wife just got finished telling me. This list goes on. That is why I am constantly making lists...so I don't forget. Well, when you are a photographer and it is your job to have certain things with you for a photo shoot, it is best that you don't forget something important...trust me...I have done that too. I once forgot memory cards for a shoot. Needless to say, I was pretty embarrassed. We had to reschedule the shoot because I didn't follow my own checklist of stuff I need for EVERY photo session.

This is why I created this very simple photo session checklist.

I break it up into my core gear I absolutely must need to make a shoot work. The very basics. Then I will think about the lighting I will need for the shoot. I usually bring some kind of lighting or reflector to a shoot, but this little reminder makes me think about the specific location (which is the next part) and if I will need any additional lighting tools.

This little infographic / checklist is just a handy reminder that I can quickly look at to mentally (physically is probably better) check off to make sure I am not forgetting anything before I walk out the door. I know there can be a lot more to add to this checklist, but I made this one pretty short and simplified to the extreme basics. I also included a quick essential shot list breakdown for a family portrait session. You can take this and add in however many there are in the family. It is a helpful reminder to not miss the core shots I want to get during a shoot. They include a great shot(s) of the whole family and then breaking it down to dad with the all the kids and mom with all the kids. Then each parent with each child individually. Next would be just the kids together and then make sure to get each child individually.

I hope you enjoy it.

photo session checklist

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Photo Composition Tip: If your subject is facing or moving a certain direction in your frame then compose the photo so that the area they are facing or moving to has more empty space. For example if your subject is running from camera left to right then try composing so that they are on the left third of your frame. This gives the viewers eye somewhere to move to when looking at the photo.


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