Getting ready for your family portraits


Preparing for your family portrait session can be daunting – what to wear? what should you bring? will my kids be okay? 

I’m here to say I have your back and this guide will help you plan and get ready for an awesome family portrait session where everybody’s personalities will shine.

A reminder to expect any kind of weather here on Southern Vancouver Island – especially from September to June. Bring layers and jackets/sweaters you’ll be happy to see in your photographs when you look back on your memories in the years to come. 

Candid family portrait photograph of a family playing at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria BC

Dress to have fun and play – leave the high-heels at home unless you’re really good at running in them and don’t mind getting a bit dirty. 

Wear comfy clothing that’s easy for you to move and play

My approach to photography allows you to relax, have fun and be yourselves. Rather than stiff and formal posing, we’ll play little games and have fun. We all know it can get a bit muddy along the paths in Victoria, so be mindful with your wardrobe by not wearing anything too precious. Think of our time together as a play date rather than a ‘portrait session.’

What clothing to wear for your Victoria BC Family portrait session

Let’s start with what to wear!


People often ask me what clothing they should wear for their family portrait session. My rule of thumb is to keep to something classic and timeless so no one cringes in 10 or 20 years. 

That means avoiding trendy patterns that only end up taking away from the expressions on your faces. There’s no need to match and I recommend solid colors, if possible, with complimentary colours. 

The only colours I suggest avoiding are anything neon since the colours can reflect into the skin on your faces and no one wants to look like they are a green goblin in their photos. 

Over the years, I’ve pinned some examples of what families have chosen to wear – both casual and more formal. You can find ideas on my Pinterest board

sUTRO Baths Engagement Portraits SFO

Wind warning – I always caution that down at the ocean can get much more windy which can mess with people’s hair. Most of my clients aren’t too picky about windy hair photos, but I always like to mention it in case you’ve gone to the trouble of having your hair done for the photo session.


I love at-home sessions, especially for toddlers and young children. It’s not just where they feel most comfortable – it’s where they are experiencing the magic of their childhoods. 

I’ll often have little ones take me on a tour to show me their favourite toys or places around the home. Since all their toys are on-hand, they usually just begin playing naturally and it makes for fantastic candid photos to remember this time in their lives. 

Candid documentary photojournalism family portrait photographer



We have the spoils of riches here in Victoria when it comes to photography backgrounds. I have a few favourite places where I know we can find shelter from cold winds – includig Beacon Hill Park, Butchart Gardens, the Victoria Inner Harbour, Fort Rod Hill, Royal Roads or Government House.  

That said, I’m flexible. We can go wherever your heart desires, including your home or backyard where your memories are being created!

Family Lifestyle photography session Victoria BC
Family Portrait Photographer Victoria session with bubbles


If we’re going to be outside, bring your kids’ favourite outdoor toys, balls, bubbles, duck food, whatever lights them up. It’s also a great idea to bring snacks and refreshments (I’m happy to pause the clock if your kids need to fuel up for a few moments). 

If you’re hoping for some photos where you’re sitting on the ground maybe also bring along a picnic blanket so everyone can stay dry and comfy. Wet naps can also be your best friend!

I Can’t Wait To See You!

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m happy to help!