10 Ideas for Your Next Family Session

So many families and couples have made plans to meet me in Shenandoah National Park next month for their annual photos and I couldn’t be happier! I’ve got all the best locations and times covered, all you have to do is show up for your adventure.

The people who contact me have usually seen my work and are looking for a natural, unposed gallery that tells a story – one that captures all the moments and details of where they are at this time in their lives. While I would like to say that we just meet up and I snap photos for an hour, I definitely plan for how I want to use the time and the types of shots I want to get. Today I’m sharing my top ten ideas you can use for your next family session!

#1 Give them an idea of the plan

In the beginning, I let them know that I will start and end the session with a photo of everyone looking at me. That way they are sure to get one traditional photo and many people like to use this one for their holiday card.

Next I’ll say something like, “we will go to 4 different spots: on the rocks, under the big tree, through this field, and then we will come back to the rocks as the sun sets.”

#2: Walk to or away from me

They usually need to do this a few times so I want them to have fun with it! I ask them to walk or run towards me while looking at each other, with a couple of the kids in front/leading the way.

#3: Explore/look for flowers

#4: Laughing at mom and dad

For this one I had the parents stand in the middle and kiss and I said “everyone laugh at mom and dad kissing!”

#5: Youngest on shoulders

The youngest is on dad’s shoulders, trying to rub noses with mom.

#6: Play!

#7 Hold hands

#8 Make a quiet face

#9: Get all the details

#10 Don’t forget mom & dad

There are so many games and prompts you can use, hopefully this was helpful! If you use one of these in your next session it would be so fun to see the results – tag me in your Instagram story @sarahdrewryphoto

Hope everyone has a great summer!!




Hello, I’m Sarah! Nothing would make me happier than documenting your authentic, real moments in beautiful evening light in the Virginia mountains.