One of the best ways to help me prepare for your family photo session is putting a little thought into your pre-session questionnaire. It helps me so much with getting to know you better ahead of time and pre-plan a few ways to get genuine expressions out of your little ones if you’ve got ‘em. Gonna be honest, though – a lot of times, people will skip the question about what meaningful props or activities they plan to incorporate into their session.

I totally get it. In full transparency, no matter how much I try to prepare far in advance of my own family photos, I often find myself scrambling at the last minute to get everything in order - and the last thing on my mind is what specific-to-my-family heirlooms, wardrobe items, or activities could be included in our session. Last year, though, my kids had been begging for s’mores on a regular basis from the moment summer started. So after we built a backyard hilltop fire pit in early August, I realized it would be the perfect place to add a little variety into our family photos - and our photographer was more than on board with documenting. I absolutely love these photos and they are for sure among my favorites from the session. This came as no surprise, because my favorites from my clients’ sessions are consistently the ones that feature meaningful heirlooms or activities as well. 

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If you’re not sure with where to start with this when it comes to YOUR family photo ideas, take a look at these stories to jumpstart your brainstorming session: 

1. meaningful blankets:

Back when Mom was still single, this little lady's mama had asked her grandma for an afghan like the ones her cousins had received as gifts when they were expecting. One summer day, Grandma surprised this mama with a gorgeous handmade afghan for her future, unborn child. Sadly, Baby's great grandma passed shortly before Mom and Dad got engaged. Mom was so grateful to have this heirloom to give to her baby girl.

This little one's mama is a self-declared expert in starting knitting projects and never finishing them. Thankfully she finished this blanket back when Baby was still a hope for the future, and it made the perfect backdrop for these sweet little photos.


This bassinet had been passed down in the family for four generations, and was the perfect prop for Baby who was born while the family was in-between houses for a few months and staying with Grandma and Grandpa.


I’ve been lucky enough to photograph all 3 of these boys with Grandpa’s train set! Heirloom toys can be such a fun and meaningful way to create timeless images centered around your family’s story.

4. intentional accessories

This sweet little “mama” necklace was the perfect accessory for a motherhood mini session.


This family (like mine) loves listening to music together, and wanted to incorporate some vinyl-listening-party-vibes into their little one’s milestone session. Incorporating your favorite family activities is the perfect way to inject personality into your photos (especially for in-home sessions!)

Adorable, right? But how do you translate all of this into what it could mean for you?

If you’re finding you’re still stuck for your own family photo ideas, here’s a quick little guide on infusing your family photo session with meaningful props:

Family Photo Idea 1: Honoring Heirlooms

Consider incorporating a family heirloom like a quilt, a piece of jewelry, or a toy that’s been handed down from generations past. These items are conversation starters that can weave your family’s history into the fabric of your photos.

FAMILY PHOTO IDEA 2: Activities over accessories

Shift the focus from tangible items to meaningful activities that reflect your family dynamics. Does your family love to paint? Does somebody play an instrument? Do you love camping together? Think about what hobbies, games, and traditions are central to your family. These kinds of activities will guide your session in a way that captures your family’s unique vibe.

Family Photo Idea 3: Location Love

Choose a location that resonates with your family story: a park where you love to have picnics, the beach where your little one took their first steps, or the bakery where you love to get your donut fix. Selecting a location with personal significance allows you to opt for a backdrop that adds depth and meaning to your photos.

If you’re feeling inspired and want to explore how we can infuse your family’s unique story into a session that’s as exceptional as you are, click here to book a call with me. Let’s transform your beautiful chaos into timeless treasures.



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