Get the Camera-Ready Cheatsheet

What to Bring to a Family Photoshoot

What to Bring to a Family Photoshoot

After you’ve chosen your families outfits for your photoshoot, its time to pack a bag with the little extras you will need the day of the photoshoot.

After packing this bag for my family time after time and with kids of all different ages…I’ve got it down to a science. Not too little, and not too much, here’s what’s in my bag!

A travel steamer

Wrinkles show up in pictures, and packing up your outfits for your photoshoot is bound to create some. Always steam or iron all of your outfits at home first to get them as smooth as possible. I prefer steaming to ironing because it tends to give your clothing some volume. But, if an iron is all you have then that will work as well. Pay special attention to the bottom of your dress and any sleeves. Those areas of your clothing are often photographed and you want them to be wrinkle free and fall well.

If you can get dressed at the location of your photoshoot or you are doing a photoshoot while on vacation, then pack your outfits all together in a garment bag with the matching shoes for each person tucked into the bottom of the bag. Then, when you arrive you can do a last minute check for wrinkles and use your travel steamer to fix any lines or crinkles in your outfits before you put them on.

If you are driving straight to your photo shoot while wearing your outfits, a travel steamer will not be an option for you. You will likely have some wrinkles on your clothing where you sat or where your seatbelt was. Those unfortunately cannot be avoided. But, if you steamed your items beforehand they will still photograph well. If you know that you will have to wear your outfits directly to the photoshoot location you may want to consider wearing fabrics that won’t show the wrinkles as much. Gauze and smocked fabrics hide wrinkles very well. And if you’ve got kids with you, try to hang up their outfits in the car on the way and get them dressed on location. This way, any snacks they have on the way don’t end up on their perfect outfits! And, they won’t have any wrinkles either.

Garment Tape

I always pack some garment tape in my photoshoot bag just in case. The dress you are wearing to your photoshoot is likely new, and not been worn before. Once you start moving around and posing you may notice that it pulls in certain area and maybe shows to much in others. Garment tape to the rescue! You can keep the top of your dress in place by putting some tape on your bra and then sticking your dress to the area where you would like it to fall. I often test this before I leave the house by moving around in the mirror before I leave. But, if you forget to do that, your garment tape in your bag will be your best friend, so always back some!

Hair Accessories & Products

If you are planning on using any bows, headbands, flowers or other hair accessories make sure to bring them with you along with some bobby pins.

For boys you may need some hair gel, so make sure you bring that to the photoshoot with you.

It’s also a good idea to pack some hair spray, volume spray, combs and hair brushes. Anything you need to make sure everyone’s hair looks great and you are able to do a quick refresh when needed.

The crocket blanket I brought to our Summer 2022 Family Photoshoot in the Georgia Mountains.


Your photographer usually has a blanket or two available for shots where you will be sitting on the ground. But, sometimes what they have doesn’t coordinate well with your outfits. I make sure that I have a neutral blanket or two available that I have bought and planned for my outfits beforehand.

It’s always great to have a soft neutral muslin blankets for babies at photoshoots, just in case they get cold or for added layering when holding them in your arms. It’s also great as an option to lay them down on for shots taken from above.

Here’s some great blankets for a family photoshoot! (affiliate links)

brown powder on white ceramic plate
Photo by cottonbro on


Make sure to pack some powder and lipstick or gloss for touch ups. If you are wearing false lashes, make sure to bring some extra glue with you just in case!

white and pink striped lollipop
Photo by SHVETS production on

Last, but not Least – Rewards for the Kids

Some of the best and most fun photographers will take care of this for you already! Our family photographer has lollipops for my kids after every photoshoot. But, if the photographer you book with never mentions any treats (they usually ask in their booking questionnaires if treats are okay) then come prepared!

I always have a special little treat in my bag for each of my kids for after a photoshoot. They have food allergies so they often cannot have just any old snack or treat anyone offers them. It’s become a tradition at our photoshoots and the kids get really excited about it! I think it helps them to know that there is something in it for them, although they do enjoy the entire process. Every little bit helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *