Planning an extended family session doesn’t have to be a challenge and it makes a great gift for the holiday or a great session for your Savannah or Tybee vacation photoshoot! Think about how often you have your WHOLE family together and how special capturing the memories are could be! I know when my family pulls out old albums it’s the large group photos from our beach trips, family reunions, or holiday gatherings that get the most attention!
I totally understand the thought of coordinating a session as one family with multiple family units may seem daunting but I’m here to share a few tips with you on how you can make it go smoothly!!
One point of contact
The BEST BEST BEST way to make sure the planning and coordination goes well is to have one point of contact for the photographer you are hiring. If you have multiple people communicating with the photographer there may be chances for information to be missed or for the opinions of all the contact persons to conflict and cause confusion.
If you’re reading this you’re probably the point person for your family and you can easily gather information, discuss the options with your family, and reach out to a photographer when you have decided who you would like to book. After booking you can pass the information from the photographer along and make sure everyone has the same details instead of hoping everyone got the same details.
Choose a location with your group in mind
Things like physical space, crowd control, parking, and even travel distance from where you are staying are all things to consider when choosing a location for a large family. Depending on the size of your group some locations aren’t suitable.
If you are going somewhere with limited parking and your family won’t fit in to one or two vehicles you won’t be happy when you arrive and realize there’s a lot of walking to do for some family members once they find parking elsewhere. If you are staying on Tybee and have small children you might not want to drive the 20-30 minutes to downtown Savannah and might want to stick with the beach. If you have a family with limited mobility knowing there are places for him/her to sit down while the session is happening may be important.
This is something a photographer can help you with if you are traveling to the area you plan to have your photos taken in!
Coordinate…don’t match is my go to advice when it comes to any family session but especially an extended family session. You are investing time and money into this occasion so making a plan and having everyone coordinate will help you love your photos and coordinating over matching will help the photos remain in style for longer.
Now I’m not saying no one can match. The family below found the two matching dresses for the little girls then coordinated the rest of their outfits around the color scheme in the dresses, which I think is perfect!!
For more on choosing outfits for an extended family session in Savannah check out my Tips for choosing outfits blog.
Bonus! Send a list of family members to photographer in advance
This is a great way to ensure you don’t miss that one special photo grouping someone may have asked for especially if you have a larger number of small children in tow. Things move fast during the session and every photographer does their best to make sure to get that great full family photo, the individual family unit photos, grandparents with grandkids, and everything in between but providing a list in advance makes it so much easier!
I love being able to use everyone’s names and call them up to get in the photo instead of calling “ok, all dads come over here”. This list is also useful if you have someone young or old (especially old) who doesn’t want to be there. Letting your photographer know in advance with a list makes it easier for them to get groupings with the party or parties who would rather not get in front of the camera out of the way early and I’ve personally found it makes them happier for the rest of the session while everyone else takes their turn.
Want more information about extended family sessions in Savannah?
You can click the link below for information on family sessions in Savannah and on Tybee Island. These sessions make great gifts!