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Capturing Family Joy: Top Tips for Successful Family Photos in the Bay Area

Capturing Family Joy: Top Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions by Jen Vazquez Photography

Top Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions

Welcome, to our guide on making family mini-sessions a blast! What is a better way to spread joy than through capturing and sharing family photos for the holidays? 

In this post, we’ll share tips that not only capture beautiful moments of your family’s growth and changes. Let’s dive in!


When you choose a photographer that is joyful and positive, you (and your family) will have fun while taking photos and the photo session will be another memory for your family. When you’re having fun, there will be way more photos that you love.


I love to give families actions to take instead of freezing a pose and saying cheese. I love to capture candid moments of tickling, chasing, or making funny faces. These shots not only showcase genuine connections but also add a dash of humor to the mix and allow me to photograph the laughter that ensues after.

If your child(ren) is shy, you can always take photos with them in your arms until they warm up!

Capturing Family Joy: Top Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions by Jen Vazquez Photography

Wardrobe Coordination

Try to coordinate outfits without being too matchy-matchy. A color scheme or theme can tie everyone together visually. Bright, cheerful colors work wonderfully and don’t forget to consider the location’s backdrop.

I always advise moms to pick an outfit they feel beautiful in and choose the colors in that outfit to pick the rest of the family and kids.


Mini sessions are, by nature, shorter than full sessions. Clients should plan around the best time for their family (see the next tip).  


Plan to arrive early so you don’t miss the start time for mini sessions and allow for parking or traffic.

Capturing Family Joy: Top Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions by Jen Vazquez Photography

Happy Tummies and Rested Kids 

To ensure children have the best chance of enjoying the photo session, parents are encouraged to feed them beforehand. A full tummy equals a happy, cooperative kiddo. Additionally, picking a time right after a nap can make a world of difference. Rested children are more likely to be cheerful and engaged.


Have parents bring along non-messy snacks just in case little ones need a quick energy boost. It’s a lifesaver if they get hungry during the session.

Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Kids can be unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to have baby wipes on hand. They come in handy for wiping runny noses, cleaning up dirt on faces, or handling any unexpected messes during the shoot or the drive over.


It’s a great idea to include all essentials like wipes, tissues, a spare change of clothes, and non-messy snacks in your diaper bag or purse for the session.

Capturing Family Joy: Top Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions by Jen Vazquez Photography

Professional Hair and Makeup

If your budget permits, consider professional hair and makeup.  When you look and feel beautiful, your confidents shines through and it’s such a nice way to include self-care. The key here is to keep it natural, enhancing their features without overpowering them. 

I have amazing hair and makeup artists that I can share with you!

Have Fun

Know that kids will be kids.  They can be unpredictable and a good photographer will work with them in a way that brings out their playful side to ensure we get photos for mom and dad.  

So, relax and have fun.  Kids will feel your stress so be prepared but know we will get the shot! 


Family mini-sessions are all about capturing moments of joy, love, and togetherness. Mini sessions allow families to take photos every year to document that growth.

My clients find taking photos every year also includes a family tradition and will create memories all on their own.


Looking to schedule Fall or Holiday Photos? I have one indoor session and several outdoor sessions scheduled through November. You can also book a specific time and date for a full family session!
Jen Vazquez Photography Brand Photographer for the Bay Area in California

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