Planning for Extended Family Portraits | Nashville Family Photographer Dolly DeLong Photography

Planning for Extended Family Portraits | Nashville Family Photographer Dolly DeLong Photography

I love, love, love photographing extending family sessions. There’s something SO special about being able to photograph multiple generations in one portrait session. Extended family sessions are generally for bigger groups and can feel a bit overwhelming if you aren’t totally prepared. Today, I wanted to share a few tips to ensure your extended family portraits are stress-free and enjoyable for everyone! 

Nashville extended family portraits with four dogs 

#1: Send me your groupings ahead of time.

When you start to think about your “must-have” combinations and portraits, make a list. Once that list is done, send it to me so that I can be sure we don’t miss anyone! Take the time to break down the combinations you want. I usually recommend that your list tells me everyone’s actual names and if there’s a family title that’s helpful (like Grandma) so I know who I’m talking to. It might look like this:

Grandma (Jill) + Grandpa (Bill) + Grandkids (Mary, Beth, Adam, John)

Donna + Chris + Mary + Beth

Grandma + Mary 

Grandma + Beth

siblings hug with dog at feet during Nashville family photos mom poses with two daughters and granddaughter 

#2: Coordinate your outfits. 

When it comes to choosing outfits for larger families, I highly recommend coordinating with one another ahead of time. Talk about a color palette or a few colors you should all wear. Coordinating outfits look way better in portraits than wearing the exact same thing (goodbye white polo and khakis from the photos in the 90s!). Try to wear something that wears special but comfortable! 

couple swings kid during TN family photos

#3: Choose a location with your group in mind.

When it comes to choosing a location for larger groups, there are a few more things to consider. Locations should be easy to access, limit walking, and safe for children of all ages. While I can get away with shooting smaller families in a downtown or more urban setting, I recommend something with more space for bigger families. This gives us more room to work! We can absolutely use a family home for your portraits. Try to pick one with a larger yard and open shade for the best results. Parks and outdoor settings are going to be a good bet too! 

dad pets dog on front porch of cabin in Nashville TN man poses with two Shepard dogs during Nashville extended family portraits

#4: The person booking will be my point of contact.

When you plan your session, have one person be your point of contact with me. They’ll be the one who I communicate with, send the contract to, and deliver your gallery to, too! Your entire family can definitely access the gallery and final images once they’re delivered. Remember, it will be about 3-4 weeks after your session.  

Extended family sessions are so special. I absolutely love working with your family to document those special visits when everyone’s together. I hope these tips help you feel more confident about your extended family portraits!

Read more tips about family photos here:

Which Season for Your Family Photos

What to Wear for Family Photos

Ready for more tips to plan your family portraits? Grab my Family Portrait Session Style Guide below! 

Family Portrait Session Style Guide from Dolly DeLong

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Meet Your Friendly Nashville Family Photographer & Systems + Workflow Educator

a dad mom and toddler son are all smiling at eachother at a lavender farm by Erin Fox photography in Nashville

Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & branding photographer and a creative business owner who educates other family photographers on how to best streamline their family photography business by using powerful automation tools in order to find the JOY in workflows and systems.  Dolly loves serving families, and business owners with her timeless, radiant photography.  And, she also loves educating other creative business owners on how to set up systems and workflows that will ultimately help them save time in their business-she does this by producing weekly blog posts and weekly podcast episodes on The Systems & Workflow Magic Podcast. 

She has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Dubsado, Email Marketing, and Business Systems with new creative business owners & family photographers in an encouraging and supportive way because she believes that anyone can find joy in automation! Plus BONUS: Systems is where the MAGIC happens!

Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.

Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), loves eating way too many sweets, and listens to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography LLC, fill out her contact form here.

Interested in learning how to best automate a part of your business but you have no clue where to begin? Check out to begin your automation journey today!

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