Tips to prepare for your Hawaii photo session ~ Big Island Family Photographer

family having fun during their photo session at Hawaii beach

Your accommodations and flights are booked, dinner plans reserved, tours, and adventures planned. Finally, you are ready to tackle the next thing on your to-do list. Planning for your Hawaii family photo session. Below are some of my top suggestions to better prepare you for your family session in Hawaii.

Tips to prepare for your Hawaii photo session

1. Putting together well-coordinated outfits

A well-put-together wardrobe dramatically enhances the aesthetics of an image. I encourage every family to spend time putting together a set of outfits using the suggestions below. I highly recommend using a mix of 2-3 complementary colors instead of sticking to one, the same solid color. Combine those with one or two neutral colors (for example greys and browns). Stay away from outfits with big bold logos as those can be distracting in the final images. More importantly, find something comfortable and flattering for your body type. Wear whatever makes you cute and comfortable 🙂 

Some of my favorite places to shop for outfits include: Free People, Nordstrom, GAP, Joyfolie, and Shop James. My clients get a details styling guide and styling tool!

ask your photographer tips to prepare for family session outfits
color-coordinated outfit tips to prepare for your family session

2. Do you need professional hair and make-up?

Yes and no. I highly recommend hair and make-up prep for Mom whether you go the DIY route or with a professional. While you want to look yourself during your session, you want to look your absolute best! Worried about the wind? Don’t worry– I LOVE wind. Windblown hair and dresses add so much movement to a photograph.

mom with kids on their nude palette outfits

3. Avoid hangry kids 😉

Make sure the little ones are fed before the shoot. A hangry kid is no fun. Bring snacks just in case you must absolutely need to take a snack break. Babies who feed on demand–we absolutely take a break for this!

4. Arrive on time

If your session is at sunset, your shooting timeframe is extremely limited by the setting of the sun. So when sessions run late you likely will not have enough time for a full session. Make sure to have directions to the location ready. If you have never been to the location before and are unfamiliar with the area make sure to factor in a few minutes of extra time in case you get lost. Also, consider time for potty breaks prior to starting the session.

5. Avoid sunburn

Please be careful with the sun! Hawaii can sometimes have cooler days where the sun may not feel particularly HOT. But it can be pretty intense on clear, sunny days. Apply sunscreen liberally and don’t forget to re-apply when necessary! And please use reef-safe sunscreen.

6. Don’t forget the extras

Be ready to go barefoot or wear water-friendly shoes. Bring towels and a change of clothes should you decide to go all in! Don’t forget the necessary toys, snacks, pacis etc. Anything that you think your kid might need or help calm him/her down if necessary.

7. Relax and have fun

My sessions are fun and I go about it based on your interaction with the kids, how easily they connect with me and what makes them happy in the moment. I prefer to let the kids “loose” to a certain extent. What I also ask of you is to engage with them and the rest of your family. Love on them just the way you do at home when there are no cameras around. Those are the moments I truly want to capture! The gorgeous sunset is a bonus!

daughters twinning outfits at Big Island beach

Lastly, enjoy your time in Hawaii! In a few weeks, when you are all back home you will get your images and be reminded of that glorious time in Hawaii.

family dipping their toes at Big Island beach during sunset

I hope these tips to prepare for your Hawaii photo session were helpful! To see more family sessions on the blog, head on over the posts below:

Hawaii Waikoloa Family Session

Kukio Beach – Kona Family Session







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