Tips for family photos with grandparents.

Some of my most treasured childhood memories were flying to China every summer to visit my dear grandparents. Sitting on the couch and listening to the adversity they overcame; watching my grandparents (who were retired teachers) tutor children weekly because they missed the noise of the classrooms; giving them massages because everything ached; and genuinely loving their company because they were my grandparents. The fragility and preciousness of life is all the more apparent when you have grandparents in the mix. When I get the honor of taking your family photos with grandparents...seeing the gentle, kind and fun interactions between grandparents, their adult children and their sweet grandchildren makes me so happy. Here are my tips for a smooth family photo session with grandparents.

Extended family portrait in Discovery Park at sunset.

Find a location that's easily accessible.

Locations that don't require a lot of walking (15 minutes or less), with a gentle incline, and have something to sit on (either benches or rocks) are things that I keep in mind. I don't want grandparents to be hiking long distances or be so tired that they can't participate in a session. Depending on grandparents' mobility needs, we can stay in a fixed location the entire time, or choose several spots close to each other to get a bit of variety in your gallery. If there's a particular location you absolutely love and there's nothing to sit on, I can bring a chair.

Grandparents hold their grandchildren for a portrait at Discovery Park in Seattle at sunset.
Candid photo of grandparents with grandchildren at the Discovery Park bluff in Seattle.

Decide on a color palette for everyone.

Choose clothes that grandparents will feel comfortable in and build everyone elses outfits off of that! Pick 2-3 colors and decide, do you want a pastel, jewel or bold color palette? I have an in depth blog post on extended family styling HERE. If styling gives you a headache, don't stress! I offer complimentary personal styling services for all my families that you can read about HERE.

Extended family walk together in Bellevue Botanical Garden.
Grandparents hold hands and smile at Bellevue Botanical Garden.
Three generations of women smile together at Bellevue Botanical Garden.
Portrait of an extended family session at sunset in Bellevue.

Come with a playful attitude.

More people = more logistics and more opinions which can sometimes mean more stress. Designate ONE person to be the leader in coordinating your family photos with grandparents and listen to them. Plan to arrive 10 minutes early, because things always happen (bathroom needs, lost keys, extra time for mobility). Come with an attitude ready to play, whisper words of affirmation to your grandchildren and laugh at silly jokes. My goal is to keep things relaxed because that's when the genuine smiles come out. If grandparents have the ability to crouch down, we will. If they feel more comfortable sitting or standing, we will. We can build our session around their mobility needs, but please, come in with a joy filled heart.

Grandmother hugs her granddaughter in a field of sweet peas in Seattle.
Grandma plays with her granddaughter at sunset in Discovery Park.
Extended family portrait at Discovery park at sunset.
Father throws daughter into the air at Discovery Park at sunset.

Let me know if you want to highlight a certain relationship.

All my families, including extended family photo sessions will fill out a questionnaire. This lets me know exactly what you're looking for, especially if there's a specific relationship you want highlighted. I will take photos including: entire extended family, grandparents with adult children, grandparents with grandchildren and grandparents.

What does an extended family photo session include?

  • My sessions are for family's of up to 6 people. Each additional person is $30. See my portfolio, process and pricing HERE.
  • Clients will receive a location guide. I can highlight the easily accessible locations as I have location scouted every single spot for the best light and details.
  • Clients will receive a style guide and styling assist from an amazing personal stylist.
  • I will be readily available by email to answer any questions you have.

I can't wait to make memories that will last for generations to come. Let's work together!

Grandmother hugs daughter in a field of wildflowers in Woodinville.
Three generation of women play together in a field of lavender at JB Family Growers in Woodinville.
Extended family walking together in a flower field in Woodinville.
Extended family portrait in a sunflower field in Woodinville.