Best Spots for Family Photos + Tips for a Stress-Free Family Photo Session

Not to totally freak you out, but if you’re thinking about sending holiday cards this year, now is the time to start planning. To eliminate the stress that usually accompanies planning family photos, we’re bringing you tips AND location ideas to help make your family photo shoot a fun experience.

  1. Choose a photographer whose style you love.  

    There is no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a professional photographer in Collin County or the Dallas area. Every photographer offers something different. Are you wanting a posed family portrait or do you want to show your family interacting together (usually referred to as “lifestyle” photography)? Do you have little kids and want to be sure the photographer has experience with toddlers? Do you like bright and colorful images, or something more dark and moody? Be sure to check out the photographer on their social media, and look at samples from their website to confirm you like their style before booking. One of my favorite photographers is Erica Grandin Photography and right now, she is offering Fall mini-sessions at the Lumen Room studio in Plano. You can book your mini session here.

  2. Coordinate outfits for your family photo

    family photo tipsAs easy as it is to dress everyone in the same shirt, your photos will be much more timeless if you coordinate instead of match exactly. Choose a color palette that goes well together and mix one or two dominant colors with different shades for each family member. Pinterest has tons of ideas and color schemes that pair well together. Also going back to #1, think about the theme you are going for—rustic, casual, formal, etc., and plan your colors and outfits around that.

  3. Timing matters for outdoor photos.

    Make sure kids are fed or at least have had a snack before the photos to eliminate some of the crankiness. Pro Tip: Give your significant other a beer or their fave beverage to ensure they’re a bit more relaxed and not hating every moment. If you’re doing an outdoor family photo shoot, lighting is the most important factor in getting good photos. You should only plan for 1-2 hours after sunrise or before sunset to ensure you will have the best light for your photos and avoid harsh shadows on your face. 

  4. Relax.

    Kids feed off your emotions and if you are stressed out and rushing, your kids are going to be in a bad mood and will hate the experience. Give yourself extra time to get ready and drive to the location. Just try to enjoy the family time together. And if all else fails, bribe your children with ice cream after the shoot, like I did.

family photo shoot tips

Best Spots for Family Photos in Collin County

Fall in Texas is HOT. An indoor option means air conditioning, no bugs, and you don’t have to schedule around sunrise or sunset for the perfect lighting! Some great indoor studios for family photos include:

If you’re willing to take your chances and prefer an outdoor shoot, consider the following great spots for family photos:

  • Downtown McKinney Square, McKinney

  • Frisco Rail District, Frisco
    Use one of the many street murals as the backdrop for your photos.

  • Limestone Quarry Park, Frisco
    Follow the Tayachas Trail along the creek to find lots of nature spots.

  • Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, Plano
    One of the most popular spots in all of Collin County. It’s best to visit Arbor Hills on a weekday, as weekends can get super crowded!

  • Adriatica Village, McKinney
    The stone walls and pretty canal inside this European-style village give you a unique backdrop for your family photos.

  • Frisco Commons Park, Frisco

  • Allen Old Stone Dam and Railroad, Allen

Outdoor Locations in Dallas for a Family Photo Shoot

  • Dallas Arboretum

  • Klyde Warren Park, Downtown Dallas

  • White Rock Lake, Lakewood

  • Prairie Creek Park, Richardson

Shanelle Fisher
Shanelle grew up in South Florida and is a proud Gator! In 2009, she relocated to Dallas with her college sweetheart and now husband. She resides in Collin County with her husband, elementary school age kids (son and daughter), and a yellow Lab. Shanelle is an attorney, and practices social security disability law. She enjoys cooking, trying new restaurants, and hosting brunches with her brunch club.