What are extended family photos?

Families get together for holidays or celebrating milestones, such as pregnancies, graduations, engagements, etc. Adding in photos during these times is a great way to document the family in-between these moments. The best part: Years from now, you’ll be so grateful that you made it a point to get everyone together. But, what are extended family photos? 

What is an Extended Family Session

An extended family photo session allows me to capture multiple generations at once. It allows me to photograph special bonds such as adult siblings, their spouses + children, parents, grandparents, and other groupings. These sessions are unique but can go as smoothly as a typical family portrait session. The only difference is the planning and preparation needed for extended family photos. 

Extended family photos in Raleigh, NC

What to Expect 

Extended family photos are different than a typical family portrait session. With more people, helping everyone feel prepared requires a bit more. As such, your session includes 90 minutes of shooting time to allow enough time, no matter the size of your family. 

We’ll start the session with a large group portrait, since this is typically a priority for everyone. Next, we’ll break off into individual families. Then, I’ll photograph special groupings such as, grandchildren, adult siblings, and any other combination requests. During the session, I also like to get individual photos of everyone in the family. 

Extended family photos in Raleigh, NC

What to Wear

It’s important that the family coordinates rather than match. A lot of families are tempted to wear the same colors top-to-bottom, but your photos will look best if there is a variety in what everyone is wearing. Here are some things to keep in mind when coordinating outfits:

  • Decide on 2-3 colors for your group to wear. It’s best to share a picture of the colors, so everyone can style the colors how they’d like. Decide on colors that work best for everyone. 
  • Encourage the family to mix textures (i.e., knit, leather, silk, flannel, cotton, etc.) and add accessories for a variety in wardrobe. 
  • Consider your shoes + socks. These will show in your photos, so please dress to the shoes. 
  • ​If you’re including your pets in the photos, choose a leash or collar that coordinates with the group outfits. Their collar and/or leash will show in photos. 

Extended family photos in Raleigh, NC

Other Things to Keep in Mind

It’s always nice when the family can see the photos for the first time together. What I found works best after extended family photos, is for everyone to join me over on Zoom to do the gallery reveal. This way, everyone can see the photos and choose their favorites on the call. A gallery reveal via Zoom is also great for anyone who wants to purchase prints from the session. 

Extended family photos in Raleigh, NC

Extended Family Photos are Rare but Unique

The relationship you have with your extended family is just as significant as the relationship with your immediate. All family sessions come with little hiccups, but the end result is a beautiful photographs of the people and moments that matter. Years from now, your efforts to get the large group together will be worth it. 


Extended family photos in Raleigh, NC

October 24, 2023

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