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4 Steps to Planning Family Photos with Grandparents in 2023

February 2, 2023

Filed in: Tips

After seemingly endless months of quarantines and distancing during the pandemic, one type of portrait session has seen a huge increase in 2022 and 2023: family photos with grandparents. Everyone’s learned just how precious our time together is with extended family. A photo session that includes these favorite people is the perfect idea for a way to tangibly collect those memories. If you’re considering a family portrait session that includes one or all of your child’s grandparents, I have 4 steps to planning family photos with grandparents that you’re going to want to read!

Extended family photos with grandparents in Portland, Oregon



Choose an accessible location

When it comes to family photos with grandparents, planning is key. An accessible location can make or break the experience. Whether that means convenient for them or a flat location with parking just steps from where we’ll be shooting, consider grandparent’s needs as we select our location. Let me know during our consultation what your family’s needs are, and I’ll suggest the best fits to choose from. If the grandparents have mobility issues, for instance, we’ll choose a location with a parking lot just a few (flat, paved) steps from the car. If the grandparents can’t do long walks uphill, we’ll make sure to choose a flat location. And if they’re game for adventure but just want a location in their neck of the woods, we can do that too! My pre-session consultations are designed to figure out what your needs are, and then let me design the session around that.


Include them in wardrobe planning

When you’re planning family photos with grandparents, you probably have an end result in mind for your artwork. A framed photo over the mantle? An heirloom album? Making sure that the end result photos have a cohesive look that will make a great framed photo over the mantle or as a collection in an album all starts with including every person involved in the photos in the wardrobe planning. Not only do we want to make sure that grandma’s on board with the color palette, we want to make sure she feels confident and beautiful in what she’s wearing! That may mean letting her choose her outfit first within your color palette and then building everyone else’s outfits around her choice so you all complement each other. Or, that may mean doing the heavy lifting for her by using my online family photo wardrobe stylist and bringing some choices to her. Whichever way you choose, making sure grandparents have cohesive outfits that they’re happy with will mean a great family photo session.


Family Photos with Grandparents Don’t Have to Take the Full Session Time

For some grandparents, an hour-long photo session might be too much. Or, you mostly want a regular family photo session with your partner and children with just a few photos that include grandparents. If that’s the case, plan your family photos with grandparents to happen just at the beginning of your session. We can start with ten or fifteen minutes of photos that include the grandparents, then they’re off the hook! They might choose to snag a table at a nearby brunch spot to wait for you, or just head home and rest. I’ve found this system works really well if your children might be otherwise distracted by grandparents during photos with just you: those cuddly mother-child photos work best when there are the fewest amount of people around and mom and kid can completely focus on each other. As a bonus, grandparents don’t have to stand around at the park while we finish up our session.


grandparents and grandchildren photo shoot


Plan to Print Family Photos for Grandparents as a Gift


After your photo session, consider how the grandparents would like to enjoy their photos. Do they have a wall they love to display framed photos on? Or do they love to page through photo albums? Whichever they prefer, remember them during your ordering session and consider gifting some type of memento from their session to them. If you order an heirloom album, you can add on a mini album–a scaled-down replica of your album that, at 6×6 is perfect for grandparent gifts.


Will You Include Family Photos With Grandparents in Your Next Family Photo Session?

dgs Ready to include grandparents in your next family photo session? Choose a month you’d like to do your session in (maybe in September for National Grandparents Day?) and get in touch with me via my contact page. If you’re not quite ready yet, head over to my Guide for Planning Family Photos, or my Top Outdoor Photoshoot Locations Near Portland roundup!


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