Tips + Techniques

Four Tips for a Father’s Day Photoshoot Dad Will Look Forward To

June 18, 2024

By Kim Hildebrand

Father’s Day can be a day of beautiful appreciation, and although it doesn’t get as much excitement as Mother’s Day, it’s absolutely worth celebrating. In this article, I’ll share how to plan a Father’s Day photoshoot, so you can make the most of this occasion to celebrate dads, step-dads, and other father figures.

© Kim Hildebrand

I know that it can seem like men aren’t as into beautiful photo sessions, but a Father’s Day photoshoot surrounded by festivities is sure to catch their attention! Trust me, they’ll be just as grateful as the rest of the family to be part of capturing their family’s most beautiful moments. 

© Kim Hildebrand

When it comes to a Father’s Day photoshoot, the lifestyle photography lens is ideal. Lifestyle photography, as I’ve talked about before, is more relaxed and natural. There’s no stuffy posing and matching outfits that a lot of people, especially dads, tend to think of when they imagine family photography. In addition to finding the right style, location is key. I recommend in-home sessions or outdoor sessions. Both allow a family to feel at ease and interact organically, the bread and butter of lifestyle imagery!

© Kim Hildebrand

Indoor vs. Outdoor Sessions

I think opting for at-home indoor sessions or a beautiful landscape for an outdoor session are the best choices for Father’s Day. At home, dads get to feel comfortable in their space. They are able to do the things they would ordinarily — run around with the kids, read books, or whatever it may be — without any added pressure. Outdoor spaces are a wonderful option as well. In Idaho where I’m based, we are so lucky to have incredible greenery and mountains, and they make for stunning backdrops. Plus, in those wide open spaces, dads are encouraged to play and almost forget the camera is there. Every place has beautiful spaces where families can relax and play. Scout out your area for such locations, or find out where your families already love to go.

© Kim Hildebrand

Lifestyle photography is all about being playful, and being yourselves. This is wonderful for goofy dads who want to let loose and be silly with their children. After all, the point of capturing these moments for families is to offer up a beautiful reflection of what their love looks like on the outside and feels like on the inside. Fatherhood is so important to document — to show how loving and special it truly is. If you offer Father’s Day photoshoots, your clients will definitely look back at these photos and smile, being brought right back into that moment of laughter and joy. 

© Kim Hildebrand

Tips to Make a Father’s Day Photoshoot Fun for Dad

  1. Address expectations. There is always a bit of chaos during a family session because kids have different temperaments, personalities, and ages, and photos aren’t a normal occurrence. Let parents know that you can work around any crying or misbehavior.  Do you know how many photos I have where mom or dad is in a photo with a crying child but you can’t tell from the photo?
  2. Tell Dads they will get lots of breaks. They won’t have to be in front of the camera all the time. They are free to check their emails, have a snack, or take a break to do whatever they’d like.
  3. Let them know it is the photographer’s job to manage the kids. Warm up to the kids right away, and also loosen up Dad. Establish a laid-back and chill vibe in sessions, so they know this experience will be different from any bad photoshoots they’ve had in the past.
  4. Many times, a dad’s dread of the session is based on a previously bad photo experience. Work with families and kids to break the ice, have fun, and calm them down. If parents feel stressed out, it’ll show in the photos. Dads and partners should be relaxed and having fun in the session, and if they are, it will show in the images.

Dads don’t want to spend time doing a photoshoot they think will be fake, corny, and stressful. Addressing the points above will ensure that photoshoots don’t become a chore for dads, taking away from activities they’d rather be doing with their families. When photoshoots are a fun family activity, even dads will look forward to them.

Editor’s Note: Versions of this article first appeared on Kim Hildebrand’s blog: here and here.

For over 15 years, Kim Hildebrand has been a lifestyle photographer offering family, maternity, newborn, pet, and senior photography in Coer d’Alene, Idaho. She loves capturing the little moments that fill life with joy. Follow her on Instagram.

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