It’s never easy to plan a vacation, let alone an entire family photoshoot in a destination like Punta Cana. There are many steps to take when you’re embarking on such a project, but it doesn’t have to be daunting and scary. When you break everything down into small steps that you can easily achieve, big projects like this become much easier! This guide for a family photoshoot should help you out!

Hopefully, you’ll come out as a photoshoot expert when you’re done reading this. So pay attention because this will be lengthy! You may want to bookmark this page and come back to it whenever you have a moment to keep going. Otherwise, we’re going to get started! Here’s the ultimate guide for a family photoshoot in Punta Cana.

Guide for a Family Photoshoot: Before you arrive…

Of course, we must start at the very, very beginning! You need to know everything before you make the trip to Punta Cana so I’ll lay out all of the fundamental information you need before coming for the photoshoot. This information can make or break your plans so I wouldn’t recommend skimming through it.

The best time to visit Punta Cana

If you’re planning a photoshoot you’d naturally want to have the best possible pictures at the beach, which means you’ll want to avoid any weather inconveniences that might pop up during your travels. Clear skies usually mean you should plan on coming between December through April. It’s less likely to rain. The weather is milder too, so it won’t be too hot and you won’t get too sweaty during your photoshoot! Besides, if it ever does rain, it’ll fizzle over pretty fast. This is the best possible time to come! Now, let’s keep working through our guide for a family photoshoot and discuss where you should stay for your trip.

Family-friendly resorts and hotels

Of course, you need to sleep somewhere! If you’re planning to have your entire vacation in Punta Cana, why don’t you choose one of the many wonderful resorts we have to offer? Personally, I’d recommend one of the following for just about any occasion:

And for those who are working on a tighter budget, some other options exist too! There’s no shame in saving money.

No matter which one you choose, know that you’re going to be tended to by the friendliest people you’ll ever meet and get access to some of the most beautiful views in the world. All of them have excellent locations that allow you to explore Punta Cana, giving you plenty of options for both vacations and photoshoot locations!

What to pack

Well, you’re coming to a tropical island so you need to prepare for the weather. Apart from your standard set of clothes, here’s a small list of essentials you absolutely must carry with you when you’re coming to Punta Cana:

  • Sunscreen: You can’t come without it! Chances are you’re not used to the amount of sun you’ll be exposed to during your stay. Apply generous amounts of sunscreen before going out. You will constantly be bombarded with UV rays during your entire trip. Especially when you consider the next item on the list.
  • After-sun gel: In case your sunscreen didn’t work out, this will help you soothe your burns and aid in the healing process. In an ideal scenario, you wouldn’t need it, but it’s best to be prepared!
  • Weather-appropriate clothes: Yes, you will need to dress down a little. Not to say you shouldn’t look your best, but you definitely need to get rid of long sleeves and heavy fabrics. Choose lighter clothes, preferably from natural fibers. It’ll breathe much better and you won’t be as sweaty.
  • Your outfit for the photoshoot: You already know what you want to wear, don’t you? Hah, I knew it! Well, that special set of clothes needs to follow the previous rules. But in case you don’t have an idea quite yet, then you need to get ready. Some photoshoots follow a theme, while others are color-coded for special occasions. So if this is the case, don’t forget to set aside a special outfit.

Anything else is your choice, but these will be your absolute essentials. Sunglasses aren’t a bad idea, but please remember not to wear them during the photoshoot or right before (unless you want those raccoon eye suntans). Other suggestions that aren’t mandatory – but are very handy – are extra swimsuits, sunhats, and sandals.

Plan your days

Make a schedule of the activities you want to embark on while you stay in Punta Cana. And make sure to give yourself ample time before the photoshoot to get ready. Photoshoots depend not only on the location but also on the lightning. The appropriate time of day can make or break your pictures, so don’t slack off or leave this as an afterthought because you’ll end up running late. Talk to your photographer and schedule your photoshoot before coming to the island and plan around the lighting, or else you might lose precious sunlight hours. And we wouldn’t want you to waste your money or your time.

Get an idea of what you want

It should be easy by reading this guide for a family photoshoot, but you can also research some other poses to breathe new life into your photoshoot. Discuss these with your photographer before the session. Not only will this aid your creative process, but you’ll also familiarize yourself with their company.

Choose your wardrobe and any special features of your photoshoot, like a prop or a special part of the beach you want to visit. If you’re going to any particular beach with a different landscape, you could take pictures near the cliffs or palm trees. It depends on where you’re going, but just try to have a notion of what you’re after. It’ll make your session run better, and it’ll give the photographer a base to work with. Easy!

Familiarize yourself with your photographer

This is particularly important if you have young kids. Get a sense of the person you’re working with. Relaxing around your photographer will lead to much better pictures. Pictures are taken best when you can be yourself. Shine for who you are. Chances are your photographer will be happy to strike a conversation with you to ease tensions, given they work with people all the time. They’ll make you feel welcome. Smiling will be so much easier, too!

When you’re working with kids, though, it’s crucial that they meet the photographer before they start taking pictures. It may help to build some trust between them and to help avoid them feeling too confused or scared. You’re trying to capture their natural beauty and glee so don’t hinder them by presenting a complete stranger with a big, weird-looking instrument that doesn’t stop staring at you. Introduce the photographer as a friend, and they’ll gladly laugh and play around the beach with you as their friend is working.

Guide for a Family Photoshoot: Posing tips

This information is aimed toward improving your photoshoot’s quality, ensuring the best possible pictures you can take. It’ll help you decide how you want it, when you want it, and most importantly, how to handle the kids during the entire process. We don’t want any unavoidable mistakes!

Best time to take pictures

There’s not just the best season, but there’s also a “best time” to schedule your pictures! This is because the lightning will favor you the most around this hour, making you glow with the tropical colors surrounding you. Depending on who you’re working with, the time will change.

If your photoshoot consists of just adults, you’ll want to be ready between 7:30am and 9 AM. It’s when the sun shines the clearest, brightest, and most beautiful. Its harsh light will make every color look vibrant and lively, glowing between the sweet sand and the waves. It isn’t as strong as the midday sun, so it won’t expose you to too many UV rays, reducing the risk of sunburn. All around, it’s a great time for pictures.

If you’re including kids in your photoshoot, however, you might want to try doing it just before sunset. Ideally 90 minutes before it happens, when it glows golden and radiates the most. This time is best known as the golden hour, and it’ll give a special flair to your pictures, almost ethereal. It highlights the innocence of childhood the best, and its warm colors compliment your child’s smile more than any other time. Besides, the light is much less likely to cause sunburn at this time, so it’s safer to be outside!

Don’t forget to wear sunscreen no matter the time, though.

How to dress to impress

Well, it’s a photoshoot in Punta Cana, so it’s almost certain you’ll be taking your pictures at the beach. Right? No? In that case I’ll give you a rundown of how to choose your clothing for the photoshoot based on where you’ll have it because you can’t look anything but gorgeous in them!

  • If you’re going to the beach, you should stick to blue shades and cream colors. It’s possible to spice it up with a little turquoise shades here and there, but the idea is to mimic the colors of the beach and blend you in. It’ll make your pictures harmonious and tropical, but never losing serenity or dignity. For beaches that have clear, crystalline waters, you can change the blue for a greener color. The idea should be the same though!
  • If you’re going to Lava Cama beach, however, go for more earthy colors instead of cream. The beige and cream are meant to mix with the sugary sweet sands of most Punta Cana beaches, but Lava Cama has a softer and darker shade of sand that won’t look good with those. The water is a deep shade of blue, so a combination of brown and royal blue is best when going to this beach.
  • If you’re going to Altos de Chavon, colors are much more flexible. It’s a small Mediterranean town near the Punta Cana area, and it boasts some beautiful architecture built out of stone. Being a neutral color, it’s easier to get away with something like a wine red or a happy and bright green. You’ll pop up like a colorful spot, breathing life into the scenery! Just don’t go overboard with this, because it still maintains its sobriety and solemnity.

Guide for a Family Photoshoot: Ideas and Poses

Now for the exciting part! These are the loveliest ways to celebrate your family and look wonderful while doing it!

#1: Holding hands

One of the sweetest ways to show your unity as a family is to hold hands as you walk along the perimeter. It’s such a simple yet beautiful moment, intimate yet perfect for a photo!

#2: Group up

Are you having a large family photoshoot and you don’t know where to fit everyone together? Well, why don’t you try to stand by the shore and let the waves do the job for you! Sure, you’ll get a little wet, but that’s the fun part.

#3: Standing by the sunset

If you ever decide to go with the golden hour, take advantage of this magical time and use the lightning to infuse your picture with a beautiful glow! The clouds will merge with the sun, creating this impressive and exciting effect!

#4: Play around a little

Let go of formalities and embrace your inner child! You’re supposed to be having fun, so don’t be shy. This is a time to remember, so get a little wild and show the world how much you guys can enjoy yourselves.

#5: Include some props

Give your photoshoot a unique and personal touch by adding something new for your family to play around with. Something simple yet cute, like a tiny boat for kids or some beach balls will go a long way. There’s no limit to what you can add!

How to handle kids at a photoshoot

When you’re working with kids, more so the littlest ones, it’s important to keep several things in mind not just to have an easy and quiet photo shoot, but to avoid any future problems with them throughout your trip. You want them to have an awesome experience and to enjoy themselves. The good part is that these tips are really easy to do, so it should be no problem to implement them!

Make the session short

While a photoshoot can be fun and exciting for some, kids will probably be tired and annoyed near the end of a standard session. You should ideally make it as short as possible (while still leaving enough time to get plenty of photos) so you can avoid any tantrums, bad moods, or screaming matches that will disrupt the experience. Moreover, seeing the session as a short rest or playtime will greatly improve their mood and the quality of your pictures, so there’s really no downside to this!

Let them play after the session is done

Kids just want to have fun, and they’re going to be surrounded by sand and the beach! All they want to do is play, so let them! When you’re done with the pictures give them a little time to burn off the stress by playing around and getting a little messy. Who knows, this might even give you a few extra pictures because of how cute they are!

Plan something after the session

And definitely let them know about it. Give them a little treat, like some ice cream or candies, so they can look forward to the end of the session. Something small but exciting is preferable, so they are in good spirits and eager to cooperate. Definitely don’t give it to them during the session, though, because they might spill on their clothes. And we don’t want any stains showing in the photos!

Alternatively, promise them a special activity they might want to do, like going to an attraction or visiting something that caught their eye. Just keep them engaged and energized!

 Let them play at their own rhythm

Kids don’t do well when you try to control them too much. Sure, you might have seen this particular pose that you loved, but your kid might not see the point in it. As a result they’ll be sulky and uncooperative, which not only spoils a good picture, but it will also make them moody. Try to avoid strict directives when you’re trying to photograph your kids. They like to be free and explore.

Let them shine by allowing them to do something they like, such as playing in the sand or dipping in the water! If you decided to bring some props, they could also discover them on their own and you can capture their glee and happiness as they do. Doesn’t that sound much more wonderful than a kid throwing a tantrum?

Introduce family members

If your kids cousins or friends their age that could participate in the photoshoot as well, it’s more than advisable to keep them around! Not only will they be more comfortable due to their presence, they can come up with unique ways to enjoy the session or even decide to pose on their own! Besides, the more the merrier. You’ll be forging new memories as you go along, and that’s what you’re trying to capture with these pictures anyway.

Distract smaller kids with toys

Let’s face it, small kids have very short attention spans. They’re adorable, but they jump around very often and will not look at the camera no matter how hard you try! Unless, of course, you bring along some flamboyant toys they might be interested in. Doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy, just very colorful and cute! Alternatively use one of their favorite toys – either is fine.

To make this work, simply stand close to the photographer and flaunt the toy at them. It’s a very easy way to keep them transfixed long enough for at least a picture, and it might just be the one you need!

Final thoughts on the ultimate guide for a family photoshoot

Family photoshoots aren’t a science, they’re an art. There is no exact formula to success with them; you have to experiment and try out things until you find your identity, your image. These tips will help you on your first few decisions, but you’ll gain traction the farther along you go with them. By the time the photoshoot comes, you might have gone way past my guide for a family photoshoot and already developed your own style!

Just make it unique and make it yours. Those are the most important aspects. You’re making memories, having a good time, and taking away a small piece of it with you back home. There’s nothing more personal than your vacation pictures, because it’s when you can truly let loose and relax.

And remember to smile!