How to make your husband love family photos

How many times have I heard mums tell me their husband hates being in front of the camera? So many! Often your partner’s fear or dislike for the camera comes from their childhood, where adults might have forced them to smile and stay still for the camera. No wonder it must feel like torture, it must have been uncomfortable if not terrifying. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be like this forever, they can change their opinion about being in front of the camera! In this blog post, I will give you 14 tips on how to improve their experience so they turn out to even like it! Yes, you heard me right!

Father holding his young daughter tight in his arms. He is sitting on the floor in a flower field.

I. Understanding the Importance of Getting in front of the camera

If you’re here reading this you might already know that: your kids and family grow so quickly. We only have these moments once, so it’s important to document the present so they can review their childhood when they get older. I’ve found that my family prints bring me a sense of comfort, love and belonging, so you’ll want all the family members to be present.

II. 13 Tips to make family pictures enjoyable for your husband

1. Encouraging Family Members to Express Their Personalities during the session

Instead of putting pressure on your partner and negotiating in exchange for their presence during the session, give them all the information they need to feel more calm about the whole thing. Explain to them how the photography session will go and what they will have to do. During the shoot, I won’t ask him to stay still and smile at the camera. Instead, he will be able to be himself, play and explore with his children just as he does at home. I also always give space and make everyone comfortable before I get close with my camera as it can be quite intimidating. With this way of working, I get to document your family’s unique personalities, with authentic moments, not posed and uncomfortable. Get ready for a memorable time that the entire family enjoys!

2. Get him on board by Incorporating Your Husband’s Interests into Family Pictures

Does your husband have a passion for fishing, golf, and painting or does he love his car? Let’s incorporate it in the shoot. Before meeting each other, I like to chat on a video call with the person organising the event (90% of the time it’s the mother) so we get to know each other; I ask them about their story, their struggles, passions and hobbies. I love getting creative and making unique art that represents your family. By asking your husband for insight and making him involved, he will get more interested and it will be more like teamwork than if it’s just you and me organising it, and your partner and kids following.

Father and young son pretending driving the dad's car.

3. Involving Your Husband in Photo Selection

There are multiple ways to involve your husband. It can be in planning like in the point mentioned above, but also in viewing and selecting the final images. I always like to recommend making the gallery preview a fun family event. Get the whole family warm and cosy under lots of blankets and a hot chocolate (if in winter!) and view the gallery together with some music on a big screen. It will be super fun to watch everyone’s reaction.
You can altogether decide which picture is your favourite and will be printed large in the living room or which one is your youngest favourite and get it displayed on their bedside cabinet.

Trust me it’s much more fun than happy cries by yourself in front of your phone screen!

4. Displaying Family Photos in the Home

As mentioned above, displaying your images is a great way to make the experience better for your husband. Find out which one is his favourite and surprise him with a small framed picture to display on his desk in his office. This will help him remember his fam’s love during a tough day at work. 

Displaying is a great way to secretly and silently turn them into camera lovers as they will soon realise that the shoot is pretty short compared to the lifelong benefits of a cherished family heirloom.

5. Creating A Photo Album for Easy Viewing

Another way to make them enjoy their hard-paid work after the shoot (after a cosy take-away of course) is to print your favourite images into a gorgeous album. My Signature Albums are super pretty, far from boring, and will look great on your family bookshelf, next to your other half’s favourite novels. Another way to use your new treasure is to print it into a Christmas card.

Three images of a family photo album, the cover is velvet green.

6. Exploring Unique Photo Ideas That Appeal to Your Husband

Everyone can be creative, so brainstorm together some unique ideas. Let your husband’s inner child talk by asking genuine, judgment-free questions like: “Is there any theme or idea you would like to explore for our next family session?”, “Is there a location dear to you that you would love to use for our next family shoot?”. You get the idea. The conversation should be light and open, be interested and genuine, don’t laugh or shut them down or else they could hide back in their shell. I’m always open to themes as it’s a great way to tell a story and romanticise your life.

7. Helping Your Partner Feel Confident before the session

Ask them if there is anything you can help them with that will lift some of the anxiety from the shoot. Do they need to get their mind busy and look after the children so they don’t think too much about it or would they prefer to have peace and quiet before the session? Be kind and avoid any arguments before so everyone is happy and relaxed for the photoshoot. Let them win the argument and swallow your ego if needs be; a grumpy spouse will be visible in the pictures so it’s best to avoid AT ALL COST!

Another way you can help him feel confident is to genuinely compliment him on his style or physique or tell him how much you love him, before, during and after the shoot. I’m 100% sure he will appreciate it if it’s coming from the heart.

8. Celebrating Milestones and Achievements Through Photography

After all these years of having the right photographer who makes them feel confident, but also following all those tips above, your other half could become excited about celebrating his family’s milestones. What sort of milestone can be worth snapping? It depends on your family’s traditions and values, but it could be from your child’s first steps, documenting a newborn first moment, a family holiday that you’ve saved long for, your oldest child’s graduation or moving into your dream home, etc…

A new milestone is also a great way to change the images displayed on your walls. It creates freshness and invites newness into your home.

9. Making the Family Shoot a Bonding Activity

The family session itself can be a fun experience together if you allow it to be. Forget about policing your kids, this is the time when you let go of all the rules (apart from safety rules like don’t jump off a cliff of course), this is the time when they’ll be free to express themselves and be cheeky if they want to be. My shoots usually last 60-90 minutes, where everyone puts their phones away, children have 100% of their parent’s attention, and you will explore, dance, climb, and play. It’s a great time to express your affection, love and gratitude towards each other. Compliment your kids, tell them how much you love them and what a privilege it is to be their parent. 

10. Preparing accordingly and Ensuring Comfort During Photoshoots

Another way to keep everyone’s experience comfortable is to make sure that everyone is wearing warm clothes that they like. There is no point in forcing an outfit on anyone as they will end up hating the shoot or the images. Instead, give them options that work with the family’s outfit tones. Pick a location that works for your family’s energy.

I have created for my clients a Location Guide that gives all the information needed about a location with some examples so they know what to expect. I also like to help with the styling so you’re not alone in this process. I also offer a client closet to avoid buying unnecessary items just for that day. For now, my client closet is just for mums and I also have a few bits for children. 

11. Building Positive Associations with Family Photography

If all the above suggestions are practised, your other half will soon forget about his previous bad portrait experiences and will instead start to be excited about creating meaningful memories with his favourite people in the world. Remember that “I don’t like being photographed” is a long-installed limiting belief that has probably been ingrained in his childhood so be kind, patient and loving. Use positive affirmation instead of blame. You won’t get nice happy family pics by dragging him there.

12. Finding a Family Photographer Your Husband Will Appreciate

Another way of having him involved in the process is to ask him if he has any professionals that he likes and would like to use for your next family session. It’s okay to shop around and try different professionals over the years. You might find the exact person who makes your hubby comfortable. If he doesn’t follow anyone’s work, give him 3 options that you love so he feels involved in the process.

13. Communicating the Benefits to Your Partner

Express to your hubby all the benefits of having family photos done, below are a few ideas, feel free to add your own too.

1. What if a tragic accident were to happen? You never know how long we will have on earth, so it’s best to celebrate each moment and document them so we can one day look back at them.
2. A photo shoot is a great bonding activity for the whole family. It brings positive emotions; bonding, love, connection, and attention. Show your children that they are important and that their life is worth being documented.

3. Being in front of a professional’s camera will also give your family a confidence boost as we photographers know how to capture people in flattering angles and the best light so you look your best.

4. Be proud of the beautiful family you’ve created; order prints to display on your walls! Do it! ūüėČ

III. Conclusion: Nurturing a Family Photo Tradition to make him used to it and transform “my husband hates” to “love” family session

The first step to take towards a husband who loves family pictures is to renew his experience into something positive. Select a professional family photographer who you both love and who takes genuine, unposed moments instead of classic portraits with everyone smiling at the camera. The second step is to prepare your partner before the shoot by involving him in the process. The third step is to use positive, encouraging words, filled with patience, love and kindness. The last step is to make great use of those images, don’t forget them on the cloud, print them and hang them on your walls.

It might take years before he changes his mind, so don’t rush, push or be impatient. 

I hope this blog was helpful, please feel free to reach out if you wish to book or have any questions. I have linked my contact page on the button below:


If you’re after a candid, relaxed and intimate photography experience, you’ve come to the right place.¬†
My work focus on emotions, no stiff poses and forced smile; only gentle love and embraces. I offer a very hands-on experience, connecting over a video consultation with each family beforehand ; we explore their stories of love, loss and wins and turn it into a beautiful, meaningful session. Each family and session are unique and crafted with patience, love and understanding. 

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