Want to know the secret to incredible adventure family photography sessions? Preparation! From keeping an eye on the weather to packing a snack in the car just in case, a great family photography session of any kind is all about coming prepared for anything. But the moment you drive through the entrance of a place like Glacier National Park for your family photography session, great preparation becomes downright essential. And sometimes even a matter of safety!

So, how can you prepare like a pro for an enjoyable, safe, and gorgeous family photography session in Glacier National Park? Well, as an adventure family photographer myself, I’ve collected some of my top dos and don’ts to share with you. And some of them might surprise you!


  1. Do pack hiking shoes

Photography in a national park is very different from photography in a studio, in a city, or even in your backyard. Filled with mud, rocks, and uneven ground, national parks are wild and natural. And that’s what we love most about them! But that means it’s essential to pack shoes that fit the landscape. To avoid sore feet or twisted ankles, expect to wear tennis shoes or hiking boots for your session. This way, we won’t be limited in our session!

  1. Do get a park pass

Many national parks, including Glacier National Park, require visitors to purchase a park pass. So, plan to bring cash or a card with you for your purchase. Or better yet, I’d highly recommend getting an America the Beautiful pass before your trip! This pass grants you access to all national parks for a single prepaid fee, saving you time and money in the long run!

  1. Do plan for wild weather

While we hope for a beautiful day, it’s wise to prepare both mentally and physically for any kind of weather. Montana is known for its extreme high and low temperatures and swinging wildly from one to the other in a single day. So, while I always recommend watching the weather forecast in the lead-up to a session, come prepared for rain, shine, heat, or cold just in case. And a jacket is always an absolute must!

  1. Do schedule a sunset session

As the hikers head out from the park for dinner and the sun starts its journey downward toward the horizon, a calm usually settles over the park. So, as golden hour lights up the rivers and lakes, we can enjoy a much less crowded version of Glacier National Park for your session. And if you haven’t heard about alpenglow, look it up! It’s something you’ll want to see for yourself!

  1. Do get ready to have fun!

Adventure photography is all about documenting a genuine, fun-filled experience! So come prepared to get a little dirty, wet, or sweaty! I love snapping away as parents chase their kiddos through the fields of wildflowers, and my all-time favorite way to end a summertime session is with a family leap into a lake. Trust me; these are the photos you’ll truly treasure. So, let’s have a fantastic time together!


  1. Don’t bring your pupper 

I know! As a massive dog lover, it breaks my heart to say this, but if you’re planning a photo session in Glacier National Park, I recommend leaving your pup at home. Generally, I welcome four-legged family members for photo sessions, but although Glacier National Park is beautiful, it’s not exactly dog-friendly. They aren’t allowed on lakeshores, unpaved roads, or trails, meaning our locations would be significantly limited if your dog is by our side. And the last thing I want is to leave your best friend stuck in a hot car while we take photos, so let’s plan ahead for a dog-less photo session. 

  1. Don’t let the kiddos wander off

Glacier National Park is bursting with beauty and adventure! But with adventure usually comes a little danger, too. The rivers are swift, and wildlife is everywhere, so plan to keep your little ones close by throughout your entire visit to the park. We want to make sure your trip is magical from start to finish. So, let’s avoid letting your child spook an unsuspecting bear while you’re not looking. 

  1. Don’t forget to pack a snack

Remember, you’re booking an adventure photography session. This means we will be headed out into the wilderness where there aren’t gas stations and McDonald’s on every corner. And as we explore the park, you’ll likely get a rumble in your tummy! Let’s avoid those dreaded photo session hangries by packing a snack in the car just in case. And don’t forget bottled water, too!

  1. Don’t plan your session last minute

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to document your trip through epic photography by waiting last minute to book your photographer! I generally book out about six weeks in advance. So, if you’re hoping to invite me along for the ride, let me know as soon as you’ve planned your trip. This also gives us plenty of time to start talking wardrobe far enough in advance so you won’t feel rushed as you pack. 

  1. Don’t leave anything behind

As a firm believer in the Leave No Trace philosophy, I encourage you to leave my favorite national park exactly as you found it. We want people to have the same experience of awe and wonder as they explore Glacier National Park, so let’s do our part to keep it pristine. That includes taking home all your props, water bottles, and lunch supplies. Yep, even those banana peels! And even though the rocks are cool, let’s leave them for the next family to look at, okay? 


Remember, the most important goal for your family photography session is to have fun! So, by putting safety first, planning appropriately, and coming prepared, you’ll guarantee a session you’ll never forget! And photos that will take your breath away for decades to come. 

Ready to book an adventure family photo session in Glacier National Park? I’d love to meet you and get your session scheduled! Just say hello, and we can get this party started!