May 15, 2017

Family Portrait Sessions 101

Family Portrait Sessions 101

Are you considering booking a family portrait session? Most folks have similar questions arise during their planning, so today’s blog post is dedicated to answering those questions. Don’t worry, if you have additional questions, I always begin with a consultation to make sure we create the stunning images you dreamed of.

1. Tone through Intention

Let’s begin by exploring why you have decided to book a family portrait session. For me, I believe it’s important to mark the passage of time, and it’s worth the effort to make our session together a special occasion. Is there a new baby? Are they growing so fast that you feel like you blinked and went from Kindergarten to 8th grade? Or are the kids home from college? Perhaps you have a specific room you want to hang a new family photo? I like to begin with this question, because identifying your intentions can help to set the tone and style for your photos and also clarify some of the other unknowns about your family portrait session, like clothing style and location. Keep in mind, I won’t stick to one type of background and setting, and you may be surprised by the photos you end up falling in love with! I suggest looking at examples of family portraits and gather some images so that that you can identify the style and tone you are looking for. Here’s a link to a Pinterest Board I’ve created to get you started. 

2. What to Wear?

This is definitely the question that gets asked the most, and for good reason! It can be really challenging to wrangle outfits that coordinate with one another and also reflect the aforementioned tone that you are aiming for. Not to mention, getting your two year old to keep that adorable headband on the whole time! My advice? Plan in advance. Pick a color scheme that works with the clothes that look best on you. Our clothes and accessories are an extension of ourselves, so let let your personality shine. And, please… don’t put everyone in the same outfit. It’s boring and looks silly in the final product. I have put together a more in-depth guide for what to wear that we can review before your session.

Three Family Portraits outdoors

3. Location

New England has a magnificent diversity of landscapes. I feel blessed to call this area home. Often our surroundings have a big effect on our personalities, and I love to reflect that in our sessions together. We have the opportunity to do a more traditional studio session, but when it comes to the outdoor shoot, do you have a special place in mind? What about a favorite swimming hole, walking path or stone archway? This will be an important part of our consultation together because lighting and background are an integral part of capturing excellent images. If you are unsure about a location that would work, no problem! I have plenty of captivating locations that I’ve discovered over my years as a photographer and outdoor adventurer.

Family Portraits in three different locations

 4. Preparing for the Day

Prepare for the day by staying hydrated and eating a light meal ahead of time. Remember to get a good night sleep and have your outfits, accessories and make-up already on so that we can maximize our time together.

I often hear that people are uncomfortable having their photo taken, or that they are not a photogenic person. No need to get caught up in that fear! I trust that we will be able to capture images that reflect who you are, beautifully. My aim is to make your family as comfortable as possible, and to make the session fun! Kids are sometimes wary of strangers, especially those toting large camera equipment, so I ask that you talk to them beforehand. Let them know what’s going on, and while we are in our session- let them be kids! Let’s run around and be silly together. The kisses, laughs and curiosity make for treasured memories and lovely photos. 

Kids in Gardens and a family in front of their home


I look forward to working with you to make your images authentic and extraordinary. For more information, or to book a session, please get in touch at