top of page
Shannon and Doug-105.jpg

Tips For Preparing For Your Family/Engagement

Photo Shoot 

Tip #1: Choosing the family’s wardrobe!

We have had clients ask us what clothing look best in photos. Our personal opinion is to wear color! Color makes the photo look alive and vibrant. However, if you do wear natural or muted tones, think about adding a boost of color with accessories. Whether it be a piece of statement jewelry for Mom or a scarf for the kids, these things can add the perfect pop of color.

What is our opinion on everyone wearing the same color top and same color bottoms?  To us, we feel this look is dated and reminds us of the family portraits that the family gets done on the beach every year with every single family member in white shirts and jeans or khakis. This type of matching wardrobe makes photos look very posed and is not our personal preference for a wardrobe choice. We want your photos to look as natural and candid as possible. One element to achieving this is for everyone to be in their own style of clothing. What I suggest is to coordinate color tones instead of being "perfectly matched". You can all wear a warm or cool color palate. A warm color palate might be oranges, reds, browns, or purples. While a cool color palate may be light blues, greens, whites, or pinks. 

We also suggest everyone go shopping for a new outfit for the shoot!! Wearing a new outfit first of all makes everyone feel good. And if you feel good, you will look good! It also has not been through the washing machine a million times and will look new and crisp in the photos which is what you want! Something else that we have noticed is that layering clothing is a good idea. It adds interest and makes the photo more visually interesting. So think about adding a sweater to a plain top, an interesting piece of jewelry, a scarf, a hat, a funky belt, or some interesting shoes! All great ideas!

One thing to keep in mind with the kids is to make sure they are comfortable!!! If they are uncomfortable, they don’t hide it as well as we do when our feet are killing us from the heels we have on! Kids show their emotions on their face and the last thing we want is frowny faces!

Tip #2 Choosing a location for the shoot

Outdoors is always our first choice to do clients photos.  You may want to choose a location that is close to your home, or one that has special meaning to your family, or even your own home! If you choose to do your portratis in your home we have studio lighting we can bring with us to ensure your portraits look amazing.  The beauty of hiring an on location photographer is that you don’t have to go to a studio for portraits, the photographer can come to you!  We will review with you the type of Portrait that you are looking for and we can make suggestions what we feel will produce the best portrait(s0 for you and your family.


Tip #3: How to keep kids happy throughout the shoot…

Let’s face it, the kids are typically running the show. You schedule activities around nap and eating times and if they are cranky, you probably won’t be taking them out to a fancy restaurant that night…  We want to see happy faces for pictures and the best way weI have found to achieve that is to just let them be kids! If they want to run around the open field at the park whre we are shooting at, great!  We will follow them around and maybe have you try to catch them! If they want to sit on the blanket and have you read them a book, awesome. Do that. (BRING BOOKS AND TOYS!) If they want to explore the surroundings, no problem. I want them to be themselves and capture that. Typically once I have allowed them to do their thing, it is much easier for them to be coaxed into sitting or standing with Mommy and Daddy for a nice portrait. Maybe you have to bring out the ‘tickle monster’ fingers to get a smile out of them at first, but this is how it is done!

One thing is for sure, kids will have meltdowns.  We have seen it all.  So please, please, please, do not feel embarrassed by your child’s behavior. Our personalities is to go with the flow and we would love it if you do the same. We are not saying you can’t discipline your children if you feel the need to, however, we are saying that if all your child (or children) want to do is play and explore, no harm done. We can work with it. This photo session is supposed to be an enjoyable experience for all!

Worst case scenario, if they can’t stand still… you walk with them and do the whole 1…2…3…WHEEEE!!! Works every time.


Let them explore!



Tip #4: Should I bring anything with me? And do you bring anything to the shoot?

Sure! Bring anything you want! Bring your own props, bring books and toys to keep the kids happy, bring a change of clothes if you wish! Most of all, bring your patience!!!!! With kids and family portraits it is a hurry up and wait game. Hurry up and get the shot but a lot of waiting for that perfect shot. So patience is key. If you seem stressed, the kids are going to pick up on that.

We typically always have at least one blanket with us for you to sit on outdoors. I do have some various props but we don’t usually bring anything with us to a family shoot besides our camera equipment and a blanket unless we have discussed otherwise.


Tip #5: Feeding, drinking, and bribes.

Make sure everyone is well fed prior to the shoot, have water on hand for the family, and bribe the kids if need be. Yup. I said it. BRIBE THEM. It works, trust us. We have seen it done at dozens of shoots and it seems to work pretty well!


bottom of page