My Top Ten Tips

For Perfect Family Portraits

A guide for families

about my Family Portraits




Families grow every year. Whether an additional member or just in age. A year goes by in a flash, and so many changes happen. For me, it is important to document this current time for you to reflect and reminisce on. Capturing the facial expressions of family members that may or may not change with time. Your family portraits should positively reflect who you are at this stage of your life.

My style is natural and relaxed.  Together, we will choose a meaningful and photogenic location but not too busy to ensure your family has the spotlight.  I love to capture the family as a whole and incorporate individual shots. As a mama, I know what it’s like to see your little ones grow up fast, and I believe it's essential to keep the memories alive.  Below are my top 10 tips for creating memorable family portraits


1.  Picking your Outfits

Choosing outfits can be difficult. I highly recommend choosing a color scheme and going monochromatic or choosing colors with color harmony. Avoiding loud prints, plaids, logos, or lots of small patterns will make your portraits timeless. Try to keep your wardrobe in a similar season and theme. One family member wearing a cocktail dress and the other wearing board shorts doesn't work the best!





2.  Try on your Outfits Beforehand

Many clients like to take photos of their outfit choices laid out together about a week beforehand to ask for my advice.  I’m always thrilled to give tips and pointers. If you do get a new outfit or two for your photos, it’s super important for you to try them on (and possibly wear them for a full day) well in advance to make sure the fit is perfect and they’re comfortable for you. Comfort is key to feeling great and getting great images!


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3.  Get dressed right before you leave for the session

Sometimes we are busy and have a lot going on. You may be tempted to schedule your session around another event. Or maybe you decide to go out for a nice dinner beforehand since the family is together and dressed nicely. I strongly do not recommend wearing your portrait outfits until right before the session. Garments can get wrinkled from sitting or stained from food or beverages very easily. 


4. Hair and makeup

If you don't normally wear makeup, keep it simple.  A little mascara will give your eyes a little pop in the images. It is important, however, to avoid trying new makeup techniques the day of. Practice a few days ahead and see how it feels. It is also important to watch for makeup lines and blend lines, especially down the neckline. 

If you can, hire a professional for your hair and makeup. A professional will make you look and feel your very best, and you will be more confident during the session. These images we’re taking will last a lifetime and become a family treasure throughout the decades!


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5. Good night's rest and hydration

It is important to ensure your family gets lots of rest the night before the session. We want everyone's eyes to be bright and everyone to feel themselves. It is also important to stay well hydrated. Drinking lots of water the day before will get your skin full and hydrated, looking beautiful and glowing. 


6. Forget the blemishes 

There’s no need to stress! If you wake up the morning of the shoot and your skin isn’t looking 100% like you want it to, not to worry - I’ve got you covered (literally!). It’s my job to make your skin look its very best in the final edits of your images. 

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7. Looking your best

If you have any concerns, please let me know beforehand so I can do my best to accommodate them during the session and post edits. A client told me they prefer one side of the face. Knowing this ahead of time helped me greatly in composing the family together!  Another had a missing tooth and was afraid to smile for fear it would show. Knowing this helped me change my angle to keep it out of frame.


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8. Don't wait to drop the weight

The biggest concern I hear from so many is that they want to slim down before having family portraits. I feel it is so important to avoid putting off your family portraits. As our families grow, it is fun to look back year by year on how we were, no matter how we were!! Document your heritage!!


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9. Don't stress the stubborn little ones  

If you have a little one that still naps but decided to forego the nap the day of the session or a stubborn child who is resistant to the session, don't stress. Try to relax and keep a calm demeanor. We will flow with the session, and when your child sees how much fun we are having, he or she will come around. 

I love looking back on this image I took of my boys. Levi didn't want mommy to take any more pictures of him. It's still one of my favorites!


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10. Print, Print, and Print!! 

There are studies about how family portraits help boost children's self-esteem!! David Krauss, a licensed psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio, says, “I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. It is helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit. A photographer’s job is to create and make the image look like a safe holding space for kids where they are safe and protected. Kids get it on a really simple level.”

So print your family portraits!! Do not leave them unseen on a computer or hard drive. And print them large! Your children will thank you!