Stress-free Family Sessions Tips

June 28, 2020

This is your family; embrace it – ALL of it!

Don’t get stressed out because your kids are just being themselves; it will show in your photos. Concentrate your energy on smiling and laughing for the camera. Look at your kids, refocus if neccessary, play with them, run around with them, ENJOY them. Your kids will enjoy themselves so much more during your session if you goof around with them and tickle them rather than telling them to behave or to sit down.

goddard park

Let's Be Real 

Ultimately, I want REAL smiles. I want you to enjoy this experience as much as I enjoy capturing it. It’s ok to be a bit nervous. I have to admit that I don’t get in front of the camera much myself! But I can guarantee you that you will not regret having these memories to cherish and your children will eventually thank you for it.

Set realistic expectations

No one knows your children better than you. You know what they’re capable of and how broad their attention span is. With that in mind, set reasonable goals and expectations for how many shots you will get.

Coordinate Not Match

A common misconception about portraits is that everyone’s clothing in the photo should match. This couldn't be further from the truth! I highly doubt that your family walks around on a daily basis wearing matching clothes, so why would you want to do that for your portraits? Choosing to wear matching outfits is the quickest way to make your photos boring and stale.


The trick to successfully pulling offprints in a portrait is not to overdo it. It is generally best to avoid patterns, logos, and fabrics that will become distractions by drawing attention away from the faces. A portrait should showcase the people and not their favorite clothing brands. If someone in the group chooses to wear a print, I recommend having others wear solid colors that complement the print.

Layer It Up

Clothes often look better in photographs when they are layered. During the summer months this may be difficult to accomplish, but consider adding some sort of cardigan, blazer or jacket to finish your look. Layering can also be done with accessories like a vest or belt, which seems to always add a little pop to the photos. Be sure to choose clothing that is comfortable and fits properly. The camera won’t add 10 lbs. but clothing that doesn't fit properly definitely will! Keep in mind that if it looks a little wrinkled in person, it will look extremely wrinkled on camera. Wrinkles cast shadows that are very obvious in photos. 

 Comfort is key 

Keep it real by wearing what you’re most comfortable in and by being yourself. If your little one lives in a superhero cape – fun! Let them be themselves. Let hubby have a little scruff and leave the tie behind. No socks and sandals please; no one wants to remember that ;)

Moms, primp yourself just a bit; enough to photograph well but still be YOU. It’s not the time to try a new hairstyle or redefine your look. The same thing applies to your kids. If you want the kids to have clean cuts, do it at least a week before your session so they don't look "too" clean. Coordinate outfits without being too "matchy" and avoid bold patterns, wording or logos. For more info on how to dress for your session, visit me on Pinterest for inspiration.

Make sure the kids have napped

If you have little ones who still nap, make sure they have. If you’re able to, time your shoot around the kid’s naps. This will set your child up for success. (Note: Offer them a snack before you leave and before they’re in their nice new clothes).

Pack Prepared

In your “photo shoot survival bag” be sure to pack  a comb for messy hair , a blanket to sit on in the grass and for photoshoot snuggles and some toys for easy entertainment. Not only will toys come in handy in sticky situations but some of the sweetest photos of your child may be a picture of them playing with their favorite toys.


Look at each other and not just the camera Looking at each other during a photo session makes a picture look natural and uncontrived. When you slouch, it makes you look small and well, frankly, squished. When you’re having your photo taken, remember to engage with the camera and you will radiate!

Take a break

If you get to the point where your kids (or you) need one, take a break. Don’t be afraid to ask for a few minutes to shut off the cameras and take a breather. Most photographers will gladly give you a few minutes if it means better shots in the long run.

My favorite location is at the beach/carousel. This features a beautiful round building with stone walls and steps, an arched wooden rustic bridge, and many natural surroundings. If you are familiar with the park and have something else in mind let me know! This location tends to be chilly, so we will be as quick as possible. Feel free to wear layers you don't intend to wear in the shots. We can add the layers between shots.

Check it out!  
goddard park
Goddard Park

Located in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, this beautiful location has something for everyone!

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Scarborough Beach

Located in Narragansett, Rhode Island, what more could you need from the ocean state?

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The world-famous Newport, Rhode Island is a great option year-round!

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More About Me

-I hate coffee...I know, I know.

-I hate reading - have no time for it.

- I am obsessed with golden retrievers.