Family of Four Portrait Session at Marcella Vivrette Park

Family photo session at Marcella Vivrette Park

I look forward to seeing these boys at their family photo session every year. They are getting so big. This year we had a good talk about superheroes. We agreed that Spiderman, Thor, and Ironman are all pretty awesome.

Looking for a photographer in Spring Hill, Franklin, and Columbia in Middle Tennessee? I photograph families at all stages, from newborns to seniors. See my website for more information or book a session from my online calendar. I would love it if you considered following me on Facebook and/or Instagram.

How to rock your family portrait session

Family of five Lifestyle portrait session in Spring Hill TN

Yesterday, I shared with you Emily’s First Communion Photos. We combined those photos with a family portrait session, just like we’ve done in previous years. That meant we had about an hour to do Emily’s pictures inside the church, change her, and do family photos outside the church.

I did not feel we needed extra time to do the session because I’ve been taking photos of these girls all their lives, and they are old enough to follow directions. But even still, after we finished the session, I felt like it was too easy. I wondered to myself, “Did I get enough photos?”

Well, it turns out that I have too many photos. So many that it’s hard to narrow them down to a reasonable level. A big part of why the session feels so effortless is that I’ve been taking photos of these kids literally since they were born, and they know what to expect.

So I thought I would list a few things that make them so easy to photograph in the hopes that it might help others better know what to expect from a family photo session.

  • Their wardrobe is perfection. The colors are gorgeous. They coordinate without being too matchy-matchy. Everyone seems comfortable in what they are wearing. I love the textures in the corduroy. The little details like Hannah’s belt and bracelet really add interest and bring it together. And Christy looks absolutely stunning in red.
  • They take direction from me but also understand that I’m not looking for super posed images. They know they are free to be silly. I love the photos below of the three girls hugging and falling to the ground. This is the kind of circumstance where parents who are less used to my style might have been fussing at the children to be serious and stand up straight. But Christy and Brian know my style, and they know that sometimes those photos where the kids are being silly are the best ones.
  • They weren’t in a hurry. Sometimes people (usually dad) have this idea that we will “get a few photos” and then be done. That mindset makes it really hard to capture candid, authentic images. Brian has been showing up for my family photo sessions for many years and absolutely does his part to be patient and fun.
  • They get that authenticity is the goal. Everyone was encouraged to be themselves, which shows through in the images.

Did I miss anything? What do you think is the key to a fantastic family portrait session?

Looking for a photographer in Spring Hill, Franklin, and Columbia in Middle Tennessee? I photograph families at all stages, from newborns to seniors. See my website for more information or book a session from my online calendar. I would love it if you considered following me on Facebook and/or Instagram.

Large Family Photo Session in Franklin, TN

Large family photo session in Franklin, TN

When I photograph large family photo sessions, I can’t help but get a little jealous of all the fun that big families seem to have. It’s like a party anytime they get together. I adored this family before I had even met them, thanks to the beautiful things that their dad and grandpa said about them in my client questionnaire.

One of my favorite things is reading what my clients write about their families in that questionnaire. The simple question of “Tell me a little about each of you” can reveal so much. It’s an oddly personal job to capture someone’s portrait, and in a way I can’t quite explain, I like to know something about them before I begin. For example, I knew that the older granddaughter was very serious about taking care of her baby doll. So I definitely wanted to include the doll in photos. And when I saw her squeezing the doll and her cousin at the same time, giving them both all her love, I had to capture that.

The only challenge with such a large group is balancing getting all the different combinations of shots you need and still trying to capture a little of that personality simultaneously. I often leave wishing I could have gotten to know them even better.

Looking for a photographer in Spring Hill, Franklin, and Columbia in Middle Tennessee? I photograph families at all stages, from newborns to seniors. See my website for more information or to book a session from my online calendar. I would love it if you would consider following me on Facebook and/or Instagram.

Fun Family Photo Session in Downtown Columbia

Sweet portrait of brother and sister at family photo session in Downtown Columbia TN

I’m so in love with this family portrait session in downtown Columbia, and it makes me feel like I’ve made a horrible mistake. You see, I love taking pictures around the square in Columbia. It’s never crowded and it has some of the best old abandoned buildings that have beautiful texture and great light.

But I’ve only ever recommended it for Senior sessions. I’ve hesitated to use a downtown setting for my littlest clients because of the streets and traffic. I love to capture children running and playing. So I usually suggest the parks for them so that they have more space to run free.

But when I was chatting with this client about choosing a location, she said that “outdoorsy” settings didn’t feel like a great fit for their family. And above everything else, I want a client’s session to feel authentic to who they are and reflect their personalities. She also said the kids were likely to want to stay pretty close to mom and dad at a session. So I suggested we give downtown Columbia a try.

And I am SOOOOOO glad. I love them, and I hope she does too. These two sweet kids were FANTASTIC. The family was the kind that I immediately felt connected to and loved photographing.

When dad asked if I would take photographs of them getting ice cream at Hattie Jane’s Creamery at the end of the photo session, I thought that was a fantastic idea! Who doesn’t love photos of adorable kids eating delicious ice cream?