Family of Four and the Family Dog at Sarah Benson Park

Family Photos in Thompson Station Tennessee with Family Dog

Oh my goodness, there is so much sweetness in this family portrait session. These girls were so much fun to photograph. And as a bonus, they brought along their family dog. I am always game for families to include their pooches in family photos sessions, but it’s especially fun now that I’ve added my own puppy to my family. Our pets are so important to us and are part of the family, so it makes sense to include them in family pictures.

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.

Family Photography with a touch of Chaos

Family of Five Portraits at Yanhali Park

I have this theory that if someone uses the word “chaos” in my portrait client questionnaire, then I’m going to adore them and love photographing their family. First of all, you’d be surprised how often that happens. And secondly, I’ve been completely correct so far. (See also “wild” and “hot mess”.)

One of my survey questions asks how you want to remember your family at this stage. This mom wrote, “How precious these years are as we watch all 3 kids’ unique personalities unfold. I want to remember how we all love each other deeply, even if it’s chaos sometimes!”

Yes, please! You have no idea how much I’d prefer to read something like that, rather than a list of specific poses or Pinteresty backdrops you’d like included. My number one goal as a photographer is to capture those unique personalities, oftentimes with a little touch of chaos.

And really it’s not really chaos at all that these families bring, but a sense of fun, adventure, and embracing the moment. And for me as a family photographer, that’s everything.

Bonus points if they mention “beautiful light” as their main desire for a portrait location. Because I tend to also prefer simpler backgrounds with beautiful light that make the people in the portraits the main focus. This is the second time I’ve shot at Yanhali Park in Columbia, and I’m definitely adding it to my favorites list.

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.

Family & Senior Combo Portrait Session in Spring Hill

Family & Senior Session in Spring Hill TN

Sunday was the perfect spring day in Spring Hill for this combination Family & Senior portrait session. I loved getting to know this wonderful sports-loving family. I always encourage people to include items that are special in their portrait session. For little ones, that sometimes means a special lovey, stuffed animal, or blanket. But this advice works for teens and older kids too. Anything that both says something about the person or family being photographed and also helps clients to be more relaxed at a session is a win. For this session (and another recent session), a football was that item. I’ve also had clients include books and instruments in a session.

If you had to choose an item that was special to you, and represents what would you choose?