The Key to Family Photos

I don’t typically do family photos, unless it’s for someone I already know. But since I’ve had Lily, I’ve found myself enjoying family portraits more than I usually did! I think that taking family photos professionally can be really stressful for the parents.

Are the kids going to cry? Are they going to be uncooperative? Are they going to be rude? There are so many things to worry about! However, regardless of how the kids behave, I’ve always managed to get some really incredible photos of these sweet little souls and their parents!


How does this happen, you may wonder? Well, it comes down to what I believe is the key to having successful family photos. I’ve witnessed it firsthand and it makes such a difference in the demeanor of the kiddos and how the photos come out.

Let the kids be kids.


Let them run around. Let them play and jump and throw rocks in the water. Let them get interested in what’s going on around them. A photo of them smiling a true smile because they just got to throw a hundred rocks into the ocean because they were trying to skip them, is going to be so much more meaningful and genuine than if you sit a kid down and force them to smile when they don’t want to sit still.


Don’t forget that it is important to try to make sure the children have had their naps and are well fed before the photos because those are entirely different issues that can make a photo session hard!

By letting them be kids first, we can get the “traditional” family photo where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling, along with a bunch of really great candid photos that really show who you are as a family!! The biggest compliment I can get from parents is “I can’t believe you were able to get such incredible photos, because they were so cranky!” hahah, well… what can I say, except for “I got skillz.”



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You can usually find me adding books to my never-ending “to read” list; challenging myself to do things like not shop for a year; sneaking crispy m+ms from my secret hiding spot so I don’t have to share them with my daughter; and melting over seeing my children smiling at each other.

Oh and I guess I should mention - I’m a seasoned Portland wedding photographer who provides not only kick-ass wedding photos, but also a meaningful and laid-back experience from the time you book to the delivery of your final images. 

I share all things personal, business, tips, and life as a mom and business owner here on the blog!

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i'm a mama of two, a razzleberry peace tea hoarder, and a photographer

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