Family photo sessions can be a really challenging time for the parent(s) who are orgainizing!  On top of everything else you do for your family you now want to pull off a great photoshoot, so here are 5 proven tips I share with all my clients order to have a GREAT and FUN shoot! 


1) Choose Your Clothing Carefully

First and most important, dress for the weather. We all have that adorable outfit we love on our kids but if they are freezing cold or melting they will not be happy. Dress authentically to who you and your family are. My niece loves stripped stockings with a flower skirt and she makes it work perfectly!  She also feels like she is taking part in something and not being dragged along for the ride. You don’t all have to have matching shirts. In fact I advise against it. Choose one or two colors that work well together and let that be your guide. 

2) Be Well Rested and Fed

Be sure not to schedule your session around your child’s nap or meal time. The best lighting on location is two hours before sunset and two hours after sunrise. If this is during nap time talk to the photographer. A good photographer can create beautiful  light any time of day.  Be well fed or if your scheduling dinner after your session make sure everyone has a snack to hold them over. A full belly is a happy parent and child.

3) Have Fun With Your Family 

Set the stage that this is going to be fun and playful and the kids will follow. If the kids are onboard and looking forward to it your shoot is off to great start. You can also bring a favorite toy for the little ones to keep them engaged. Share a little about the personalities of each child with the photographer so they have insight to the family. I love learning about my clients!  The children are my biggest priority. When you arrive my attention will be focused on connecting with them. I create a relaxed and playful atmosphere which creates a relaxed shoot for the parents.


4) Let It Flow

My sessions are about you as a family, having fun and laughing together. I give you all a lot of freedom to show up as you are. Let your kids be silly, funny, quirky or shy. Remember you don’t always have to be looking at the camera. Some of the sweetest moments are you hugging your child or them rolling on the ground laughing. It’s all okay and you’ll always walk away seeing that part of your child you love so much!


All of these tips will assist you in having an enjoyable family photoshoot and walk away with gorgeous, timeless family photographs you will cherish forever.

To see more of my family portraits CHECK OUT THIS PRIVATE LINK 

Jennifer is accepting booking for fall family photos shoots. Reserve your spot and  BOOK NOW

Collateral Beauty

In the movie Collateral Beauty Helen Miron, “Brigette” tells Naomie Harris, “Madeline” in the face of loosing her 6 yr old daughter to cancer to, “Watch out for the Collateral Beauty”, a seemingly thoughtless comment when a mother is about to loose their child, I was reminded of how I knew this experience in the face of deep pain, this idea of collateral beauty.

When my mom passed almost 4 years ago friends asked about my experience that the first year. I shared that it was equally devastatingly heart wrenching and stunningly beautiful all at once. I think its fare to assume we all know why this would be the former experience but what exactly was the latter? The latter it would turn out was the collateral beauty of it all.

As I began to deal with the anguishing pain of loosing my mom without any warning I was acutely aware I needed to dig into our combined bag of not so pretty dynamics. I sifted through what belonged to each of us, what was true, what was a story and all the emotions around it. It was an amazing, expansive time in my life.  I retold all the stories I held onto for 45 yrs. All the hurts and pains I carried from my dynamic with my mom and along the way I found myself.

I became vulnerable and open in a way that stripped any facade from my being, it was exhausting and unmatched in the rewards and gifts it gave me. As I went into the deep hurt of my past experiences and stories with my mom I allowed myself to think, feel and declare whatever came up.  Even if some part of me knew it was MY story based in fear I allowed myself to go deep into it. It didn’t have to be based in someone else’s truth or experience, it was my truth and that was where the answers would be.  Allowing myself to feel say whatever I believed to be real around my experience with my mother ultimately allowed me to reach the core of it.  At the core was the unearthed parts, what I refer to as the muck of it all, those parts we may or may not know about but when they are revealed we can choose to them put to rest and let go. Through this process I also saw falsehoods that I created out of protection. Again digging into why I was protecting myself and how that showed up ultimately allowed its release.

Along this almost 4 year journey I have come to a place of understanding for myself, compassion for myself and a deep compassion for my mom and her experience. I’ve cried it out so many times and each time I release the stuck pain of the experiences we had together and move closer to the love.

There is still some hurt and pain and overtime I know if I am brave enough to dive into it there is the gateway to expansion and love. This is my collateral beauty of loosing my mother, seeing me and loving myself for where we I am and who I am.

As I move through the transition of a romantic relationship into whatever it will be next  I am again aware of the collateral beauty. Through the grieving of it, of this relationship not being what I thought it might I also get to see into myself via the pain. How? I let myself tell the story in my head and I get a chance to debunk it. I get a chance, if I stick with the hurt and let it out to see the underlying thread, where it originated from and let it free.

In honor of moms everywhere I am sharing some of my favorites of these amazing humans with their children including this first one of Lieselotte Anke and her beautiful mother who passed shortly after our photoshoot. During our shoot the beauty and depth of their love was so apparent. As in every shoot I look for this depth and create from there.