Family Photography FAQ

Over the years, I’ve noticed that the same family photography FAQs come up. So here they all are in a nice little list for you:

The best time for family photos is usually during the golden hour—early morning or late afternoon. The soft, warm light plays beautifully off the mountain landscape and is also the most flattering light for portraits.

Since most of the families I work with have young children, we also try to balance your session timing with nap/bedtimes. While soft light is nice, it is more important to have a happy kiddo. Truth be told, I am starting to grow more and more fond of full sun lately!

Prepare by coordinating outfits (grab my free what-to-wear guide here), choosing a location that holds meaning for your family (I am happy to make recommendations if you are travelling to the area), and ensuring everyone is well-rested. Bringing snacks and water can also help keep morale high, especially for the smaller family members.

Lifestyle photography captures candid, unposed moments that reflect your family’s real dynamics and personalities. It’s about telling a story, whereas posed photography involves more traditional, staged shots. For our session, I spend about 80% of the time focusing on lifestyle, with a few traditional photos added in for good measure. A trend that I have noticed is that grandparents in particular love the more posed images.

The duration of a family photo session can vary depending on group sizes and ages, but on average, it lasts about 45-90 minutes. This allows enough time to capture a variety of poses, groupings, and candid moments.

It’s completely normal for kids to be excited during a photoshoot. Chances are that they feel a bit nervous as well, can sense your anticipation, or are excited to check out a new area. My approach to this is to embrace it. The first part of our session will include more engaging activities to give that energy somewhere to go. We will save the more cuddly, soft photos for later on. Lifestyle family photography is perfect for kids because they are more engaged, which gives us better results than asking them to sit still and smile.

While an activity can add a fun and personalized touch, it is not necessary. The focus should be on capturing your family’s authentic moments. Choose a setting and style that resonates with your family’s personality, like in your home or at a favourite outdoor spot. In the past, I have had families want to do both and it has been so much fun. For example, we did their outdoor mountain photos and then went for ice cream afterward.

Absolutely! Pets are cherished members of the family, and including them can add an extra layer of warmth and joy to your photos. Let me know in advance so I can make sure pets are allowed at our location.

Someone says this at every photo session! Don’t worry, I will guide you through simple gestures like holding hands, hugging, or walking together. I’m really good at reading the room and figuring out what your family’s energy is and how to capture that.

The summer and fall are the most popular times to book a photo session and therefore tend to be very busy for photographers. My recommendation is that it is better to get on your photographer’s calendar sooner rather than later. If you know you need a specific date (ie you are only in the area for a short time) make sure to get in touch right away to avoid disappointment. In general, family sessions are booked 2-6 months in advance.

Fill in the contact form and a link will be immediately sent to you to book a call with me. We will have a quick chat about what your family photo visions are, the process, dates, etc.

Hey, I’m Jena


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