Your Outdoor Photography Session — How To Prepare

A Guide to Your Outdoor Photography Session with Jena Lee Photographs


Man, I love photographing outside. There is so much space to move people around, it is so fun to combine landscapes and moments, and the ever-changing light offers endless creative opportunities … Yes, I realize these are probably not the same reason that you love outdoor photos, so let’s get to that.

Most people love outdoor photos because it speaks to who they are as a person. Sometimes my clients request a mountain location because they hike together as a family, some parents love bringing their kids to the beach and want their photos to be near the water. Your photos can literaly be anything you want and I love when families choose locations that represent them and add to their story.

If you have been thinking about an outdoor photography session — perfect for both Family Sessions and as part of Your Baby’s First Year Bundles by the way — I have put together a little guide so you can be as prepared as possible:

1. Clothing

The ever important question, what do I wear? Golden BC and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort are nestled between three different mountain ranges, which means the weather changes a lot and very quickly. It is not uncommon for it to rain, thunder, hail, and then be sunny again all within the hour, especially up at Kicking Horse. I always recommend wearing layers because it will help you stay comfortable if the weather changes and because it will also look great in your photos.

For example, if you are wearing a dress, you could add a hat and a shawl. This adds variety to your photos and gives you freedom to adjust to the weather. Another example, you can get these really great pants that zip off into capris and then also zip off into shorts … I AM KIDDING. Keep those for hiking, do not wear those to your portrait session.



2. Shoes

Depending on our location, I recommend wearing something that is comfortable and practical. I get people to move around a lot during their portrait sessions to create those wonderful natural and candid moments… so high heels might not be your best option. I love Vans, Birkenstocks, and Blundstones. If those aren’t your style, anything that lets you walk around, slow run while holding hands, and that you can keep on your feet for longer than an hour will be fine.

*While we are here, barefoot = also fine.


3. Your Kids …

If you can get them dressed and at your portrait session on time, your job is done. I am an expert at taking great photos of kids. I let them lead the photo session (to an extent) and play lots of fun games with them to create photographs that really capture who they are. We will do lots of treasure hunts, skipping, dancing, wiggling, and hugging. They are guaranteed to be entertained and to enjoy taking photos. Most of them don’t even realize the jedi mind tricks I play on them because they are having so much fun. I expect kids to listen, have fun, and be kind, but I never expect them to sit still or be perfect. Even if there are tears, snuggling up to Mom or Dad makes beautiful portraits.

*That being said, if a full meltdown happens we can definitely reschedule your portraits and try again later.

4. What should I bring?

Bug Spray: For outdoor photo sessions here in Golden/Kicking Horse, bug spray is a must. I try my best to have some in my bag, but it’s not a bad idea to spray before you come and during the session as well. The Spring and Fall are usually tolerable for bugs here, but if you have spent any time here in the Summer, you know how savage they can get.

Sunscreen: If we are photographing at the river or will be outside in the Sun, make sure to slather the kids and yourselves before your session. Nobody enjoys a sunburn.

A blanket: This is optional. Blankets make a great prop for wrapping around everybody and for creating a comfortable place to sit down together. An old family quilt or a favourite beach blanket is perfect. Please keep in mind how your blanket will fit in with what you are wearing and feel free to send me pictures if you aren’t sure.

Your kids favourite toy: Sometimes kids want to bring their favourite toy and I think that’s great. If this is a time in their lives when a small object brings them comfort then I absolutely think it will be a great prop in your photos. Anything that adds to your family’s story in a meaningful way is always welcomed.


5. Time Of Day

Photographers are always stressing about the time of day, with good reason though. The quality of light can affect the whole look and feel of your portraits and it’s important to us that you get what you are looking for. I am going to ask you whether your family are morning or night people and then try to pick a time as close to sunrise or sunset as possible. I realize with kids that staying up a bit later or getting up earlier might affect their mood a little bit, but if we can plan ahead and try to sneak them an extra nap, it has been worth it every single time. You know your kids best, so if you really don’t think the morning/evening will work, I can do my best to find you a great spot in the afternoon. But if you think you can swing it, I promise that morning and evening light is 100% worth it.


Let’s start planning your portraits!

If you are ready for your own portraits, please get in touch here,  I can’t wait to hear from you 🌻


Jena_SelfPortraits_2018-July 05, 2018-12_WebSize Jena LaRoy completed her Professional Photography Diploma at Langara Collge in Vancouver British-Columbia and then returned to her hometown Golden B.C. to launch her photography business (2017). Jena helps you create heartfelt portraits that tell your story and takes pride in helping her clients print and display their images so that they can bring you joy every day. 



Little Unicorn Swaddlers for you, from Jena Lee Photographs.

There is a little bit of a promotion going on at Jena Lee Photographs (which you may have seen if you already are following along on Instagram).

January 30, 2018_JenaLeePhotographs_GoldenBC_1-4

As part of the new Your Baby’s’ First Year photography bundles — more info. about them here — Jena Lee Photographs is including one of these beautiful 100% organic cotton Little Unicorn swaddlers when you book your photography sessions.

On a first come first serve basis, you can choose one of these Little Unicorn swaddlers to wrap your new baby in for your photography session with Jena Lee Photographs. This offer is available only for Your Baby’s First Year bundles, where you get to bundle two or more photography sessions for ultimate value and to perfectly preserve your first year together.

Available sessions include: Maternity – Fresh 48 – Newborn – 3 Month – 6 Month – 9 Month – One Year Birthday


If there is a particular swaddler that you love, make sure to act fast and guarantee your blanket and your spot with Jena Lee Photographs. I can’t wait to hear from you ❤︎

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Your Baby’s First Year — Jena Lee Photographs, Golden B.C.

Select three or more occasions to document you and your baby’s first year together.

As a new parent, you already have a million things and questions running through your brain. Learning how to breastfeed or wondering about bottle feeding, being unsure of how much crying is within normal, adding up the few hours you slept last night, trying to figure out if you have ever loved anything so much before …


Before you know it, you will be feeding them with ease, getting into the swing of things, and sharing your experiences with other new parents. Before you know it, a year will go by and they will start walking and talking. Then you will have a toddler, a child, a teenager, and you will lovingly hold on to the sweet distant memories of them squeezing your finger with their tiny hand. 

Jena Lee Photographs wants to help you preserve your favourite moments together forever and is pleased to introduce Your Baby’s First Year photography bundles. Available photography sessions include Maternity, Fresh 48 (first 48 hours of life), Newborn, 3-Month, 6-Month, 9-Month, and One Year Birthday. 

Available sessions include: Maternity – Fresh 48 – 3 Month – 6 Month – 9 Month – One Year Birthday


Always remember your first moments with a Fresh 48 session and capture their growing personality with lifestyle photography throughout the year. You can build an heirloom album, a custom coffee table book, or a signature wall collage to display your photographs and enjoy them forever.

Jena Lee Photographs is located in Golden BC and also serves Invermere, Banff, and Canmore areas. Get in touch for more information about Your Baby’s First Year bundles today.

 Book Now