Top Three Ways to Make Your Fall Family Photo Shoot a Success

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I recently ran a free challenge for my community. That challenge was named the “Five Days to Less Yelling Challenge” and it consisted of 5 days of emails being sent to the participants email box filled with content and a daily prompt and journal entry.

On day one I requested that the participants set a goal and designate a way that they would celebrate their win. (Win being any small step towards showing up differently and doing the work required) Shared with me was all sorts of awesome ways families were going to celebrate the. lower voices in their house.

“Sweet Frog family outing.”

“Sharing what I’ve learned with my family to encourage them to keep me accountable.”

Then I read my favorite.

“Schedule family photos, we’ve never taken them before, this way I can remember exactly why this work is so important.”

A giant smile came across my face! How powerful to be reminded every single day of the importance of showing up for yourself, working on self-control, and supporting healthy growth by way of beautiful family photos! In an age of cell phones, and social media accounts having a physical display on your walls is such a strong visual and commitment to your goals!

Just to share the photos have been scheduled and I can not wait to see the outcome!

Recently I was out during a girls’ night, on the roof of Quirk Hotel and was chatting with a new friend Carly Romeo. She is a photographer that specializes in creating a safe space for every.single.person. She is passionate about her work and her mission and I asked her to write up some of her top tips for ensuring awesome family photos!

As a bonus offer she included an invitation to my blog readers to schedule a Fall mini-session- all the details are included below!


Hi, I’m Carly.

Colleen and David’s wedding was one of the first I ever shot. Colleen and I knew each other from the feminist club at U.Va. that I helped found when I was an undergrad (HAY FIFE!!), and when she asked me to shoot their wedding I was absolutely thrilled. It was a beautiful ceremony at Old Metropolitan Hall with a mega dance party afterwards. I loved it, and I love them.

A few years later, they reached out to me about doing some family photos to celebrate their son’s adoption being finalized. OMG Y’ALL. I have not had more fun doing a family session EVER. Since then, their family has grown to a family of five and I can’t wait for our next session!

While photographing family sessions I’ve learned some insider tips into making beautiful lasting memories you are proud to display in your home. I want to share my top three way to make your fall family photo shoot a success!

  1. Set the expectation for fun, not perfection.

Our style of photography is focused on documenting your family’s unique realness, and that means we prioritize your special quirks: how you snuggle your child, how you look at your partner, the way you laugh. That also means we make sure our sessions are dynamic and fun — so embrace the fun! Be open to silly, small, real, tender, fun moments. Your family will enjoy themselves way more if the expectation is to do just that, rather than expecting everyone to line up, smiling sweetly and serenely for one of those generic Pinterest-perfect family photos.

2. Embrace who your kids are. 

Speaking of quirks, our favorite families to photograph want to celebrate their kids’ special quirks. That might mean wearing a special outfit to the session, bringing a special toy, or doing some photos of your child’s killer Elvis impression. If your kids are rambunctious and active, we will document that! If they’re more pensive and introverted, we will document that! Your family is beautiful as it is, and we love capturing the true essence of a family.


3. Leave the self-criticism at home.

Many parents, especially mothers, have a specific vision for what they “should” look/be like and are liberal with the self-criticism when they fall short. (or something similar about how you shouldn’t engage in negative self-talk in front of your kids or relating to body image because your body is just right, etc)

Bonus: Remember that quality photography is a long-term investment.

Everyone has access to a camera these days, which means that you probably have thousands of photos of your children living digitally in your phones. Those snapshots are precious (even though you probably rarely look at them, right?) and should be appreciated, but investing in quality photography is still extremely important. Professional photos are a keepsake that should be printed, shared with extended families and friends, and will be appreciated for years to come. When technology has advanced beyond what we can even imagine (or whatever happens when the robots take over), you can still look at physical prints and remember a moment in the life of your family. And that’s special.

(Want your own family mini session? We’re doing a super limited number of sessions this fall and you can sign up here!)

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OMG y’all are those photos beautiful. I feel like I am right there with them smelling the air, hearing the laughter, and feeling great about myself when looking at those photos! Don’t miss out on scheduling your mini-session with Carly so you can take advantage of this magic for yourself!

(Carly’s original post here!)