Family photo sessions can be stressful if you’re not somewhat prepared. I’ve put together this simple guide that will help you plan accordingly and know what to expect. The best piece of advice I can offer though is to truly be yourself…. spend the session being proud of the family you have built and have fun!


The biggest challenge when planning a photo session can be what to wear! It’s so easy to compare your family to what other families are wearing in photos and then try to duplicate them. The problem with this is that you may look back at your photos and notice the clothing doesn’t represent your personal style at all! So, I resort back to my motta, “You do You!”. With that being said, there are some recommendations that will help you pull off your family’s individual look without too much stress.

First, start by picking out mom’s outfit (assuming mom is a part of the session). Moms are by far the most self critical in photos. Find something figure flattering, something you feel great in and that you would actually wear again. A fitted blazer is always a great look in the cooler seasons and allows you to layer with pattern and color while creating a waistline. A soft flowing dress is always attractive if you enjoy wearing dresses.

After mom’s outfit is chosen, it’s time to start with the other family members by creating a color scheme from mom’s outfit. Mixing patterns, textures and colors is totally acceptable and adds character to the images. My biggest “no no” is showing up all in one or two colors! You don’t want to look “matchy-matchy”.

For a pleasing color scheme, try to pick tones that match the season. Jewel tones are great in the fall and softer tones are best in the spring and summer. Earth tones can be any season! And if you plan to decorate your home with your photos, keep your colors scheme in mind!

Don’t forgot shoes that coordinate with your outfit. Boys’ shoes can be the biggest challenge because let’s face it, they just want to wear tennis shoes! If your boys don’t want to get out of a tennis shoe, compromise with a dressier tennis shoe or a casual sneaker.

To really complete a look, accessorize! Jewelry can make quite an impact and doesn’t have to be expensive.

When in doubt, contact me via text with any questions or even photos. I’m happy to help!

I’ve listed some of my favorite women’s’ apparel stores below:

Evereve (they have stylists that will actually help you pick figure flattering pieces). This is my favorite store for blazers and jackets.

Anthropology: They have the best dresses! Shop their clearance!

Altar’d State: They offer beautiful tunics and textured pieces, especially for teen girls.

Target and Old Navy: Great for those staple items like layering t-shirts. Also, you can find pieces for everyone in the family here without breaking the bank!

Below are some examples of how other families pulled off their look:

Summer sessions can be a little more challenging if you’re looking to add layers or accessories. I love how this family kept it simple by including flowers, a necklace and a bit of embroildery to add interest. The earth tones create a timeless look.
An autumn session can create a lot of interest. Above we have fun pops of red, multiple plaid patterns, lots of layers and texture.
Notice how mom’s dress adds pattern and motion? She could have added in more color with the others but stayed with blue, black and gray. I also love how the formal dress attire fit so well in the urban setting.
Here’s a heavy blue pallet but because of layers and textures and pop of orange, it works!


Choosing a location for your family should be the easy part. Where are you most comfortable spending your family time? Do you want to document your family hanging out at home? Do you love spending time in nature or have a special family location in mind? Do you love hanging out in the city? These are just a few questions to ask yourself ahead of time.

I do have some tried and true locations that I’ve used over the years. Click on the locations below to view a session from the locations:

Cool Creek Park (Carmel), Coxhall Gardens (Carmel), West Park (Carmel), Villages of West Clay (Carmel), Downtown Zionsville, Lions Park (Zionsville), Potter’s Bridge (Noblesville), Downtown Noblesville, , Newfields ($50 fee and 2 week notice), Butler Holcomb Gardens, Parking Garage, Holiday Park (Indianapolis), Mass. Ave (downtown Indy), Fountain Square (DT Indy), Stuckey Farm Orchard (Sheridan – fee), Central Park (Carmel), Bottleworks District, Maple Lawn Farm (Zionsville) and of course Your Home!


Most family sessions last 60-90 minutes. The flow of the session usually starts out with me getting to know your family a bit then moving into semi-posed photos. As the session moves along, we will start to get the more natural and candid images. If we’re outdoors, I like to use up the best sunlight which isn’t until 30 minutes before sunset.

Feel free to bring whatever it takes to keep your family happy. Some families bring props from home (ie. football, stuffed animal, heirloom quilt). I also recommend bringing along a few snacks and bottles of water for the car just in case.


You will receive sneak peeks of your session a few days after you sessions either via email or social media tags. Your full gallery will be delivered via email approximately two weeks following your session.

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