family in old town Alexandria under blooming dogwood tree

January 24, 2022

The Key to Gorgeous, Amazing Family Photos

You see them when scrolling social media – those perfect-looking, amazing family photos. They might be friends or it might even be an ad. But you see it and immediately want to know the secret. How DO they get such gorgeous family photos? Let me tell you the key to getting amazing photos of your own family. And bonus – if you’re in the Northern Virginia area then I can be the one to help!

family of 4 standing under blossoming dogwood and in front of brick wall
2 sisters sit on bench in Old Town Alexandria

Mood Check – the biggest secret to amazing family photos

Parents, did you see this coming? The biggest, most successful point in making your photos carefree and happy is….to be carefree and happy! I know it can be VERY stressful getting everyone dressed, fed, and out the door on time but you have to leave that all in the car. Turning off emotions is difficult, I know. Your husband couldn’t find his shirt, the toddler spilled something as you walked out, or you forgot the bow for your daughters hair. I promise, promise, promise if you can exit the car at the location and forget about all of that for one hour then you will be happy with your photos.

I want you to be the most loving, relaxed, amazed-at-everything-your-kids-do parents in the world. Forget how frustrated you were with them this morning and just laugh. Laugh at every face they make, laugh at how high they didn’t jump, be in awe at the rock they bring to you, cuddle with your significant other as you tickle your child.

young daughter walks toward camera while family snuggles in background

Kids Rule and Get All the Love

While we’re in this magical world of carefree parenting, let’s add that there are basically no rules for your kids. We don’t have to tell them this, but we both know. Don’t reprimand or threaten your child during the session as that will only upset them, embarrass them, and probably make for a sour attitude. Instead, redirecting their actions will do wonders! Let’s say we don’t like one child throwing rocks near their sibling. Understandable. Why don’t we move away from the rock pile over here to this cool boulder to stand on? Great! We did it. Redirection and happy families. This will also reflect in your emotions and reactions as well. I have plenty of great photos ruined by parents making angry or annoyed faces at their kiddos. Just. Keep. Smiling.

Along with them having freedom from rules for one hour, I want you to engage with them like crazy. Tickle them, toss in the air, snuggle on your lap, play with their hair, kiss their cheeks, kiss those baby toes. Do all the things!

dad holds two daughters on his lap and kisses one on head the key to amazing family photos

Have Some Stories on Hand

What makes your kids giggle? Is it a story about when they did something weird as a baby? Or something YOU did when you were little? A joke from a show you watched together? Is it that weird dance move you do? That annoying song (or maybe its the annoying way you sing it)? Have a tiny collection of things or memories that make your kids laugh and we will use them throughout the session. I promise again that this will work! Even with bigger kids!

girl holds her dads hands and smiles at camera

Styling for Amazing Family Photos

I don’t want to say styling is everything, but it is a huge part. You know the biggest key (see above) but a close second is styling. You want your outfits to do a few things to work in your favor and give you a gorgeous gallery. First, you want to look like YOU and feel good in what you’re wearing. Second, you want the location and outfits to sing together, not clash. Together we will work on finding the best outfits, starting with what you have in your closet! I also give a Styling Guide to help guide the process.

parents each hold child while smiling at each other and relax, the key to amazing family photos

A laid-back, fun photographer

Finding a photographer that will work with your family to go with the flow, not get upset at your children (no matter what they do!), and be relaxed. When you find that family photographer then you will get gorgeous, amazing family photos! Obviously I can be your girl if you’re in the Northern Virginia area. I encourage you to check out my About page and see if you think we’d be a good fit. If so then I’d love to capture the connection in your family.

black and white image of a husband and wife hugging and laughing

What is the main theme here? Everyone being relaxed – you AND me – will result in relaxed photos. Being happy with everything your kids do plus the right styling will give you the joyful family photos you want.