There are obvious things that make a family photography session go well.  First of all, the photographer needs to know what they are doing!  Hopefully you will agree I do! Second of all, there needs to be a good report between the photographer and the person/people being photographed.  I pride myself on being good at this.  It’s one of the things I love most about my job, interacting with and meeting new families.

But aside from these points there are two things that the client can really control.  I thought I’d use a recent session to explain.


The first is what you wear.  This can really impact the overall feel of a photo.

But if the aim of my sessions is to capture you, and your family as you are,  why does it matter then what you wear?  What you are wearing is a reflection of who you are right?  Clothing might reflect what your kids are into too.

This is all so true but clothing really does bring the photo together.

It can also fight with the background (different colours work better together and are more pleasing to the eye).

It can also distract from the emotion in the image (large patterns or motifs especially do this).

Lastly it can date.  You child may be in love with chase form paw patrol right now but if she wears a paw patrol t shirt it’s going to date the photo when you look back.

I advise to just keep its simple.

In spring / summer months, the light is soft, the colours are light and airy, so I like to recommend clients compliment this.  Light pastels, greys, creams, baby blues, pinks all look fabulous.

Im autumn shoots, the colours of yellow, red and brown dominate the scene so anything that fights this makes the photo look inconsistent and confused. Sticking to rich, strong colours like burgundy, mustard, green, will help your photos look really strong and help the eye to focus on your interactions with each other.

At Christmas, the images need punch and impact.  These want to grab attention, so bright red against the green of the trees or the whites of the studio work really well.  As does gold.

Accessories are great, as are layers (cardigans, hats etc).  Different textures also look great, for example  lace and tulle in spring, wool, corduroy in the autumn.


Evening light is awesome, fact!

It’s soft, its flattering, it gives a gorgeous glow to  the images you will receive.  Therefore my preference is always to shoot around two hours before the sun sets.  In the summer months this is around 7pm with it moving forward as early as 2pm in the winter.  This is what we call the golden hour because of the impact it has on the light (golden and soft).  It’s every photographers preference to shoot at this time.  The shadows on  the faces are softer, there is no squinting and in the summer months the kids aren’t moaning that it’s too hot.

Understandably, it’s a worry to some parents to keep their kids up towards bed time, or sometimes past bed time.  But this is where I come in.

It’s my expectation that they might play up / show off during a photo shoot.  It’s a new environment, it’s a new person and they may feel nervous if they haven’t had it done before.  It’s my job to make your kids feel at ease, to empathise if they find it nerve wracking or distract them when they’re tired.  In any of these cases I often take the lead and it works wonders as i’m new and fun (in their eyes – others might disagree!) and encouraging them to be silly and not worry about anything.

Yes they may be a bit ratty the next day if they stay up late, but it’s one day and it is worth it, I promise!  I’ve done it myself.

And if we get to the point where they’ve had enough during the session, we stop, no problems!


This gallery below shows you exactly what I mean.

The family dressed to compliment both the season and each other.  No one clashed, there were no distracting logos or patterns, lovely long layers and accessories.  Perfect styling!

Additionally, the light was just what I want, soft, light, airy, flattering.    The session below was held around 2 hours before sunset.  We met around 6pm on a beautiful hill near my studio.

And here’s a little clothing inspiration for those of you working with me this Autumn

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