tips + tricks for a successful shoot

the past few months have been a happy whirlwind. my busy season has been packed and i have been lucky enough to shoot so many wonderful and unique families. now that i've been able to come up for air (for a minute) i've gotten thinking about what makes a shoot run smoothly.  here's a few key elements for success i've picked up over the last few years of family photography.


  • these are some tips + tricks i've seen work, but i'm just here to get the shot. you know your family best! you know what will work for them. tell me your thoughts up front and we will tackle this thing together. its not just about getting some family photos, it can also be about having a good time! let me know how i can help you, just be you!
  • after just being yourself is being comfortable. wear clothes that reflect who you are, but also that don’t require a lot of fussing. if you are tugging and fixing, it will make it difficult to get a good photo. this does requiring a little planning in advance. outfits pulled together last minute hardly ever turn out how you hope. so get organized ahead of time if you can. make sure you have the elements you need, things are clean/ironed, and everyone is comfortable.
  • i want to capture you as you are. if your toddler won't let go of her dolly or your kid's lucky blue shirt never comes off, thats fine! let's roll with it! if you have a favorite family activity, book, snack, or toy bring it along. let's do it. 


  • another element of being comfortable/confident in front of the camera is letting go of getting the perfect pose. your kids will be more relaxed if you are. 
  • the best thing you can do to help me get a great shot with everyone's focus is to let me do the work. just chill and smile. i'll get the kids attention and when i do it's easier if you're ready to go.


  • i'm not offended if you bribe the kids. mini marshmallows, swedish fish, or smarties can be eaten quickly with no mess. pennies for smiles is also effective :)
  • i'm pretty comfortable jumping up and down, singing songs, and making animal noises to get attention/smiles, but if your kid has a favorite toy or book do bring it! snacks/toys also help during down time. 
  • depending on the weather, sometimes it's a good idea to bring an extra picnic blanket, jacket, and/or umbrella. 

j family : sugar house park

when jennie asked me if I could do some family portraits for her family before her parents moved away for a service mission with the LDS church I was so thrilled. jennie and I were college roommates and I sincerely love her and her family inside out. bon voyage jacksons!

b family: before

I'm just getting to sharing these shots and up next is the sweet babe. :) better late than never. it was such a joy to capture this sweet couple. love them both and know they are going to make such wonderful parents.

the mouse trap truck

it's thursday y'all! that means provo food truck round-up. SO... i thought i would post some pics of my last trip to the mouse trap truck. disclaimer: don't scroll down if you are at all hungry right now :) 

go check it out if you haven't already. you won't be sorry!

follow the mouse trap truck over here for their schedule and other updates. 

a+t: after

can't say enough about this day. it was beautiful start to finish filled with genuine people and love. the sun came out just when we needed it and the rain brought the colors of the landscape to life. I was truly honored to have been a part of such a lovely celebration. so happy for you both!

b family {three going on four}

i was so excited by the killer spot kendall scouted to capture her growing family. i was loving the backdrop, but let's be honest the subjects here make these photos! can't wait to meet baby boy number two. you guys make real cute ones :)

a+t: before

we spent a lovely evening on the water to celebrate this handsome couples upcoming wedding. I'm100% at home boating so I loved the backdrop for this shoot. can't say enough about how genuine and thoughtful these two are. I wish them all the very best!

shawnee + andy: engaged

love is in the air! i've been so honored to be able to shoot some really stellar couples the last few weeks and this duo was no exception. so sweet and considerate of each other my heart nearly burst on the scene. it really just makes me want to bubble over to see two people freshly fallen in love. so thrilled for you both A+S!

{brand new baby e}

man something about new babies in the spring :) this little love was a joy to shoot. super cozy and calm until waking up with the cutest expressions. i love newborn shoots! chatting with new moms, snuggling squishy babies, and oh the frog legs and fuzzy heads... feels like there is a magic in the air during that special time. pretty heavenly. see for yourself!

r family {before}

sometimes I get to do portraits for old friends! (hashtag yay!) it made me so happy to capture this rad family. we almost lost that cute pup in the duck pond, but other than that this was a delight evening. so thrilled for you dear friends!

cind you are one foxy pregnant woman!

w family

I wonder if my clients would think it was weird that sometimes I want to blow up their images for my own walls :) I'm super in love with all these, but especially the first one. such an adorable family! had such a great time jaycee, thanks for sharing your cute baby with me!