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.