What to Expect at your Outdoor Family Photo Session

Every photographer has a unique way of working with their clients. Galleries may look completely different from one photographer to another, and sometimes even within one photographer’s portfolio of galleries. The honest truth is, every family photo session is uniquely one of a kind and often unpredictable. That’s the beauty of working with families that I love and appreciate so much! Every family dynamic is different. With that being said, I go into every outdoor family session with a tentative plan that will *hopefully* result in a large variety of images. In this blog post I will outline what you can expect from me at your outdoor family photo session and some of the images you can anticipate being in your gallery!

Upon your arrival,

You can expect me to greet you with a smile, give a quick outline of where we plan to go and what we plan to do, remind everyone to make sure they’re dressed appropriately for the weather, and collect any extraneous items you’d like to carry with you on our adventure but don’t want as part of the image. I always wear a backpack where I encourage my clients to store their items as we adventure together. This allows me to document those candid in-between moments of your family without the distraction of your cell phone, purse, or extra bags you may have been carrying.

I will also give you some simple reminders of ways to encourage those connecting moments between you and your loved ones. For more details on these, you can read this blog post on how to create more natural, candid moments during your family photo session. Once everyone is ready, we will begin our adventure! Expect me to be your paparazzi throughout the session. Try your best not to look at me (unless I ask you to!) and have fun with your kids! Rest assured that I will give you gentle prompts throughout the session to encourage fun and connection, and I might even ask to put you in a pose or two.

As I noted before, every session is wildly different and I cannot guarantee a list of specific images for every session. However, I do try my best to gather a large array of images that include but are not limited to the following at your outdoor family photo session!

Everyone smiling at the camera.

Admittedly these are not my favorite kinds of images but I know how much grandparents appreciate them. So you can expect me to ask everyone to smile at the camera at least once throughout the session. I usually start with this image to “get it out of the way” so kids can have fun and play for the remainder of our time together!

Individual parent with each child and your children together.

I’ll do my best to let these interactions happen naturally throughout the session without me having to very obviously prompt you. However, as our session draws closer to the end, I will typically check in with you to see if you want any family pairing images that we have not yet documented.

Playful portraits of your children.

I’ll be sure to get those in between moments of your kiddo running across the sand, climbing trees, or let’s be real – playing with sticks. You can expect me to follow your kiddos around and ask them lots of questions to get them engaged and excited! I may even ask them to race each other, find treasures, or spin around in circles to get those giddy smiles full of laughter.

Photos of just the parents together.

Depending on where you are in your family journey, it may have been a long time since you and your partner had photos of just the two of you! That’s why I love to grab just a few photos of the parents together. I will do my very best to separate you from your children for a moment to grab these images at some point. (Oftentimes the kids decide they want to be a part of the image so they’ll sneak in the back!)

Super wide scenic photos of you in the environment.

There will be times when I’m way, wayyyyy far away from you and making funny gestures with my arms. I’ll always tell you ahead of time so you’re not confused. Something like, “Hey, I want to grab this big, beautiful, extremely wide photo of your family in this location. I want all of you to stand right about here while I go over there. Just do x, y, and z, and then I’ll motion to you when you can keep moving along.”

Images of you walking together.

I’m going to be like your paparazzi the entire time we’re together, so you can expect me to be snappin’ photos as you walk from A to B, then B to C, C to D, etc. I’ll simply ask you to walk together and to not look at me while you do. These end up being some of my favorite photos because people tend to feel more relaxed when they have a simple task such as walking. I may even switch things up and have you play bumper cars at some point. 🙂 

Everyone sitting together.

If our chosen location permits it, I love to grab some images of everyone sitting on either the ground or a blanket. I usually bring an extra blanket to my sessions but will also remind you to bring one ahead of time, in case you have a special one you’d like to incorporate into your photos.


I love documenting the details. These usually entail lots of hands – holding hands, holding your child, interlocked fingers. It can also include details in your clothing, the items or toys you carry along with you (they are part of the story!), or the treasures you discover while out the environment.


I’ll ask you to get close – like, really close…faces touching close – frequently. I love a good face smush! I love nose nuzzles, cheek kisses, hands on the face, playing with hair, tickles, cuddles, and basically anything that gives you all the warm fuzzies. You can expect a good amount of your photos to be close up images of your love.

Lots of movement!

I always come prepared with prompts and activities to inspire movement and connection at your family photo session. A few examples are having everyone play tag, swinging your kiddo, gently tossing your child into the air, jumping, skipping, running, etc! It depends on the age range of the children present.


If you’re drawn to my style of work and open to a less structured and more playful photo session, you can expect your kids personalities to shine! I LOVE working with children. In fact, before starting my photography business I was an elementary teaching assistant for four years. Before that, I worked in after school care, summer camps, and even taught abroad in Vietnam. I have over five years of experience working with children in schools. Part of the reason I enjoy a longer photo session is to give your child time to become more comfortable with me. If your child needs space, that is totally okay. I promise to still deliver a gallery that’s representative of your unique family dynamic, full of love and emotion.

I hope you found this article about what to expect from me at your outdoor family photo session useful. Book your outdoor family photo session with me by clicking here today!

With love and gratitude,


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