Family Portrait Session | Westlake Village Photographer


On the Blog

Jun 29, 2017

I absolutely love photographing newborns. Love. It.  Having watched my baby girl change to a walking, talking, little girl basically over night, capturing those first few days on this earth is absolutely essential to me. But. Those little bundles are nothing without the beautiful parents that love them. The families that nurture and care for them, teaching and guiding as their own unique personalities begin to blossom.   Let’s document your family.  Your connections with one another.


Now let’s address 4 of those family portrait stressors!


1- What to wear?!?!?
I’m not your polo t-shirt and jeans photographer.  If you’re looking to put everyone in matching outfits then I’m not the right photographer for you.  If you’re thinking colors, texture, and patterns, then we are a match made in heaven!!

You might also be thinking, “I have no idea what anyone is going wear!!  Some body help me!

Deciding and find the right outfits might jut be the most stressful part of the whole session.  That’s where I come in.  My tip.  Start by dressing yourself.  Find an outfit that you absolutely love (might be the perfect time to splurge on yourself since these portraits will be proudly displayed on the walls of your home).  Studies show (according to the findings of Alyson Berg) that moms who feel confident in their outfits, are more relaxed and at ease, which inevitably puts the entire family more at ease.  Including dad.  My personal preference is to find a dress that you love.  It can be to your knees, calves, or feet. Reasoning for a dress: it helps to break up the color blocking that blue jeans create.  If you’re not a dress gal, consider a colored pair of jeans paired with a dressy-casual top.  Once you’ve found your perfect outfit, select 2 to 3 coordinating colors and start working on everyone else.

•  For this family’s session, the date was on the calendar for a few weeks out and per my typical correspondence, I told mom that I would be happy to offer outfits tips and suggestions if she needed it.  She shared with me a picture of the awesome mustard yellow dress she had in find for herself and asked for ideas for the other three outfits.  I offered a color scheme suggestion as well as a little online “shopping” to make it easier.  After perusing some of my favorite shops, I shared screenshots with her of what I envisioned for a cohesive look.  I LOVE the outfits she settled on!!


2- Shy kiddos

Worrying that the entire session will be spent with your little clinging tight to you leg makes for some   I promise you, 90% of sessions start this way.  I also promise that I have no shame.  I’ll neigh like a horse, moo like a cow, or jump in the air and twirl if it will make anyone in your family smile.  Whether it’s our first time meeting or our tenth, my first job is to become friends with your littles first!  The photography is secondary until they are relaxed and at ease with me.

•  Weeks proceeding this session, mom and I were in contact about location, date, time; all the important prep steps.  While we were discussing clothing colors and ideas, mom shared with me, “Also, my 3 year old is very shy and might be a bit difficult taking her picture.”  I love that the first few pictures capture her shyness.  Those tight daddy snuggles and little pout face.  Eventually though, she comes out of her shell and that beautiful, bursting smile cannot be contained.

3- Location, location, location!

Finding the right location can be a bit of a challenge, especially out here in the dry state of California.  You pretty much get brown 11.5 months out of the year.  This year offered an extreme change to what we’ve come to know as it rained pretty much the entire month of February.  This session took place in March and as you can tell, it’s beautifully, and unnaturally green.  (There was also a visible “river” which probably won’t happen for another 100 years.)  I start with the look you want and offer suggestions.  Every spot has its pros and cons, I’m here to help you determine which one has the most pros, in your opinion.  I’m also open to suggestions!  If I don’t know the spot you’re interested in, I make an extra trip prior to the session to scout it the area, ]familiarize myself with its lighting conditions, foliage, and foot traffic.  The only time this didn’t work to my advantage was when I scouted a location with my family on a Sunday, only to arrive at the location on a Monday, right at the end of the school day…

•  This session’s location was based on proximity to the family.  They were driving out from LA and this location was the closest spot to them that I was familiar with.  I knew I wanted to capture the sun in some of the frames so we had to up the session time to account for the mountains in the background.  I’m a sucker for warm golden light.


4- The Final Product

The most important thing for me to know when going into your session, is what do you want to do with these portraits?  Are you an album lover and you want to be able to sit down with your babies and spend wonderful moments turning the pages and talking about what they love about their family?  Or do you want to fill your walls with priceless artwork of the ones you treasure the most?  Maybe it’s both!  I take the time, before your session, to help you determine what your end goals are for your portraits.  When the day comes for your session, I’m prepared to capture exactly what you want!

There’s so much more that goes into your session than the simple clicking of a button.  And your portraits are more than exposure, shutter speed, and aperture.  My promise to you – I will go above and beyond to provide you with the absolute best experience possible!!  It’s what you’re hiring me for.

Now let’s get your session on the calendar!  Click here to book now!




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