Greater Philadelphia Documentary Family Photographer: 5 tips for your photo session.

My dear friend Barbara, who is 86 years old, shared some wisdom with me yesterday:

“No one tells you when you are younger that your good memories will be some of your most precious possessions and will help you through the difficult parts of your life. Hold on to them tightly, even the small ones.”

As a Philadelphia documentary family photographer my job is exactly that: capturing those memories for you!

Today I’d like to share 5 tips for your 2-hour Family Storytelling session:

  1. Activities are important for this type of session because they prompt the moments. Examples of some activities that work great: quick round of a card or board game, baking or cooking together, reading a book or cuddling time, dance party, dress-up, Jenga, building a fort, playing with a family pet, bath time, sharing a meal or a snack, playing outside: ball, bubbles, chalk – you name it! So often kids want to show me their hobbies or extracurricular activities like playing piano or gymnastics. Your favorite pictures would not be of an activity itself, but of the in-between moments!
  2. Inside/Outside. Do your kids love playing in the back yard or is there a park or a playground right by your house that is a big part of your life? Let’s incorporate it! This would provide us with a great visual variety and kids would appreciate the change of scenery. Starting a session at home and then transitioning outside proved to be the best way to structure a 2-hour session.
  3. Time of the day when you schedule your session is important! When are your kids predictably in their best mood? Do you have a certain routine in the morning/evening that would be fun to capture?
  4. Let everyone wear comfortable clothing! “What should we wear?” is the question that my clients ask me so often. The answer is simple: please wear what you are comfortable in and what makes you feel good about the way you look. If you choose to dress up for a low-key in-home session then it changes the flow: all of a sudden building legos with your kids on the floor is not as comfy as it usually is and it looks unnatural in pictures.
  5. Get your family on board! So often mom is the one planning a photo session. I highly recommend that you get your family (your husband and older kids) on board and excited: brainstorm activities together, explain to them that this session would feel more like a friend coming over to hang out rather than a photo shoot, and show them a slideshow from a similar session so they would know what to expect! The only thing that the younger kids need to know is that I am coming over. They get on board in a matter of minutes and usually don’t want me to leave when the session is over.


To book your 2023 Family Storytelling session send me a message today and let’s talk!