family portraits

This has definitely been the year of family portraits. Not surprisingly, my desire to capture many precious moments of life is compounded by having a rapidly growing baby who constantly reminds me how fast time flies. We’ve changed from the self-portrait taking couple with zero professional photos (after our wedding) into “that family” who has had four photo shoots in the last 10 months, complete with coordinating outfits, props, and an overly-researched location. {And pre-baby we may or may not have taken hundreds of photos of our pet cats.}



The more time I spend in graphic design, the more I appreciate a good quality photo that gives me a lot to work with. I loved creating Hayden’s birth announcement.

baby girl birth announcement

{Photos by Marigold Mom}

Planning a family photo shoot does take some time and work, but the results are so worthwhile. Great photos are the foundation for announcements or Christmas cards, gifts like personalized calendars or digital photo albums, or even home decor to display the precious memories. I would recommend considering the following:


Hire a Professional or ask talented friend? A lot of people have photography as a hobby, and have a lot of practice shooting pictures of their own kids with their SLR. I am equally pleased with these photos taken by both types of folks.

I appreciate each of these photos for capturing Hayden, and I think the style of each of the 3 different photographers is similar. I would definitely recommend checking out the previous work of your prospective photographer to see if they have the artistic slant you prefer. I am never prepared with poses and I appreciate someone who knows what to do to make babies look adorable in pictures 🙂 They can even recommend props to bring which can help support a sleeping baby, keep a little one entertained, or allow them to stand or sit up without your arm in the shot.


The backdrop for your photos is a key aspect to reflecting your family’s style. The opportunities are endless, and I recommend choosing a place that you find both beautiful and meaningful. This could be at your own home, like in your baby’s nursery, on your bed, or on your front porch. Other interesting places can be found in a fancy hotel lobby or in front of an architecturally beautiful structure.

There are tons of incredible outdoor backdrops that show the beauty of creation in addition to your family. I am a huge fan of the outdoors, so I campaigned to choose the rustic countryside for our extended family’s shoot with Emma back in August.

For those of us blessed to live in California (or near an ocean), the beach is a beautiful and romantic option.

I just love the orange orchard background in this shot. What a great idea!

{all of these images from Emma Leigh Photography – I’m obsessed with her work!}


This can be pretty simple and straightforward with just two people: just wear cute outfits that look good together. When more people are involved, it can be tough to find that balance between coordinating and being too matchy.

{need a laugh? Click here.}

Our family decided on a main color (navy blue) and a complementary color (teal) and chose those for our main pieces of clothing. I found some color palettes that we agreed upon, then everyone had freedom to pick their outfit around it. We considered the following as neutrals because they would blend seamlessly with our palette: white, grey, denim, and khaki. For some great color inspiration, check out Design Seeds and La Belle Vie.



Here is how it turned out, I couldn’t be happier.

color palette, outfits, extended family

And here is our little family in one of my favorite pictures ever:

I was blessed with a ticklish baby: smiles on demand.

With Christmas coming up, we had another shoot for our annual Christmas card. Stay tuned to see which was chosen.

{Taken by friend Tiffany Seston}

So call up your friend or family photographer and make that appointment; it won’t be regretted. Have any other tips for successful portraits? I’d love to hear them.


3 thoughts on “family portraits

  1. Happy moments with family is the most priceless and precious things in this world! Thanks to photography! Every moment spent with our beloved will be captured and treasured even after so many years had passed. I love these photos so much! These reminds me of my own family. They are not always with me though, but the my treasures with them (photos) will always make me smile even on rough times in my life. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: Six Month Photo Shoot! | Little Blue Nursery

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