A NOTE ABOUT THIS GUIDE
We’re so excited to be working with you and we can’t wait for our time together during your family session! It’s normal to be a little nervous about your session. We always tell people that we still get nervous before having our photos taken - and we do this for a living!
In this guide you will find that you can showcase your personalities in a more casual setting that is significant to you and your family (and even include pets).
There is a lot to think about when it comes to planning a session and since we get asked the same things over and over again, we thought it would be the most beneficial if we put together a guide that walks you through everything you need to know.
We’ll cover what to wear, whether to bring pets & how to manage them, location ideas and more!
❤ Preston & Laurette
To the Guys
We get it. Having your picture taken for 1-2 hours might not be in your top-10 favorite things to do during your downtime. And at first you might feel sort of awkward being in front of the camera. But I think you’ll find that by the end of the session, it’s a lot easier than you thought, and you even had a little fun.
Is There A "Good" Time To Take Photos?
Family sessions can take place anywhere! We’ve found that there isn’t a “good” or “bad” time to take your photos. We normally plan sessions based on a particular “look” a family has in mind, spring flowers for example, or based on schedules.
Sessions typically last about an hour and a half and when when we can—we love to begin sessions about two hours before sunset. We prefer to shoot when the sun is lower in the sky to avoid harsh shadows and bright sun patches. The first two hours after sunrise is also an ideal time to shoot.
We schedule sessions during what we believe will be the best light of the day - which means that it’s super important to be on time. If you’re late to an evening session, we could run out of light before we’ve finished shooting and if your session takes place in the morning, the sun gets more harsh as it rises.
While we shoot most of our family sessions between April and late November, sessions can take place all year. Most of our families choose a season based on the location where they want to shoot.
A few things to keep in mind during each season:
snowfall, hot cocoa and cozy coats
If you’re planning to take your family photos during the winter, keep in mind that if your session takes place in the evening, we could begin shooting as early as 2:30pm to catch the sunset. We recommend dressing in layers so that in between photos you can warm up. Make sure you bring a little extra makeup and tissues in case your nose begins running for you and the little ones.
fresh flowers and sunny days
Even though Spring begins in March, we typically don’t begin shooting for another 6 weeks because the weather in Pennsylvania is still pretty chilly. When we schedule spring dates, we typically schedule both a primary date and a backup rain date.
walks on the beach hand in hand
In spite of the heat, we’re big fans of summer sessions! Because of the later sunset, sessions sometimes begin as late as 6pm. If you’re taking your family photos during the summer, we recommend bringing extra makeup and a few towels to make sure you stay fresh throughout your session. Oh, don't forget some water to stay hydrated.
colorful leaves and snuggling close
Fall is one of the prettiest times of the year on the East Coast and because of the perfect weather, our schedules typically book up quickly! If you have your heart set on a fall family photos, we recommend scheduling it as soon as you book!
Poconos & Lehigh Valley Locations
We love when families choose a location for their session that complements their unique style. For example, if you are a family that loves to do outdoor activates, it may fitting to have a family session at your favorite hiking trail. If you love doing things in the city, downtown Bethlehem may be the perfect fit. We have some location inspiration for you below. But feel free to share your favorite location with me.
Destination Family Sessions
While we take most of our sessions in the greater Lehigh Valley & Poconos area, We are open to photograph sessions everywhere from Mexico to New York City to Maryland. If you have a location in mind that is significant to the family, let us know because if our schedules align, we might be able to take your photos outside of our normal area.
Travel fees may apply depending on the location and our availability.
TIPS FOR LOOKING YOUR BEST
When picking outfits we recommend keeping in mind the word “complement” rather than “match.” For example, if the Dad is wearing a blue and pink pastel plaid shirt, the Mom may want to choose a long, soft blue dress. It can also be a great idea to choose “color-families,” such as pastels or jewel tones.
Generally family pick one outfit for the entire session but, they have the option to bring a second outfit: a more formal outfit and a casual outfit. We recommend saving your favorite outfit for later in the session, when families usually feel more comfortable in front of the camera.
what to do if it rains
It’s typical for us to schedule two family session dates. A primary date and a rain date. Having two dates helps us make sure that your photos happen in a timely manner. Coordinating schedules can be tough and we’ve found that the best way to make sure our families get the look they have in mind for their photos is to schedule two dates at the same time.
We’ll check in the week of your session to confirm the time & location we’re meeting and the weather. We know it takes a lot of time to get ready for family portraits and it’s the worst to get dressed up and drive out to your session only to have it rain. Let us know what works best for you - but if the weather looks like it won’t be great, we typically try to make the call at least 8-12 hours in advance.
Bring the kiddos toys!
If you’re planning to bring props to your session, we recommend including them only if they’re meaningful to you. Shots of your little ones holding their favorite toy is cute and helps them forget about the camera.
"What do I do with my hands?"
When it comes to posing for your session, you don’t need to worry about a thing! We’ll guide you through the entire process beginning with “poses” that are super easy and natural. If we tell you to do something that feels a little funny, it’s probably because we know it’s going to make you laugh - and that’s the photo we’re actually looking for.
Throughout the session, we’ll keep an eye on your hair, makeup and outfits to make sure things stay in place. We want you to feel as relaxed as possible and enjoy your time together as a family!
If you’re anything like us, you probably don’t get dressed up all that often. Which means that the day of your session is the perfect occasion for a family night (or brunch if your session is in the morning!)
The session is another part of celebrating your family love and heading off to dinner is a great way to end the session!
We know that this guide is long and hopefully it covers everything you need to know to prep for your session! However if there is something we missed, or you need a recommendation feel free to email