A NOTE ABOUT THIS GUIDE
We're super excited to be working with you and can't wait for our time together during your family session!
Just so you know, even as professional photographers, we still get nervous before our own photo shoots. But don't worry, we'll handle everything like pros and capture amazing moments that will make you forget any pre-shoot jitters.
⭐ We'll rock your session and create memories that will have everyone saying, "Nerves? What nerves?"
In this guide, get ready to discover the ultimate recipe for showcasing each of your family's fabulous personalities in a relaxed and meaningful setting that even welcomes the inclusion of your four-legged family members.
We understand that planning a session can feel like juggling a circus act, with questions popping up left and right. To save you from that repetitive loop, we've cooked up the perfect guide that spills all the beans and walks you through everything you need to know.
From what to wear fashion tips to rock your session, what to bring to entertain the little ones, and a bucketful of location ideas to inspire the heck outta you.
So buckle up, grab a favioute snack, and let's dive into this guide that'll make you a session-planning superstar in no time!
❤ Preston & Laurette
To the Guys
📍We totally get it.
We understand that having your picture taken for 1-2 hours might not be the most thrilling thing to do during your downtime - There are probably a hundred other things you'd rather be doing [insert fav activity here!]
It's totally natural to feel a little self-conscious in front of the camera or a bit awkward at first. But hey, we'll do our best to make the experience enjoyable and hassle-free.
Who knows, by the end of the session, you might just find yourself pleasantly surprised!
Is There A "Good" Time To Take Photos?
When it comes to family photo sessions, the possibilities are endless!
There's no such thing as a "good" or "bad" time to capture those precious moments. Our approach revolves around tailoring the session to match your desired vibe, whether it's blossoming spring flowers or a carefully coordinated schedule.
Typically, our sessions span around an hour and a half, and whenever possible, we love to kick things off approximately two hours before the sun bids us farewell for the day. Why, you ask? We aim to catch that magical moment when the sun gracefully paints the world with softer dreamy hues, sparing us from those pesky harsh shadows and glaring sun patches.
And sunrise lovers, we haven't forgotten about you - The first two hours after the crack of dawn are also a picture-perfect time to freeze those cherished memories.
We meticulously schedule sessions during the time when we anticipate the BEST lighting. This means being punctual is of utmost importance. If you happen to be fashionably late to an evening session, we might find ourselves chasing the vanishing light before we've captured all those cherished shots. Likewise, for morning sessions, the rising sun grows more intense and less forgiving as the clock ticks away.
⏰ Timing is crucial - let's make a pact to be on time and bask in the perfect golden light together!
(Tip - Get your family together at least 30 minutes BEFORE the session start time)
🍀 The Four Seasons
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.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind during each season:
snowfall, hot cocoa and cozy coats
If you're considering having your family photos taken during the winter time, we wanted to share a few cozy tips with you. For sessions scheduled in the evening, we suggest starting as early as 2:30pm to capture the enchanting sunset. To keep everyone comfortable, layering your outfits is a wonderful idea, allowing you to stay warm between photos.
It's always handy to bring a little extra makeup and to have some tissues on hand, as the chilly air may cause a runny nose. We hope these suggestions help you prepare for a delightful and memorable photoshoot with your loved 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!
This Guide covers everything you need to know to prep for your session! However, if there is something we missed, feel free to email us at