I have 4 kids under 8… and it’s such a harried/busy yet special time of life.  

I feel so honored that I get to help busy mamas and papas slow down and just play with their kids for an hour while I capture it all.  

family photo tips orange county photography kid photos

I LOVE working with families!  Dare I say, it might be my one of my favorite things ever?  I love witnessing the love of families.


Have all outfits picked out a few days in advance.  

Check out my inspiration boards for inspiration on pinterest {{Nectar-Family Inspiration Board}}.  I generally recommend going with coordinating colors, but not matchy-matchy.

Iron clothing in advance and then hang them into a special (untouched) part of the closet.  I myself have been victim to grandma and nanny putting my son’s special photo shirt on him a day before the shoot (unknowingly of course!) and then I’m rushing around doing laundry the night before instead of relaxing with a glass of red (like all of us moms deserve at day’s end).  Keep those pre-selected photo outfits out of reach!


Tip #2: SLEEP

It may go without saying, but tired kids are cranky kids.  We’ve all had those experiences where your tired child wakes up and nothing is right in his world, nor will it ever be right again, until naptime.  And then he may wake up and cry again until dinner time. Plan an early or on-time bedtime for the night before. Also, plan the photo session when the babes/kids are most happy.  I find kids are generally very happy right after waking up – either early morning, or after afternoon naps (which are the best times for lighting also!!). I have my tricks of play and laughter and candy and games and all that jazz… but please, PLEASE don’t plan a trip to Disneyland the night before our photo shoot.  Enough said.


Tip #3 FOOD

Pack up the diaper bag with necessities the day before, like healthy snacks, binky, bottle, blanket, etc.  It will be one less thing to do on the day-of the photo shoot. Same goes for older kids: bring healthy snacks and water bottles and pack them up beforehand.  I DO NOT recommend sugary snacks beforehand. Eat something with protein (beef jerky, hard boiled eggs, cheese, toast with nut butter, protein bars, fruit & nuts).  Protein curbs hunger and keeps nice, even blood sugar levels for energy and mood zen. Sugar will give a jolt of energy and then leave you crashing smack-dab in the middle of photos.  Let’s save sugary treats for when I need to bribe your children, and they can crash for you on the way home after our work is done. 😉


Tip #4: HAVE FUN

I have had client mamas that come in so stressed I just want to hug them.  I get it. Life is crazy. Take this opportunity of your hour with me and just RELAX.  Play. Throw your kid in the air (catch her, too of course). Hold hands and run toward me.  Play peek-a-boo around a tree trunk. Lay in the grass together. Pick some flowers and put them behind your ear, or your daughter’s ear (or both!).  Bring a favorite game like checkers, or Uno, or Go Fish and I will snap pics while you play it on a quilt. Bring a can of glitter and let your daughter throw it up in the air. Bring confetti and throw it on each other.  Bring giant lollipops for everyone to lick. The possibilities are endless! Your only job is to bring everyone to the photo shoot. And then have fun with them. Leave the rest up to me and I promise you will love your photographs.  



It’s ok that your daughter is holding her dress up and playing with her belly button instead of smiling at the camera.  It’s actually pretty adorable and you’re going to want to remember it. One of my favorite things about kids is that they don’t give a hot damn about what anyone else thinks.  If you and your man are smiling down at her and she’s adorably playing around in her dress near you… that’s a win. Sometimes candids that showcase the bold laughs and surprised joy are some of the most cherished images that families have.  I will do my best to get everyone looking at me. But in the end, let’s go with it and have some fun. I will capture you all as the beautiful people that you are. I promise. When we can create a relaxed, natural and SUPER FUN atmosphere… the great photographs come easily and the good times roll.



A Family photo session is also an opportunity to get pictures of a special family heirloom.  If you have a special quilt that Nana made: bring it and we can pose it by having the kids sit on it.  If there’s a special necklace or ring handed down: wear it and I will get some special shots of it. Having a beautiful photograph of these special items can just help increase the joy they bring us.



Nectar Photography