I can’t even hide it – I’m crazy proud of this session because it features my beautiful sister-in-law and her gorgeous family!
It’s no secret that my most favorite venue for maternity, baby and family photography sessions is The Glass House in The Woodlands, TX! While my most favorite time to photograph clients there is at sunset, mornings are sometimes the best option considering nap or bedtimes for the kiddos I photograph.
When my sister-in-love, Kelsey, visited us recently with her husband, Jaxon, and their two little boys, she knew that after breakfast and before naptime would give us the very best shot at happy children. Her boys are 2.5 and one, so our priority was scheduling around the boys, instead at sunset, when the light is the most flattering.
Fortunately, mornings are also breathtaking at The Glass House, as you can clearly see in this relaxed, classic – and super classy – family session + cake smash!
A neutral color palette is best for family wardrobes!
The dominant colors at The Glass House are green, brown, white and gold, and you simply can’t have too many neutral shades here. In fact, I urge clients to opt for light pastels in place of bold, bright colors for a high-end look to their photo galleries.
Kelsey’s in a simple white sundress, and her husband and boys wore khakis and white shirts. Everyone decided to go barefoot, which actually happened rather accidentally because Maverick’s brown shoes didn’t wind up in the suitcase! I love how this adds a boho feel to this beautiful family photo session!
Family photos… and MORE family photos!
One thing I’ve learned about photographing babies and toddlers is it’s always a good idea to get must-have whole family shots in early… but I also repeat entire family set-ups throughout the session, in front of a variety of backgrounds, because this gives mamas the maximum amount of variety in selecting which memories to hang in the home and gift to loved ones.
That’s why you’ll see lots of combinations of the same individuals in every family session I photograph. Mom and both kids, dad and oldest child, mom with baby, dad with the oldest kiddo… all of these combos happen over and over as we work together, giving us the best chance at happy smiles in more than just one setup.
My NEW favorite way to photograph babies and toddlers who can sit independently
One aspect of The Glass House that I utilize in every single session is the giant gold mirror positioned in one corner of the venue. It’s perfect for every kind of session, and this time I photographed the boys together in front of the mirror with precious results!
This works well because the boys aren’t looking directly at me or the camera – they’re more interested in their own reflections at this age! This takes the focus off my big camera, which is often when you see little personalities really come out! I also love to photograph parents behind kiddos in the mirror for a totally creative take on family photos.
What the full photo gallery is like after a family photo session like this
After we account for getting settled with babies at the venue and little breaks along the way, I photographed Kelsey and her family for about 45 minutes of our one hour together.
Her final photo gallery featured just under 150 photos, which is pretty average for a family session here.
The gallery features four setups of the entire family (a setup is a background, meaning Kelsey has 4 different backgrounds featuring the whole family, including them seated and standing)
Three setups of Kelsey + the boys and Jaxon + the boys
Two setups of Jaxon and Summit and Kelsey and Summit
Three setups of just the boys
One set up of Summit by himself
Four setups of Maverick by himself (including his cake smash!)
How to plan a successful family photo session with young kids
When I’m working with young kids, we’ll plan our session start time around mealtimes and naptimes. My first preference is usually to schedule around the best light (about 1.5 hours before sunset), but this usually goes out the window when I work with kids due to early bedtimes!
I suggest bringing water or other preferred drink, along with simple snacks that won’t stain. A little break with a drink and a quick snack can do wonders for littles during a photo session!
Select comfortable clothes and shoes that your child can easily move around in.
Go into the session knowing that you’ll probably feel a little stressed. After all, you’ve invested time and money into these photos and I know you want amazing memories. Trust me when I say, I don’t want you to stress, but I know we all do when it comes to our kids.
I know how to capture that half second of a smile, and I try my very hardest to document your entire family at their happiest! It doesn’t bother me at all or stress me out if your kiddo cries or doesn’t follow directions every time. The most magical moments happen can happen in split seconds, and I am fully prepared to act fast and capture fleeting smiles and giggles!