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Family Session Guide

Before Your Session


  • Choose a color palette: Pick a couple colors and stick with them as a theme for your family. You want everyone to be wearing similar colors without being matchy-matchy. Limit patterns—too many patterns can be distracting (plaid, stripes, polka dots, flowers). 


  • Keep the colors of your home in mind. If you want to order a large wall print for your home, keep in mind the what colors will work with the decor in your home.


  • Keep It Classic: Wearing items of clothing that are super trendy at the time may date your photos 10 years from now leaving you saying, “What was I thinking?!” Also, avoid graphic tees and logos that may be popular at the time. 

  • Keep Your Setting In Mind: Speaking mostly to women, if your session is in a park, there may be a small amount of walking involved on grass or gravel pathways. Be prepared to sit down as a family on a blanket in the grass. Dresses are lovely for photo sessions, just make sure you are wearing an option that still allows you to move, play and snuggle with your kids.


I will watch the weather starting the week before your session. We can make a decision to reschedule because of bad weather up to the day of the session. Although capturing your family photos is of the utmost importance to me, your family's safety is my #1 priority and risking that is not worth it to me. Therefore, it is ultimately my decision as to whether or not we need to reschedule a session.

During Your Session

I will meet you and your family at our predetermined location. I will visit with you all and get to know your children a bit before we move into taking pictures. I will guide you through some easy poses with your family. In addition to these images, I also like to capture images that show the natural connection between family members in a more relaxed, less posed approach. Whether it be laughing or snuggling, I will give you gentle guidance for these images as well. If there are any specific pictures you are looking for, we most likely discussed them in our consultation. If you think of something afterward, please let me know so I make sure we get that picture!



First, let’s just say that children will be children, and you cannot always control their actions at a photo session. If your child begins to act out, we all need to practice patience. We will simply give the child a small break and try again a few minutes later. A mother myself, I am an extremely patient person and I will give it everything I have to capture some beautiful images of your children while we are together.


If you have a baby or a toddler, think of your child’s favorite songs, cartoon characters, etc. that we can use to sing or talk about to make them smile and react favorably for the camera.


Depending on your child’s age, I tell parents to offer children a reward which they will receive at the end of the session for good behavior. Whether it is a small wrapped present or a promise of pizza or ice cream afterward, rewards often times work. 


As a parent, I don’t really need to tell you, but I am going to say it anyways—children always respond better to taking pictures when they are well rested and not under the weather. If your child is truly not feeling well, it might wreak havoc on your session. Please contact me as soon as possible and we can reschedule for another time that works for both of us.

After Your Session

Within a couple days of your session, I will post a sneak peek consisting of a 1-3 photos taken at your session. You can find the images on my Facebook page (Lauren Watley Studio) and Instagram page (@watleystudio). If you do not wish to be featured on social media, please let me know and I am more than happy to keep your photos private!


Within 3 weeks after your session, you will be emailed an online gallery of 40+ images. ​With your images, I will also include easy download instructions that will show you how to download your images straight to your desktop.



Printing your images is SO important! Please don't let your images stay on a hard drive forever and never see the light of day. They should be in a frame, on the walls of your home. Ordering prints is easy with an online store attached to your gallery. Your order goes directly to a professional photo lab here. Your images are printed on premium, archival quality photo paper and will be shipped to you approximately 2-3 days after your order date. Your images will have a guaranteed accuracy of color, tone, contrast, etc. and if there is an issue, I can help fix it free of charge. However, if you order prints from a consumer photo lab like Target, Walgreens, Shutterfly or Costco, your images may not look the same as they did in your online gallery and I cannot guarantee print quality.

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