Laura Hollander Photography- Battle Creek + Kalamazoo + Grand Rapids, MI photographer

Family Session Guide


Thank you for booking a family portrait session with me! I cannot wait to meet your family and help you tell your story through vivid, artistic images.


I understand that family portraits are an investment for you and I want to capture photos that you will cherish for years to come AND have fun during the process! It can be a lot of work to get your children ready for a photo shoot, so hopefully this guide will give you some ideas and direction!



What to Wear

wardrobe tips…

Many clients ask me questions about wardrobe. If you look on Pinterest you will find GOBS of posts on this subject. Every photographer's advice varies. I have gathered a few visuals for you if it helps! You can see and follow my Pinterest board here!


The days of "everyone wear jeans and white t-shirts" are in the past. My suggestion for choosing clothing is to find items that coordinate. It doesn't matter whose outfit is chosen first (I usually choose mine ;)) as long as you choose clothing that makes you feel comfortable and confident.


Choose a color scheme that you like- these portraits will be hanging on your walls! Dress according to the season, and let the season inspire your color scheme. Don't be afraid to add a pop of color to your palette!


Incorporating layers and textures can help add interest to your clothing. Accessories such as a scarf, belt, jacket, or jewelry will add another fun element to your photos. Remember that you will have some full-length photos taken, so plan shoes and socks accordingly.


Stay away from logos, flourescent colors (they reflect onto your skin), graphics and busy patterns. These may cause distraction in your photos, and I like the focus to be on you and your family!


Mom, you are going to look and feel amazing if you take a little time for yourself before your session. You should feel comfortable, confident and beautiful for your session! If you are considering having professional make-up done, I would be happy to give you a referral.

The Experience

Before, during and after…

  • Location- If you do not have a specific location in mind, I can help you find a spot! Your location may be your own backyard or inside your home. You could choose a location that has special meaning for you or involves one of your favorite family activities. Be sure your clothing choices "make sense" with your location.
  • Treasured item- Consider bringing any props that may hold significance to you. You could bring a family quilt, a photograph or sonogram. Maybe you have a little boy who LOVES to bake and use a mixer? Or maybe you take your childhood rocking chair to your one year old's session! Adding something personal into your session can create another level of significance to your portraits.
  • Time- my favorite time to shoot is in the evening, before sunset. That is how I achieve the warm glow in many of my images. If you have little ones, sometimes a late nap on the day of your session will help them to stay up later.


  • Prepare your kids before your session. Tell them about the photo shoot and how you cannot wait to hang photos of them in the house! Show them what they are going to wear before the session.
  • Feed your kiddos! Don't let them show up "hangry" LOL. Bring bribes to give them after the shoot. Or make it a special occassion and take them out for ice-cream afterwards. Snacks that are naturally colored, like cheerios, are a great option to bring along. Stay away from blue suckers and chocolate! We can take a break if your kids need one!
  • Let me talk with your child and engage them. Do not worry if your kids are active, energetic and won't sit still during your session.
  • Enjoy your kids throughout your session and keep smiling! Interact with them- play, tickle and laugh with them. I will coach you through your session to capture many "unposed" images. Even in the "active" poses- look lovingly at your child and keep smiling!

After your session, be sure to follow me on instagram and like my facebook page so that I can tag you in any sneak peek photos!


Within two weeks of your session, you will receive an email with a link to your personal online gallery. From your gallery you will be able to share your favorite photos on social media, and your login information with family and friends. You will be download high and low resolution images as well as place orders for prints.


I'm looking forward to our session! Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions!

Laura Hollander Photography

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Laura Hollander Photography serves Battle Creek, MI, Marshall, MI, Kalamazoo, MI, Portage, MI, Gull Lake, MI, Richland, MI, Lansing, MI, Detroit, MI, Grand Rapids, MI, and beyond. I am also available for travel.

Featured on Instagram, Wedding Wire, Shoot and Share finalist 2019, and photographer for Lakeview Living Magazine