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Family Photos in KC


Article by Emily Thibault

Photography by Photo KC (Taylor Douglas)

Fall is one the most popular times to schedule family photos. But that can also mean finding the right photographer, planning outfits, choosing a location, etc. etc. Photographer Taylor Douglas from Photo KC is a big time people person, with the ultimate goal of providing your family with images that tell your story. And lucky for us, she's here to answer all your family photo FAQs to make the process simple and stress-free.

What are the best colors to wear? To coordinate?

Personally, I always suggest families to coordinate, not "match". Choose complementary colors rather than dressing everyone in the same color. Rich and deep colors always photograph nicely, as well as neutrals. My only suggestions to stay away from are busy patterns and neon colors. Also, make sure your outfits compliment the location well.

What's the best way to pick a location?

First, think through the style you're envisioning for the photos (for example, woodsy, urban, studio, lifestyle, in-home, etc) and make sure to clearly communicate what you're thinking to your photographer. If you need inspiration, scroll Instagram or Pinterest. Use hashtags like #kcfamilyphotographer or #familyphotosession to see thousands of ideas. From there, work together on finding the perfect location to fit your vision, or simply ask your photographer for suggestions. I have a long and ever-growing list of suggestions for locations all over the KC area.

What's the best time of day to schedule photos?

Ideally, blue hour and golden hour (the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset) are the prime time frames for outdoor sessions! However, if you're opting for an in-home session or even studio, midday sessions are often best, since the sunlight evenly diffuses in through the windows when it's at its highest around noon. 

How long of a session should I book?

I always recommend a shorter session (30 minutes to 1 hour) for my families, especially with little kiddos! Attention spans are still pretty short at those younger ages, and a good photographer can snag all the shots they need within that time frame.

Any advice for motivating husbands/dads?

The million dollar question! I always keep my sessions fun and light, and make it playful for everyone involved. I've found keeping the poses natural and candid as well as lighthearted makes the session so much more comfortable for my families! I promise it won't be too painful for them! However ladies, we're not above bribing with an alcoholic beverage or two if need be.

Any advice for keeping the attention of young children?

This is the photographer's job! Every pose and prompt I give you is strategically timed. I always start with the formal, big smiled portraits while everyone is fresh, and then later on I work into more fun and playful shots to keep energy levels high. I've got lots of tricks up my sleeve to keep the kiddos on their toes.

How early should I plan to be?

I would shoot to be there about 5-10 minutes early if possible, giving yourself some cushion time in case of unexpected traffic, getting turned around on the way to the location, etc.

Is it ok to bring snacks for the kids?

- YES! Bribery works wonders during family photos. I always keep a stash of sweet treats on hand in case I get desperate for a few more smiles and laughs.

Can you do candid and posed photos?

- Absolutely! All of my sessions are a balanced mix of the two. Usually, I start you out in a specific pose, and then give you a prompt or action to do for a more candid look. I think the shots that capture little moments between you and your kids are the most intimate and natural. 

Can we bring a family pet?

- In most cases, yes yes YES bring your furry friend! Just make sure that the location you're shooting at allows pets. And, if possible, it's always helpful to bring a friend or grandparent along to help watch over your pet while you're getting some shots without them! As long as those things are thought through, pets should totally be included in family photos.

Make sure to check out Photo KC for more inspiration photos and info on booking a session.

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