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Family Photo Session Tips

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Photography by Janie Jones

Originally published in Johnson County Lifestyle

Photos are a great way to document stages of life—family milestones, growing up, having babies, getting married and growing older. Janie Jones, one of our Lifestyle photographers, has a gift with capturing personality in her portraits. Jones emphasizes, "Time goes fast, so it is important to capture life as you’re going through it.” 

Sometimes we tend to put off getting professional shots taken because we want to lose those extra pounds or are overwhelmed with choosing the outfits, but then time passes, and that stage in life is gone. 

For most of us, coordinating the wardrobe is the most daunting task of taking a family photo. Jones has always been drawn to color and believes that a little pop of color can make the photos more dynamic. 

"When deciding on a color palette for a family shoot, I suggest finding something that you are drawn to for one person and then base the rest off of that," she explains. "Starting with one outfit and then slowly building off of that makes the task of coordinating outfits less overwhelming."

Tips for Picking Colors

  • Pick your desired background setting first because the style and colors may not coordinate well with the background you want. 

  • For an urban or industrial setting, bright colors and patterns are always a great choice.

  • For a nature background, steer away from wearing greens or colors that will reflect the grass in skin tones.

  • Reds can also really play with a person's skin tone, so red is best for pants rather than tops.

Location Tips

  • Steer away from shooting on train tracks. They are privately owned, and it is illegal to be on them.

  • If an urban setting is desired, decide if you prefer more of a natural urban or upscale urban. For upscale urban, the plaza is a great choice as well as a few doorways or walls downtown. The West Bottoms and the Crossroads will provide a more edgy urban background.

  • Check out some of the painted wall murals around our city for a fun background. When shooting against a mural, find a secondary, more simple background around that same area to take a few more shots so that you have some variety in your photoshoot.

  • For a natural setting, Loose Park is a favorite. There are also some great walls with greenery or vines to provide a natural green background. 

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