How to prepare for a family photo session

Over the years of working with families and taking family photos, and honestly since having our family photos taken, I have come up with a few ideas to help you prepare for a family photo session.


Lower them! Lol
Expectations covers a few points, so here we go…

1.     Kids:

Remember that they are kids. Expect meltdowns, wardrobe malfunctions, hunger… probably things you can’t even think of yet. It might all happen, so this way when any and/or all of those things inevitably happen, you’ll be prepared and at peace with it.

Kids don’t understand why we want these photos so badly. So pick the time of day that they are in at their best. Maybe it’s after nap, or maybe its first thing in the morning. Whatever works best for your kids.

 Please parents don’t stand next to or behind the photographer and yell ‘say cheese!’. Yelling and demanding young children to look at the camera to smile with only stress them out and make for unflattering photos. Step aside and allow the photographer to naturally interact and talk with your family. Help the photographer capture your child’s true personality by talking and coaxing out the smiles gently.

2.     Poses:

Pinterest and Instagram can be such a curse sometimes. They fill our heads with a million different ideas, which can be great for a jumping off point but anything more than that and its too much. What I mean is, its perfectly fine to talk to your photographer about a mood or feeling or a special location that you had in mind. Even a single special pose that you want, but please leave the rest of the shoot to the photographer. The session is the fun part for any photographer. We thrive off of the creative high that we get during a shoot. If you come to us with a list of all your favourite shots that you saw on Pinterest, you’ll never be happy. Because most of the time of the session will be wasted on trying to perfectly match each pose and they won’t turn out the same anyways.

Sidenote: My family just had a session the other day for our annual Christmas card, and my daughter slammed her thumb in the car door. So the shoot was delayed due to a crying girl who now had a black and blue thumb, and a pink puffy face from all the crying. Of all the things that I prepared for I did not think that would happen. But my packed lollipops did help :)


 1. Talk to your family members about the photo shoot. Explain everything that is going to happen. I love showing up to a shoot where the kids already know my name and are excited to show me their smiles.

2. Make sure everyone has eaten before the session, trust me hangry families do not equal a fun shoot with smiling faces.

3. Bring treats :) There is nothing wrong with a little bribery when it comes to getting THE shot. I’ve used small lollipops, smarties, gummies etc. Something small that can hide in pockets or hands and that won’t melt. The easiest way to get a kid to smile is offer a little treat.

For teeny tiny ones, it’s helps if there is someone else behind the camera with a little toy to catch their attention. And sometimes bringing their favourite stuffy to hold in the pictures makes all the difference.

4. Pack back up outfits (for parents too), nice clothes for photo shoots always seem to attract little accidents.

5. Pack the car with all the extras (clothes, snacks, water, entertainment, props) ahead of time so that you’re not running around like a crazy person and rushing everyone before your session.


I think this is the one that most people focus on.

Move over matching outfits, and make way for coordinating outfits. What’s the difference you ask…well let me help you. For matching think of those family photos where everyone wore the same blue jeans with the same white t-shirt and barefoot. That’s matching, and even though those are really simple pieces that most people would probably look good in,   there’s no variety to entertain the eye. Let’s have fun with this! For coordinating there could be a few different colours or prints but they all fit together and complement each other if that makes sense. Have fun with each persons personality.

What I like to do is pick one person’s outfit as a base and the rest branch off from that. Sometimes it’s just one piece of clothing that sparks ideas for the ‘whole look’. Keep a relatively simple colour scheme: one or two colours with a fun accent. Textures and layers make for interesting outfits. Avoid large logos or busy graphics that can be distracting.
Most of all make sure that everyone is comfortable and dressed appropriately for the location and time of year.

You can check out my Pinterest page for some ideas, or if you’re really stumped feel free to reach out to me about it. We can figure it out together.

*Remember to always dress for the weather and the location, overheated or freezing family members don’t make for happy photos.

Also if you are picking up some new outfits, please have everyone try them on a week beforehand. That way you have time to pick something else up if something doesn’t work or look the way you’d hoped.


Most of all just relax and have fun!

The best photos are often the little moments in between the poses of you just being a family. Just try to relax, play, and be yourselves, and enjoy the experience. You’ll get the best representation of your family that way.

taken by: Juli Labrecque

taken by: Juli Labrecque

Disclaimer: I am human, and I make mistakes, often! Please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors. These are my thoughts and I have only the best of intentions.

Mini Sessions Fundraiser - July 2018

This summer I had the great pleasure of photographing some awesome families for a mini session fundraiser.

I photographed 7 families between two locations; Iona and Jericho Beach for a Daycare fundraiser.
Both of these locations have so much to offer so I’m so glad I got to use them for these mini sessions. Click here for more mini session info.

I can’t say enough about all of these families, they were so much fun! And the kiddos were so cute and up for anything. Yes there may have been some candy involved for some, but sometimes that’s what we all need right?
Thank you again to all of the families involved for supporting me and the Daycare.

If you’re interested in booking a mini session you can click here.
Here are just a few of my favourites.

[ BABY ] Meet Imogen.

Meet Imogen.Isn't she the sweetest?! I love this family. You can see the Maternity session we did last year, here. The Ali family is awesome, they are so much fun, and i must say that they make pretty darn cute kids! I had so much fun photographing them again, and hanging out with little Imogen and her big brother Enzo. Here are some of the pics. Enjoy :)

[ Wedding ] Nicole & Charlie

In January, I flew off to Montego Bay, Jamaica to photograph the beautiful wedding of Nicole & Charlie. The wedding was gorgeous. It rained during part of the ceremony, I stood in the rain for most of it! but right after the hot sun came out and it was beautiful. Nicole and Charlie, I had so much fun capturing your wedding, and thank you so much for including me in all of your celebrations.

[ Wedding ] Bobbi & Paul

Bobbi and Paul are two of my favourite people. These two know how to throw a wedding weekend extravaganza. Both their Indian and Western ceremonies were so special, and I'm so honoured to have been asked to capture one of their special days. Just look at her dress, such amazing detail, the pretty henna, and of course Paul looks pretty handsome too :) Bobbi & Paul tied the knot last year in September, and these love birds are now in Europe on their honeymoon! I love you both so much and I hope you're having the best time ever!

Here are just a few of my favourites. B&P_IndianWedding-475 B&P_IndianWedding-combo2 B&P_IndianWedding-599 B&P_IndianWedding-combo1 B&P_IndianWedding-572

[ Maternity ] The Ali Family

How cute is this family?!I had so much fun taking maternity photos for the Ali family. This shoot was back in December 2013 on a beautiful day at the H&M Christmas Tree Farm in Richmond, and these guys were such troopers! Sorry about the mud guys! Since then, they have welcomed a beautiful baby girl. That post is still to come. Here are some of my favourites of the day. Isn't their little guy just so adorable?! R&Z_MaternityPhotos2013-2R&Z_MaternityPhotos2013-5R&Z_MaternityPhotos2013-10R&Z_MaternityPhotos2013-16

R&Z_MaternityPhotos2013-136 R&Z_MaternityPhotos2013-137 R&Z_MaternityPhotos2013-138 R&Z_MaternityPhotos2013-combo1 R&Z_MaternityPhotos2013-combo2