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a family photography session is an awesome way to document your family at this season in your lives. many families choose to schedule sessions for birthdays, holidays, or when they've added a new member. others love the continuity of documenting their family yearly to see growth and change.

they are held at a handful of my favorite locations in westchester and fairfield counties where i shoot often and know the space. i've chosen them for their natural beauty, free or little cost, and ease of getting to/from.


family sessions are offered may through november, during sunny or cloudy days. (rain and extreme heat/cold are definite reasons to reschedule.)


themed holiday mini sessions are sometimes held in early november, and are typically introduced for signup around september.


sessions are held during the "golden hour," about 90 minutes before sunset. (please note that sunset times change every day throughout the year, so sessions times will change from season to season.)

the session

once we meet, we'll walk over to the session area together. i try to allow at least 15 minutes to chat, get comfortable, build trust with your children, get silly, and break the ice. during this time, i love to hear about your goals for the session, and explain the shot list i bring.

i typically direct the flow of the session, referring to my personalized shot list for your specific family.  most parents agree this is super helpful, as it takes the pressure off the family.

based on your child(ren)'s ability, attention span, and general mood, we will decide on a good plan for our time together.

sessions usually last 60-90 minutes.


when choosing clothing for your family, remember that if a classic and timeless look is your goal, then neutrals photograph best (grey, cream, white, navy, black, denim, chambray, linens, lace, pastels).


it's best to avoid loud patterns such as large stripes, more than one type of plaid, or wording/characters of any kind. colors that exist in nature are best. avoid turquoise, royal blue, purple, magenta, kelly green, orange, neon colors,  etc.


one person in your family should wear clothing that "pops" with a pattern or bold color, as this is the person who you'll notice first in the photos. (this could be the birthday child or, more often, the mother.) once you've chosen this clothing, build everyone's coordinating outfits around that.

here's an example.

if mom is wearing a floral maxi dress with hints of navy and cream, the other members of the family may be in white, cream, denim, navy,  brown,  etc.  


here's a second example.

if the birthday boy is wearing a burgundy plaid shirt, have the other family members wear colors that can be found in the plaid pattern, such as burgundy, grey, cream, etc.)

my hope is that you'll choose to wear whatever you feel comfortable and beautiful.

for the mother, i usually recommend a maxi dress of some kind, as it photographs well, is flattering on any body type, and gives a feminine, maternal "feeling" to the images.

expect that you will be walking a bit, and sitting, standing, and/or laying on a blanket in tall grass. please think about wearing leggings under dresses, having children wear socks, and making sure to use bug spray! (see the "what to bring" section below).

and remember, you want to look at these images in 20 years, and not feel like the image is "dated" by trends that have come and gone.

please use me as a resource for help in this area! 


poses and ideas are suggested to initiate family connection and emotion.


even when the images you see look "candid," a great deal of thought goes into posing the family in the proper way, and in the proper lighting conditions. whatever emotion your family brings to the pose, is what is captured! it's pretty typical that i take 200-300 photos with your family! this is the key to capturing those candid moments. (our little secret!)

what to bring

i bring bug spray and repellent balm to the session, and your family is welcome to use it. but i suggest you take any precautions that make you feel most comfortable, such as socks, leggings, etc.

i bring a blanket or two for sitting and laying shots. it's a neutral color that doesn't detract from your family being the focus of the images.

please bring baby wipes, a few snacks, water, any incentives your children may respond to, and something you know will elicit a smile or laugh (if all else fails!) 


in my opinion, it's best to feed your children before the session, drive over, then put their shirts after the car ride.

there are typically no bathrooms in the locations where we shoot. so outfit changes and bathroom breaks can be tricky. ask me any questions you have about our agreed-upon location!

the process

1. choose a session date from the calendar.


2. speak with me to choose your location.


3. i'll send over a contract to your email with your specific details. please e-sign.


4. a paypal request for $25 will then be sent to secure your date. this is not an added fee. it's part of your total. the balance is due at the beginning of your session by cash, zelle, or check, made out to alaina nicole photography. (i do not accept venmo or paypal for session balances.)

5. please feel free to brainstorm with me about your clothing, or to get insight as to what will work best for your family's images.

6. please allow 2-3 weeks for the images to be edited and sent via a digital  gallery. the images will have my watermark on them. once you receive the gallery, you choose your favorite 30+ (sounds complicated, but i promise, it's simple!)

7. i begin to make your final gallery of black and white + color images without my watermark.

8. images are returned to you in a new final gallery, free for downloading and sharing over social media, printing, or uploading for photo books! please make sure to tag @alainanicolephotography any time you post one of your images on social media. 

if you have any questions at all, please be sure to email me!