There’s something special about outdoor family photography in Massachusetts – especially when the weather cooperates! Being outside often brings out a family’s personality. They’re able to just play and enjoy their time together, which naturally produces better photographs. If you’re preparing for an outdoor family photoshoot in Massachusetts or beyond, it’s important to know what to expect before you arrive for your photos.
In July 2022 I did my first two outdoor family photography sessions in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. We took the photos just before sunset – also called “golden hour” – at Shrewsbury Dean Park. I will use one of these sessions to tell you what it will be like to have a family outdoor photo session with me.
But first, let me share a little bit more about me and my Massachusetts family photography business. I am a documentary and lifestyle family photographer in Westborough, MA. I capture the photos that celebrate the real moments and honest connections in our lives. The more you relax and enjoy your family photography session, the more candid photos we will have. Of course, most of us are not born relaxed in front of the camera. That’s why I am here to help you during our session.
During the session, I will take a variety of different types of photos, including some traditional outdoor family photo poses, as well as some candid shots of the family interacting and playing together. At the end of the session, you’ll have a collection of photos that capture your family’s love, connection, joy and even a little bit of chaos.
From the moment you book a session to the moment you get your photos, my goal is to make family photography fun and memorable. That means, I focus more on directing your family to have fun and playful activities, so you can be yourself and I can be there to capture the honest moments. I have a list of photos that I want to take during your photo session. I try to get traditional family photos, playful and relaxing family photos, individual portraits of kids, siblings photos, parents photos, and each parent with kids. But I might not always get all of these and I try not to force anything and be stressful about getting all these photos. My goal is to capture the real moments of your family. Although it is good to know about my process, my process is free and your session might not follow these steps below.
After we meet, your family will stand together as close as possible. I will take some traditional shots. That is, everyone looks at the camera and smiles. I like to start with these more traditional shots to help people feel comfortable and get into the flow of things. Also, it is easier for kids to stay still and smile for a posed picture at the very beginning of the outdoor family photography session. Kids might be shy at the beginning, learning about a new person and think, “Who is this person with the camera in front of me?”. My goal is to make them comfortable and help them have fun!
After we have some solid traditional group shots together, we will have some fun photos. In order to have fun photos and bring out the real connections and honest emotions, I will ask the family to gently tickle each other, look at each other and smile, and even play some games. My favorite games for an outdoor family photoshoot are red light-green light, racing to the camera and running back to your parents, up in the air for younger kids and more. My goal is that people are comfortable to be themselves and have fun during the session. In this way, I could capture your family’s real personality and honest connection. So don’t worry if things get a little chaotic at times – that’s when the best moments often happen!
After the photos of the whole family together, we then move on to smaller groupings like just the kids, just daddy and me, just mommy and me, or just the parents. This helps everyone relax a bit and also gives me a chance to get some really great candid shots. I also enjoy doing individual portraits for kids. I want your kids to be themselves, so I don’t ask kids to pose in your outdoor family photo session. Instead, I will try to get close to them and have them look at the camera by calling their names or asking them to find me or even ask them not to look at me! Even if it doesn’t work, we will still have some natural expressions.
After photos in different small groups, we will try to take some photos while you all sit down very close to each other or lie down. It is not always easy to lie down and get everyone to cooperate, but sometimes they turn out really well. If nothing else, you’ll have a fun memory and some silly photos to remember it by!
I always want to end my outdoor family photo sessions with more fun, so you all leave feeling refreshed, connected and happy! These fun shots are always my favorite because they are usually when people are laughing and having the most fun. We might play games, tickles, hugs, dance, or even just explore around. Whatever it is, it’s sure to be a good time and result in some great memories (and photos). My favorite games for kids are running under the tunnel and Ring Around the Rosie.
If you’re interested in learning more about booking your family photo session with me, please contact Ivy Lulu Photography. You can also explore my investment page to learn more about my photography pricing.
XOXO – Ivy Lulu Photography
Make your own family memories with an outdoor family photoshoot of your own! Still have questions? Here are two common questions and answers about family photography.
One of the reasons I love outdoor photography is that there are almost no bad times to take photos. While you do generally want to avoid the direct sunlight of 12pm, morning or afternoon photos are very common. Sunrise and sunset photography sessions are also great options.
How long a family photoshoot lasts really depends on your family situation. Most of the time, my session is just about an hour. I want to ensure the kids are still smiling and everyone is still feeling happy enough to give me their best smiles throughout the session. If you have an extended family or you want a longer adventure, it could be 90 minutes. If you just want a quick photo session, you could choose seasonal mini sessions. Indoor family sessions are more documentary, so I would suggest 90 minutes for indoor family sessions, and 2 hrs for newborn sessions. If you want to document a day in the life, then it would be even longer, half day (4 hours) or full day (from kids waking up to bed time).
Ivy Lulu Photography specializes in lifestyle and documentary family photography and couple photography in Westborough Massachusetts and many of the surrounding areas. These include but are not limited to Northborough, Southborough, Shrewsbury, Grafton, North Grafton, Hopkinton, Upton, Marlborough, Framingham, and Worcester. She also services Boston area, and Cape Cod. Her style is very relaxed and natural. Your family session will feel like a stress-free day going on a walk with old friends, who just happen to have a camera with them.
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What to expect from an outdoor family session?
What is lifestyle family photography?
What is documentary family photography?