All About Your Family Session

What To Expect

Your JGP Signature Session


So you booked your session. Now what?

{Via e-mail we will discuss location selection, wardrobe selection, and answer any questions you have.}

Custom photography is truly unique because it not only captures what you look like at a certain point in time, it captures who you are as a family*. (*Obviously, this means that I’m prioritizing and directing everyone to be photographed in the most flattering versions of themselves possible.)

I aim to capture honest and organic portraits. The goal is not to get a stiff and posed shot with everyone looking at the camera, but to capture the true essence of your family. I take a documentary approach to photography and use my understanding of my equipment and natural light to create images that will become works of art that you can hang in your home and pass down for generations. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your session with me.



Together, we will decide on the best location for your photos. We can shoot in your home as long as your home has adequate natural light. Many clients prefer their home because of the intimate and personal feel it provides. I have many locations in the city that I love to shoot at regularly, but I am always open to new locations as well. You should choose a location that fits your style and personality. This link below is also available in your client portal, but here’s my customized Google map:



If we are shooting in your home, I prefer late morning, because that is when homes are usually lit up the best. If we are shooting outdoors we will shoot either in the morning or in the evening. The light is typically too harsh mid day. If your children are up for it, shooting one to two hours before sunset provides gorgeous light and atmosphere.  The images in my portfolio look the way they do largely because of my use of light and the time of day your session takes place has a huge impact.  Many families tell me that they simply have the kids take a late nap or have some down time prior to their evening session.  

***Please keep in mind that if we are planning our session outdoors, we’re dependent on the upcoming weather forecast. I tend to check this regularly, but won’t make a call to reschedule a shoot for inclement weather (rain/thunderstorms; NOT clouds) until the day before. The weather forecast changes on the dime here in the good ‘ol Midwest. So with that said, I appreciate you keeping your schedule relatively flexible so we can synchronize our calendars accordingly!

Session Timing

pros + cons

Sunrise | Mornings

The light changes much faster + gets harsher much more quickly. Get ready for a FAST paced session if we are outdoors in a wide, open area with little cover. Typically, it’s a bit chillier in the morning a.m. as well, the ground may be damp. For indoors, this is a non-issue, and in-home shoots are one of my favorite locations. Think of the details of layers that share so much more to your family story and what it conveys for your future generations. (I personally LOVE looking through my old family albums from when we were little!) Plus babies + kids are usually happiest in the mornings. And after the session, you’ll have the entire rest of the day for yourselves to enjoy and relax.

Sunset | Evenings

The light moves more slowly, and as it sets, it gives us this warm, golden haze as an effect which lends itself to that pretty glowy feel you see in most of my images. Most first time moms worry about it being universal fussy hour and competing with the bedtime routine. For me, hands-down, it’s my FAVORITE time of day to do a session. #WORTHIT!!!

Length of Session

The good news is, I like to move quickly and keep changing up our poses and scene so the dad and the kiddos don’t get bored. My family portrait sessions rarely last more than an hour, to an hour and a half.  Don’t worry, I can easily get a diverse and adequate gallery in that time.  In the same token, I don’t set a hard time limit on our sessions, just in case one of your little humans is having an emotional rollercoaster moment. (Hey, we’ve all been there.)

What To Wear

Wardrobe should be comfortable and reflect who you are.

Check out my recent blog post on wardrobe advice here.


I do not recommend matching but rather coordinating. I am happy to consult you directly on wardrobe if you are interested. Just let me know. 

Props –

I don’t typically use props during my sessions, however if you have something in mind please let me know.   

Your Kids…

Remember that children are not usually fond of being told to pose or smile. It is best if we just give the children time to relax and try to capture their natural self. Don’t worry if your child is running about and active, most of the images you see of young children on my site were captured while the child or toddler was busy playing and exploring. To get the family shots, I usually direct the adults to simply “be” with the child, or hold the child and we go from there. To get the most out of your session, make sure that your little one has rested and has had adequate snacks and water. We can take breaks for snacks and play, however I will probably still shoot during the breaks. Bring dry, non messy snacks so their little faces stay clean during the session.  Prepare the child for the session by letting them know that a friend will be taking some photos of them, it’s best not to surprise them.  

Please arrive on time or be ready to start on time.

Remember, your session is scheduled according to light and ideal weather conditions.  It is important that we start on time. Please plan for traffic or parking constraints.  It’s best to arrive early.  

I can’t wait to capture your family.  Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you have!

See you soon,

xo jenny