How to Make the Most of your Family Photo Session – Part 2


“Don’t blink.” The recurring, yet impossible, piece of advice that parents of teenagers love to give those of us with new babies in our lives. “Before you know it, they’ll be driving and moving off to college.”

Unfortunately, it’s true. They DO grow up fast and seem to change everyday. And, while we rely on our memory to remind us of how tiny those toes really were and how cute that smirk really was, there really isn’t anything quite like getting some high quality, professional family photos taken.

Once you’ve decided that, yes, it’s time, you start Googling “family photographers in San Diego” and you start reading Yelp reviews. Talk about overwhelming!

Luckily, your search can begin and end right here with The Leo Loves. 5-Star reviews across the social media board, including my own. I recently had the privilege of meeting Erin and experiencing her skill first hand. After I scheduled my session with her, my mind immediately flooded with a bunch of questions on what happens next, and how I can make the most of it with my active, often protesting toddler. Erin was kind enough to share her answers with me.

Preparing for the session:


What should we wear?

“Since mom is usually the one planning everyone’s outfits, I like to start with her. Once she finds something she feels fabulous and comfortable in, she should build a color palette around her outfit. Choosing a few colors and then selecting clothes and accessories within that color scheme is an easy way to approach dressing everyone (solids and patterns all look great together in my opinion). I love it when the kids wear bright pops of color, but above all else, you should choose clothes that feel like YOU! My “what to wear” Pinterest board helps my clients with some initial ideas, and I also help people through this process once they hire me. When people look good they feel good, and when they feel good, the photos look great!”

How long does a typical shoot take? “I usually spend about an hour with families for their session (unless it’s a seasonal mini session). I find this is the perfect amount of time to get a good variety of shots and keep the kids (and dad..ahem!) happy and interested.”

My husband isn’t very excited about it and is usually awkward in photos…how can I make him feel comfortable? “There is no easy way to say this so I’ll just be honest. I generally trick husbands/dads into compliance 😉 I find that most guys are pretty awkward sitting still and smiling at the camera. However, they are AWESOME at playing with their kids and generally loving on their families…so I try to keep the sessions as interactive and fun as possible! We don’t sit still for long. Most people are pleasantly surprised at how easy and fun a session can be! I really do believe that the experience of the photo shoot should be as great as the photos themselves. I want you to look back and remember how much fun we had!!”

Do we choose the location or do you? What about time of day? “You can totally choose the location. If you aren’t sure, I have TONS of ideas! Time of day will depend on where we decide to shoot. If we’re shooting outside, I will generally try to shoot as close to sunset or sunrise as possible (this is the prettiest, most flattering light of the day!). If we’re shooting inside your home, we have more flexibility since I typically use indirect window light. However, if the best light of the day is at 6pm but your child is happiest at 4pm I will ALWAYS take a happy child over perfect light! A good photographer should be able to shoot in a variety of lighting situations. The best advice I can give you is to communicate with your photographer so you both know what to expect!”


During the shoot:

How much experience do you have photographing kids? Can you get their attention and make them smile? What if my baby is fussy? “I have over 5 years photographing children professionally and an additional 5 years photographing children as a hobbyist. I’ve also been working with children in general for over 20 years and I have 3 boys of my own.  I LOVE and respect children, and I have no expectations about any type of “good” behavior. I am interested in getting to know them and documenting their unique little personalities. I would say that 99% of children I photograph end up having a blast and we get authentic photos of their smiling faces. If your baby is fussy, we will take a little break so that you can change/feed/comfort them.”

Is there anything our family can do to ensure we get some great, creative shots? “My goal is to show genuine love and connection between families members. The best way to help me achieve this is to show up ready to love on your family. Hug them, kiss them, play with them…enjoy your time with each other, and we will get beautiful, creative and (most importantly) authentic photos!”

Will we use props? “I personally avoid props unless they have a special significance to your family (your child has a favorite stuffed animal he wants to have with him? absolutely bring it! your family loves soccer? please, bring a ball and let’s play!). I find that decorative props distract from what is really important…you and your family. However, if you love the idea of using props, it just means that I am probably not the best fit for your needs! You should absolutely look for a photographer with a portfolio that reflects your own personal preferences and style. I’m confident that there is a photographer out there who is a perfect fit for you and your family. I highly recommend taking the time to find them!”

Getting your photos:


How will I receive the images and how long does it typically take to get them back? “I deliver all of my session images digitally in an online, password-protected gallery where you can download your photos directly. I typically share a sneak peek of one or two images within three days and the entire gallery in 2 weeks. Print or product order delivery times vary depending on the time of year.”

Do you return the photos edited or raw? “Each photo I deliver is fully edited.”

Do they come with a release so that I can make prints and/or post them online? “Yes. All of my family session images come with a release for unlimited personal use. I want you to be able to print your photos forever and ever!”

To celebrate family portrait season, The Leo Loves is offering every MomsGuide reader $50 off their photography session! All you have to do is call or email Erin Brant, and mention the MomsGuide promotion!

The icing on the cake: The Leo Loves is giving one lucky MomsGuide reader a FREE family portrait session!! To qualify for this fabulous giveaway, “like” her Facebook page at and comment with “MomsGuide” under this blog post, which is shared on her page!

If you have any additional questions please feel free to reach out to Erin…

Erin Brant

(510) 501 8504


To see more of Erin’s wonderful work, make sure to check out her website or her blog.

18 thoughts on “How to Make the Most of your Family Photo Session – Part 2

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