Child Photography

What to Wear for Your Family Photo Session by Sharon Kenney

The most common question I get from the families that I photograph is “What should we wear for our session?” Here is my best advice for how to dress for your upcoming family photography session with me.

Be Yourself!

My most important piece of advice is to be the best versions of your everyday selves. Don’t feel like you need to morph yourselves into something you saw on Pinterest. I am capturing memories of YOUR family - as you are at this moment in time. Be perfectly yourselves, and I will show you that your family is perfectly beautiful, exactly as you are.

Dress as you normally would, wear what you’re comfortable in, and look like yourselves. If you’re jeans-and-boots people, wear your favorite jeans and best boots. Like to dress up? Rock a fab dress. Some of my favorite family sessions feature bare feet, shorts, and flip-flops.

sharon kenney family photography mountain view
sharon kenney family photography outfits

Above all else, it's most important that you feel comfortable and feel like yourselves. If you feel uncomfortable, you will look uncomfortable, and that will come through in your photos. So don’t stress about your outfits! Just go for the best version of your everyday, natural look.

sharon kenney family photography bay area what to wear
sharon kenney family photography shoreline

Specific Tips on What to Wear

  • Don't worry about having "matching" outfits. Gone are the days of awkward family photos with everyone in the family wearing matching denim and button down shirts.

  • While not matching, you definitely want your family’s outfits to coordinate. I suggest picking 2-3 colors in the same family that are flattering for all of you, and working those in. Some good examples of color combinations are: blue-purple-gray, brown-tan-red-denim, green-navy-white, blue-khaki-yellow, etc.

  • Classic styles and combos are best. Solid colors and simple patterns work great. Try to avoid anything super-trendy that may look dated in a few years.

  • My family sessions involve a lot of movement. I’ll ask you to walk, sit down, play with your kids, and maybe even dance a little. Choose clothing that you can easily move around in. If you choose to include skirts or dresses in your clothing choices, I recommend full skirts that will allow for movement.

  • Please avoid all-white shirts and/or pants (unless you're wearing a white shirt with a sweater over it, or a similar look.)

  • Please avoid any clothes that have logos, writing or characters on them.

  • Avoid scruffy, dirty sneakers, if possible. (Not always possible with active kids, I know!)

sharon kenney family photography boots outfits
sharon kenney family photography what to wear

Questions?

If you have specific questions, please email me. I’m always happy to review outfit choices or make family-specific recommendations.

A Summer Evening at the Park| Mountain View Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

I first met Michelle and her sweet family last fall for our first photography session together. I was thrilled to shoot another session for them again this year.

sharon kenney family photography mountain view

At Home Portraits

We started off the evening at their home. This session was just a few days before they moved from the Bay Area to the East Coast. We did a short shoot in front of their home and included the family dogs, Sandy and Reese. I was more than happy to love on these sweet dogs a little bit.

sharon kenney family photography mountain view two girls
sharon kenney family photography mountain view dogs
sharon kenney family photography mountain view dogs
sharon kenney family photography mountain view girl dog
sharon kenney family photography mountain view dad girls dog
sharon kenney family photography mountain view child portrait
sharon kenney family photography mountain view girl portrait

Off to the Park!

We headed off to their neighborhood park here in Mountain View. They had done some previous family sessions at this location, so it was a nice way to wrap up their time in the area. My own family used to live in the same neighborhood, just a few blocks away, so heading to this park brought back a flood of memories for me. Both of my kids were born in this neighborhood, and we spent a ton of time here when they were babies and toddlers. It was great to see it again, and especially to see it hold special meaning for another family too.

sharon kenney documentary family photography mountain view
sharon kenney family photography mountain view mercy-bush park
sharon kenney family photography mountain view mother daughter
sharon kenney family photography mountain view father daughter
sharon kenney family photography mountain view father daughter
sharon kenney family photography mountain view dancing dad daughters
sharon kenney family photography mountain view mercy-bush park
mw_019.jpgsharon kenney family photography mountain view mother daughters
sharon kenney family photography mountain view mother daughter
sharon kenney family photography mountain view mother daughter portrait
sharon kenney family photography mountain view father daughters
sharon kenney family photography mountain view sisters
sharon kenney family photography mountain view child portrait

Time to Play!

I structure my sessions to leave lots of time and space to play, explore and relax. I want my sessions to be a way for families to connect with each other and spend time together. What better way to do that than through play? We ended our session with the girls swinging, climbing, and showing off their crazy good monkey bar skills.

 

sharon kenney family photography mountain view park swings
sharon kenney family photography mountain view park monkey bars
sharon kenney family photography mountain view park family
sharon kenney family photography mountain view park playground
sharon kenney family photography mountain view park playground
sharon kenney family photography mountain view playground
sharon kenney family photography mountain view playground park girl

Dads Are Awesome! | Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

Over the years I’ve been photographing families, I’ve seen lots of tips about “how to handle dads.” There’s an assumption that dads have been cajoled into a family photo session by their wives and would rather be anywhere else.

I disagree.

Maybe I’ve just gotten lucky, but most of the families that I work with have some pretty amazing dads - dads that are absolutely on board with doing a fun family photography session.

I’ll never ask dads (or anyone in the family, for that matter) to sit stiffly and awkwardly smile for me. I love to photograph dads doing what they do best - playing with their kids, being silly with their kids, and laughing with their families. That’s all I ask - just love your people, have fun with them, connect with them… and try to forget that the woman with the giant camera is there. ;)

In honor of Father’s Day, here are some of my favorite “dad photos” from this past year.

And I can’t forget my all-time favorite dad (hint: I married him)!

Preschool Birthday Portraits | Mountain View Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

I was so happy to take Ritisha’s portraits for her 4th birthday! She has gone to preschool with my son since they were two years old. It's been so much fun to watch her grow from a shy toddler in the two-year-old class into an outgoing, confident big kid about to take on her final year of preschool. (It happens so fast, doesn’t it?!) Just look at how adorable she is in her gorgeous red dress! 

sharon kenney family photography mountain view cuesta park

The Setting: Cuesta Park, Mountain View

We met for a golden hour session at Cuesta Park in Mountain View. Cuesta Park is one of my favorite local parks for photography sessions. It gets beautiful light in the evening, and there is an array of magical spots throughout the park that let me give each session a variety of different looks.

sharon kenney family photography mountain view cuesta park
sharon kenney family photography mountain view redwoods
sharon kenney family photography mountain view cuesta park
sharon kenney family photography mountain view red dress

Photographing Preschoolers

Parents sometimes worry that their young children won’t sit still for photos or won’t look at the camera. I say... the more movement the better! We’ll run, jump, twirl and play - which are all great ways to get lovely, playful portraits that capture a child’s true personality. (Plus, I have lots of tricks up my sleeve for active children - that may or may not include fart jokes. ;)

sharon kenney family photography mountain view girl twirling
sharon kenney family photography mountain view eyelashes
sharon kenney family photography mountain view holding hands
sharon kenney family photography mountain view cuesta park
sharon kenney family photography mountain view preschool portrait
sharon kenney family photography mountain view cuesta park