Posts in Family Photography
What to Wear To Your Family Photo Session

Figuring out what to wear to your family photo session can be hard, and I’ll often have clients show up to the studio with armfuls of outfit choices!

While there is no right or wrong answer to the question of what to wear, there are certain choices that I find look really nice in studio portraits. I’ll share them with you here today and hopefully save you some time when planning for your photoshoot.

Keep it Simple

what to wear to a family photo session in studio | seattle family photographer

One of the things I love about studio portraits is the minimalist style of the surroundings keeps the focus of the pictures on you, your children and your family, not on the location. The same thing can be said for your clothing choice. Keeping your outfits simple helps create images that are about you and your family, not what you’re wearing. Simple clothing choices also help create classic and timeless images. Staying away from logos and patterns can help achieve this look.

Neutral Tones

what to wear to a family photo session in studio | seattle family photographer

One way to keep the look of your outfits simple is by choosing neutral tones that go well together. Having similar tones in your outfits will help balance the image. I prefer grays, whites and blacks, but I also think it’s nice to have a pop of color now and then, especially around the holidays! So don’t shy away from dressing the baby in a bright red onesie or something fun like that! If you do want to add some color, just remember that the color will pull attention in the photo. Because of this, I think dressing the kids in the colorful outfits and keeping the parents in neutrals works best.

what to wear to a family photo session in studio | seattle family photographer
what to wear to a family photo session in studio | seattle family photographer

Be Yourself

what to wear to a family photo session in studio | seattle family photographer
what to wear to a family photo session in studio | seattle family photographer

At the end of the day remember that these are YOUR photos, so it really only matters what you like! If you are a family that loves bright colors and loud patterns, then by all means, wear that!! Being comfortable and looking like yourself is one of the best ways to get great photos that you’ll cherish forever!

what to wear to a family photo session in studio | seattle family photographer
what to wear to a family photo session in studio | seattle family photographer
What Is Modern Studio Photography? | Seattle Family Photographers

Studio photography used to be the industry standard. If you wanted a family photo, you went into a photo studio and had a portrait made.

That was how it was done—for years.

But styles change, and after a while, it became much more common for a family to meet their photographer in a park or in their own home.

When I started in the 1990s, the most popular style among family photographers was photojournalism, a move away from the traditional studio portrait.

That then gave way to lifestyle, which has since remained the norm. I however, have always LOVE the look of studio photography, and strive to provide my clients with something modern, but also classic.

So What Is Modern Studio Photography?

I think for many, the idea of studio photography recalls the days of over lit, over posed, department store photos.

That is NOT what you’ll get at my studio.

My approach to studio photography is much more modern.

I will never use props or pose your baby in an unnatural way. Instead, I aim to capture them as they are. I want their personality to shine through! And I feel that the simple look of studio portraits helps me do that!

When in the studio, your baby and your family are the focus…. not the location or the background.

My goal is to create images that will stand the test of time.

A modern twist on a classic look!

Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
How to Incorporate Older Children in a Newborn Photo Session | Seattle Newborn Photographer

The question of how best to include older siblings in a newborn photo session is a concern that many of my clients have.  So today, I thought I'd take a moment to explain why I love having older children at newborn sessions and how I ensure that it all runs smoothly!

Why I Love Having The Older Kids Involved

Bringing a baby home can be a big adjustment for everyone. This is especially true for older siblings. Sometimes they love the idea of having a new baby brother or sister, and sometime they don’t! And after almost twenty years as a newborn and family photographer, I have seen it all!

My goal is to make your older child feel special at the photoshoot. I spend a lot of time preparing them for photos and tune into their feelings about this big change in their life. What I’ve found, is that even if they are reluctant at first, they appreciate the attention and the time to “hold” and examine the their new baby.

Safety First

I understand how precious and fragile new babies are, and that even the most well intentioned toddler may not be up up to the task of holding a newborn! Most of the time, I’ll get photos of the new baby and older siblings by placing the baby safely on the bed in my studio and inviting the other children to sit next to him or her, or “hold” the baby by laying down next to it and snuggling up. The parents are always just an arms length away to assist when needed!

Make It Fun

Family photo sessions should be fun for everyone!  That is why I have a lobby full of toys and playthings for older brothers and sisters to do while I’m working with their new baby brother or sister. I usually start my sessions by showing the older kids where the toys are and letting them play. Eventually they will get curious about what I’m doing with the baby and want to watch…. that is when I invite them to be in some pictures. And I also have lots of stickers and lollipops to dole out after the session as a reward!

 

Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Baby and sister photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Baby and brother photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Baby brother and sister photographed on film
What If Your Toddler Won't Cooperate At The Photo Shoot? | Seattle Family Photographer

I’m been a family photographer for almost twenty years.

Before that I was a preschool and kindergarten teacher.

I’m also a mother to twin boys.

At this point in my life I feel it’s safe to say that I “get” kids. And one thing that I know for sure is this… sometimes children, especially toddlers, don’t do what you want them to do!

Ha!

Shocking, I know!

I also know that this particular character trait can be REALLY frustrating, especially at a photoshoot! So let me tell you how I handle toddlers who do NOT want to cooperate.

I Never Force Them To Do Something They Don’t Want To Do

I have learned over the years that the best way to bring on a meltdown is to try to get a toddle to do something they don’t want to do. So if your toddlers is giving me a hard no, I will respect that.

What I’ve found is when we don’t force the issue, they usually come around.

For example, in the photos below, the mom really wanted a picture of her toddler with the new baby.

Her toddler however, was NOT interested.

So instead of forcing the issue. We just waited. Eventually he decided that he was a little curious about what we were doing. I asked him questions about himself and about the baby. Things like “can you show me where your ear is? Can you show me where the baby’s ear is?”… and eventually we get the shots!

I Try to Make The Photoshoot Fun

I always have lots of toys and things for your toddler to do at the studio. Most of the time, it takes older kids a few minutes to warm up to me, and having fun activities for them to engage with is a great way to get them loosened up and ready for pictures!

I Have LOTS of Stickers and Lollipops

Because a little bribery never hurts, I have a tons of stickers and lollipops on hand!

I Have a Sense of Humor

Like I said, I’ve worked with kids for a really long time. So if your child doesn’t cooperate or has a little melt down, please do not worry about me or what I think. I get it. I’m a mom too!

Remember, photos are meant to capture your child as they are now. There is now right and no wrong. And I’ve been doing this for a really long time… I’m confident that we will get photos you will love!

sandra coan photography | seattle washington studio lighting and film photographer | baby and brother on bed and brother doesn't want to pose with new baby
sandra coan photography | seattle washington studio lighting and film photographer | baby and brother on bed and brother doesn't want to pose with new baby
sandra coan photography | seattle washington studio lighting and film photographer | baby and brother on bed and brother doesn't want to pose with new baby
sandra coan photography | seattle washington studio lighting and film photographer | baby and brother on bed and brother doesn't want to pose with new baby
sandra coan photography | seattle washington studio lighting and film photographer | baby and brother on bed and brother doesn't want to pose with new baby
sandra coan photography | seattle washington studio lighting and film photographer | baby and brother on bed and brother doesn't want to pose with new baby
sandra coan photography | seattle washington studio lighting and film photographer | baby and brother on bed and brother doesn't want to pose with new baby
sandra coan photography | seattle washington studio lighting and film photographer | baby and brother on bed and brother doesn't want to pose with new baby
2018, Year in Review | Seattle Family Photography

2018 was a big year for me!

I traveled around the country teaching other professionals about business, film and light. I worked along side of a handful of other amazing photographers to Beta test Kodak’s new Ektachrome 100. And, most importantly, I photographed hundreds of families, babies and individuals!

I’ve said it over and over again… I truly have the best clients! And 2018 was no exception.

To all the families who entrusted me with their photos, I want to say thank you! It is always such an honor to work with you! And I look forward to seeing you again in 2019!

xoxo,
Sandra

Seattle newborn and maternity photographer sandra coan
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Seattle studio photographer Sandra Coan
Seattle family photographer, Sandra coan
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Seattle Family photographer sandra coan
Seattle fine art studio photographer, Sandra Coan
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Sandra Coan studio photography shot on film
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Time to Schedule Your Holiday Mini Session | Seattle Studio Photography

It’s that time of year again, friends!
Cozy sweaters, foggy mornings, changing leaves. Oh how I love Fall in Seattle. What better way to jump into the season than to schedule your holiday mini session? Scroll down to learn more and to reserve your spot before they’re gone!

seattle mini sessions holiday portrait family photography
seattle mini sessions holiday portrait family photography

Family Mini Sessions

seattle mini sessions holiday portrait family photography

On November 10th and 11th, I will be hosting mini sessions at my Greenwood studio. These fun 15-minute sessions are great for holiday cards and family portraits! The price of a mini session is $175: non-refundable deposit of $50 saves your session date/time and $100 is due at the session!

Digital files, albums and gift prints can be added to your package at the time of the session.

Santa in Seattle

seattle santa mini sessions holiday portrait family photography

Santa is taking a day off from the North Pole to join us in the studio on November 24th and to spread a little holiday cheer! This magical five-minute session with Santa is $105 for the sitting fee, online gallery, and digital files from your session or $75 for just the sitting fee and online gallery. All you have to do is select the date/time to reserve your spot and pay when you get here!

seattle mini sessions holiday portrait family photography

Can’t wait to see you there!

What to Bring to Your Baby's First Year Photo Session | Seattle Family Photography

About a year ago I wrote a post about what toys and props to bring to your newborn photo session and I featured images from a  shoot where the mom had brought some truly unique and beautiful things to be included in the photos.  (You can see that post as well as my list of suggestions by following this link)

Well, it has been a year since then, and the same family came back for their baby's first year photos with the same toys from their newborn session!

How fun is that?

So once again I'm featuring this adorable family along with some ideas for what to bring to your baby's first year photo session!

Party Hats

A party hat is always a fun prop to bring along to a one year photo shoot.  I can’t promise that your baby will wear it for long, but I can promise that the shots will do get will be adorable!

what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | baby's first birthday wearing handmade felt cone birthday hat | film photographer sandra coan

Letter Blocks

I'm obsessed with letter blocks.  I love the colors and fun patterns!  These gorgeous blocks by Uncle Goose come in a variety of colors, patters AND languages!!  I mean, how cool are these Japanese blocks that spell out this little guys name?!  LOVE!

what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | first birthday japanese character blocks | film photographer sandra coan
what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | baby's first birthday japanese character blocks | film photographer sandra coan
what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | first birthday japanese character blocks | film photographer sandra coan

Special Family Items and Calendars!

This guys mom has been documenting his first year using a Fujifilm Instax camera, so we thought it would be fun to get some photo of him holding the camera!  She also brought a calendar like the one we used in his newborn session to show off his Birth Day!

what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | baby's first birthday with toy blue polaroid camera | film photographer sandra coan
what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | baby's first birthday wearing red bowtie and holding calendar | film photographer sandra coan

Favorite Toys

We also did a few shots with his favorite toys.  I did this with my own sons when they were this age, and it's so fun to look back at those photos and remember how important those toys were to them and to our family

what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | baby's first birthday snuggling plush owl toy on bed | film photographer sandra coan
what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | happy baby's first birthday chewing on toy sitting on bed | film photographer sandra coan

Book you session!

Do you have a baby in your life who you need photos of!  Send me an email and I'll get you on the books!  After all, they're only little once! 

Newborn Photography Without Props | Seattle Family Photographer

I'll never forget the day my children we born.  All I wanted to do was look at them. I couldn't get enough. 

Their little faces!

Their toes! 

Their tiny fingers. 

I would sit and just watch them sleep. 

I loved the way they stretched and squirmed. 

I loved their little yawns and baby sneezes.

They were so perfect!!  I couldn't get enough.

I think about that every time I work with a newborn.  I look at other people's babies just like I looked at my own; full of wonder and amazement. 

Why I Don't Use Props

Seattle Newborn Photographer Sandra Coan Why I don't pose babies

That is why I choose not to use props or unnatural posing in my work.  I believe babies are perfect, just the way they are.  They don't need anything else.  Just a baby being a baby is enough for me.

I also know that newborns are precious and fragile little humans.  They are meant to be cared for and protected which is why I would never place them in any kind of an unnatural pose.

What You Can Expect From Me

If you are bringing your baby in for a newborn session with me, please know this.  I understand how precious this little person is to you.  Our babies are our world and I know that.  

I will keep your baby safe.

I will keep your baby warm and comfortable.

And I will create classic, timeless images that you can look back on years from now and see your child's personality shining through.

Remember, they're only little once.  Don't miss it.  Book your session today!

Seattle Newborn Photography Sandra Coan newborn photography without props
Seattle Newborn Photography Sandra Coan Infant photography without props and posing
Sisters on Film | Seattle Family Photographer

These two cuties came in for their photos just before Christmas and their session was a big wake up call for me as a parent! 

You see, I used to be really, really good at photographing my own children when they we babies and toddlers.  I didn't want to miss one thing!  They changed so quickly during those early years and I wanted to capture it all!

But as they got older, that changed.  For some reason, the older my kids get, the less I photograph them.

I know I'm not alone in this.  I think we all realize that babies grown up fast, and we make an effort to capture those early years.  But what about the middle years?

What about the teeth falling out stage?

What about when they start developing their own sense of style?

What about the elementary school?

Or middle school and high school?  That time when they are somewhere in between childhood and adulthood?

Don't those years matter too?

The answer is, of course they do! 

The older my own children get the more aware I am of how fast it all goes.  What is the old saying? The days are long but the years are short.... 

And that is why I love this photo session so much.  These sister reminded me to celebrate the middle years.  

Your kids, my kids; they are only young once.  This is it. 

As for me, I've committed to getting my own children in the studio at least three times this year.  I want to create some portraits of who they are now as middle school boys, turning into young men. 

It all matters.  All the years.  Don't miss.