• Exposures by Rah | Traverse City Photo

Babies and Blossoms


Once a year for a couple weeks in May, the cherry blossoms in Traverse City open up to reveal beautiful white flowers that will soon turn into our famous fruit. We have our usual favorite photo spots, but when the blossoms are poppin', you can almost always find us in a Northern Michigan orchard. The Allard Family thought of this alllll the way back in January and took advantage of scheduling their photos to ensure they got a spot on our blossom roster. Dani & Rob brought their 11 month old daughter Emersyn to a farm where we obtained special permission for photos (don't trespass, guys! It's not cool!) and it was almost as easy as pointing an clicking away. Emersyn just woke up from a car nap, so we were a little nervous that there might be some tears, but she was a perfect angel!

In lieu of the Allard's impeccable timing for these perfect photos, we want to share 5 tips for taking perfect family pictures. You can click on any of the photos in this blog post to be directed to the full gallery for The Allards.

1.Wear Complimentary Colors, but Here’s the Twist!

If your family is going to be photographed, go for color! Look for colors that can compliment each other well. If there is a mother and daughter, find a way for them to both wear the same color but in different ways. Notice how mom, dad and Emersyn are all wearing blue, but in different subtle patterns? This strengthens the sense of unity between the family without being too matchy. Don’t be afraid of patterns, as long as there isn’t a distracting logo, you're good! Golden Rule, the special twist that I tell all my clients…”Mom, wear what you feel most BEAUTIFUL in and have your family compliment you.”

2. Before the shoot, scout out an interesting location if you can. While we're experts in knowing our area, only YOU know your family, and what you want to hang in your living room. If you have a nautical theme in your house, a barn scene might not be what you're looking for. We're happy to make suggestions if you're unsure, but we always love getter location suggestions from clients, too. Look for fun textures, old barns, wheat fields, abandoned buildings, brick, ivy, cement steps, etc. It’s always fun to mix up your family photo shoot with unique backgrounds and locations! For a truly unique look, find something that's only available for a limited time, like cherry blossoms and sunflower fields.

3. Take turns focusing everyone’s attention on each person in the family. The simple act of everyone turning and giving the youngest child a BIG smile brings out the best reactions!

4. Let the Toddler Call the Shots (in the beginning)

There is nothing I love more when I start a family photo shoot and the toddler takes off to a spot they want to check out. For example, this little lady was ABSOLUTELY AMAZED with dandelions and just wanted to hold one for the entire session. PERFECT! I encouraged mom and dad to let me take a handful of shots like this so that Emersyn felt like I’m giving her a little freedom. This age is the sweetest to photograph - they don't stay like this for long. So we take a few with the toddler calling the shots, and then they're usually up for our ideas after that. (But I have to admit, I think her idea wins every time!)

5. Hugs, the “BIG SQUEEZES”, the BIG–Wrap-My-Arms-Around-Mom and Dad, is a great activity for a family photo shoot! Pre-tweens that may be a little unsure of the shoot don’t hold an ounce back if they are asked to SQUEEZE dad with all they’ve got! The story of this photo is all about content. I LOVE that Emersyn is looking right at the camera for this shot. It gives me a sense of feeling how wrapped up and safe she is in her mommy and daddy's arms.

We hope you find these tips helpful while you're with us at your family photo session in beautiful Northern Michigan! Here are a few more of our faves from the Allard family's session:


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