Bend Family Photographer | Five Tips for Your Family Photography Session

Having your family photos taken is an exciting – and probably stressful – occasion.

Will the kids behave?
Will the weather be nice?
Am I going to look as old as I think I do??

Trust me – I have heard it all before and I am here to help you and calm your fears! Hopefully, you have booked me as your Bend Family photographer (if not, here is where you can contact me!) so I will be able to walk you through the tips during our time together and help prep you as best as I can for our session together. But – if you are from elsewhere around the globe, these tips can help you too! Here are my top Five Tips for Your Family Photography Session…

1. Timing is Everything – When it comes to kids, timing is everything. Make sure to try and schedule your session during your kids prime happy time. If your kids are early birds maybe a sunrise session would be better than sunset. And alternatively, if your kiddos go to bed late then sunset is probably best for your family.

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2. Bring a Snack – If your kids are anything like mine they get more hangry than they do hungry. During my day-to-day life I’m sure you always keep you diaper bag stocked with snacks, and your photo session should be no different. A short little snack and water break can work wonders for kiddos (and parents too!) – just make sure the snacks that you bring aren’t too messy and easily clean up. I usually recommend Cheerios, Puffs, Fig Newtons, apple slices, raisins and/or baby carrots (if your kids are old enough). Leave the pouch and messy snacks for another time.

3. Plan your Wardrobe in Advance – This is mostly a “do as I say, not as I do” tip, as I have been guilty of this one too many times! Take the time to plan out your wardrobe – for the entire family – at least one week before your photography session. This will give you time to see what fits, take items to the dry cleaner if needed and pick up last minute items well before your session takes place. *Bonus Tip* Have a picky dresser? Start with their outfit first and base the rest of the family’s outfits around theirs. For me, that picky dresser is my oldest daughter. Once I get her approval on an outfit that she’ll wear I can figure out what the rest of us will wear. And then I don’t have to stress out about whether or not she will be happy in her outfit the day of the session.

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4. Relax – Kids (and even husbands) feed off of your energy. If you are stressed, they will sense it and get stressed out too. If you show them that you are calm and relaxed during your session, they will likely follow suit! Fake it till you make it if you have to. As I tell all of my clients – trust your photographer and remember that it only takes a fraction of a second (usually around 1/500s for me!) to make a beautiful image. No matter what, we will get some amazing images of you and your family, so please don’t worry! If you feel yourself getting stressed out about your session take a deep breath, give your arms a shake and then plant a big old smile on your face. I’m telling you, it works!

5. HAVE FUN – This relates to the point above – during your photography session just relax and have fun. Don’t try and get your kids to smile. Don’t constantly fix your kids shirts or hair – just relax and have fun! The more relaxed you are and more fun you are having the more authentic and meaningful photographs your photographer is going to be able to make. I tell this to all of my clients – even if your child isn’t “cooperating” just let them be. Often times I am able to get them to do what I want, and if not then I just work with the child as they feel comfortable. I’ve seen it time and time again – the more parents fuss and direct their kids during the session the more stressed out everyone tends to be. Hand the reins over to me as soon as you arrive and just enjoy a full hour with your family, laughing and having fun 🙂

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Are you interested in booking a Bend Family Photographer? I am now taking bookings for Spring and Summer 2017. Sessions are fun, relaxed and capture true emotions and expressions – and are never stiff and posed! Less of a stuffy portrait session and more like having fun with your family for an hour 😉 Please contact me today to find out more or book your Bend family photography session.


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Bend Family Photographer | My Favorite Photo Gifts

I know these types of posts usually come out around the holiday season, but so many people I know have birthdays and other fun events coming up this spring and summer (Mother’s Day! Father’s Day! Grandparents Day!) that I thought I would write this up now, instead of waiting another six months! These are some of my absolute favorite photography related items that you can purchase from consumer labs. Consumer labs meaning they are available to the general public – anyone can buy them. Items offered to my clients are exclusive as they are made only for professional photographers and not available to everyone. But sometimes we need something a little more casual, a little more fun to give as gifts and for storytelling our every day life. I own many of these myself and can attest to how fabulous they are!

Let’s get started!

Blurb Instagram Books
What I love about these books is that they are small and amazingly simple to make. I get the 7×7 size with a hard cover, standard paper and either grey or white end sheets. Log in to instagram, pull the photos  you want to include and that’s it! The software fills in the photos itself and most of the time it is exactly right. Sometimes I have to do a bit of shuffling but it is so easy peasy lemon squeezy (as my almost-five-year-old would say). I make one of these every January as a recap to the previous year. They are really nice, but no so nice that I can’t give them to my girls to look at. And boy do they look at them. At least once a week I pull one of them down at the request of my girls so they can flip through them.

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Artifact Uprising Postcard Packs
These postcards are so cute and such an amazing idea. I don’t know about you but the only things I seem to get in the mail these days are bills, junk mail and the occasional Amazon Prime delivery. How fun would it be to print up a pack of these postcards with images from your latest vacation, birthday party, or other special occasion and send them out to your friends and family? One idea that I saw that I absolutely love is to use images from your child’s birthday party and send these postcards as a “thank you note” of sorts. It doesn’t get much more personal than that! You can upload up to 20 different images to, what a great way to include some variety!

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Pinhole Press Mini Board Book of Names and Faces
I included this board book on my Facebook live post last week (miss it? Check it out for more details and to view the video) and I am still so excited about it. As I mentioned in my video, I made this for my youngest daughter for Christmas and it has been a huge hit in our house. Both of our girls love this book and it stays in their toy area in our living room, available for them to flip through at any time. I included photos of all of our immediate family and extended family. It is has a spiral binding and glossy pages so I don’t really have to worry about them ruining it. I highly recommend this gift for your little ones, from baby all the way through toddlers!

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Pinhole Press Story Starter Memory Book
I have yet to buy this particular item but it’s in my shopping cart for this coming Christmas for my oldest daughter. She will be five and a half and she’s learning how to write and draw pictures. We have a lot of fun summer adventures planned and I thought this would be the perfect gift to get her involved in sharing her memories. You can pick whatever photos you want (could be from a trip, event or even family members) and your kiddos writes their memories from that photo and there is ample space to draw pictures as well. What a fun present to encourage reading, writing and drawing!

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So – there you go! A few of my favorite things. Do have any favorite photography related gifts to give? I would love to hear about them!

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Bend Family Photographer | The Montoya Family

Documenting your every day life might seem, at first, like a strange thing to hire a photographer for. Why would you want someone to take photos of your messy house, the kids running around being nuts, the endless meals and messes and nothing looks perfect!

That, is exactly why. One day, the little ones will no longer be little. They will be able to clean up after themselves, they’ll retreat to their rooms after meal times, they will spend more time with their friends than they do with you. Those are the days when you will wish you had these photographs. A trip back in time to when chaos was the norm, runny noses never ended and laundry piled up for days and weeks on end. Ok, maybe the laundry situation won’t change…but the rest of it certainly does.

My dear friends wanted to do just that, document a normal morning with them while their grandparents were visiting in town. The only thing I love more than photographing parents and their kids? Photographing grandparents with their kids and grandkids. What a special, unique bond that grandparents have with their grandchildren. And to witness and document something they love doing together (in this case baking) well – there is no greater honor.

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Bend Maternity Photographer | Waiting for Baby Beare

Little Bella is SO excited to be a big sister. No really, she is, even if she doesn’t look entirely thrilled in these photos 🙂 Her mama tells me that she gives her baby brother big hugs in her mamas belly, talks to him and even tries to give him some toys to play with 😉

Baby David made his arrival late last week and I can’t wait to meet him this weekend for his in home, lifestyle newborn session. If you are interested in booking an in home newborn session of your own, please contact me today 🙂

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