Great question! Ideally, the best time of year to take photos is between April-November. If you prefer to take photos in the winter, be prepared to layer up!


The best time of day to take portrait photos is in the couple hours after sunrise and the couple hours before sunset. During these times the sun in low in the sky and has a golden hue which photographs beautifully. That being said, making sure you arrive on time and ready is very important since we are working against mother natures clock and there is no way for us to control how quick the sun rises or how slow the sun sets.

What should we wear?

Pick a Color Palette
There is nothing wrong with matchy-matchy, but I usually suggest to clients if they want their photos to look more candid and natural to pick a color palette and coordinate the outfits for each member with those specific colors in mind. In the winter months, I suggest staying away from pure white unless you have an incredible tan goin’ on. With the bare trees and soft autumn light, it tends to wash people out. Rich & neutral colors always photograph well. Also, if someone has incredible blue or green eyes play to that with your color palette. If you want to keep it neutral and you can’t decide a color, I suggest wearing any combination of cream, gray, and tan.

Coordinate Your Outfits
An easy way to build group outfits is to plan based on a particular clothing item. If Mom has a dress she is dying to wear, take the tones in that dress and build around that.

Textures add visual interest
Don’t be afraid to mix prints, patterns, or fabrics it creates dimension in photographs. No need to stick to one fabric, a good cotton shirt is a good start, but add knits, silks, leather, and lace to add depth and visual interest.

Accessorize & Layer
This is a huge one! The little details at shoots always make the biggest impact. Adding accessories is an easy way to introduce different textures and looks. Scarves, hats, belts, wraps, ties, necklaces … use these items to swap in and out throughout the shoot to capture different looks in a short amount of time.

Often times families and couples find photoshoots stressful, so I can’t stress enough, just relax. Let me do my thing. Stiff, posed photos with everyone awkwardly sitting, and forcing a smile are a thing of the past. You hired me because you trust that I will capture each personality, family dynamics, and the energy and love between one another. Don’t panic if we don’t start with the standard look at me and smile on 3 pose. The candid photos and little interactions usually are customer favorites!


Full hair and makeup are no included or required for your photo shoot. However, you can absolutely add-on hair and makeup services by my talented team as a part of your booking. It is highly recommended that you have your make up professionally done, it makes a big difference in photos.

The beauty checklist

Whiten Teeth. Crest sells white-strips that whiten in a week or less for a quick whiteness boost. I hear dentists can whiten teeth, too. Many even do it for free for new clients. If you’re due for a cleaning, you might consider going all out.

Don’t Pick. A pimple is very easy to cover with makeup, but scabs, wounds and flaky patches are more tricky.

Exfoliate. Plan to exfoliate a couple times before your appointment, but be sure to allow a few days between ‘treatments’, as well as a couple days after the last one before your shoot.

Moisturize. Plan to moisturize day and night leading up to your photoshoot. You want your skin to look hydrated and bright, not dull and dry.

Wax Eyebrows. If you decide to have your eyebrows waxed or threaded, be sure to schedule the appointment for at least a few days before your photoshoot. Otherwise, an eyebrow trim/touch up at home could be done a day or two before the shoot.

Touch Up Your Roots. If you dye your hair, touching up your regrowth three days before your photoshoot is ideal. Take my advice: this is not the time for drastic changes. Trust me.

Get a Trim. Neat, healthy hair is youthful and vibrant. If it’s been a while since your last haircut, even a subtle trim can make a world of difference.

Get a Manicure. While you’re at it, toss in the pedicure. If you’re hard on your manicures, book the mani/pedi for the day before your shoot.

Minimalists can stick with neatly shaped, clear nails. Soft, neutral colors work well for fingertips. Toes can get away with any color. (Think about the outfits you’re bringing and be sure to choose a color that will compliment your choices.)

Clean Your Wedding Ring. Using a toothbrush and toothpaste is a great day-to-day way to clean your bling, but most professional jewelers have sonic cleaners that make it sparkle like the day it was born. Many will even clean your ring for free. Especially if you return to the jeweler you bought it from.

Day-of Checklist

  • Be sure to apply your usual moisturizer, dry skin captured in photos is difficult to retouch
  • Bring a pair of comfy closed-toe shoes to wear when walking from location to location
  • Pretty nails (Neutral fingers, fun toes)
  • Clean wedding ring
  • Touched up brows
  • Neutral, hydrated lips
  • Eat and drink something before your shoot. Hangry mom's, dad's, kids or significant others tend to be a challenge photogenically.
  • Don't start your shoot stressed and flustered. Arrive 10 minutes early. We are working with natural light and have little to no control over the aspect of the light during the shoot. Being 10 minutes late during a sunset or sunrise shoot can drastically effect the outcome of the potential beauty in the photos.
  • If you are doing an home shoot, it is important to make sure the room we are taking the photos in is tidy and clean. This means, vacuuming, mopping and ensuring that mirrors and window are streak and fingerprint free. If you have a dog that sheds, it is important to have a lint brush on hand.

Kailani's Tips ...

  • Make sure to hydrate the week of your shoot. Drinking water will help your skin have a natural glow.
  • Come fully dressed to your shoot. If you booked a shoot with multiple outfits, save your favorite outfit for last, you will warm up in front of the camera by the end of the shoot and it shows
  • Avoid bright lip colors to start, if you want to do a bold lip this is something you can layer on
  • If you are not sure if you want your hair up or down, start with your hair down. We can always throw it up!
  • Candy or incentives for children are recommended (don't bring lollipops or anything large, best to bring small items that you can continue to bribe with throughout the shoot, Skittles, M&Ms, Sweet Tarts, Gummy Bears. Avoid candies that can die their lips and tongues)