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Do you live in a place that's miserably hot in the summer months like I do? Sometimes families come to visit during these unbearably warm months, and so that's the time we have to take photos. Here's how to make that work.

Indoor Options

There are plenty of places in any city where you can shoot indoors...for a fee. Here are some ideas for places that might allow you to shoot inside for free as long as you check with them ahead of time.

  • Public libraries - especially in newer libraries, there are a lot of beautiful spaces for photos. But I cannot stress this enough: you need to get permission beforehand, and be courteous. That means not using flash, not asking patrons to move, not disturbing patrons in any way, and leaving things the way you found them.

  • Hotels - this one is hit and miss with whether or not they will allow you to use their lobby for photography, but many do!

  • Breweries - a lot of breweries these days are very photogenic, and depending on the day and time of day, a lot of locally owned places are happy to share their beautiful spaces with photographers.

  • Local shops, like coffee shops, bakeries, ice cream shops, etc. are often happy to let you use their space for photos, especially if you are patronizing their business by buying something. A bonus on hot days is to use an ice cream shop for air conditioned photos and then take the ice cream you buy outside to let kiddos eat it while it melts for more photos.

The most important point of these ideas is that if you are using a business to take photos, make sure you ask for permission first. Not when you show up with camera in hand and clients on site. But before. Then if they are a business, make sure you buy something from them, whether for the photos or not. Be a good person first, and you'll likely find some place for your photos!

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Devan has an incredibly special relationship with her parents. They are all so close, and she is so lucky that her parents have been a model of a loving, beautiful, healthy marriage. So the bar was set pretty high in terms of spouse, in terms of marriage. But it was also a high bar in terms of the wedding itself. And the myriad ways that Devan found to honor her parents during her wedding day was incredibly touching. From the earring she wore (her mother's from her wedding day) to the photos she requested (the newlyweds in the getaway car), she paid tribute to her mom and dad and their example of a marriage.

Devan's mom helped her into her dress to get ready for her first look with her father. The whole process was emotional for all involved - including me! Then during the reception, Devan and her dad had their first dance, and then as a surprise to EVERYONE (including her new husband!) she did a choreographed dance with her dad!

Then Kelby. He had his mom and his bonus (step) mom along with his dad along for the day. He did a special first dance with both women, and they each had their moments together. It was truly all incredibly touching.

From the girls getting ready to the father/daughter first look, then the groomsmen hanging out to family portraits, the ceremony to bridal party photos, it was all so wonderful.

It is SO difficult to choose some of my favorite images from this day, but here's my best attempt at it.

Venue: The Maverick

HMU: Hello Lovely

Florals: Wild Hill Floral

Catering/Cake: Sugar & Spice


Videographer: Mack's Videographer

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Updated: Sep 2, 2022

A newborn session by its nature happens at a super chaotic point in your life. Whether you gave birth, adopted a newborn, or made the choice to foster a new human, it's chaotic. And if you want to memorialize this special time with photos, there are a few things you can do to make sure the photo session goes as smoothly as possible to reduce stress on you and your family. So here are those tips:

  • Make sure little one is fed about 30 minutes before the session starts

  • Keep all other participants (parents, siblings, etc.) fed and happy as well

  • Put a new diaper and first outfit on about 10 minutes before the session starts

  • Have all outfits and sentimental items you want to use laid out and in one place for the photographer to see as soon as they arrive

  • Have extra bottles/be ready to nurse, have snacks on hand (for toddlers and nursing mamas), and use bribes if older siblings are involved

  • Be comfortable - wear what you want, let the other family members wear what they're comfortable in, and care more about everyone being happy than about having a cohesive look

  • If there are areas you want to use (nursery, master bedroom, living room, etc.) consider decluttering. To be clear, I do NOT mean cleaning. Decluttering in this case means moving the pile of laundry or collection of empty bottles that would be in the background of a photo in the glider to an area of the room that would not be in the background. This is NOT something you have to do when you already have a million things on your plate, but if you have a second, it can streamline the process.

  • This one is the most important tip: Don't stress. Don't get anxious when your newborn starts to cry or your toddler isn't cooperating. Don't snap at your partner. Don't get worked up. If you are working with a professional photographer, they have seen it all, worked with it all, heard it all. And you getting stressed out makes the whole family stressed. Let the photographer do their job and take on any stress while you sit back, relax, and interact with your family. If you do that, your photos will be perfect.

And just for fun, here are a few newborn photos from sessions I've done where the photo turned out perfectly, but there was plenty of chaos outside of the frame.

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