Family Session Guide Ashley Newman Photography

Hey there!

Thank you for selecting Ashley Newman Photography. I want to create a fun, personal experience for you and your family so that when you receive your finished photographs, you’ll cherish not only the images themselves, but also the memory of creating them. If you are relaxed and happy during your session, that will shine through in your photographs as we capture the moments that share the heartbeat of your special family.

Many clients wonder what they should expect during the portrait process, from beginning to end. This guide will help you through each step of the process so you will know what to expect and will feel relaxed and comfortable on the day of the session.

xoxo, Ashley

The Experience



I always like to talk with every client before pictures. It can be a phone call/skype or simple texts and emails. At this meeting I will learn about your family, and we can go over all your ideas. This planning phase is so fun and important. I will also send out a family questionnaire to help me get to know you even better. I can’t wait to find out the heart beat of your family and tell your story!

General Tips

Keep your hands busy: Hold your child's hand, give kisses, brush their hair behind their ear, play and dance, chase and ask questions, pick flowers, tell secrets, start a tickle fight. Keep moving and enjoy the process with your children. Activities you enjoy doing with one another will help tell an authentic story and capture your true personalities.

Stay patient and positive. Children tend to go at their own pace – and that’s fine. On the day of your session, we will work with you and your family to make sure everyone has an enjoyable, relaxed experience. If that means your preschooler needs to take a break for a snack, or your baby needs a new diaper and a change of clothes, you should feel comfortable to take the time you need. We know that a great photo session takes flexibility and patience. Accept the unpredictable: Embrace the chaos of the moment and this season of life. Honest connections and candid connections create real and specific memories. Be vulnerable and open in front of the camera and your family's story will begin to pour out.

Choosing a location

When deciding on a location for your photo session, it’s important not to make a choice based only on what is visually pleasing. Consider the places that mean the most to you – where did the most special moments of your life take place? What location says something about you, who you are, and what you love? Choosing a spot that evokes memories or emotions will help you to be relaxed during the photo session, and it will add an extra layer of depth to your portraits. Tuscaloosa has a lot of beautiful locations to offer, so I know we can come up with a spot that you will love.

Props & Heirloom Items

Featuring an object in your photos can add interest and character to your photos. In choosing props, it’s important to consider what objects have personal meaning for you and your family. Whether it’s something with historical meaning for you, an item that represents a hobby or passion, or something that communicates an idea that is important to you, your props should help convey what is unique about you. A good prop might be a family quilt, an item of jewelry or even a family pet. Whatever you choose, it should be something that evokes emotion or makes a statement about you.

Session Check List

  • any prop you want incorporated
  • bug spray
  • sunscreen
  • baby wipes
  • favorite snacks/drink, toy, or game
  • makeup for touch ups
  • brush/comb
  • extra change of clothes


When choosing clothing for family portraits, I suggest that every family member wear the same tone, but not necessarily the same color. (Gone are the days of everyone wearing white shirts and blue jeans!) Instead, let's coordinate- don't match. Please, be wary of stripes, busy patterns, plaid, words and logos. These things can be a distraction from your beautiful family and I like to keep the focus on you. Simple clothing choices, such as solid colors and layered looks are best for creating timeless family portraits.

Wear clothing that fits properly. A proper fit that allows you to move and feel comfortable will help you look more confident in your portrait. Another thought: always dress with full length in mind, including shoes and socks in your wardrobe consideration. Shoe styles should be simple and non distracting.

Hats and accessories such as scarves and funky belts can add a fun element. If children are being photographed together, choose clothes that are similar in style to give a more coordinated look.

When in doubt, remember, I am here to help! We can design a visual board on Pinterest, I'm available via text or the phone to look at and discuss your ideas. Please do not hesitate to ask my opinion about your outfit choices.


Mom, I know it's easier to pick your children's outfits first...resist! Can we take a moment and focus on you? We can build the entire family session off your outfit, so let's make it a good one. I want you to feel comfortable and beautiful in front of the camera. Check out these resources for looking your best, and consider getting professional hair and makeup done for the day of.

Hair & Makeup: The Beauty Bar by Tori Crocker | 205-233-4124 | www.thebeautybar.org, Malorie Talley- 205-799-1139

Clothing: Alter Egowww.savedbythedress.com | www.freepeople.com | www.hazelandolive.com | www.shopthemint.com | www.861.ca | www.sophieandtrey.com | www.renttherunway.com

What to Expect


Outdoor photo sessions can be very rewarding, but they also depend on good weather. Excessive heat or cold can be hazardous to subject and photographer alike, and rain can drive everyone indoors. If bad weather threatens to mar a scheduled photo session, I will keep in contact with you as the day of the session approaches so we can decide whether to reschedule to another convenient time.

the day of

On the day of the photo session, we will meet at the selected location, and the creative fun will begin. It’s important for you and your family to be yourselves so your photographs can communicate who you really are. A fun and relaxing photo session results in great portraits you can treasure.

2-3 weeks after

After the photographs have been taken and each image has been professionally retouched, you will experience the moment you have been eagerly awaiting. Sneak peek images may be posted to Facebook and/or the blog for your family and friends to view. Next, we will set up a viewing at your home or local coffee shop, to show you the full gallery. I will review each shot with you, answer all of your questions, and offer my professional advice as you choose from the prints, albums and other products available. the end result will be heirlooms that you will cherish forever.

4-6 weeks after printing

Your printed products and artwork are ready to be picked up!

And so the adventure begins...

I can't wait to spend time with your family! Each family I get the honor of working with is etched on my heart forever. Please know this process is very important to me and I value the true heartbeat of your family.

Have a question or need some help? Let's talk! I'm here and ready to help make your session come to life!

www.ashleynewmanphotography.com | info@ashleynewmanphotography.com

Created By
Ashley Newman

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