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How to Prepare for a Family Photoshoot

Once you book your family photoshoot you will want to start preparing. You may want to other appointments, such as a hair trim and manicure.  If you would like to professional hair and makeup for your shoot I can put you in contact with my artist.


  • Consider your location and surroundings when picking styles and colors.
  • Choose coordinating colors (all jewel tones, all darks, all neutrals).
  • You can also choose all the same color, like varying shades of white.
  • For indoor photoshoots, light colors are usually best.
  • If you have pets, stay away from darks.
  • Choose outfits that are not overly holiday or season specific if you plan on displaying the images in your home.
  • Use prints thoughtfully.
  • Accessorize lightly.
  • Consider how the outfits will “age” in the images.
  • Keep in mind how your outfit will look when you may be sitting on the ground or holding a baby/child on your hip.
  • Have fun accessorizing the kids with hats, hair bows, knee socks or tights, cardigans or headbands.

Here are some ideas and examples with various styles from previous photoshoots!

Indoor Studio Light Colors

Indoor Home Light Colors

Outdoors for different seasons


I have a small list of recommendation for your convenience.  Although beautiful locations are great – I will take pretty lighting and a happy family over ANY location!  Truly, simple is best!  A local park, a scenic field or a downtown area are always nice.  Keep in mind, many locations in the DC area require permits.

Here is a few of my favorite, easy and no-cost/low-cost locations for sessions not taking place in Downtown Frederick.

Glenview Mansion 

Best Farm

Gaver Farm

Green Spring Gardens 

Studio (best for babies and small families)

Your home


Speaking of pretty lighting, the best time to shoot outdoors is typically 2 hours prior to sunset.  Mid-day photoshoots are certainly possible but I will seek out shade and other areas to combat harsh lighting.

patapsco state park family portrait session
a mid-day photoshoot with lots of tree cover.

A spectacular sunset photoshoot

frederick family photographer
a spectacular sunset photoshoot.
cherry blossom engagement session washington dc with dogs at tidal basin
an overcast day.


If you have any special ideas I would love to hear them! Some families prefer to have an activity involved with their photoshoot, one example is going to the Apple Orchard and picking apples. Some other fun, activity themed locations would be: the carnival/fair, tree farm, seasonal fields (sunflowers, lavender…), tourist locations, baking at home or going to your favorite bakery.

In the studio you can expect a light assortment of props like chairs and blankets but overall l I do not use a lot of props during photoshoots.

 baby studio portrait frederick photographer
in-studio photoshoot with minimal props.

Apple picking at Gaver Farm (September & October)

gaver farm apple picking mt airty photographer
apple picking at Gaver Farm. (September & October)


For small kids, consider having the following on hand

  • small, clean snacks
  • love/comfort item (hidden, only in case of emergency)
  • wet wipes (for snot, dirt and everything in between)
  • change of clothes
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I'm Shelby, a portrait photographer based in Downtown Frederick, Maryland. I specialize in capturing the special moments of families, high school seniors, and brands, creating images that tell your unique story.



Photography is more than just a job for me—it's a way to preserve memories and bring out the beauty in every moment. I believe in creating a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere during our sessions, so you can feel comfortable and be your authentic self in front of the camera.



My cozy studio in Downtown Frederick is designed to make you feel at home. Whether we’re celebrating a family milestone, capturing the excitement of senior year, or showcasing your brand, I’m dedicated to providing you with beautiful, timeless photos you'll cherish.




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12 South Market St.

Suite 202

Frederick, MD 21701


by appointment only





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