How to Get Great Family Photos by Kristin Eldridge

see more by


This post today is written by Kristin Eldridge of Kristin Eldridge Photography on how to get great family photos. She has photographed hundreds of families over the years and is here to share her tips on how to get great family photos with us.

How to Get Great Family Photos

As parents, our goal in doing a photo session is to get good photos. We don’t go through all the work of picking out clothes, driving to the location and paying a photographer just to go through the motions. We do all that work so we can stop time and have a beautiful piece of art that captures our family.

When kids look at the photo session, they don’t have the same goal.

They don’t understand why photos are important and they really just look at the whole thing as having to sit still and listen.  Which isn’t a whole lot of fun!

Of course, a good photographer will entertain your kids and keep them engaged, but sometimes silliness will take over and the photographer needs your child to reign it in a little.

It’s Not a Bribe, It’s a Motivational Tool

Being able to listen and follow instructions is a must for good photos, but for little ones, what is in it for them? Some kids might need a form of payment to be motivated to follow instructions.

Forms of payment look different for every child.  A 2-year-old might be paid with a lollipop, while an 8-year-old might be more excited about a trip to the store for a new LEGO set.  Whatever the incentive is, remember it’s the thing your child will think about when they need to stay engaged and listening to the photographer for an hour.

Sometimes parents will tell me they feel guilty for ‘bribing’ their child. I encourage you to not look at it this way. Let’s call it a motivational tool or a goal to work toward.  And here’s the key…when the wheels are starting to fall off and a meltdown is imminent in the middle of the photo shoot is NOT the right time to start coming up with incentives.

Just like you plan your outfits and pick your photographer, if you think your child might need a little incentive during the photo shoot, think about a good reward that will work.

Remember marketing is everything! Feel free to hype it up before the photo session.  And during the photo session, remind your child about what they are working for for them and then work as a team with your photographer.

The photographer will be entertaining and directing to get the good shots and every family member will be willing participants.  Parents get great family photos and kids get their ‘prize’ at the end of the day!

Win-win all around.

You Might Also Like

Spring Photo Session Giveaway

see more by

Kristin Eldridge Spring Photo Session Giveaway

Kristin Eldridge has been our family photographer since my youngest (now almost five) was a newborn. She is wildly talented and has the perfect disposition for working with young children. My girls just adore her.  So do I.

Every single time after I view the images from our photo shoot, I want to get in my car to drive up and hug her in person because she always makes me cry. In a good way.

Now I want to make you cry (kidding!) with a special Spring Photo Session Giveaway from Kristin Eldridge Photography. Squeal!

I asked Kristin to write me a little about her special spring photo sessions, and this is what she said,

“One of my favorite parts of my job is scouting new locations.  I love finding little gems like this park in Trabuco Canyon.  It’s got big trees and a luscious bed of green.  The light filters in beautifully.  It’s just swoon-worthy!

Which such a perfect location, you can’t go wrong!  There isn’t a better time to get gorgeous images of your kids. I specialize in taking those everyday moments of childhood and finding the right angles to make them art.  Parents are welcome to join in for the photo session.“

Giveaway Details

Kristin Eldridge is giving away one free spring photo session on April 26, 2014 (4:30-5:00) at a park in Trabuco Canyon.

Important: Winner must be able to attend the photo shoot on that date, time and location, so please make sure you can swing it before you enter!

The photo session is 30 minutes long for kids or a family.  One week after the photo session, you’ll be proofed approximately 25 images.

As part of the giveaway, you’ll get to pick 6 free re-touched digital images to print and share from the gallery (with the option to purchase additional if desired.) Click here to view her pricing.

GOOD LUCK! I am soooo excited for one of you to have the chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You Might Also Like

Love is in the Details

see more by

Favorite accessories for family photo shoots


This post is written by the fabulously talented local photographer, Kristin Eldridge, featuring her favorite accessories for photo shoots.

How to Accessorize for your Family Photo 

by Kristin Eldridge, Southern California family photographer

Love is in the details. And when it comes to a family photo, the details can take a photo from good to great!

I generally guide my clients to choose two main colors and mix and match within that color palette.  But, what really makes a the outfits special are the accessories.  I’ve put together a list of favorite accessories for photo shoots.

Of course, you don’t need to throw them ALL into your ensemble, but a few key pieces will make all the difference!

1.  Suspenders. Girls don’t get to have all the fun!  Adding these to your little guy’s simple outfit gives it that POP!

2.  Belts. For boys or girls, moms or dads, an interesting belt polishes off the outfit.

3.  Leggings. These can be in a pattern or just a fun color.  And tights work the same way!  It’s just that extra little step!

4.  Fun shoes! Colored converse are an easy way for boys to accessorizes, but for girls the sky’s the limit.  Use your footwear to tie in an accent color.

5.  Bow ties.  J Crew is my favorite place to shop for kids’ accessories and their bow tie selection is unbeatable.

6.  Statement necklaces. This is for moms and it can be as simple as what’s pictured to a full blown STATEMENT!  What matters is tying in a fun color and accenting a simple top.

7.  Hair accessories. You don’t have to be wearing a headband with a big flower to use hair accessories.  These simple pins from Anthropolgie would be perfect accent pieces!

8.  Scarfs. A scarf can work just like a statement necklace.  Just wear a solid top and add a patterned scarf to punch up the color.

Taking just a few of these favorite accessories for photo shoots can really add an extra element of interest to the photo. Here’s an example of a family rocking a few of the accessories mentioned above. It’s casually perfect!

How to Accessorize for Your Family Photo

Disclosure: Kristin Eldridge is a longtime Tiny Oranges partner 

You Might Also Like

Treat Yourself To New Family Photos This Year

see more by

orange county holiday photography specials

I know the holidays might seem eons away, but they will be here before we know it so now is the time to start thinking about the family photos you want to use on your holiday card this year. If you will be looking for Orange County holiday photography specials – this one might be hard to beat!

Emily of Kasz Photo is offering a super holiday photography special for mini-photo sessions booked in the months of October and September 2013. The mini sessions will be held in both San Diego and Orange County.

All the packages include X number of high resolution images ready to plug into your darling holiday photo card or to print and hang on your walls.

Sessions are booked on a first come basis, and with those prices, she will book up fast so contact emily @ or call 949.842.9805 to reserve your spot.

To see some examples of Emily’s work from past holiday photography shoots, visit her Facebook page.

Now that you are going to have beautiful family photos for your holiday card, head over here to this giveaway.

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend ~ see you back on Monday!

Disclosure: Kasz Photo is a Tiny Oranges Partner.

You Might Also Like

How to Prepare for a Family Photo Shoot

see more by

How to prepare for a family photo shoot

Today we’re offering tips on how to prepare for a family photo shoot and we’ve been lucky enough to get some advice from my good friend and talented photographer Suzi Bowles of Suzi Bowles Photography.

I first met Suzi because our daughters were in the same pre-school class. While chatting in the pick up line, I learned about Suzi’s budding photography business and immediately asked if she’d take some photos of my family of four.

We’ve had family photos done on the beach before, so this time I was hoping to switch it up with a more urban setting. Suzi recommended we head to Los Rios Street in San Juan Capistrano. The setting was absolutely perfect and I was so happy with the results that I vowed to have a real family photo shoot once a year.

I think being able to freeze a moment in time is so precious, especially when your kids are young and changing so quickly from year to year.

Our family photo shoot with Suzi went so smoothly that I asked her to share a few of her tips on how to prepare for a family photos session. Since, as everyone reading this blog knows, a family photo shoot with kids under the age of 8 can be challenging, I think having photographer that is also a mom (especially one who is as patient as Suzi) helps tremendously.

How to Prepare for Your Family Photo Shoot

Choose the Right Time of Day

Choose a session time that works well with your kids regular sleeping and feeding times. No photographer worth their salt will hold a session in direct sunlight in the height of the midday sun, but when choosing a time for your session be mindful of how your kids are usually feeling/acting at that time of day – if it’s in the middle of their witching hour and you don’t have any tried and tested plan to rearrange their day to make it work, it will probably show through in your pictures.

Share information with your photographer in advance of the shoot

Share as much information as you can with your photographer before the shoot. Tell them what your children are interested in, what makes them laugh as well as any issues that could bring the session to a grinding halt of they were to come up in conversation. If there are any must-have shots, share them ahead of time too.

Choose a Photographer You Trust

Choose a photographer you trust and then let them work with your kids to get the smiles and interactions that make a fantastic picture – if you’re constantly telling your kids to smile and say cheese they will have fake smiles that you will see in the end results, take a step back and trust your photographer to build the rapport they need to get the shots. If you’re in the frame focus on your own interaction with the camera so that the moment your kids are participating, the photographer can capture the moment.

Choose outfits that complement, but are not too matchy-matchy

What to wear is definitely a question I get asked a lot! Family outfits are a personal choice, but I always recommend that you choose a style that suits your family and the setting – if you’re a beach loving family who are having their session on the sand, formal wear may look and feel a little out of place – wear clothes that you are comfortable with and feel great in. Stick to 3 or 4 colors and don’t have too many different patterns going on, although a couple of patterns can add to the overall effect. Avoid text and cartoon characters that can distract from the scene and will also date your artwork very quickly.

Have Fun!

Have a plan, but keep it flexible – especially with young kids, be ready to go with the flow. The best pictures are usually the ones that show a family having fun and interacting with each other. If the session becomes strained, it’s always a good idea to take a break and re-group.

*all photos see here are reproduced with the permission of Suzi Bowles Photography

Special Offer For Tiny Oranges Readers

Now for the best part! Suzi is offering Tiny Oranges readers a $50 credit towards prints with a booked photo session. To receive the credit, your session needs to be booked in August and take place before the end of September.

Perfect for all those Holiday photos that we need to get done!


 Please email or call Suzi and mention Tiny Oranges when booking.

Suzi Bowles Photography

Phone: 949 940 5385



[Disclosure: Suzi provided us with a complimentary session of which I am so grateful.]

You Might Also Like
Show Mobile Version