I'm Dolly — a Nashville based family & branding photographer AND a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & SOPS to better impact the backend of their businesses. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
In 2007 I did my first family photoshoot. I remember feeling nervous as I pulled out my camera and got started. I barely knew what I was doing, but as the shoot went on, I started to realize how much I loved every moment – from seeing parents connect, to watching the kiddos play, it was the beginning of an incredible journey into family photography.
When I got in my car that day, I remember thinking to myself how much I loved what I got to do, and that same feeling has stuck for the past 12(+) years.
Family photography is a unique type of photography, and when I boil it down, there are three ways to make your family photo sessions count. In today’s blog, I’m sharing those reasons with you!
When it comes to family photo sessions, it’s tempting to think they’re just like any other photo session. But they’re not. Family photo sessions are precious, but they can also feel like controlled chaos. That’s why I’m sharing my three favorite tips for great family photography.
1. Take care of mom and dad
During the family photo shoot, there’s a pretty crazy amount of pressure on mom and dad. Parents are trying to wrangle their children, take a good photo, and look nice – all at the same time.
As a photographer, there are a few little things you can do to relieve some of that pressure.
For example, I’ll bring a professional hair & makeup artist to the shoot to pamper mom a little bit. It’s a nice way to show the mom how much you care and want to make her feel special on her photoshoot day. I also always recommend to the parents to take time and have a date night after the shoot. You’d be surprised, but parents almost always take the suggestion. I always get feedback about how much the parents enjoyed getting to relax and unwind together after such a busy day.
2. Plan for the kiddos
One of the best parts of family photography is getting to watch the kids grow up year after year. Family photography is usually a yearly occurrence, so you’ll get to watch your families grow and change over time.
When you’re getting ready for a family photography session, it’s important to have a plan for the kids. Before you get started, think of little ways to keep the little ones smiling, happy, and entertained through the duration of the session. You might play a game of eye-spy, bring a toy, or sing a silly song. As you get to know the kids over the years, you’ll know more and more about how to prepare and meet that family’s specific needs.
3. Prepare for the unexpected
Family photo days can go from amazing to totally crazy in about 2.5 seconds. Think a random thunderstorm, a scraped knee, a temper tantrum. You name it, I’ve seen it at some point in the past 12 years.
The best thing you can do in those moments is to be flexible and stay calm. If you can be a source of joy and peace for the family during the chaos, they’ll appreciate your services that much more. After all, you’re not just there to take a few good pictures. You’re there to serve a family and meet their needs!
If you’re looking to grow your family photography business, but don’t know where to start, that’s perfectly normal. It can feel hard to get started, it can be crazy overwhelming because you may be comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle chapter, and you may feel a bit scattered especially when you’re new to photography as a whole.
That’s why I’ve started to offer family photography mentorships. My mentorship program will teach you the no-fail basics of understanding the foundations of how to build a healthy family photography business so you have the resources you need to grow and scale your own family photography business & dream. These mentorships are 1:1 one-day intensives either in person or virtual and we go over 9 core essential foundations for you to learn how to run your very own family photography business!
Listen, you probably love taking photos of everything and everyone and photography has become a huge passion of yours (and you even have a lot of people paying you now), but let me guess, figuring out how to run a business is not quite a joyful experience for you and just thinking of the business side overwhelms you and kinda freaks you out. That’s where I come in.
Interested in my family photo mentorship program? Just click here to get started (plus when you sign up, you’ll get a free gift just for inquiring because I want you to win at being a family photographer!)
Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & personal branding photographer, and also serves as a business systems educator to new creative entrepreneurs (which is a fancy way of saying, she enjoys teaching how to best lay a good foundation for automating your new business). Dolly loves serving families, and business owners with her timeless, radiant photography. She loves capturing the joy and emotion in both digital and film photos.
She also has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Pinterest, email marketing, automation processes, and time management with fellow creative business owners in an encouraging and supportive way through her T.A.S.K.* method (an example of this can be seen in her Pinterest Foundations Mini-Course), through helpful blog posts, and other resources.
Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.
Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), eating way too many sweets, and listening to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography, fill out her contact form here.
Or maybe you're not really sure how you'd use your new collection of branded images? Download my free planning guide to learn how to plan an elevated brand photography session to impact your business!