I'm Dolly — a Nashville based branding photographer for small business owners & a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & Dubsado. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
I love, love, love photographing extending family sessions. There’s something SO special about being able to photograph multiple generations in one portrait session. Extended family sessions are generally for bigger groups and can feel a bit overwhelming if you aren’t totally prepared. Today, I wanted to share a few tips to ensure your extended family portraits are stress-free and enjoyable for everyone!
When you start to think about your “must-have” combinations and portraits, make a list. Once that list is done, send it to me so that I can be sure we don’t miss anyone! Take the time to break down the combinations you want. I usually recommend that your list tells me everyone’s actual names and if there’s a family title that’s helpful (like Grandma) so I know who I’m talking to. It might look like this:
Grandma (Jill) + Grandpa (Bill) + Grandkids (Mary, Beth, Adam, John)
Donna + Chris + Mary + Beth
Grandma + Mary
Grandma + Beth
When it comes to choosing outfits for larger families, I highly recommend coordinating with one another ahead of time. Talk about a color palette or a few colors you should all wear. Coordinating outfits look way better in portraits than wearing the exact same thing (goodbye white polo and khakis from the photos in the 90s!). Try to wear something that wears special but comfortable!
When it comes to choosing a location for larger groups, there are a few more things to consider. Locations should be easy to access, limit walking, and safe for children of all ages. While I can get away with shooting smaller families in a downtown or more urban setting, I recommend something with more space for bigger families. This gives us more room to work! We can absolutely use a family home for your portraits. Try to pick one with a larger yard and open shade for the best results. Parks and outdoor settings are going to be a good bet too!
When you plan your session, have one person be your point of contact with me. They’ll be the one who I communicate with, send the contract to, and deliver your gallery to, too! Your entire family can definitely access the gallery and final images once they’re delivered. Remember, it will be about 3-4 weeks after your session.
Extended family sessions are so special. I absolutely love working with your family to document those special visits when everyone’s together. I hope these tips help you feel more confident about your extended family portraits!
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Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & branding photographer and a creative business owner who educates other family photographers on how to best streamline their family photography business by using powerful automation tools in order to find the JOY in workflows and systems. Dolly loves serving families, and business owners with her timeless, radiant photography. And, she also loves educating other creative business owners on how to set up systems and workflows that will ultimately help them save time in their business-she does this by producing weekly blog posts and weekly podcast episodes on The Systems & Workflow Magic Podcast.
She has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Dubsado, Email Marketing, and Business Systems with new creative business owners & family photographers in an encouraging and supportive way because she believes that anyone can find joy in automation! Plus BONUS: Systems is where the MAGIC happens!
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), loves eating way too many sweets, and listens to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography LLC, fill out her contact form here.
Interested in learning how to best automate a part of your business but you have no clue where to begin? Check out www.dollydelongphotography.com/automate to begin your automation journey today!
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!