Jacksonville's Best Children & Family Portraits Photo Guide

Portrait session Jacksonville beach carolennys studios

Children & Family Photography Pre-Session Preparation

Our clients want to capture memories that they will love for years to come. While it may seem effortless, the best images are a collaboration between client and photographer, where each comes prepared for their role. As your photographer, I will be sure to plan out our setting, lighting, focal lengths and compositions to tell your story in the best way. I will curate the best selection and edit to achieve the look and feel that you will love. Your role as the client, is simply to bring the best version of you, and or your family that you would like to remember for years to come. Here are a few tips & suggestions that will make all the difference.

Studio sessions offer some very unique styles and looks that can make for portraits that would go over your mantel or a framed print on the walls of your home. Carolennys Studios has a commercial building located in Jacksonville Florida that has a large variety of set-ups, props and some clothing and accessories available in our client closet for your photo pleasure.

The length of family sessions should be considered in your planning for your particular family. If you have small children, long sessions may be challenging, as the children may become restless and not cooperate. Some suggested strategies are to bring a form of entertainment, discuss studio rules prior to arriving, or some reward incentives to keep them focus. Keeping them happy will create the best photos that you are looking for. Bringing special objects that meaningful to your children can help in making them feel comfortable along with adding an extra element to the scene to make it feel more unique to who they are.

For Outdoor sessions in Jacksonville & St Augustine areas you can check out our guide on some of our best locations JaxPhotoGuide on where to do photo spots. Time of day will be important and the overall look and feel that you want from your photography session. If you feel your children need lots of room to run around and are high energy larger more open fields may be optimal so they don't feel restricted by their environment. Remember we want smiles from the children in their photos, and moments that can be shared with their families.

General Tips to get the most out of your session.

Studio & Mini

  • Plan outfits and have attire ironed and looking the best it can.
  • Get plenty of rest to ensure you are at your best.
  • Set aside/bring any props you want to use in the pictures.
  • Ensure that all individuals in the photo session are ready and excited.
  • Ensure hair is styled and freshly cut within 2 weeks.
  • Arrive 10 -15 minutes early to give yourself plenty of time for last minute issues that may arrive.
  • If you wear glasses reflections/glare may occur in photos consider using a pair without any glass in them to prevent this, if folks wouldn’t recognize you without them.
  • Men’s facial hair should be freshly shaved, and trim up beards, goatee, moustache and sideburns.
  • If you wear jewelry, aim for subtlety and be aware of it twisting or turning.
  • If you wear make-up, a subtle application can really soften your skin and accent your facial features. Ensure it matches your skin tone, or your face may look orange or discolored compared to the rest of your body.
  • Avoid high salt and high fat foods 2-3 days before a photo session, as bloating will sap your confidence and comfort in front of the camera.
  • Bra straps won’t do anything to help your outfit look its best. Be sure you bring a set of bras and strap-adjusting accessories to work with any outfit you want to do the photo session, to keep those straps well-hidden.
  • Nails tidy and neat, if coated choosing a neutral or matching color not to distract or clash with the outfit.
  • Moisturizing to avoid dry skin, improving how your photos will turn out.
  • Lip balm is great to avoid having cracked lips that will show in your photos.
  • Avoid red eyes, visine is your friend and proper rest.
  • Avoid sunburns and tan lines, avoid significant sun exposure the day before a photo session, be mindful of clothing tan lines, sunglasses tan lines and hat tan lines.
  • Regarding footwear, heels or wedges can elongate the body for a more flattering look. Regardless of footwear, be sure it is clean. Another option is shoe-less, especially at the beach.
  • Bring hair accessories, especially for outdoor sessions in case of windy days. Bring bobby pins, hair clips, headbands, hats or any other favorite accessory.
  • Bring facial powder to remove excess shine.


  • Clean their, nails, hair wipe away eye boogers, clean feet, wipe snotty noses, fresh-scrubbed teeth, the cleaner the better their photos will turn out
  • Napping age children - ensure they nap before the photo session
  • It is perfectly fine to bring bribes to help maintain their attention. Small candies, cereals, ensure they don’t stain teeth.
  • Avoid any colorful drinks within 24 hours of a photo session as it will stain their teeth, mouth, or face.
  • For siblings, the children don’t have to match perfectly, just coordinated attire.
  • Feel free to use your preference of colors and patterns in attire; however, logos, branded clothing, or too much writing on clothing can detract from portraits.


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