Family Photo Tips with Jessica Francis Photography


A beautiful family photo or a photo of a child’s milestone can provide joy and happiness for years to come.  For many moms taking family photographs can sound stressful and overwhelming.  So, Jessica Francis, a local Ventura County Photographer and owner of Jessica Francis Photography, is here to share some simple tips and styling suggestions for your next family photo session!

Meet Jessica Francis

Jessica Francis Photography

Prepare Before

First, let’s explore how to prepare the whole family. Tell your children what we will be doing (if they’re old enough to understand) and make it sound exciting! You can explain that they will be taking pictures and enjoying time together as a family. Maybe plan something
fun afterwards? Try to give them some grace to be little. Kids may take a little bit to warm up to the photo session but know that I will do my best to capture their authentic personalities and make this time worthwhile.

Let dad know that the best thing he can do is try to enjoy this time with his family and let ME do all the work.  Also, tell him how much this means to you and that you’re glad he is willing to be such a team player. For yourself, to not feel rushed, set enough time aside to prepare on the day of your session.

Let Go of Perfection

Next, let go of your need for any perfection and enjoy this present moment with your family. This is the biggest anxiety most moms express to me.  It’s ok if your kids aren’t “perfect” during our time together. Don’t worry about your kids not giving me real smiles.  I will work hard at making your session a fun experience and will be sure to capture your children at their best!

The Family Matching Outfit

Finally, let’s chat about one of my favorite parts…outfit suggestions! There is an old-fashioned idea floating around that everyone needs to wear matching clothing. Coordinating is far better than matching and much more preferred.

Choose cohesive colors, but don’t fall into the trap that you all need to be wearing the exact same blue shirt. Your photos will be far more interesting with some variation! It could be overwhelming if you are unsure where to begin, so start by choosing a print that you love.  Then pull in some of the coordinating colors for each member of the family. I recommend having 2-3 colors in your palette. Adding in a couple of patterns looks nice too, if they complement one another! Add in a solid shirt for one person, maybe
some pattern for another. Remember, the key is to coordinate, so the colors in your prints  and patterns are your friend! You can easily keep your color scheme neutral and add in smaller amounts of color for variety.

More Tips

1. Pick a color scheme and set aside some time to plan outfit coordination.
2. Mix patterns and solids (be mindful of the type of pattern, if
unsure, don’t be afraid to ask).
3. Limit the amount of patterned clothing as well as any
conflicting or loud patterns.  Also, avoid graphics tees (it can be too
4. Consider the time of year and the location of your session.
5. Include personal or sentimental items (ex. their favorite toy,
blanket, or book), fun additional accessories (headbands/bows,
necklaces, suspenders, bow ties, flowers, balloons), and a clean snack
for the kiddos (that won’t stain, like Cheerios)

Photography Freezes These Fleeting Moments

All in all, family portrait sessions are important because life is unpredictable and ever-changing! Photography freezes life’s fleeting moments and captures the dynamics and development of your family. It’s important to document this time with your spouse and children throughout each stage of life, as each stage doesn’t last long.

The lasting ability and value photography offers is why I’m so passionate about providing this service to you and yours! One day photos will be all we have left, so let’s have some fun with it! Whether you want your photo session at one of our many sandy beaches, local green parks, or our near-by mountains, you can count on me to be here each step of the way and make your family photo session special!

Jessica Francis Photography


Jessica Francis Photography
Ventura County Photographer | Ventura County Family Photographer |
Ventura County Couples Photographer

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Cascia Smith
Cascia was born and raised in the Arizona heat. While receiving her Pre-Med degree at HIU in California, a blonde, surfing, skateboarding boy stole her heart. In 2004, she married Chuck and had many adventures living in Arizona, California and Colorado. They now call Simi Valley home and have three wild and curious children - Becker (10), Bodie (7) and Lyla (6). She has been blessed to be a teacher, summer camp staff/program director, SAHM and now the owner of Ventura County Mom Collective. Playing guitar, writing songs, and reading any and every parenting book helps keep her sane and happy! A good cup of coffee or a bubbly La Croix can usually be found in her hand! She tries to live by the motto "I'd rather recover from failure than live with regret.


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