Fun Family Photography in Kansas City by Denise Williams Photography » Kansas City's Family Photographer

You’ve booked your family photo session and now it’s time to prepare. Hopefully your photographer (if it’s not me) has given you some helpful tips leading up to your scheduled session. Here are 5 Tips For a Great Photo Session to get you started and help you have a fabulous time with your family!

5 Tips For a Great Photo SessionPINIMAGE

5 Tips For a Great Photo Session

Choose your outfits in advance

I know this one seems like a given, but how often do we leave this kind of stuff to the last minute? Guilty! I suggest choosing your outfits about a week to two weeks before your session. Any earlier and you’ll change your mind too much. Any later and you’ll be stressing. Outfit choice is one of the most important parts of your session. It’s key for us mamas to feel good in our photos.

Make sure everyone is well rested and well fed

This goes for babies and adults and everyone in between. I don’t know about you, but I am not pleasant if I am tired and hungry!

Get everyone to bed at a decent time. Dark circles don’t photograph well and you all need your energy to have fun!

If it’s not mealtime, be sure to give everyone a decent snack so they won’t be grumpy at the session. Keep in mind what you give as a snack. Go for non-messy type foods. For smaller ones, bring a non-messy snack along just incase.

Leave plenty of time

Layout everything you need the night before. This will help you relax while getting ready so you can enjoy your family rather than be at each other’s throats as you walk out the door.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get ready on the day of your session. That includes helping other members of your family. 😉 Someone will need help with their hair or won’t be dressed when you think they are. I somehow always seem to forget this part!

Last but not least, give yourself more time to get there than you think you’ll need. Build in time for things like traffic, summer construction, or getting gas.

Keep bribes positive and to a minimum

First, See number 5 from this post. A lot of times the photographer will have “incentives” but if you wanna bribe with something, keep it simple and POSITIVE. Give some smarties intermittently, or gum for after. Extra playground time is always good. Use the incentives in a positive way only. I have seen many situations go downhill fast when parents start threatening to take away the bribes. No one is happy then!

Leave extra stuff in your car

Do yourself a favor and leave your purse and extra stuff in the car. The less you have to worry about, the more you can focus on having fun as a family. I have rarely seen anyone need their brush or anything from their purse during the session. If you wanna bring extra lipgloss, throw it in your’s or hubby’s pocket. If you have an outfit change, leave it in the car and go back for it.

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I hope these 5 Tips For a Great Photo Session have been helpful! Don’t forget to read all the posts in the Guide to Fun Family Photography.

If you don’t have anything scheduled for you and your family, let’s put these tips into practice and get you in front of my camera! Click the CONTACT link at the top of the page and schedule your session today!


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Having family portraits taken is important to a lot of moms, as talked about in the post Family Photos: 5 Tips To Get Your Family On Board. As a mom, you want to have nice keepsakes to look at each day and be able to pass them on as heirlooms to your children. This is why you should invest in professional photography!

In this day and age of digital, it’s easy to want to try to DIY or have “my friend with the digital camera” take your family portraits. That’s fine now and then, and I bet your friend with the camera is probably really good. However, these scenarios often won’t meet the expectation you have in mind. The result is a frustrating experience and result.

Hiring a professional photographer can be an investment, and because of that it’s not a priority for a lot of people. I totally get that. They want to spend their money elsewhere. But if you really think about it, you could make some small changes and save up enough to do this important thing for your family.

fun family photography in kansas city Why you should invest in professional photographyPINIMAGE

Why you should invest in professional photography


All you have to do it show up looking all spiffy. When you choose the right professional, they have systems and processes for everything they do. From the first inquiry, to the session and right up to delivery of your products. They know where the great lighting is and how to make you look your best. They are really good at getting your kids to cooperate, without getting emotions involved. That’s worth it right there, if you ask me. They have done this over and over. They know the ins and outs.

Your photographer gets to worry about everything, while you have fun with your family! When you go home, all there is for you to do is wait expectantly for the finished portraits. In the other scenarios, you’d be downloading the images, or having to order them.


Your friend will give you the digitals and you can go online and order whatever products you want. But, do you have time?  Will the color be right? Are the products archival quality? Will they last?

A good professional photographer takes pride in knowing the answers to all of these questions and they want you to have ready-to-enjoy products. They don’t want you to have a list of to-dos because all they gave you were the digitals. They have done extensive research in to high quality products and offer the best. They know how to manage the color of your images to make sure you don’t come out looking like a Oompa Loompa!:)


You are hiring and paying someone to take your portraits. That means they are reserving special time just for you. Even though your friend with a good camera loves you, they might just have to run off to pick up their kid from school.

However, if you are paying a boutique photographer (not a big box chain store) then they will dedicate enough time to you so that you won’t feel like a number. They will give you all the time necessary to get the photos you have imagined.

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I hope I have brought up some key points as to why you should invest in professional photography.

Keep in mind there are many photographers out there and they are not created a like. Be sure to do the research and find a photographer that is right for your expectations and your family.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of my posts in my guide for FUN FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY.

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Family photos can be stressful.

I will say, they don’t have to be. The fact is though, they often are.

Even though you know it’s so important to document your family each year, and you really want to, you don’t. The stress of it all is enough to keep you from acting.

A negative tone can be fueled from the get-go with the grumbling that comes from your family. You have that one child that despises being photographed and in the opinion of your husband, it’s a painful experience.

“What monkey suit do you want me in?” is what I got from my husband one year.

I hate to say it mama, then there’s you. (yep, and me too)

We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to getting professional portraits taken. If mama ain’t happy…you know the rest.

Well, no one can change mama, except mama. Am I right?:)

Don’t despair! I’ve got you covered with some tips that will help you get yourself AND your people on board for family portraits. Just think, put these tips to work this year, and it will make next year even easier.

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Having fun results in cherished images.

5 Tips To Get Your Family On Board For Family Photos

  1. Bring it up early. Let your husband and kids know about the session several weeks ahead of your scheduled date. You want them to get used to the idea. Let them know how important it is to you.
  2. Sell the experience. Instead of focusing on portraits and products, focus on the session being a special, fun family activity. It is!
  3. Let go of perfection. This is a biggie. Just do it. Through every aspect of the experience, from telling your people about the session to getting ready, to what happens at the session. Make your only expectation having a great time with your loved ones.
  4. Focus on fun. Use the word FUN as a filter you run everything through as you plan and prepare. Have fun working together to pick outfits. Have fun brainstorming activities you can do during the session (your kids are good at this). Have fun on the way there. Most importantly, have fun WHILE you are at your session. Release control and let your photographer handle EVERYTHING ELSE. Yep, even controlling your kids. (see #3)
  5. Reward yourselves. Instead of bribing your kids to behave well during the session (usually ends badly), choose a fun activity to do after the session as incentive. Then go do it, no matter what. No taking the activity away. You can use it as a positive incentive. i.e. “Almost done, are you ready to go grab ice cream? We’ll be on our way as soon as we finish this shot. What flavor are you gonna choose?” Go grab a yummy dinner or go out for that ice cream. Stop at QT for a drink or you can even make it as simple as playing at the park. Make it a tradition each time you get your portraits taken and they will look forward to it.
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Focusing on fun results in a natural, authentic portrait.

I hope these tips will be helpful for you the next time you are ready to book your family photo session. Don’t forget to check out the rest of my posts in my guide for FUN FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY.

What’s that? You want to book a session with me right now? Well, I’d be happy to hook you up! Just click the CONTACT link at the top of the page, and I’ll get you set up.

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As my Celebrate Mom Limited Edition Sessions approach I wanted to share with you one of my most cherished photos. I thought it might give you a little peek in to why I do what I do.

The photo is the one of my mom and I below. I think I was about two. It means so much to me because it represents her loving heart towards me then, and now. It reminds me how important she is in my life. She has always been there for me and always, always shows me grace and love. When I look at this picture that love is tangible.


If it means that much to me now, I can’t imagine how much it will mean later.

Realizing this gives me a passion for helping other moms acquire beautiful imagery of themselves and their children. I know they always say, people over possessions. But in this case, this priceless possession is worth having. Don’t ya think?

When was the last time you had someone beautifully and artfully capture you and your children? (I’m talking to you ladies with older children too!) Or if you don’t have children yourself, when is the last time you were photographed with your mom?


Read on to grab one or gift one!

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When? April 15th and 16th, 2016 (for Mom’s Day delivery) or May 14th (after Mom’s Day)

Where? Loose Park

Who? Moms and kids or you and your mom. Or gift your mom a session! **ONLY MOMS AND THEIR KIDS THIS YEAR.**

How? CLICK HERE to choose your time, sign your contract and pay your fee.

Pricing: See graphic above for details.

Earn 1 digital photo for each friend you refer who books _by April 8th_! Hit the forward button at the bottom of this email (works best).

Spots are limited.

Check out this “I LOVE YOU” slideshow from last year’s Celebrate Mom Limited Edition Sessions. Dads popped in for a few last year, but there is a change this year. See FAQs below.



Q: Can dad get in the photos? (CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR)
A: Mom and kids only this year. Because I am passionate about getting great images of moms and kids, I want to dedicate the session to capturing that. In order to do that, I need the full session time to devote to this.

Q: What is required to hold a spot?
A: A signed contract and your $250+ tax payment will hold your sport.

Q: Can I use my gift card or referral credit?
A: Sorry, not for limited edition sessions.

Q: How many people can be in the photos?
A: The fee covers up to 5 family members. Each additional is $15.

Q: When are the session times?
A: They start around 9:00 in the morning and are 20 minutes long. Limited slots available.

Q: Where will the sessions be held?
A: Loose Park

Q: What if it rains?
A: Rain out dates to be determined later if necessary.

Q: What if I want more than what is in the collection?
A: There will be a limited product menu available for additional purchases in your online gallery where you can buy additional gift prints ($30 each for signature mounted prints), mini albums ($75 set of 3- a favorite. One for you, one for your mom and mom in law. Mom’s day gifts done!), and a set of the digitals ($250 for 10) and a couple other items.

Q: Can I bring my pet?
A: Sorry, no pets for these sessions.

Q: When will I receive my products?
A: Two weeks after your session.

Q: Can I tell a friend about this?
A: Absolutely! But because I like to offer to my subscribers first dibs, can you have your friend become a subscriber first? Have them go HERE.

Ready to book your session? You can use this link to book, sign your contract and pay. You’ll be all set to go in about 10 mins or less!


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tween photography projectPINIMAGE

I don’t think I ever heard the word tween back in the day. However, now that I have one (ages 10-12) I have been thinking a lot about those tween years in my life. So I got out my scrapbook.

“OH my.” was my first thought as I flipped through the pages and saw pictures of myself during those tween years. How vividly I remember that transitional tween stage where I just felt gawky. One of the photos is a traditional school photo. You know the one. The head and shoulders pose with the awkward grin. And my hair! Don’t even get me started. I am a child of the 80s, so some of you like, totally get it. 😉

Babies are so cute, new, and chubby. Toddlers have those big, bright eyes and are always doing the darndest things. In the early years we constantly freeze those moments in photos. But by the pre-teen ages, the picture-taking slows down, or stops all together. At ages 10-12, kids aren’t little children anymore but aren’t quite teens either. TWEENS is what this stage has be named.

Having a tween of my own, I am realizing how FAST time is passing and how much she is changing from little girl to young lady. I don’t want to forget who she is right now. So I’m making it my personal mission to capture those preteen years for my daughter, but I also wan’t to do that for yours. My goal is to help tweens feel beautiful and have unshakable confidence in themselves during this transitional time in life.


I am doing a very limited second round of my “Who I Am” photography project to fill in the forgotten photo years while enriching the lives of pre-teens. The main goal of this project is for pre-teens to realize their inner beauty and be confident in who they are.

I am looking for female models for my photography project, ages 10-12. I will ask the model and their parents a few questions, then combine the text and photographs to create impactful pieces of art. Don’t have a tween? Read on, because you might want to refer one that you know to this awesome project.

I want to capture the the personality of tweens and record the last stage of their young childhood before they become young ladies. I want them to realize their true inner beauty so that they are confident in themselves. Imagine the impact a single beautiful image can do for your tweens self-image.

Please e-mail me by Sunday, March 6, 8 pm if you are interested or if you would like to refer a friend or family member. Please refer people you think would enjoy the boutique experience I provide. It works best to hit the forward button at the very bottom of this email. I will open this up to my social media friends on Monday.

The session itself is complimentary and includes $40 in product credit (a total $190 value). However, on the first round many families love the images so much they purchase more to use as birthday, Mother’s Day, or “just because” gifts for their daughter. Portrait collections start at $450, Signature mounted 8×10 are $40.

Again, my goal is to have a blast creating a gorgeous group of photos that truly showcase your daughter’s spirit and soul! Check out how I did that for Madison by watching her slideshow HERE.

EMAIL ME BY CLICKING THE CONTACT LINK AT THE VERY TOP if you are interested. I will send you more specifics so you and your daughter can decide together if this project is a perfect fit.

Oh, and because you read this far, I thought I’d reward you with a good laugh at that silly photo I described at the beginning.:)

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Elvira Vera Beverman -

Oh my, I remember that sweet, adventerous little girl!