2018 Outdoor Family Portrait Sessions

 Thank you for booking a family portrait session with me, I'm ready to get back outside again.  Below is information, tips and helpful information. I'm looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new families!

Updated availability

June Dates (sunset is approx 9pm, a 7/7:30pm start time is best)

Thursday June 14th
onday June 18th
Friday June 22nd
Thursday June 28th
Friday June 29th

July Dates (sunset is approx 9pm, a 7/7:30pm start time is best)

Thursday July 5th
Tuesday July 10th
Thursday July 12th
Monday July 16th
Tuesday July 17th
Monday July 23rd

August Dates (sunset is approx 8:30pm, a 6:30/7:00pm start time is best)

Wednesday August 1st
onday August 6th
riday August 10th
uesday August 14th
riday August 17th

What to wear

Picking family outfits.

  • Skip matching entirely for a more natural family portrait.  Don’t feel restricted to one color but embrace a hue or shade.   
  • Don’t forget accessories.  Not only do they make fun props but they photograph well.  Think hats, scarves (those blanket scarfs are versatile and easy to add if the weather is cool), statement jewelry, etc.
  • Layer up!  Try to find layers and textures to add to each family member.  This adds depth to your portraits and will give you that perfect pop.  In the early spring add a puffy vest, a cardigan, collared shirt under a sweater, or even your accessories to layer up. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to do!

Moms-Check out the Just Posted facebook page if you need some inspiration for yourself.  It's a women's fashion blog by a lady named Candace.  She is up to date on the current trends and posts complete outfits along with links to purchase.  Most of her items come from Old Navy and Target which makes affordable.  


As you look at the clothing groupings you can see that each set is a united palette.   Floral dresses (that are the trend right now and I'm loving right now!) make it easy to coordinate as they set the palette for you.  

What I see in some of the groups with easy adjustments:

Top left: Headband & Mom's necklace tie them together.  Brother's shirt color is pulled from sister's dress. If the weather is on the cooler end, simply add cardigans or long sleeve shirts for the boys. 

Top Row/2nd image: Love this look for the beach or a park/field location.  The patterns, textures and colors are great if bold is not your thing.  Only thing missing is jewelry to complete the look. 

Top row/2nd from end: If dad is not feeling the bright yellow shirt, a simple polo in navy would look great. Same thing for brother, teal pants are in style but jeans or tan shorts/pants would work as well.  

The little things:

  • Chapstick.  Chapped lips stand out, having chapstick, even for dads is recommended.
  • Socks.  You didn't coordinate everyone down to the shoes to have thick, white socks stick out during a sit down portrait.
  • Nails.  Polished nails or plain is okay, just make sure the girls don't have chipped nail polish.
  • Tattoos.  Please do not put temporary tattoos on the kids.  Removing them in Photoshop is extremely time consuming.  You may be charged an editing fee if temporary tattoos need to be digitally removed.
  • Acne/bruises/cuts.  It happens....a lot.  Many kids show up to sessions with a fresh bruise or cut from a fall the night before and teens are prone to acne.  I will remove all blemishes that are not permanent.  If something is beyond my Photoshop capability, I will let you know.  Scars, moles and birthmarks are not removed.
  • Speaking of Photoshop.  Basic editing and enhancing is done to all images.  Special requests such as; 'I couldn't find the right color pants, can you change them in Photoshop?' are not fulfilled or may require outsourcing for a fee.
  • Transition glasses.  This is a big one.  If a member of your family has transition glasses, I recommend them NOT to wear them for the session.  'But they've worn glasses for 30 years, its who they are.'  I completely understand.  I recommend bringing an extra or old pair of non-transition glasses to wear during the session.  If at the session, you/they only have the transition glasses, there are 3 options: the session is done with the glasses but they look like sunglasses and you cannot see the eyes, the session is done without wearing them at all, or the session is done half with the glasses and half without and the images are sent out for custom editing at a rate of $30/image to remove the darkness of the lenses. 

Location, location, location

Location is everything....but not really at the same time.

There are 3 main types of locations; the beach, park/field, and urban/town. The Blue Water area offers so many gorgeous locations.  You may already know where you'd like to have the session take place, but if not here is my input and some considerations.  

Beach:  The beach makes for an incredible backdrop and I have several locations that are top notch.  However, it can be BUSY, and that's an understatement.  A beach session near a holiday, especially the first week of July and last week of August, is terrible idea.  Every inch of every beach is filled with people until sunset, making a session very difficult to complete.  The beach does tend to clear out after 7pm which works with lighting.  And weeknights typically do not have the beach filled with family reunions, graduation parties and other events.  And one last side note: Lexington typically has outdoor concerts on Friday's. 

Park:  There are sooooo many great parks and they all have their own little hidden gems.  If you want a park, we will go over your vision and pick the best one!  

Urban:  Do not underestimate a family urban/town session.  We have some adorable towns nearby, that are often near water which makes for great variety!  


Sample Sessions from Lexington, MI



We are blessed to reside in such a beautiful state with all the seasons, however, the summer season is a short one and we are all familiar with the unpredictable nature of the weather.  So here's the deal with weather reschedules.  If there are definite rain/storms on your session day, we will certainly reschedule.  I understand the effort that goes into getting everyone ready for a session.  If there are spotty storms/rain showers on the radar 2/3 hours before your scheduled session, we will communicate about our options.  The options may be moving the session location to an area not affected by the weather or reschedule.  Sessions are not rescheduled for cold/hot weather, cloud cover or undesirable foliage color (i.e. colors have not changed or the leaves have all fallen). 


A final payment of $200 is due on or before your session.  Cash, check (payable to Shannon Finnie) or credit/debit cards are accepted.  Here is a link for the balance if you would like to pay with a credit/debit card.  


Other Tips

  • If you feel your child needs an extra incentive to behave during the shoot, bring something that they can have right then and there.  Promising a child a toy, ice cream, or even a pony after the shoot will do no good.  Children need instant gratification.  Good treats would be small candies like fruit snacks or skittles.  Stay away from anything with chocolate.  And especially stay away from lollipops unless you want them in all of your pictures!
  • Sometimes kids behave better when their parents aren’t around.  If your child is old enough and you think they will feel safe, try walking away from the session (but definitely stay within viewing distance) for a minute and let me play with them for a minute.  Children can sometimes feel overwhelmed when mom, dad, and the photographer are telling them what to do.  When the photographer can be in charge they are more likely to get better eye contact and more genuine smiles.
  • Try not to stress.  Photography sessions can be stressful for parents.  You have invested a lot of time and money in the shoot.  But, I can tell you from lots of experience, the more you stress the more your child will feed off that tension.  Do your very best to have fun.  You know how to get those genuine smiles and reactions out of your children.  Make it a big play session.  Be silly.  Make gross noises.  Have a dance party.  Your photographer can’t get pictures of you having fun unless you are really having fun.  If they don’t cooperate the entire session just let it go.  No child ever cooperates the entire session.

After The Session

I try my best to deliver galleries as quickly as possible.  At the same time, I want to provide you with an amazing gallery and not rush though the editing process.  This year, I'm anticipating a 3 week turn around time, give or take a couple of days.  You will emailed with a link to an online gallery where you can download the images and order prints. This link can be shared with your family and friends.  The online gallery will be open for 30 days for downloading and ordering.  Reactivating galleries after the expiration date are subject to a $25/fee.  Downloading can only be done to a computer.  I have some clients say that an iPad will accept the download but that is not recommended due to the size of the images.