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  • Writer's pictureKindred Spirits Photography

Wade Family Photos

Extended family sessions are starting to become more of a thing, and I couldn't be more excited about them!!!

It's such a convenient way to get so many different types of photos done in one session

These were all taken on the University of Michigan - Flint's campus in the middle of a very bright and sunny day.

While it's not my ideal time to have a session because of the dappled lighting through trees, and the lack of the warm, glowy sunsets, I'm happy that I can accommodate my clients with what time suits them!

I wanted to give a little perspective for people who were wondering how exactly an extended family session would work, so as we go through these photos, I will describe what's going on in our session and what you should expect when working with me!

These photos took about 45 minutes to do, including multiple locations (within easy walking distance), just about every pose combination possible, frequent times to stop and let the littlest guy run around, and then an extra 10 minutes at the end of me chasing the little one around trying to get a good photo!

In less than an hour, we took over 200 photos, and ended up with a gallery of well over 75 usable images that were edited into a final gallery. They had previously upgraded to a full gallery rather than the normal amount of images for this time frame package, so that was the number they received (which varies depending on the number of people, the time, and the types of pose combinations we do, but again, to give a rough estimate for what to expect).

"Why are some of your photos so posed, and others so candid?"


I don't have a specific style that I always use. I feel that a mix of both is important in a final gallery, because while I love the artistic, Instagram photos, and I really appreciate the documentary/lifestyle type of photos that capture little moments and details, I also value the importance of being able to see everyone's face, and often people want photos done to update their photo that is hanging on the wall. My number one priority is being able to give my client what they desire.


And while I love using prompts and getting the more non-traditional photos as well, I find that it takes a little while for people to loosen up and get comfortable with having their photos taken.

Based on the vibe I get from my clients, throughout our time together, I will adapt the session as we go. Whether that's giving them a little extra "warm up time", or jumping into some non-posed photos, because that's the direction they're feeling. This way, not only are they most comfortable throughout the entire time, but that final gallery will reflect what they most wanted.


This family wanted to update their family photos hanging on the walls and had specific family combos they wanted to capture, so the overall product is a more "everyone looking at the camera" final gallery, which worked so well for their beautiful family!

A benefit of starting with the formal poses first, is you get what you NEED out of the session, before you get distracted. Then if little one loses it, dad gets impatient (oh wait, is it just my dad that dreads photos?....), the weather remembers we live in Michigan and can flip on a dime, etc. life happens, then we get most of what people are hoping and expecting in our time.

As I've mentioned before, not only do I have a lot of experience with children, I am very flexible with working with them! When they're having a good moment, I will scoop them into the photos quickly, and then work as fast as possible to let them be on their way again, so that way they can keep wiggling, and don't get too frustrated with being told to smile!

This little guy hit the ground running any time you let him down, so we tried to do most photos with people holding him ;)

Or you know, your uncle can just bear hug you to try to keep you in the frame!

I love watching the progress of the photos as I go through and edit them afterwards.

You can visibly see how people get more relaxed, their smiles are more genuine, the interaction between them becomes more natural as they get more comfortable.

You can usually expect a fairly constant stream of conversation from me, as I like to get to know you as much as possible during our time together, because the more I know about you, the more I'm able to understand how to best capture your individuality.

That is also why I ask all my clients to fill out a survey prior to our session, so I can plan accordingly. Anything that might help me understand more of what YOU are envisioning, which type of work you like, what you are concerned about, any of that helps me know how to help both you and I prepare for a relaxed and fun photo session!

Especially for extended family sessions, it helps me understand who will be there, the family dynamics, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, etc.

Everyone has a different "must have" photo too! When people tell me what it is beforehand, it's so much easier than people remembering at the very end of our session as everyone is over having photos done!

Sometimes there's a special occasion like an anniversary, or birthday, which is why they scheduled the photos, and so different things like that are always helpful for me to know while I prep for your session.

These are the types of photos I especially love, when it's such a genuine interaction!

This little cutie I've been photographing for the last almost 2 years, and he likes to bring his serious face and running feet to pictures with me :P

After I get the must have poses, I like to grab a couple of the more detail shots.

I like to give people a little intermission of sorts, and while they talk and grab a drink or snack for the little ones, I just will go around and get some extra photos of little things that grab my attention.

Like a llama shirt.

And the look in her eyes as she laughs with her husband.

After that it's a little easier to move into the more goofy photos.

When it comes to the time frame of my sessions, everything is listed as "up to X amount of time".

The longer time frames give a cushion if little ones especially, are difficult, or to move around to more locations.

But you can also see that we got SUCH a variety of poses, locations, people combinations, for these photos which probably took 45 minutes altogether.

It does give more time for the more creative shots too.

Whatever your vision is for the types of photos you are hoping for, lets talk!

It's such a great way to be able to help document a growing family!!


I can't wait to help you start planning your session!





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