family and maternity Photos

PLANNING YOUR NEW YORK

choosing the perfect time, location, outfit & more!

Welcome

A NOTE ABOUT THIS GUIDE

I am so excited to be working with you and can’t wait to document your family's legacy.  I get it, it may be your first professional photo session together as a family and it’s totally normal to be a little nervous. HAKUNA MATATA! Even as a photographer, I get nervous when I get my picture taken!

I like to start with getting to know about your family and your goals with your images - so I know how we could make your photoshoot extra special and suggest ideas to personalize it. Suggestions include locations, storytelling props, and when to shoot. 

There is a lot to think about when it comes to planning a session and since I get asked the same things over and over again, I thought it would be the most beneficial if I put together a guide that walks you through everything you need to know. 

what is your family story

I get it. Having your picture taken for 1-2 hours may not be in your top-10 favorite things to do. You're probably doing it just because it's for your children and your family's legacy. They may not realize it now, but your children will cherish these moments more than you ever know.  At first you might feel sort of awkward being in front of the camera. But I think you’ll find that by the end of the session, it’s a lot easier than you thought, and you even had a little fun with your family! 

The Guys

A NOTE TO

“Miranda's upbeat, bubbly personality really provided an overall great experience and the girls absolutely adored her. She made them feel so comfortable and made it a lot of fun. This event would not have been as fun and memorable if it weren't for Miranda. Miranda's work captured so many great memories that we will forever be grateful for!“

I know that’s not easy, but by personalizing each experience knowing your family personalities, I believe I can get you to act as if the camera wasn’t even there.

I want you to get the most out of our session together - that means breaking up the group photo into solos and such. For example:
1. Family of 4 together
2. Kids only together
3. Parents only together
4. Each parent with their kids
5. Each kid solo photo

The sweetest moments come from ones that naturally unfold and when it comes to posing for your family session, you don’t need to worry about a thing! I will guide you through the entire process beginning with “poses” that are super easy and come naturally. If I tell you to do something that feels a little funny, it’s probably because I know it’s going to make you all laugh - and that’s the photo I know you're actually looking for! 

Throughout your session, I will keep an eye on your hair, makeup and outfits to make sure things stay in place. In the end, I want you to feel as comfortable as possible and soak in all the fun together! 

we break out in groups

POSING

Family photo sessions can take place anywhere from pregnancy, having a 6 month baby, or all grown up! I schedule sessions Sunday-Friday. Saturdays are left open for large events such as weddings. Sundays are typically best for NYC parking, while weekdays have less tourists and foot traffic.

Outdoor family photo sessions generally last about 90 minutes and begin about two hours before sunset or 45 min after sunrise. It's a fact that lighting make a difference - when the sun is low in the sky, we can avoid harsh shadows, under eye darkness and over exposed  sun patches. 

However, I know your child may have a schedule to follow. You know them more than ever, so if it's best to shoot in the middle of the day, I would recommend a session to take place in shade or in the comfort of your own home. Typically parents plan around their child's best behavior which is right after a nap or eating a meal.

Outdoor sessions are scheduled during the best light of the day - which means that it’s super important to be on time. If you’re late to our session, we could quickly run out of light. I highly encourage you to arrive 30 minutes before our scheduled time to find parking, this way there's less stress before your photos!

When is the best time for photos?

TIME & LIGHT

While I shoot most of New York City family photo sessions between March-June and late August-November, sessions can take place all year. Most parents choose a season based on the location where they want to shoot. 

Seasons

Summer

Dance in the water, hand in hand

In spite of the very humid heat, I am a big fan of summer sessions! Because of the later sunset, photo shoots sometimes begin as late as 6:30pm. However, we can catch an earlier sunrise session if we opt for a New York waterfall or beach to beat the crowds. 

If you’re taking your NYC family photos during the summer, don't forget bug spray, sunscreen, oil blotting sheets, and a change of clothes in order for you to stay fresh throughout your session. 

01

02

03

04

Fall

Colorful leaves and gratitude in the air

Fall is one of the prettiest times of the year in New York and because of the perfect weather, my schedule books up quickly!

Fall in NYC is a very popular tourist season - so there will be lots of extra foot traffic and you won't be alone as there will be plenty of other couples doing photoshoots around you too :)

Mid October to mid November are usually the safest bets to guaranteed fall colors in Prospect Park and Central Park.

01

02

03

04

01

02

03

04

Winter

hot cocoa, dazzling lights, snuggle up, and wear cozy coats

It has become more popular for couples to do a winter family shoot at a decorated NYC studio or their decorated NYC home!

Keep in mind that some outdoor NYC winter family sessions begin shooting as early as 2:30pm to catch the sunset. 

Dress in layers and be sure to wear leggings underneath your dress/pants so you can warm up. Don't forget extra makeup, chap stick and tissues as your nose will get runny!

Spring

Fresh flowers and pops of color

My favorite season in New York City! Spring flowers begin to bloom in New York around mid-April, and photoshoots become at high demand around this time. 

It's best to book your spring NYC photo session in Central Park or Prospect Park as soon as you start to see a tree bloom in the city! 

In the event it rains, we can reschedule without a fee. 

01

02

03

04

the lead up

Get inspired and stay in touch

Leading up to your family photoshoot, I will request a few things- like a link to your Pinterest board and a collection of screenshot Instagram photos. 

Start searching: #familyphotos #familyphotoshoot #familyphotography #lifestylefamilyphotos 

It’s important to be on the same page so expectations can be met – but also note that I can get inspired by but I cannot plagiarize another photographer's work.

I will also request a Spotify playlist of your favorite songs so I can play them on my Bluetooth speaker during our session.


Locations

NEW YORK photo shoot LOCATIONS

I believe that parents should choose a location that either has meaning to their family's legacy/story.

If you're having trouble deciding - I am happy to make recommendations. From NYC staycations to sunflower fields to the best NYC skyline views and parks, the options for NYC family photo session locations are endless! 

DUMBO
CONEY ISLAND
PROSPECT PARK
ZOO

BROOKLYN

CENTRAL PARK*
ZOO*
SOHO
TRIBECA

MANHATTAN

HEMPSTEAD HOUSE*
BOTANICAL GARDEN*
NYC HOTEL*
PLANTING FIELDS OYSTER BAY*

PERMIT - HOURLY RENTALS

MOHONK MOUNTAIN HOUSE*
AWOSTING FALLS*
LUSHNA: EASTWIND*
CABIN: GATHER GREENE*

ADVENTURE new york

*Additional booking fees and advance reservations are required.
These fees are not included in total price of family photos collection. 

YOUR HOME
Your neighborhood
local playground
local beach
BEST family trip idea


MEANINGFUL LOCATIONS

Up to 90 minutes of guided and candid posed photography
Breakout poses of the family 
1 Photographer (me) + 2 cameras
Within 72 hours of the photoshoot - you will receive instant access to download sneak peeks for social media posts
The remaining gallery (50+ images) will be edited and delivered within 6 weeks
$50 Print Credit to the online gallery store (current price list for the store attached)

$530 + tax

print collection

album collection

Up to 90 minutes of guided and candid posed photography
Breakout poses of the family
1 Photographer (me) + 2 cameras
Within 72 hours of the photoshoot - you will receive instant access to download sneak peeks for social media posts
The remaining gallery (50+ images) will be edited and delivered within 6 weeks
20 page custom designed story telling album full of your favorite family moments

$1184 - VEGAN LUX + tax
$1484 - LEATHER + tax

usb collection

Up to 90 minutes of guided and candid posed photography
Breakout poses of the family
1 Photographer (me) + 2 cameras
Within 72 hours of the photoshoot - you will receive instant access to download sneak peeks for social media posts
The remaining gallery (50+ images) will be edited and delivered within 6 weeks
Engraved USB with all the best (edited) images + print release + keepsake box
 
$750 + tax

nyc family, maternity, birthday portrait photography pricing

Photo sessions are located in the NYC areas such as Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, and Queens. New Jersey, Bronx and Staten Island will result in a small $50+ travel fee. Pricing is also for maternity and birthday/cake smash portrait photo sessions.
Please inquire about customizing a collection you don't see here.

digital collection

Up to 90 minutes of guided and candid posed photography
Breakout poses of the family
1 Photographer (me) + 2 cameras
Within 72 hours of the photoshoot - you will receive instant access to download sneak peeks for social media posts
The remaining gallery (50+ images) will be edited and delivered within 6 weeks
Online gallery for free digital download

$500 (no tax)

Magical Photo Sessions

These can happen anywhere at anytime after sunset or inside the comfort of your own home!

Best to do with children :)

I do not charge a fee for sparkler, fairy light, bubbles, and off camera flash creative portraits.

However, you can buy your own props like a moon lampclear umbrella, cake, their favorite toy, set of smoke bombs, floating lanterns, biodegradable confetti, and dried rose petals for creative portraiture.

My kitties and family dogs are a huge part of my life, which is why I love when parents choose to incorporate fur babies into their family photo session. Keep in mind that bringing a pet along often means that we will need to choose a pet friendly location and hire an assistant (or you can bring a friend).

I recommend planning for your pet to be at the first 15 minutes of your session and then having a friend take them home. If you don't have anyone available to help with dog handling - at an extra fee, I can bring an assistant to watch over your dog during the duration of the photoshoot. 

It's important that you exercise your pet before the session and bring their favorite toy and treats! Depending on fur type, it might also be a good idea to groom them before the shoot and bring a lint roller. 

Check out Amazon finds just for your pet HERE

Pets

Outfits

TIPS FOR LOOKING YOUR BEST

When picking outfits I recommend keeping in mind the word “complement” rather than “match.” For example, if you are wearing a blue and yellow flowy dress with a busy pattern, you may want to dress your family members in solid colors in blue and yellow color family.

Don’t forget to bring a few accessories! Your sentimental jewelry, scarfs/coats, comfortable walking shoes and fashionable shoes. Your partner can add on a classic watch, cuff links, fun socks, and fake glasses.

family Color Combinations

family outfit rules and color combos that work best

find it fast

-Book a makeup artist as you will trust that you will look good in photos (try: Marie, Dominique, or Sam)

-Within 3 days of session, treat your self to a mani-pedi

-Wear comfortable flats in between shots as we will be walking around a lot 

-Don't forget chap stick and compact mirror -  make transporting easy and pack everything in a rolling suitcase

-Mourn now, your outfits will most likely get dirty


Preparation

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Preparation

for the ladies

on to the next

Sentimental jewelry is a great way to bring meaning to your photographs. Add color or pattern to a simple dress with a fun pair of shoes, headpiece, scarf or belt. Fabrics like lace, chiffon and tulle look amazing in photographs.

We are our own worst critique. I am self conscious about my double chin, others may hate when their arms show. Off shoulder gowns and dresses with sleeves are a great way to help slim arms.

Bring snack and toys for the kids that will keep them in good behavior. Planning a shoot around their nap and meal schedule is best.

Helpful tips

for the ladies

on to the next

find it fast

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Preparation

I think it’s so important that you look and feel your best for your family photos. Professionally done hair & makeup last longer through humidity/wind than traditional hair & makeup. 

Side notes: Do not wear makeup with SPF, wear lashes and eyeliner to make your eyes pop, bring extra lip touch up in between kissing photos.

Hair worn down is what I find being the best look

New York and New Jersey vendor recommendations

Hair and Makeup

for the ladies

on to the next

find it fast

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Preparation

You can’t go wrong with a tailored suit and white button up.  Accessorize with a fun tie, bow or suspenders- you can even wear jeans with this look!

If we are in the comfort of your own home, wearing something casual and clean neutrals or blues are a great choice too!

Softer, pastel colors tend to photograph better than bright colors - especially since bright colors could reflect on your skin. Bring a second, fashionable yet comfortable look to change into!

Don't forget to remove wallet, keys and phone from pockets during session.

Wardrobe

for the gents

find it fast

Where to Shop

tips

ASOS
J. Crew
Zara
Nordstrom 
H&M
Urban Outfitters

Wardrobe

for the gents

Weather

what to do if it rains

I will check in a few days before your family photo session to confirm the time, meeting location and the weather. Sometimes NYC weather changes by the hour, so I will allow you decide on what you're comfortable with.

I usually have a  plan b if the date we scheduled is your only option.

Please note that there are no reschedule fees in the event of weather issues.  


1. Comfortable walking shoes
2. Change of clothes in case a kid ruins theirs
3. Picnic set or other storytelling props
4. Chapstick
5. Tide
6. Nails manicured
7. Toys/ snacks for bribery lol
8. blanket for sitting poses
9. Oil blotting wipes, bug spray, mints
10. Rolling Suitcase

What to Bring to Your family Photo Shoot

photo shoot design

Hire a local event designer to design a photoshoot set for your baby turning another year old. 

I highly recommend @EventsYoly who services New Jersey and New York.

Yoly can create any photoshoot design you want for any theme you desire! This is great to do at home or in a studio of your choice. 

celebrating a bday

Support a local bake shop on the way to your photoshoot and pick up a cupcake or small birthday cake. You can make the cake super special to go with the theme by hiring some of my favorite cake artists you can find here!

Within 72 hours from your photo session, you will receive a beautiful selection of edited sneak previews for free instant download! This way you can share to social media right away and announce your engagement.

Expect to wait no longer than 6 weeks to receive your full collection of about 50 + candid and fine art memories from your family photo session. 

In your gallery, you will notice the option to order (accurate color/high quality) prints and wall art to be shipped straight to your home!

Feel free to ask about custom albums and personalized USBs! 

When to Expect Your Memories

Prints

I believe that prints are a must - they hold so much more value than a digital image. 

If you don't order an album or USB from me, please be sure to at least order prints to add to a scrapbook or large ones to frame of such  a remarkable time your lives together. You will thank me later!

In the video - you will learn about the different print papers I offer. My favorite is the metallic/pearl as the images appear magical. Matte is a great paper to prevent glare. 

I know that this guide is long and hopefully it covers everything you need to know to prep for your (New York City) family photos session! However if there is something I missed, or you need a recommendation feel free to email or text me right now!

Miranda@suessmoments.com
623-688-4894

Thank You