Oh family photos, that time of the year when you spend hours getting outfits ready and pray every night that your children will behave. Well I have good news, my approach to family photography makes it fun for everyone. I integrate both posed shots that are ideal for Christmas Cards and wall frames with “be silly, laugh and play” moments that really capture the essence of family life. I love the in between moments when kids are laughing and rough housing and forget about the camera. I do my best to capture your family as it really is and accentuate the great joy filled moments we spend together. Continue reading for more info about the session and family photo tips!



What to wear: Mix and match colors and patterns. Dressing your whole family in white t-shirts and jeans feels outdated and impersonal. I love color photography- bring colors! Rich colors add dimension to your images and keep interest without taking away from the family. Patterns should be included, but sparingly- don’t have everyone in stripes! Colors that look particularly great in photos: blue, pink, peach, cream, yellow, green- avoid neon.

Family photography San Mateo Coyote Point San Francisco Natural light lifestyle Tevi Hardy Photography

Some helpful tips and reminders for the session:

1. Please arrive on time- I often take about ten minutes just getting to know you and your family before we start taking photos, especially to let your kids warm up to me. Then we have to find a location, get set up, etc- before we even start. A prompt start time helps keep the session going and everyone focused. I recommend arriving 10-15 minutes in advance

2. Also one of the most important things I can stress is the need to be relaxed and let things go. So many times I’ve had a session start to go downhill because something goes wrong, whether it be that their kids didn’t get enough sleep, didn’t eat breakfast, wouldn’t wear the right shoes, etc. Your kids pick up very quickly on stress and anxiety and will also get anxious when you show signs of it. I guarantee they absolutely want to do well for you and make you happy, so rather than getting frustrated because they won’t sit still- try understanding that we may have to run around a bit and get some candids first.


San Mateo Foster City Sutro Baths Lands End San Francisco Bay area famiily portrait photographer photography Family photo posing

3. I am absolutely used to every sort of temper tantrum under the sun, believe me! Please don’t get embarrassed or feel awkward when (it does happen!) your child gets upset and mad. I know plenty of ways to talk them out of their frustration, and get great pictures for you. I’ve never had to cancel a session because the baby wouldn’t stop crying or because the toddler was having a tantrum, and I’ve had multiple people claim they never thought we would get good images.


San Mateo Foster City Sutro Baths Lands End San Francisco Bay area famiily portrait photographer photography

5. Please do not bring your own cameras to the shoot. I do need everyone looking at my camera and focusing on me, so I ask that you keep all cellphones and cameras off or away. You’re welcome to take some photos after our session of course, but I need to have your family’s attention 100% during the shoot.


6. Bring some sort of bribe/snack. My sessions usually last about 1-2 hours, and kids will start to lose energy. Nothing brings them back quicker than a lollipop or cheerios, and I always suggest you have a small bribe at the end- the promise of ice cream or a lego toy works wonders. That way, they are able to be mindful of how they act during the shoot and can look forward to a reward at the end for doing a great job.