Outdoor Natural Light Family Portraits in Reston(Fairfax County)

A couple of weeks ago I posted a sneak peak for my photographer-colleague Jessica, along with a mini story about how our family photo session exchange came about (Jessica also posted a sneak peak from our session on her blog). Now I’d like to show a few more images from her portrait session and offer my readers an FYI for when they work with a professional family photographer.

One of the first questions I always ask my clients is “What kind of images are you looking for”? Their most common answer is “Oh, I’d just like a few nice family photos”, which is a bit too broad and I usually follow up with a few more questions. Understanding exactly what types of images my clients are looking for does a great deal to help me prepare for the session, decide how to structure it, what photos to take first and what props, lenses and equipment to bring to the session. Some of the follow-up questions I may ask my clients are:  Are you looking for portrait close ups (mostly faces) or are you looking for standing, sitting or walking (full length) shots, or may be a combination of both? Are you looking to do traditional, posed photos wearing special outfits or are you looking to do a fun candid session with a lot of active shots, running and jumping around and piggy-back riding, or a combination of both with an outfit change? Is your priority getting more shots of the entire family, of Mom with kids or Baby only? Would you like me to bring some props or would you like to include some special items, toys or memorabilia of your own in the session? So, if you are thinking of getting a professional family photographer to do a photo session for you, please think about how you would answer some of the questions above and don’t be afraid to show your photographer some examples of your favorite photos you may have found browsing online (my clients usually email me links, screenshots or links to their pinterest boards!)

Jessica knew exactly what types of images she was looking for. (Being a photographer and all) she found herself not being in pictures with her husband and kids very often so she was looking to do some family portraits and some pictures of her with the kids. Also, note how well Jessica picked the outfits for the entire family – matching pink elements for the girls and matching green for the boys.

Family portrait of parents and kids outdoors, natural light, Fairfax County

Family Portrait of Parents with Kids, outdoors, Fairfax County

Mother and Daughter Outdoor Family Photographer

Mother and Toddler Son, Outdoor Portrait Photography Session


The location where we went for the shoot is of a special significance to the family and Jessica also asked me to take shots incorporating the wooded path and the bridge over a small creek (all the while having fun and throwing sticks in the creek, jumping and playing peekaboo)

Family, Parents and Kids, Walking, Outdoor Portrait Photography Session

“Warming up” for the walking shot above:

Family Running and having fun during an outdoor photography portrait session in Northern Virginia

And some more fun, action images:

Mother having fun with toddler son, outdoor portrait family photography session in Northern Virginia

Parents having fun with son, outdoor portrait family photography session in Northern Virginia

Family having fun during an outdoor photography portrait session in Northern Virginia

Parents and Children sitting on a bridge, outdoor park family portrait photography

Thank you for the experience Jessica, you were a wonderful model and your family – so fun and easy to photograph!

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