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Julie's Family Session at Sellwood Park

When you have three younger kids, getting everyone on the same page for photos can be a little tough. I get it, and want family photos to be pain-free.

Family with 3 young children and two adults hug their senior dog
Family session at Sellwood Park in Portland

Julie and her family met me at Sellwood Park on a gorgeous evening a few days ago. Although the day had been sunny, as soon as I parked, cloud cover pulled in, hiding the golden glow I had aimed for. We walked into the park, and I scouted for a location that would provide enough ambient light but still showcase the tall trees and ridgeline of the park.

Once we started with photos, it took a few minutes for the children to warm up to me. Their older pup, who has cataracts and can't see very well, was more likely to putter around, rather than sit or stay still, so he had to be held for photos. We did some family walking shots, and then I prompted the kids to play a little bit. Using prompts like, "Everyone hug dad!" and "Who has the stinkiest morning breath?" gets families more comfortable, and creates genuine interaction.

Family walks across the grassy area at Sellwood Park while laughing and smiling
Family walks hand in hand in the grass laughing
Children hold their senior dog and laugh while sitting in the grass for a portrait
Family sits in the grass at Sellwood Park for a portrait, with their pup looking at the camera
Children giggle as they snuggle with their pup as their parents sit and hug them
parents hold their senior dog for a photo at Sellwood Park Portland
boy kisses his dog in the grass

After a handful of photos, each of the kids had suggestions for a next shot to try, and we ended up being silly in the grass to end the session. Everyone had a good time, including the pup.

Brother trying to get his little brother to smile

Little brother realizes his idea for a photo wasn't what he wanted but his brothers love the pose
Brothers lay in the grass and wildflowers and look at the camera
Brothers get a piggyback ride

Finally, the "goofy" family photo:

Goofy family photo has the kids getting creative and a little wild

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