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        9 Ways to Ruin Your Photos

        1. Arrive Late
        2. Wait until photo day to prepare clothes
        3. Don’t feed the kids before the session
        4. Wear crocs Really common!
        5. Dress young kids too soon
        6. Don’t dress for the weather
        7. Wear a dress that’s too short Most common!
        8. Wear a top that’s low cut
        9. Wear business casual
        10. BONUS: Hire the wrong photographer

        1. Arrive late

        • Don’t look at the directions until it’s time to leave.
        • Don’t plan for traffic.
        • Don’t plan for the unexpected

        I mean kids are completely predictable.

        Do all of these and the sun will be half gone and you’ll miss half of your shoot time. But hey, fewer photos for the same price! 


        • Check your drive time DAYS ahead. A week if you can manage it! 
        • Expect traffic
        • Expect trouble parking
        • Expect a walk to find your tog

        2. Wait until photo day to prepare clothes

        Don’t wash

        Don’t iron 

        Especially, DO NOT find all  the clothes until the day of!

        You’ll find everything exactly where you expected it to be and everyone’s clothes will fit perfectly. Kids don’t out grow clothes often enough for it to matter.


        Find, wash, iron and hang it ALL in one place up DAYS before the session.

        3. Don’t feed the kids before the session

        Look, kids eat all the dang time. They can go another 3-5 hours.

        Mom, you’ll be so preoccupied you will forget.


        Fill them up before you get ready enough to last through the drive AND end of the session. That can be 3-5 hours!

        4. Wear Crocs

        They’re big, noticeable, and ugly. Best part, kids can put them on solo! 

        Ugly shoes will still look ugly in the photographs.


        Go barefoot! Y’all, shoes matter

        5. Dress young kids too soon

        Hello, 5 point harnesses! Put on their pants & undershirt before getting in the car. Top them off with the button up or dress on site. 

        • No wrinkles
        • No drool
        • No crumbs

        6. Don’t dress for the weather

        Kids will totally fake being warm in a maxi dress in November. NOT!

        The beach is always windy. Your hair will stay out of your face and the kids won’t get chilly! Its the beeeeaach!


        Schedule your session e-a-r-l-y if you don’t want to be wearing sweaters in the sand or chattering your teeth.

        Bring hair ties to secure a quick half-back option in the wind. *But don’t wear them on your wrist!

        7. Wear a dress that’s too short

        Moms & daughters! You are going to run and sit down. You have to be covered AND comfortable to look good.


        Dresses should hit at the knee or lower. Longer the better. Look for flowy material that gives gorgeous movement.

        Avoid tight or restrictive cuts.

        8. Wear a shirt that’s low cut

        Again for mom & daughters, if you can’t bend over to hug your crew without question, it’s too low. I’ve had great shots ruined by excess cleavage, and bra straps. 

        9. Wear business casual

        Creases in your pants just aren’t allowed at my sessions unless you’re in uniform. Park, beach, or formal garden – it doesn’t matter.

        You simply look too stiff to be relaxed with your people. Save it for your branding session.

        Same goes for dress shoes. They really do matter!


        Hire the wrong photographer

        I’ve done it.

        And you know I vetted their portfolio, blogs, and Instagram feed!

        What went wrong? Her personality and ability to handle/direct the kids.

        • Were the images well lit, edited and framed? Yep.
        • Did we all look fabulous? Nope.

        Know your crew, know the style you want, and ask the right questions.

        My four boys are a lot to handle, and I did not ask about her experience with the number and ages of families like mine. She was not equipped to keep the attention of four boys at any age.

        This is my own crew. Chest covered, no shoes, and all are comfortable.
        Alison is the chaos-commanding family photographer in Virginia Beach, VA thriving in the loud & messy offering in home lifestyle, outdoor, and extended family sessions.

        Owner & Photographer of Alison Bell, Photographer, she is also the circus ring leader of four boys, half-homeschooling USMC family.

        Alison offers full-contact family photo sessions with wardrobe styling, sessions that feel like a party and custom print shopping. Even Dad has a good time!

        She's on a mission to get your images in your hand, rather than gathering digital dust! Get an album and print dozens of shots in one place!

        If you can't remember last time your family did photos, its time to chat asap!

        Clients rave about how easy and enjoyable their session is and how their kids wanting to do it again!

        Alison Bell, Photographer serves VA Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cape Charles, and Hampton in Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

        Find her on Insta @alisonbellphotog!

        Hi! I’m Alison!

        I find joy in chaos. The louder, the better!

        I’m a chaos-commanding family photographer thriving in the loud & messy.

        I love freezing time, photographing families in their own element at home, or on the beach!

        I’m  the ring leader of four boy circus, half-homeschooling USMC family, currently in Virginia Beach, VA!

        Follow the antics on IG @alisonbellphotog!