Tips for timing, choosing a location, outfits, managing kids and more!

Portrait Session



I'm so excited to be working with you and can’t wait for our time together during your session. It’s normal to be a little anxious about your session. You're a busy family with quite a few things on your plate. 

That's actually one of the reasons why I put together this guide. With over 18 years of experience being a photographer in Destin I've learned so much along the way. It covers things to keep in mind when it comes to choosing a location, outfits, prepping kids and more. 

Hopefully it helps you feel fully prepared for our time together, but should you have any other questions or if you need advice, please feel free to reach out!

- Micha

One thing I've learned over the years is that our experience of our children is different from what others experience. For example, if you’re at the grocery store with your three year old son and he starts yelling, you probably think he’s irritating other customers more than he is. Most likely, those other customers just see a cute (slightly loud,) three year old. 

The same holds true for photo sessions. Your child is in a new element and a stranger is holding a big camera in front of their face. They’re likely not going to entirely be themselves. They may show off more than usual or your extrovert may suddenly become shy. 

Rest assured, it’s all okay. At the beginning of your session I'll introduce myself to them and slowly they will open up eventually becoming my new best friend.


little ones

The best thing you can do for your kids is to go with the flow and stay positive. The more you relax and have fun with things, the more likely your little one (or big one,) is to get on board. 

It can also be helpful to pack a few treats and bribes for younger children. Favorite toys, special snacks and the promise of ice cream afterwards work wonders. Cheerios or something that won't show up too much in photos is always best.

I'm incredibly patient with kids, having 2 of my own, so I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to help get even the smallest ones to cooperate. 

This all depends on where you would like your session. I offer Sunrise, an evening session, and a sunset. More on locations under the Locations tab.

My Sunrise, offered only as beach sessions, is usually around 5:45am, depending on the time of year. We have to get out there before the sun rises. I will come to you for these.

Evening sessions are offered at a local park on 30a or a location that I use in Destin. The 30a location we will start at the park, shoot there for 30 minutes, and finish up on the beach. These are usually around 5:45pm.

Sunset sessions are usually around 7:00 pm. These are the best for light, as there isn't squinting, the light isn't harsh, and we usually get a gorgeous sky.

Sessions typically last about an hour but this will depend on the kiddos. Some sessions we can finish up in 30 minutes but I like to have that full hour to warm up to you guys.

With all of these options, it’s super important to be on time. If you’re late to an evening session, we could run out of light before we’ve finished shooting and if your session takes place in the morning, the sun gets more harsh as it rises. 

Is there a "good" time to take photos? 


Sunset & Bedtimes

In the warmer months, sunset sessions often fall during the witching hour. They may even fall during or after bedtime. 

As much as we love a consistent bedtime routine, in order to capture the best light during "golden hour", we're like going to need to throw off your schedule a bit. 

If our session takes place close to dinnertime, we recommend feeding kids (and yourselves) before we begin shooting. 

If your little one is going to be going to bed later, consider pushing their nap a bit that day, letting them sleep longer or packing pj's so that you can quickly tuck them into bed as soon as you get home.

If your session takes place in the fall, while it might be tempting to dress your little one in a pumpkin costume to eternally remember the cuteness that babies in costumes in giant piles of leaves holds, we advise keeping attire a little more neutral. 

Yes, that image would crush it on the ‘gram, but if you’re hoping to print these images for your walls, will you always want to see that pumpkin costume? 

The same holds true for images taken for Christmas cards. While those red and green sweaters might be worthy of the Minted hall of fame, are you really going to want to look at photos of yourselves in holiday sweaters in the summer? But if you want to book both, I would love that!

If you’re looking for outfit advice, feel free to send ideas our way! We’re happy to help curate a wardrobe that not only feels coordinated, but that looks beautiful for years to come. Our friends over at La Luna's also do an amazing job at matching your kiddo to you. Head on over and let them know we sent you. 


things to keep in mind:


MY favorite places to shoot

The best session locations are often meaningful to our individual families; however, we’re also happy to make recommendations. From your vacation rental, to some of our favorite parks/beaches, the options for session locations are endless!
Click on each individual photo to see more from that area. 

Watercolor, FL
Located off  30a in Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Destin, FL 
Located between Ft. Walton Beach and Panama City Beach

Seagrove Beach, FL.
 Located along 30A. Between Seaside
&  Alys Beach

Miramar Beach, FL
Located between SanDestin & Destin. 

Rosemary Beach, FL
Located at the end of Hwy 30A. 
Close to Panama City Beach.

WaterSound Beach, FL
Located on Hwy 30A. 
Between Seagrove Beach & Alys Beach

The above locations are all beautiful but we also love exploring meaningful locations with our families!

We know that some family members just happen to be furry and we love when families choose to incorporate pets into their session. Keep in mind that bringing a pet along often means that we’ll need to choose a pet friendly location. 

We recommend planning for your pet to be at the first part of your session and having a friend take them home. We won’t use the pet in every single photo so it’s also nice to have someone available to hold him or her in between shots. 

If you’re going to bring a pet, we recommend exercising your pet before the session and bringing your pets favorite toy or treats! Depending on your pet’s fur type, it might also be a good idea to groom them before the shoot. 


furry ones

Heels lengthen legs but if your heels aren’t comfortable for walking or we'll be in grass, bring an extra pair of shoes to slip into in between shots. Go barefoot! Who wears shoes to the beach anyways? 

If you do choose to wear patterns - just be careful not to choose a pattern that is too small - it may accidentally make your photo look a little too busy. It is always best to stick to solids if you can.

Softer, pastel colors tend to photograph better than bright colors - especially since bright colors could reflect on your skin. We love bright, neon dresses, but we don’t love the neon reflection they add to your complexion. 

Wardrobe Tips

for the ladies

on to the next

Statement jewelry is a great way to add color or pattern to a simple dress. Lace and tulle look amazing in photographs.

And dresses with sleeves are a great way to help slim arms. Depending on your location, you might want to consider a fit and flare or a flowy dress.

They look great in walking and photos with movement. Choose an outfit you feel comfortable in, but don’t be afraid to dress up!


for the ladies

on to the next

Rent the Runway
Morning Lavender
J. Crew
Free People
Petal & Pup
Pink Blush (Maternity) 
Vici Dolls
Virginia Dare Dress Co.
Baltic Born Clothing 
Kate + Grace Boutique

Favorite Shops

Nothing Fits But
Hill House Home
Rachel Pally
Christy Dawn
Rylee & Cru
Clad & Cloth
Ivy City

for the ladies

shop my PRIME favorites

on to the next

We think it’s so important that you look and feel your best for your photos. Investing in professional hair and makeup can go a long way towards creating photos you love for years. 

Professionally done hair & makeup last longer than typical hair & makeup. They also tend to hold up better in humidity and wind.

If you go this route, we recommend staying a bit “classic”. Now probably isn’t the best time to try out that new contouring technique you saw on TikTok. 

If you’re planning to do any spray tans or waxing, schedule those for a few days before the session to give your skin time to recover. 

Hair & Makeup

for the ladies

on to the next

You can’t go wrong with crisp button up. Or consider layering a blazer or sweater with jeans with this look. Bowties are always a good idea.

Be careful not to choose a pattern that is too small - it may accidentally make your photo look a little too busy.

Softer, pastel colors tend to photograph better than bright colors - especially since bright colors could reflect on your skin.


for the gents

on to the next


for the gents

on to the next

Rent the Runway
 Suit Supply
J. Crew
Leather & Cotton
Jack Threads
Frank & Oak
Urban Outfitters

Banana Republic
Alex Mill
Amazon - GoodThreads
Rag & Bone

Kate Quinn
Zara Kids
Quincy Mae
Rylee & Cru
Target - Cat & Jack, Art Class, Q by Quincy Mae
H&M Kids
Crew Cuts by J Crew
Alice & Ames

Favorite Shops

Fin and Vance
Little & Co.
Briar Baby
Jaime Kay
Childhoods Clothing
Spearmint Love
Old Navy
Hanna Andersson

for the kids

shop my PRIME favorites

on to the next

La Luna's Boutique

Some of the most gorgeous sessions are right after the storms. I always joke and tell clients I feel like I have a minor in meteorology. Just trust me, most of the time, the evening storms pass right before our sessions and give us the most gorgeous sunsets. But be sure to keep your phone handy that day in case we need to move your session up. If it does rain the entire evening of your session, we will reschedule. 

But most important, be on time. At sunset sessions we have just enough time to make super amazing images but once that sun is gone, so is the light. 

Inclement Weather

what to do if it rains

When it comes to posing for your session, you don’t need to worry about a thing! We’ll guide you through the entire process beginning with “poses” that are super easy and natural. If we tell you to do something that feels a little funny, it’s probably because we know it’s going to make everyone laugh - and that’s the photo we’re actually looking for. 

Throughout your session, we’ll keep an eye on your hair, makeup and outfits to make sure things stay in place. We want you to feel as relaxed as possible and enjoy your time together! 

I know parents want to try to help to get their children's attention but please let me try first. I promise if I see that I need Dad or Grandpa to come stand behind me ad be silly. I will ask. This helps so much on wondering eyes and also helps me connect with your sweet kiddo.

"What do I do with
 my hands"?

"What do I do
 with my hands"?


Yes, you are welcome to print the images on your own. If you do this, we recommend making sure that the printer does not color correct the images (many automatically do this.) We also recommend looking for a high quality printer. While 10 cent prints sound great in theory, the cheaper printing quality often won’t do your images justice. Paper quality, color correction and a handful of other factors play a big role in the way your prints turn out. This is one of the reasons why we LOVE offering prints to our clients. 


Can I print the images on my own?


While we don’t guarantee an exact number of images, we will make sure we capture your family thoroughly. Most families should expect to receive at least 50-80 edited images following their session.  Most of the time you will receive more.


How many images will I receive?


We guarantee that your images will remain in an online gallery for at least 6 months. While your galleries may stay up longer than that, we cannot guarantee it. Once your galleries have been delivered, we highly recommend downloading all high resolution images to several devices. Consider investing in a portable, waterproof external hard drive.


How long will I have access to the images?


While turnaround times can vary by season, we aim to deliver all images within three- fours weeks of your session. If you need sooner we do offer that for an extra fee.


When will I receive my images?





You are absolutely welcome to share images on social media. To ensure that our work is properly represented, we ask that you refrain from any edits. We also appreciate image credits and tags as they help us to continue to grow as a business. 


Can I share the images on social media? 


By default, the creators of images always own the rights to the images. However we’ll give you a release to use, print and share your images, if needed. The only thing you won’t be able to do is sell your image as a stock photo. We won’t do this either without your written permission. 


Do I own the rights to the images?


We typically plan about an hour for sessions. While we likely don’t need to be shooting this entire time, this does give us the flexibility for location changes, rowdy kids and time to warm up. 


How long should we plan for the session to take?


We do light retouching on all of our images. This means that if there are any glaring objects that should be removed (such as a bump from the tumble your toddler took that morning,) we’ll remove it. Larger edits (such as removing tan lines,) require more time and would require us to add additional editing hours to your collection.  


Will you retouch our images? 


As soon as possible after your session is complete, we’ll back up your images and begin the editing process. Unless we have a holiday closure, you can expect to receive your edited, digital images between 3 and 4 weeks after your session. 

Your Images

When to Expect

We’re big believers that images aren’t meant to solely exist in a digital space. One day, most likely, Instagram will be gone, your phone will be replaced and images that you can physically hold in your hand will be the best way to remember those precious moments we captured. 

Think about this fact: fifteen years ago, if we had delivered you digital images, they would have been on a floppy disk. With the fast updates to technology, you would have no way to access those images today. Even the online galleries we deliver will eventually fade away. 

But prints? Those last. I bet your family still has images from your grandparents (maybe even great grandparents.) And that was likely from a time period when cameras were expensive and prints were harder to come by. 

Bring Your Images to Life with 


Perfect for those who value legacy. These heirloom albums are a great way to house a large number of images in a beautiful way. Leave them on display as coffee table books or protect them with a legacy box. 


Our framed and matted prints are the perfect way to fill your walls with memories. With a variety of frames to choose from, we’ll help you select the perfect image pairings for your space. 

Prints & Wall Art

Details for ordering will be delivered with your gallery

Easy to hang and easy to change out. Canvases are one of our favorite ways to decorate a space. They also work great on little easels placed around the home. These are my all time favorite & I don't have an empty wall left.


We know that this guide is long and hopefully it covers everything you need to know to prep for your portrait session. However if there is something we missed, or you need a recommendation feel free to email us.

Thank you!