Grey Skies Make for Beautiful Family Portraits | Snoqualmie Family Photographer

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Grey Skies Make for Beautiful Family Portraits | Snoqualmie Family Photographer

The Pacific Northwest is one of the best places on earth, wouldn’t you agree? The evergreen trees, mountains, rivers, lakes….the list goes on for all of the beauty that surrounds us here. I feel lucky that I see a beautiful mountain daily out the windows in our home. This area is a photographer’s dream come true with all of the natural beauty around. However, if you live in the Seattle area, you know with all that greenery comes rain and grey skies.

While I LOVE myself a gorgeous sunset for a family session, that isn’t always possible here in the great PNW.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family Photos with Grey Skies, Photo of family of five sitting on park bench

However, grey skies can make for gorgeous family photos.

I want to first remind you that despite the beauty around us, having family photos is not about showing off the landscape. Instead family photos is about documenting YOU, your family, your love, your connections, those dynamics within your family, this stage that you are in right now. While I put emphasis on location and the time of day your session takes place for both light and to accentuate those things, those are just details working in the background. So if the sun isn’t going to shine on your photo session day, rest easy. We will still beautifully capture your family.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family Photos with Grey Skies, Photo of mom tossing daughter in air as dad with twins watches nearby

Grey days mean fewer people at the park.

The evening of this session we had this park to ourselves. The entire time we saw probably three other people, and while on the beach, it was just us. If you have ever been to Lake Sammamish State Park you know that is quite the miracle. Having the place to ourselves meant not worrying about people in the background, not waiting for people to move, and just letting the kids have the run of the area.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family Photos with Grey Skies, Lake Sammamish State Park, Photo of family looking out at lake

Stormy skies can add drama to your photos.

If the skies begin to turn a little, those stormy skies just add even more depth and interest to your photos. The sky started getting darker and stormy and it was so beautiful as we played on the beach. The deep colors made this family really pop!

Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family Photos with Grey Skies, Lake Sammamish State Park, Photo of mother and daughter walking towards lake on stormy day

Kids love playing with umbrellas.

Just in case it starts to rain a little, having an umbrella on hand serves a few great purposes. Kids love to play with umbrellas like it’s a game, plus you can stay dry and extend the session a little longer. (At the end of this session the skies did OPEN up, but it was at the very end, we took a few last shots with the entire family under the umbrella and headed in!

A bonus tip, is that a clear umbrella photographs beautifully. Not only can you see through it, but it lets light in and does not give off color casts (like a yellow or red one will do).

Res easy knowing that grey skies photograph beautifully too. I know I show off a lot of strongly backlight images, however, this session just goes to show you it isn’t about that at all (make sure you scroll down and click through a “few” more favorites)! Of course, should it actually be set to rain we can always reschedule or pick a covered location (I have suggestions or we can do it in your home).

With the weather as one less worry for your regarding your session, no more excuses. Book your family session now. I promise you won’t regret it.

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The Fresh 48 Photo Session Experience | A First Hand Interview

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The Fresh 48 Photo Session Experience | A First Hand Interview

Today’s post is all about the Fresh 48 photo session experience. I figured who better to tell you about the experience than a mom who has hired me twice to capture her family as they welcomed new babies into their family. So grab a cup of coffee and read about her experience and peek at her beautiful family as they welcomed their baby girl after two sweet boys! (If you are thinking about having Fresh 48 photos done, you may find your questions or concerns are answered by her answers).

Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah and Bellevue Fresh 48 Photographer, Photo of newborn baby in bassinet in hospital

Q: Congratulations on your sweet baby girl! How was the labor and birth?

A:  Thank you! It was completely different than what I was expecting.  I had my first two babies in a different state where rules were different.  I definitely struggled with the rules at this hospital being a bit more strict and less mom centered. Due to my sons’ being bigger, I was induced. It was a long labor but totally worth it once she was here in my arms.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah and Bellevue Fresh 48 Photographer, Black and white photo of newborn baby snuggled in moms  arms

Q: Why did you choose to do a Fresh 48 photo session?

A: The first time I chose a fresh 48 I just wanted to capture the reaction of my oldest meeting his baby brother.  Once I saw those images, my heart swelled. Fresh 48s instantly became my favorite type of session. I still go back and look at my Fresh 48 from 2.5 years ago and cry when I see the images.  It is such a special session to have and a moment you really can’t recreate.  

Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah and Bellevue Fresh 48 Photographer, Photo of big brothers meeting newborn baby sister in the hospital

Q: Were you nervous about the session beforehand? 

A: Personally, I was not nervous.  I trusted you and knew you would respect my wants and desires through the session.  I just wanted to capture the reactions of my older kids to their new sister, whether the reactions were good and sweet, or lots of crying.

Q: What was is like having a photographer (me!) in the room just hours after giving birth?

A: Who better to have in the room then someone who has been there 4 times (with her own kids)?!?! It’s really nice just having another mom who understands to talk to as well.  A refreshing breath, after a long couple of days in labor and delivery.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah and Bellevue Fresh 48 Photographer, Photo of mom and newborn baby in hospital

Q: What was the best part of having this special time photographed?

A: Having these incredible images forever. It doesn’t even matter if they took place in a hospital room, this was the most special time of our lives and I get to go back and relive those first moments with my newborn by looking at those photos.

Q: What did you think when you saw your gallery? Any favorite photos or moments?

A: I cried happy tears (I still do when I look at them)  They are just all so beautiful. My favorite is when I have all three kids in my lap.  My middle is looking at his sister and my oldest leaned down and put his head on her. It really is the perfect example of their personalities.  That one is framed in my bedroom so it’s the first thing I see in the morning

Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah and Bellevue Fresh 48 Photographer, Photo of big brothers loving on newborn baby sister

Q: Thank you so much for taking time away from that adorable family of yours. Any final comments about having a Fresh 48 photo session?

A: If you are doubting whether you should do a Fresh 48 just do it.  Don’t worry about how you will look, Neyssa will make you look amazing.  You will not regret having this session. It is by far, the most valuable session you can book (in my opinion)

(I promise, I did not pay her to say those sweet words above. I am so grateful for this woman and her family and for inviting me into her hospital room to capture this special time.)

If you’re ready to get your Fresh 48 session on the calendar, contact me below. Then check out just a “few” more favorites from this Fresh 48 session below (there is one of big brother peeking on baby sister in the bassinet you won’t want to miss)!

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What to Wear for Family Photos: Reds Color Inspiration | Seattle Family Photographer

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What to Wear for Family Photos: Reds Color Inspiration | Seattle Family Photographer

Last year as I pulled colors together for my own family photos I hesitated as I was thinking about what colors I should pick for my family to wear. It sparked the desire to put together a series of blog posts to help you when you’re thinking about colors to pair together.

My first post focused on What to Wear for Family Photos: Blues Color Inspiration. So if you love blues, I highly recommend you go check that one out! I also have a basic guide of What to Wear for Family Photos, but today is all about the color Red.

Neyssa Lee Photography, What to Wear For Family Photos, Red for Family Photos, Seattle Family Photographer, Photo of Family skipping in the snow together

Think about your location first.

Before you begin deciding on your colors, think about the location I have chosen. Will there be trees, or a field, or by the river, or will you be near buildings? Think about the colors found at your location (if you don’t know, don’t hesitate to ask me, I’m here to help).

The next step is to think about if you want to stand out in your location or if you want to compliment the location. The idea is that you do not want to blend in nor clash. The beautiful part of nature is that most colors looks beautiful wherever you are. However, consider, for example, if you have chosen a wooded location, being in all green may make you blend in to the trees and greenery.

Neyssa Lee Photography, What to Wear For Family Photos, Red for Family Photos, Seattle Family Photographer, Photo of family wearing red and black loving on baby girl

Let’s talk about the color red.

Red is one of my favorite colors. It is bold and classic, it works well for boys or girls, and is found in many holidays/seasons (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, 4th of July…). Red also stands out well against the blue river rocks and even compliments the deep green evergreen trees. And red in a snowy field on the mountains, is a gorgeous way to stand out.

However, red can be a tricky color to work with. If your red is too bright it may cause color casts on your skin. Reds are also not very forgiving. What I mean is that reds easily clash with each other. So if you do not have the same shade of red the colors won’t look good together. (A simple trick to combat mismatched reds is to purchase from the same store, as each season retailers will typically use the same shade of colors across all of their clothing lines (infant to mom and dad).

With that, don’t let red detour you from such a great color addition to your color pallet. I should also be clear that in this article I’m going to include various shades of red - from classic red to maroon or burgundy. Now for the color inspiration: red!

Neyssa Lee Photography, What to Wear For Family Photos, Red for Family Photos, Seattle Family Photographer, Buffalo Plaid, Maternity photo of family  together in beautiful light

Red with Neutrals (Whites, Greys, and Black)

Adding red to neutrals will not only give you a little color that pops, it will provide a classic look. This color combination is a great way to add in some patterns (like my favorite the red and black buffalo plaid). You can layer up clothing with pops of red peeking out, too.

Neyssa Lee Photography, What to Wear For Family Photos, Red for Family Photos, Seattle Family Photographer, Photo of large family in reds and blues

Red with Navy

This is the most classic, “Americana” combination for family photos. I LOVE the bold red with a deep navy for family photos. This is a timeless color combination that works well and most people have pieces in their closets to pull these colors together.

My Family Photo (above) by Megann Robinson.

My Family Photo (above) by Megann Robinson.

Maroon with Navy

Another great color combination, that photographs beautifully in fall. The deep maroon against the yellow leaves helps you to stand out. As you can see from the photo above, my own family used maroon and navy one fall, adding greys and cream for additional layers as well.

Neyssa Lee Photography, What to Wear For Family Photos, Red for Family Photos, Seattle Family Photographer, Photo of family wearing maroon and greys

Maroon with Neutrals (Grey, tan, creams, etc.)

Again, spice up your neutral palate a little bit by adding the deep maroon tones. Maroon, again, photographs well in fall and in winter, adding to the depth and warmth of your images and contrasting with the surrounding locations.

Neyssa Lee Photography, What to Wear For Family Photos, Red for Family Photos, Seattle Family Photographer,  Photo of mom and dad comforting baby boy, Photo of family wearing teal and maroon

Maroon with Teal

Teal is one of my favorite colors so when this family showed up with teal and maroon, I knew I had a favorite color combination. The maroon serves as a nice deep color while the teal gives a little brighter pop of color. Notice in the photo above how the family mixed patterns to break up the solid maroon and really tie the colors together.

What Colors Will You Wear for Family Photos?

I should mention one last color combination that I love, maroon and mustard yellow. However, I haven’t had a family wear that yet! Will it be your family this fall?

I hope you’ve found some inspiration and are ready to tackle picking out outfits for your family photos this year. Whether you pick a classic red or a variation like maroon, you have a beautiful color that will help your family stand out this year.

Now that you’ve picked out your colors, make sure you get your session booked at the link below!

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What I Look for in a Location for Family Photos | Seattle Family Photographer

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What I Look for in a Location for Family Photos | Seattle Family Photographer

A family photo session is about documenting your family. It is about more than simply capturing what you looked like right now (though that’s important) but it is more about your love, your family’s personality, and those dynamics within your family. This is all to say that while the location your family photos take place is not the focus, it is what can set the tone for your session.

Here is a look at those things I look for in a location for family photos, and why I have several favorite spots that meet all (or most of) these criteria, making them ideal spots to highlight your family.

Location for family photos, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Family Photographer, Bellevue Photography, Photo of family with their dog on a bridge

The location must photograph beautifully.

This first one, I’m sure, seems obvious. With the Pacific Northwest as our backdrop, how could something not photograph beautifully? However, there are several factors that help an area photograph well for family photos. I look at how the light falls in different areas of a location and where the sun sets (or rises). I also look for locations with limited distractions (large signs, construction that may be happening, bright structures, etc). Further, I will take note of how busy a location is. The last thing you want is a ton of people in the background of your image, nor having to wait for people to move through your image. Although we cannot ensure no one will be at the location, choosing ones that are less popular helps the flow of your session.

Location for family photos, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Family Photographer, Bellevue Photography, Photo of family walking in fall leaves

Locations that are accessible for kids are ideal.

When I am scouting locations I look at how far it is from the car to the first spot I would photograph your family. I also look for possible hazards or issues that kids may have at a particular location. While I don’t mink walking a little ways between spots within a location, I know long distances can make for cranky kids. When I suggest locations to you I let you know of the terrain so that you can decide if it is right for your family. For instance, the location featured here has a suspension bridge which many kids (and moms) and dogs may find a bit scary as the bridge moves a little as you walk across. If you or your child is terrified of suspension bridges, this might not be the location for you! If you love bridges, isn’t it a beautiful spot?

Location for family photos, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Family Photographer, Bellevue Photography, Photo of family throwing rocks into the river

I look for locations that offer something to do.

Whether it is a field to dance in, rocks to throw into the river, or a pathway to explore, I look for locations that offer natural things for your family to do together. This makes our time together more of the adventure rather than focusing on having your pictures taken.

Location for family photos, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Family Photographer, Bellevue Photography, Photo of mom and daughters by the water

Locations that offer variety without traveling far are great for family photos.

This last one is more of a perk, not a requirement of a location. I can, and have numerous times, done family sessions within one small area that photographs beautifully. Again, the focus is not the location itself, but the dynamics and personalities within your family. However, if there are several spots within a location that makes things just a little sweeter. Moving from the woods to the river not only allows for a little time for kids to recharge as they run, but gives your photo gallery more variety.

Take a peek through just a few more favorites from this family session. These images show off one of my favorite locations, without us moving around too much.

Did reading this bring to mind a favorite spot you love to visit?

If so, I wanna hear about it. I love adding new locations to my list for family photo sessions. I also love taking my kids on scouting trips to check out spots and how they could work! In fact, one family several years ago introduced me to this location!

Not sure of a good location for your family photos? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.

When you’ve booked your session I send you a list of my most favorite locations in the area. The list includes names along with what to expect at each spot. From there I can guide you based on your family, the ages of your children, and what you’re looking for in your session.

Now, let’s get to chatting about the right location for your family. Book your family session below.

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