Emma Larkan 

Fine art portraits

Let Me Walk You Through Your Session Experience | Family Photographers in Santa Barbara

Girls walking to our shooting location in the Ventura River Preserve

Girls walking to our shooting location in the Ventura River Preserve

It’s the day of your family Story telling session.

You’ve gotten yourself and your family showered, groomed, and dressed in coordinated camera ready outfits, then off you go, you head out the door to meet me at our planned location. Even though we’ve prepped for our session together via email or phone, you still may be feeling a little apprehensive, you may be worried about the kiddos cooperation, or your partners enthusiasm, and that is ok, because if you haven’t had photo’s taken professionally as a family before, the session can be hard to visualize.

I always meet families in the parking lot of the locations that we shoot at, and my immediate goal is to connect with you and your children in a calm and peaceful way. Then i’ll take hold of any items you may need, like water, snacks and phones and put them in my bag to carry as I love my families to be prop free and with nothing in their hands from the get go, this helps parents and kids to relax and feel care free, this is what I want for your family, it also enables me to capture some photos of you walking to the location. It’s the beginning of the story.


During our short walk together to our exact location is where we’ll catch up. We’ll talk about how your week and day has been, and I’ll check in about how the children are doing. Knowing information such as a toddler missing a nap or a sibling that has tender feelings because of a recent conflict can be helpful to me if we need to navigate any moments in the session that will require a little more love and patience.

Once we reach our spot where we’ll shoot, I’ll give you a quick run down of some of the shots we’ll take and where we’ll move to get the best light. Although it is not my photography style at all I usually start the session with a couple of “look in the camera and smile” shots. I start with these because they are the most familiar to most people and the familiar helps families feel comfortable. From there I will direct you through a series of organic, standing, sitting and playful “poses” we’ll capture movement and laughter and snuggles. I then usually move families to a more open area to get some dramatic images as the sun is starting to reach the mountains or the horizon of the ocean. And then we’re almost done, we’ll start to walk back to the lot, I find families by this time are really comfortable, and i’m capturing all kinds of playful moments as we are making our back through the beautiful golden light.

Then we hug and say goodbye, and at this point families usually go and get pizza and ice-cream together!

Until next time,

Much love,


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