Everything you ever wanted to know about having a family portrait session!

Family Guide

Cayton Heath Photography

Love,  Cayton

I'm so honored that you are considering trusting me with capturing portraits of your amazing family!!

With over 12 years of experience in the wedding and portrait photography industries I have the expertise you desire and the calm understanding you didn't realized you needed. Hand the reigns to me and I will capture this beautiful special season in your life and you will be able to get rid of some mom guilt because you got it done!

Feel free to reach out at any point during the process!




Below you'll find some handy tips for nailing down the perfect style.

Client wardrobe is such a helpful service and one I am so proud to offer you! I have a huge range of sizes and something for every member of the family. Let me know you are interested in this complimentary service when we have our consultation.

Size Range:
Women's XS to 4X
Men's Large to X-Large Shirts/sweaters
Children's Newborn to Size 12

& why we love it!

Client Wardrobe


no way, jose

  • Being "matchy-matchy"
  • White Socks That Stick Out
  • Big Logos and Writing on Shirts
  • Red, Bright Pink, or Orange (competes with skintone)
  • Something that just isn't YOU
  • Something uncomfortable that needs constantly adjusted

  • Professional Hair and Makeup (a plus but not mandatory)
  • Complementary color schemes
  • Comfortable + easy to move in
  • Flowly skirts or tops that show movement
  • Something you feel AMAZING wearing - we want you to feel confident and look your best!

yes! yes! yes!

Family photo styling tips

It can be so hard finding something to wear! To make things as stress free as possible I offer client wardrobe in size XS-4X. I would love it if you came by and checked it out just to see if it would be a good option for you and your family. 
If you are a do-it-yourselfer I put together some dos and don'ts to make what you wear an easy check off on your list.

what to wear


Getting your family ready for a Family Portrait Session really should earn any mom a gold medal! Seriously, Mama Friend I see your struggle and I appreciate your efforts. Once your session is complete you will cherish these images and it will be worth it... pinky promise.

To help you check something off the list I have one of my family's favorite go to snack that can be very multi-purpose. Its our famous black bean salsa recipe and you can eat it alone or in eggs or with tacos!

It keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!

Combine the following ingredients, combine, and refrigerate up to 2 weeks

family session checklist

blog post about preparing the kiddos

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup finely cut red onion
1/4 cup chiopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small can mild green chilis- chopped

snacks that don't stain
water bottles
wrapped gifts for the kids

for mom- a calm spirit

ANYTHING ELSE SPECIAL OR SENTIMENTAL if you want it photographed

Cayton's Famous Black Bean Salsa

2 (15oz) cans of black beans- drained & rinsed
1 (16oz) can of shoepeg corn- drained

1/4 cup lime juice

Read the blog post

opening a wrapped gift after for a great job can be very motivating

Let's check something off your list!



  • white or grey t-shirts are actually fine for him to wear
  • don't nag him but encourage him that this will be painless & quick
  • Double check that he trimmed any facial hair and his nails
  • If he wants to wear jeans its ok as long as they are light & without holes

They sometimes need a little bit of extra encouragement before and during a session! Below are a few tips to help dad out.

Dad tips

01. Maternity Session

Normally, the first session of your Belly to Baby Membership would be a Maternity session. This is a great way to start this precious little one's story and showcase your beautiful belly. I have client wardrobe to help make this as easy as possible.

02. Newborn Session

Memberrship Value:

Membership Price:

The next session in the membership is a Newborn Session. You can choose to have your newborn session in the studio, in your home, or outdoors. This is the longest session in the membership and normally lasts 2.5 hours.

03. Two Milestone sessions

Within the membership you will receive 2 milestone sessions. These sessions capture your baby at 2 key month milestones. Tipically we would do this at the 6 month mark and the 12 month birthday mark.

Belly to Baby 

Consider a membership as your family grows


04. What else is included in the membership?

Besides 4 specially priced sessions you will also receive:
- a private ordering appointment after each session
- 15 digital files from each session
- exclusive end of year membership gift of your choice

If you would like to exchange any of the below sessions with a Family Session you can totally do that!

Can you just imagine how wonderful it would be to have a full year of images of your baby! 
The Belly to Baby membership is a fantastic way to capture your baby as they grow throughout a full year. Below is great information about what the membership entails.



First came love
and then came you.

Location Location


pros & cons

pros & cons

Studio or In-home

backyard or select location

Where should we have your Family session



The location you choose is such a huge factor in your newborn season's story. If you had a baby in Spring going outdoors would display that with beautiful colors. If you would like more formal shots of your new baby going into the studio would really capture that! 
Below I lay out pros and cons to my top 3 newborn session location options.


Beautiful unmatched golden hour light


children have lots of room to be explore


easy to capture lots of variety


can add a personal touch if you have a special spot


If you want extended family portraits there isn't a cap on how many participants


The weather is unpredictable


sometimes there are bugs


if you or a family member need the potty there may not be one


longer wait for an availalbe session date due to limited time to shoot outdoors

Things to think about

going outdoors is fun




timing for good light might not be whenwhen you are available


Reliable lighting because I use artificial light


Our session doesn't rely on good weather


easy access to client wardrobe, snacks, AC/Heater and potty


personal touch if we use your home


timeless if we shoot in the studio space


studio lacks the variation in background unlike outdoors


Studio doesn't have as much room for children to run around

Things to think about

indoors is reliable




in-home may make you feel like you need to clean (but you don't)

Of all the things my hands have held;
 the best by far is you!

Posing & session flow

What types of poses do we focus on


I always try to get at least one portrait where you are all together and looking at the camera. I know that many grandparents and family members love this shot. Its not a huge priority but we do try to get one.

mommy & Daddy together

This is a very important shot to me. Many mommies and daddies haven't had a good shot together since they were married so we always try to get a few of just the two of you together. Much of the time this is Dad's favorite time of the whole session.

Grandparents/ extended family

If you are doing an extended family session we always try and get the group together. Then I will break up individual families and get them together. If we have time I will then capture every child alone.


The majority of every session is made up of candid posing. I say posing because even though the image looks candid I will still guide you into the moment and help you know exactly what to do, Candids are great when capturing the kids alone and getting some great personality shots. Those are my favorite! 


family session shot list

whole family together - posed

whole family together - candid

mommy with children

daddy with children

just the children

each child alone

mommy & daddy alone

unique combinations special to you

If everyone is feeling up for it and cooperating these are the goal:



How you want to display your portraits

With almost a decade of experience in heirloom product design I know that this can be quite the daunting process to walk through alone. That is why I love coming along side my clients and helping them create the photographic heirloom treasures that will be in their family for generations.

The first thing I recommend is for you to start thinking about where in your home you would love to either hang wall art or display a beautiful album. Once you start dreaming the process becomes fun and encouraging.

Every session includes a design and ordering appointment which happens when I hand deliver your images to you! You can utilize this service how you want to and additional purchases are optional. 

talk about whats important to you

If you are going to be purchasing heirlooms I encourage you -together with your spouse and family start the conversation about wall art and albums. Heirlooms are a quality product and a worth while investment that is never regretted.

Making sure you are on the same page with which items are wanted and how you would like to pay for them helps your ordering appointments run like a dream.

If payment break downs along with spreading it all out over time helps you out I am glad to create a payment plan that works for you. Just let me know during your consultation or ordering appointment and I'll be glad to help.

"Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."

- Dr. suess


Why we use Proof images


get ready for any optional ordering

View the Frame Catalog

View the Album Guide


I love taking customer service to the "extra" level. Proof images are one way that makes the whole process feel magical and special for your family. 

For your portrait session I will print out a set of 4x6 proof/ordering prints and personally deliver them to your door. They make it so easy to select your digitals and any custom heirlooms. 

Imagine gorgeous images laid out across your table! its so much for fun to design and order that way!


Albums & frames




A few weeks after your session we can start designing your heirloom album. Normally the start of your design happens at your design & ordering appointment. The process is super easy and you'll get to pick exactly how you want it.

Link to album guide


You'll have the chance to pick out your album size, material and color. I have a page outlining all of the choices!
Or for frames the catalog above.


Heirloom Layout

Once your options are selected, I'll create the album page layouts using the best of your photos. Or I'll finalize your wall art gallery preferences. When I'm done I'll send a proof your way and we can make any changes you want.


Enjoy your heirloom

Once everything looks good to go and you like your layout, I will order your album or wall art and upon its arrival personally deliver it to you.


heirloom design process

Feel free to shoot me an email with any questions!


Thank you for considering trusting me to capture your special season! If you need to contact me at any point during the process, feel free to shoot me an email!


Get in touch