Harrisburg Family Photographer

Harrisburg Fall Family Photos: Tips for Better Family Portraits

Harrisburg fall family photos are some of my favorite client portraits. They have a quaint and cozy feel that will warm anyone’s heart, and they take advantage of the stunning autumn colors we have here in Pennsylvania. For families, a fall photo session is a fabulous way to get beautiful custom artwork that preserves the memories of this chapter in their lives. How can you make sure your fall family portraits turn out the best that they can? Follow these tips to prep for your session like a pro.

Plan Your Wardrobe Strategically

As a mom, I know that planning your family’s wardrobe for a photo shoot can be a daunting task. I recommend that you start with your own outfit and then just go one person at a time. Choose one or two core colors that are fall-appropriate, like rust orange or navy blue, and then complement them with neutrals. Here are a few other tips that can help:

  • Avoid any items with prominent logos or words (something subtle like a small logo on a shirt pocket is fine).
  • Stick to solid colors and simple patterns, avoiding patterns that are too bold or busy. If you aren’t sure about an item, take a full-body picture of someone wearing it and look at whether it takes attention away from the person’s face.
  • Choose earthy neutrals like tan, gray, and ivory as opposed to more stark neutrals like white and black (white and black can be excellent for some other seasons, but more natural shades look better with fall colors).
  • Bring fall-appropriate layers, like scarves, jackets, and wraps, that look nice with your wardrobe. These add texture and will come in handy on a chilly fall day.

Keep Your Kids in the Loop

Have a chat with your kids in advance to let them know that the photo shoot is happening. When you do, present it as a fun family outing rather than as something unpleasant the kids will have to do. If you lead with a positive attitude, they’re more likely to follow suit and come to the photo session with a smile on their face.

Set Your Deadline as the Day Before Your Harrisburg Fall Family Photos

This is one of those little mind tricks that works wonders! When you’re preparing everything for your session, set your mental “deadline” as not the photoshoot day but the day before your photo shoot. Plan to have all the outfits laundered, pressed, and hanging together, have a bag of snacks and drinks packed in the fridge, etc. Last-minute issues can arise on the day of, so if all those details are already done, you have room in your schedule to accommodate those issues.

Keep in Touch with Your Photographer

You and your photographer are a team with the same goal: to create amazing fall family photos for your family. Make sure you communicate with them like a teammate. If you change your mind about anything, from the color scheme of your wardrobe to deciding to include grandparents in the photos, speak with your photographer so they can plan accordingly.

Make Sure No One Arrives Hungry for Your Harrisburg Fall Family Photos

Fall family photo sessions often take place around dinner time because that hour just before sunset creates beautiful natural lighting. But it’s best to have your dinner before the session rather than after, particularly if your kids are little. We want your kids to be having fun and flashing plenty of happy smiles, and that’s more likely to happen with a full belly. If you want to give the kids something to look forward to, you can take them out for dessert after the session.

Plan Extra Travel Time

I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough! First, your session is scheduled for a specific time based on the sunset time. If you get stuck in traffic and arrive 15 minutes late, the sun won’t wait for us, so we won’t have time to get all the portraits we want. Plus, when you’re running late, it adds stress to the whole family and that won’t start off your session on the right foot.

Planning Your Harrisburg Fall Family Photos

Want to start planning the perfect family photo session this fall? Contact Karissa Zimmer Photography and let’s chat!

Harrisburg Fall Family Photos: Tips for Better Family Portraits Read More »

Harrisburg Family Photography Tips: How to Choose a Location for Outdoor Family Photos

One of my favorite aspects of Harrisburg family photography is the fact that we have so many gorgeous locations in the area for outdoor portraits. No matter what style or look you want, chances are that there’s a spot nearby that’s perfect for your family photos. Many of my clients ask me for location recommendations, and it’s true that I’ve been able to scout out plenty of favorites in the area, but you’re welcome to choose a location of your own too!

If you’re looking for the perfect spot for your next family photo session, follow these top tips.

Consider the Look and Style You Want

Your photo shoot location will literally set the stage for your portraits, so the location you choose can immediately create the style and look you want for your photos. You want a location that suits the style you want, whether that style is rustic, natural, urban and chic, cozy, light and airy, or whatever it may be.

Look for Textures for Your Harrisburg Family Photography

You may be surprised by how much it can enhance a photo when you incorporate some complementing textures, and your photo shoot location is a great way to get those textures. Elements like a brick wall, a wooden structure, or an array of flowers can add a touch more visual interest and balance to your family portraits.

Envision Your Color Scheme

One of the first things many parents do when planning their Harrisburg family photography session is to choose a color scheme based on where they want to display their portraits. Make sure you take that color scheme into account when choosing your photo location, finding a spot with background colors that fit or complement your color scheme.

Be Mindful of Property Laws and Privacy

This is less of an aesthetic consideration and more of a logistical one, but it still matters. It’s critical to make sure you can legally and easily access the photo shoot location of your choice. If it’s private property, get permission in writing to take pictures there. If it’s public property like a public park, try to find an event schedule to make sure the area won’t be occupied by a festival or other event on your photo shoot day.

Find Space for Kids to Play During Your Harrisburg Family Photography

Posed portraits of your family sitting or standing together neatly are quaint and traditional, and all my Harrisburg family photography shoots will include these types of photos. But every family also loves some candid action shots taken while you and your family enjoy your time together, highlighting the authentic joy you have with your family.

To make it easier to create these types of images, it helps to have a photo location where kids can play and adventure a bit. It doesn’t have to be anything too complex, just some space for kids to explore safely.

Look for Plenty of Light

One of the most instrumental factors to consider for any photo session is the lighting. Depending on the time of day, if there are too many big structures in your photo shoot location, there might be too many shadows for me to fully showcase your beautiful family. Look for a location that is open enough that it will get plenty of light rather than an area that is overly shaded.

Consider a Space with Variety

It can be helpful to have a location that has several different spots that have their own looks and accents. For example, you might go to a family member’s farm that has a lovely old barn for some rustic looks, an open grassy area for more natural and minimalist portraits, and a flower garden to add some color. This lets us easily move from spot to spot so you have plenty of styles to choose from in your finished photo gallery.

Booking Your Harrisburg Family Photography

Whether or not you already have a vision and a location in mind for your family portraits, I can create a stunning family photo shoot that will produce portraits you’ll cherish for decades to come. Ready to start planning? Contact Karissa Zimmer Photography today.

Harrisburg Family Photography Tips: How to Choose a Location for Outdoor Family Photos Read More »

A Parent’s To-Do List for Outdoor Family Photography in Harrisburg PA

Some families enjoy a family portrait session every year while others only have the chance every several years. Either way, it’s not something you do every day. As a professional photographer, I aim to not only create beautiful works of personal art for my clients but to guide you through the process too and make it as simple and stress-free for you as possible. To help you manage your photo session planning process, I’ve put together a straightforward to-do list for any parent before outdoor family photography in Harrisburg PA.

#1. Choose Your Photographer

The first step in any photo session is to select your photographer, and frankly, that can be the hardest step too. You want a photographer you can work with well and someone whose work you love because every photographer has their own style. Keep in mind that each photographer has a different level of service too, so find a photographer who has the aesthetic and the service you’re looking for.

#2. Decide on a Location for Your Outdoor Family Photography in Harrisburg PA

After you’ve booked a session with the photographer of your choice (or during the booking process), you’ll coordinate with your photographer to choose a location for your photo session. The season, the look you want, and other factors will impact your location of choice. The beauty is, though, that you have an expert photographer in your corner, and we know all the best spots in town! I always chat with my clients about what they want for their session and recommend the best locations for them.

#3. Tell Your Family the Good News

Once you’ve worked out the major details, it’s time to bring your kids in on the plan. The rule of thumb is to be excited and position the photo session as a fun family experience. It’s contagious - if you’re excited about something, your kids will be too!

#4. Design the Family’s Wardrobe for Your Outdoor Family Photography in Harrisburg PA

Wardrobe planning is another item on your to-do list that I can help you with directly. As a full-service photographer, I gladly offer tips and help in planning your family’s wardrobe, including pointers about what does (and doesn’t) look good on camera, advice on what colors might best flatter you and your family, and more. I also advise having a backup outfit planned for each person in case an issue arises.

#5. Plan the Day of Your Photoshoot

Logistics can make a world of difference in your photo session, so make a plan for the day of the photo shoot. Based on when your session will be, plan a schedule that ensures everyone will be fed and rested during the photo shoot. Plan when you need to start getting everyone ready, how much time you’ll need to do your hair and makeup, and so on. Give yourself an earlier out-the-door time than you need in case there’s traffic or you’re running late.

#6. Make a List of Items to Bring

The last thing you want is to arrive at your photo session and realize you’ve forgotten something important. Give yourself more time to think of all the essentials by making a to-bring list. Include things like all the individual pieces for everyone’s backup outfits, snacks, drinks, diapers, wipes, and so on.

#7. Prep and Pack Your Items for the Photo Shoot

The day before your photo shoot, get everything packed and ready so that, when it’s time to leave, you just need to grab everything and go. Get everyone’s wardrobe and backup outfit items laundered and pressed if necessary. Put snacks and other items in a cooler or bag in the fridge. The goal is to make your life as easy as possible.

#8. Don’t Lose Sight of the Goal: To Have Fun!

This might not seem that important but it really is a biggie - remember to have fun! The best portraits happen when you and your family are genuinely enjoying your time together. Try not to stress about the little details. Spots on someone’s clothes can be edited out, but I can’t edit in a carefree smile.

Getting Started with Outdoor Family Photography in Harrisburg PA

Ready to tackle your own family portrait to-do list? I can help! Contact my Harrisburg photo studio to book your session today.

A Parent’s To-Do List for Outdoor Family Photography in Harrisburg PA Read More »

Hershey PA Family Photographer | The Stirpe Family

I love being a Hershey PA Family Photographer! I hold this family so close to my heart! The Stirpe Family has continued to trust me to capture their family portraits for the last 4 years! I’ve even been lucky enough to document and watch their littlest, Ava, grow up since birth! That is truly the greatest compliment and honor any Hershey PA Family Photographer can possibly receive! Not only are my clients trusting me to capture and create the best images for them, but they are trusting me with a piece of their family’s lives and I do not take that lightly!

Choosing a location for your Hershey PA Family Photos

I must say, this family is a true creature of habit! They have one location they have loved over and over for the past few years! But this time, we all agreed it was time for a nice change-up! We decided on Founder’s Hall at The Milton Hershey School for the Stirpe’s family photos. The grounds here are absolutely beautiful during any time of year. It truly makes for the perfect setting for a Hershey family photo session!

Summer Family Photography sessions

Now, when I say the Stirpes’ are creatures of habit I am not kidding! Just like they’ve got their favorite location, they also had a serious tendency to LOVE fall family photography. I’m pretty certain I’ve spent approximately 3 of the 4 years we worked together trying to convert them to summer family photography session clients! This past year WE DID IT! We did a Hershey PA summer family photo shoot and it was pure magic. Hands down, my favorite session we ever captured together! I think we could agree that the summer “magic hour” is truly the most magical!

Build a relationship with your Family photographer!

I truly adore these 4 people. My clients that I get to see each year become my people! Almost like an extension of my family and friend circle! I love that we can laugh together, have our yearly “inside jokes” and most of all watch their babies grow up together. I believe family photography is such a personal service. It’s not a service where you should pick “just anyone” to perform. I believe you should always have the opportunity to meet your photographer for an in-person consultation prior to working together. Kind of like a preliminary “meet and greet” to see if they’re a good fit for your family. You should feel that your personalities mesh well and that you trust them to work with your children and capture them authentically. When choosing the right Hershey PA Family Photographer, you should know it’s someone you’ll enjoy working with and trust to capture your family for years to come, not just one and done!

Choose me to capture your Hershey PA Family Photography Session!

I’d love to learn more about you and your family and how we can capture some amazing images together! Images that you will want to display on the walls of your home for years and years to come! I am a custom, full-service portrait photographer serving Hershey PA and all of the surrounding Central PA towns including Harrisburg, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, York, and Carlisle PA. I will walk you through my portrait photography process from start to finish! Shoot me a quick message today to start planning your family’s photo session!

Hershey PA Family Photographer | The Stirpe Family Read More »

Harrisburg Family Photography | The Peter Allen House

When the Colello Family inquired about a super special Harrisburg family photography session, I was struck immediately by their very significant and sentimental location request! I never could have guessed how adorable they’d all be in person! What is most extraordinary about this family, though, is undeniably the love they all have for each other!

Harrisburg Family Photography session at The Peter Allen House

Jenn and Pete had been married for almost 10 years. They wanted to go back to the location where they said their wedding vowels a decade earlier. Since saying “I do” at The Peter Allen House they’ve welcomed 3 beautiful little girls into their sweet family. And what an adorable crew they make! I absolutely loved the significance of their location choice! Jenn and Pete are still so into each other. And it’s evident in the way work together to parent their precious girls. Their kiddos are some of the most photogenic, friendly and kind little souls! Middle daughter, Julie even takes lots of hair pulling from her little sis with so much patience and grace! And while it’s natural for parents to worry about kiddos struggling to sit still during a session, I always tell parents to let them be kids! And as you see, it always works out!

The Family Portraits

As you can see from even just a quick glance through their photos, genuine connection, love, and joy are the qualities that turn beautiful family photos into the kind that take your breath away! Those sincere moments of connection are the ones families like the Colellos will treasure on the walls of their home for decades.

When I’m planning every Harrisburg family photography session, my number one goal is to bring out the unique personality of the family in front of my lens! I noticed right away that the Colellos were especially easy going yet sentimental. So, I made it my mission to capture that in photos! By taking them back to the spot where it all began 10 years ago, I was able to highlight something so special!

Full Service Portrait Photography

It’s also so important to me that family photos this magical don’t just hide away on your computer hard drive forever. This is why I am a full service portrait photographer. Therefore, I encourage all my clients to invest in displays for their images. Whether that be through an heirloom album to pass around on holidays or a gallery full of wall art. During your order appointment, I will use special design software to show you exactly how your family portraits will look like on your very own walls!

I had such a blast telling the Colello’s family story with my camera during our Harrisburg family photography session at The Peter Allen house! I hope to see them for another photo session again soon!

Are you looking to take family photos of your own? Let’s chat! Shoot me a message and I will be in touch to help you create something special. Every step of the way!

Harrisburg Family Photography | The Peter Allen House Read More »

Harrisburg Fall Family Photographer | Shipoke Family Photography

As a Harrisburg Fall Family photographer, I’ve explored endless colorful locations for photo sessions. From the woodsy stuff to the urban spots, the Harrisburg PA area has it all! But when the The Mickelwrights told me they wanted to explore a location with lots of variety, I knew exactly where to take them for their photo session. We absolutely had to plan a Shipoke family photography session!

Harrisburg Fall Family Photo Session in Shipoke

Shipoke is one of the oldest and most quaint neighborhoods in Harrisburg PA. I first discovered the potential of a Shipoke family photography session when I ended up at a delicious Cuban (Los Tres Cubanos) restaurant for dinner plans a few years ago. I knew right away that I had to bring clients families and my camera here for future sessions! And this colorful, quaint and quiet spot, especially in the Fall, was the perfect backdrop for the Micklewright family!

The colors and textures showcased during our Shipoke family session gave the whole session a “Fall with a little bit of lingering summer feel. ” And the Indian Summer weather we had this fall season added an extra bit of comfort! It always helps to have a super easy going and easy to please family like these guys!

Dressing for your Fall Family Photography Session

I also loved the way they dressed to perfectly complement the location. I always advise families to look up images of their session location beforehand to ensure perfect color choices, and this crew definitely chose wisely! Choosing a color palette isn’t an easy task, especially for a family of 4 or more. But, I never get tired of helping families build the perfect wardrobe for their session! For our Shipoke family photography session, they went with neutral fall tones which worked wonderfully with the pops of color in Shipoke. So, if you’re considering a family session of your own, but are nervous about what to wear, don’t let that stop you from booking! I promise, with my help it will be easy and effortless!

Finding the perfect spot to take family photos on the other hand, isn’t always easy. But, this is one of my favorites! You better believe I’ll continue to return here over and over again! It’s one of my absolute favorite locations as a Harrisburg Fall Family Photographer! Thank you so much, Micklewright family for inviting me along on this adventure with you! I hope to spend time with all of you again so soon!

Get in Touch!

Are you planning a Shipoke family photography session of your own? Say hello ASAP so we can tell your family’s story, too!

Harrisburg Fall Family Photographer | Shipoke Family Photography Read More »