Girl with hair blowing in the wind

What to expect...

You have an exciting photoshoot this weekend, now what?

Perhaps you've booked a photoshoot. Or you are thinking about it, but would like to know more...

A family photoshoot typically lasts an hour. However if there are young children - toddlers and a baby, or perhaps just a lot of family members - sometimes one and a half hours allows ample time for a variety of pictures.

family portrait with a baby
young lady with pomeranian





The best time to do a photoshoot is during 1-2 hours before golden hour, or end of day.  Just before golden hour, the light has a golden quality without being too intense and unpredictable. In Ireland photoshoots can happen quite early in the day during the autumn and winter when the days are short. Of course some special occasions, such as birthdays or graduations are at different times, even midday, in which case I'll look for shady aspects such as by a tree or building. Inside locations are usually fine! Sunlight is great but cloudy days can produce beautiful, vibrant pictures too. I check the weather conditions the week before scheduling an outdoor photoshoot.



There is a lovely outdoor location I can suggest around Blackrock, but if you have a favorite place in my mind, that's also great. Whether it's a park or your own home, I arrive up to 15 minutes before the start time to make checks. I see how I can make best use of the environment for backdrops to pictures. Perhaps there is a cherry blossom tree in bloom. Or berries on a holly. I might notice an arrangement of paths, or a particularly good camera angle between two trees. If it's your own home, I will want to check natural light, especially window light. The light may be particularly good against a wall or in the corner. Furniture arrangements might make a lovely backdrop. Something as simple as a  pretty blanket  across a sofa.

boy wearing a santa hat
Cara Hodge couples photoshoot



I do a mixture of traditional family portraits  as well as natural documentary style. But don't worry, nothing too stiff! To begin with, loose poses can work great. This can be as simple as your family close together in a frame. Hugging is great, I love to pay attention to hand gestures. I shoot quite quickly to keep a flow. There are a few games and tricks I can use to "loosen" things up and make you forget you're being photographed! I also take full advantage of natural, unscripted moments. The baby might have just fallen asleep in your arms. Your curious child wants to climb a tree. Your daughter wants a close up of her debs dress...After the more formal groupings, taking the most of spontaneous family moments can add a lot of variety to your photoshoot.

Girl at debs holding a gold balloon


Everything working together, not perfectly matching, just complimentary. I recommend up to three or four complementary colors spread across a family. For example, a palette of green, blue and brown can work beautifully. These natural colours will work especially well in an outdoor location.

A palette of pastels can also work well in summer or spring, such as white, pale pink and pale blue and/or navy. A very neutral palette of white, mixed with other subtle colors, can also look lovely. More creative color combinations can also work. Feel free to explore a complimentary color palette that works for  you and your family. The aim is simply for the colors to look balanced and pleasing to the eye.

Wardrobe changes can be as swift as swapping a coat, hat or shawl in an outdoor location. Or including a beautiful blanket to sit on.


Bright colors can be wonderful too! If you love a pop of bright color, just make sure everyone is carrying a pop of the same color. For instance, if you adore red, perhaps other family members can wear red socks, tights, shirt or jumper. Or a red ribbon in their hair, red lipstick, and so on. A red balloon? 


However, it's important to remember that if only one person is wearing a bright color, the eye will be drawn to them as the focal point, making the rest of the picture off balance.


Nobody has to match, in fact matching works less well. However a complimentary palette is always best.

summer portrait of a young woman wearing white


Blankets to sit on, particularly for an outdoor photoshoot, can be very helpful. Just pick a shade complimentary to your wardrobe if possible. Throws and blankets, textured, plain or patterned, can look attractive for an indoor photoshoot, draped across a sofa as an interesting backdrop. You can also play around with colored cushions and other pleasing fabrics. Flowers can be held or feature in the background. In an outdoor location, trees and flowers form natural props. If your child has a favorite toy, teddy bear or blanket, that can be included.


Exciting! I download all the raw files off camera and on to my desktop. I select all the best pictures from the photoshoot. There are usually between 60-90 pictures "softly" edited in the first gallery. I include some classic black & white conversions. If you would like a tighter selection, I can also do that.  I then send you the password protected professional gallery, and you can mark your favorites. I will then do up a second gallery of your  favorites and you can select those to keep. These are fully edited, retouched for any minor blemishes, and cropped to standard photo sizes. All high-resolution for printing at any size! There are complimentary pictures with my photoshoots. If you want an additional package of pictures, they are available for purchase.


A one hour photoshoot costs 200 euro, and a one and a half hour photoshoot is 300 euro. There are extended photoshoots also available for my Fly On The Wall documentary family photography, or for celebrations. All prices reflect the time for photoshoot, professional gallery preparation, selecting photographs, black & white conversions, full editing & any retouching in software such as Camera Raw, Photoshop & RadLab. I love photography and love making sure your pictures come out beautifully.


I have a variety of print packages for printing your favorites from the photoshoot. All museum quality fine art printing. True & accurate color. Matt & sheen popular finish on the prints. Can be printed any size. For albums. Also smaller frames for mantelpiece and console. All sizes for wall hanging available too. As I hold on to your gallery, there is time to decide.

Style of frames include contemporary tray frames & traditional box or shadow frames. Or you can choose your own frame.


Let me know if you have any questions by sending me a form in Contact Me here . I can provide you with a full price list, Cara x

Cara baby photoshoot
Newborn holding a teddy bear
dad holding toddler son
black & white portrait of newborn with mum and dad