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close up detail of two young women in graduation gowns showing red tastle and detail. one young woman making kissing expression with her mouth towards her friend. campus trees and buildings receding in soft focus. candid graduation and family photographer dublin by cara hodge.


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

Frequently asked questions & answers. If you'd like to chat more, I'd be happy to answer all your questions personally as well (when it comes to photography, I'm a chatter box...)

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young dad looking in awe at newborn son, in phoenix park dublin
young lady with pomeranian



I will make the most of any lighting condition. But the best time to do a lifestyle or family photo shoot is during 1-2 hours before golden hour. End of day or morning. At this time, the light is golden without being too intense. Photo shoots can happen quite early in the day during autumn and winter when the days are short. If it's midday on a special occasion, birthday, graduation, baptism or communion, I'll look for shady aspects. At home natural newborn session? I'll take advantage of the window light! Sunny is great but cloudy days can produce beautiful pictures too. I check the weather conditions the week before scheduling an outdoor photo shoot. If it's lashing, or unpredictable, we can reschedule.



I will make the most of any location. A place you love & feel comfortable in as a family is the right choice. Park, beach, city. Or your own home. I arrive about 10 - 15 minutes before the start time to make checks. I see how I can make best use of the environment. Perhaps there is a cherry blossom tree in bloom. Or berries on a holly. If it's your own home, I will be seeing how the light is. Special occasions like communion or debs can be photographed before or after, as well as during, the event. At home, church, or other venue.

newborn baby girl in a white onesie on a white bed stretching her arms and hands ahead of her in the manner of Superman
black & white couples portrait on a Dublin beach



No! Don't fret... I love natural, unscripted documentary style family photography. But I will squeeze in some classic, timeless portraits too. I LOVE natural, authentic & really expressive child portraits. Also for Holy Communion & special occasions. Nothing too stiff, I like to keep things fun and fuss free. Portraits can be as simple as sitting in a chair for a moment. Or your family squeezed close together in a frame. I shoot quite quickly to keep a flow. There are a few games and tricks I can use to "loosen" things up.  I also take advantage of unexpected, natural moments. The baby might have fallen asleep in your arms. Your child wants to climb a tree. Your daughter wants a close up of her debs dress...the in between, spontaneous moments often result in the best pictures of all

family portrait with mum hugging young son in blackrock park, dublin


I do give out wardrobe tips (What to wear?). Being comfortable is most important. Perfectly matching is not needed, but complimentary colors can work great. Green, blue and brown, colors of nature, can work really well in the great outdoors.

Earth tones colors can give a rich, authentic earthy feel to family pictures

Creative color combinations can also work. Just introduce a pop of the same color here and there. So the eye is drawn equally to everyone in the frame - not just grandpa Joe in his fave orange jumper!

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

A natural newborn Dublin photo shoot? Keep is at easy as you'd like. Nothing wrong with PJ's. No need for makeup, either. Bare faced and natural is fine. Photoshop can smooth uneven skin easily. Practically no clothes if that's your jam


I specialize in Dublin natural at home newborn portraits, and documentary newborn sessions. Two weeks after birth is a perfect time to schedule your  newborn session. Newborns are still all curled up then.

(Although when it comes to newborns, the time that FEELS right, is the right time. No pressure, our babies are always our precious babies, even when they are not in nappies anymore...)


Newborns can look tiny and adorable on an adult bed. With you as well!

If it's a newborn at home, I will check out all the window light, and other available light sources. Open blinds and curtains wide to let in the light!

My Dublin newborn portraits are all about capturing the moments as they happen naturally.

Sleeping, feeding, bathing & everything in between. Just hunker down and enjoy these precious first days & weeks with baby!

And if there are other brothers & sisters & family members, including the furry ones, I can include them too. I love to photograph pets in any situation!

couple holding a newborn baby in window light, at home photo shoot


Blankets, particularly for an outdoor photo shoot, are useful for sitting portraits. Blankets can be handy for an indoor family photo shoot, too, draped across a sofa or bed as a textured backdrop. If your child has a favorite toy, teddy bear or blanket, that can be included. However, the most important thing is always 100% YOU being YOU. Don't sweat it if you don't have time to prepare. The best moments are the unscripted, haphazard ones. The ones you CAN'T prepare for!


Exciting! I give the pictures a day to breathe, still on my camera. When I come back to them, I see them with fresh eyes. I download all the raw files off camera. For an hour session, I select the best 50-60 pictures for your personalized gallery. Classic black & white & rich, natural color. About 1-2 weeks after the photo shoot, I send you the password protected gallery with a personalized cover. All pictures are hand edited, also retouched for blemishes on skin and clothes.

Packages include digital as well as printed products. Gallery quality Giclee printing. Popular mat printing, as well as glossy. Hand crafted, professionally printed & designed albums, fine art books & mounted print boxes. Including a variety of clam shell boxes to hold your mounted prints. A range of colors, fabrics & leathers album covers. Cover personalization including foil embossing in gold & silver. Available as family photography Dublin packages. Or a la carte after your session.

I look forward to chatting if you have more to ask!


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girl in a princess dress lying in tree branch
girl in white communion dress
family portrait with boy hugging his cat, laughing
black & white portrait of newborn with mum and dad
boy spraying himself with garden hose, water beads everywhere


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