Guyyyys! I did it. I scheduled a family photo shoot after years and years of being a photographer. It was an emotional rollercoaster & I have to tell you all about it. 

Over the last few years I’ve modeled for a few friends and had my headshots taken multiple times. I thought that these experience coupled with that time when I was 15 (and my family of five went to a studio dressed in white t-shirts and matching blue jeans) made me well aware of what it’s like to be on the other side of the lens. I thought that I had the same experience as all of you guys do in front of my own lens. BOY, WAS I WRONG. But guys – I get it now! I swear!

This was my experience… and by the way, this post is meant to be funny – because after a few weeks have passed I’m even laughing at myself. My family has always considered me the dramatic/emotional one… and yea, I can see they have a point.


Soooo finding a photographer is no easy task. I found myself to be EXTREMELY picky and had the hardest time finding someone I liked. I’ll spare you the details and just exclaim that I AM SO HAPPY with my choice of Emily Plank Photography as my family photographer. I booked her a few months in advance, knowing that my whole family would be together in Florida for the holidays.

After I sent the deposit, things were pretty stagnant until the two weeks leading up to the session. THIS is when I found myself starting to get this strange mix of nervous/excitement that went for a rollercoaster ride of emotion.

  • First, I was so excited for the session and to finally have my families portraits in my home. Then I realized it was only two weeks away and everyone was expecting me to decide on outfits which I had not done yet. A quick pinterest search turned into days of back and forth decision making. (Do I like the neutral colors or the brighter outfits??) I finally text everyone a picture of a blue/gray/black/tan color scheme and that was that.

…Until it was time to pack. I basically threw every single thing I could find in my closet in that color scheme into my suitcase and called it a day. Clothes for the rest of the vacation?? There’s no room – too bad.

  • After we all arrived at my moms in Florida I got super excited again! I was so happy to be reunited with my family again, and I couldn’t wait to take photographs with them. That is, until the day before the session when my mom and I had to then go through my grandparents closets to pick out outfits and through my stepdad and brothers closets to do the same. It is SO HARD to choose out coordinating outfits for 8 people. How does everyone always look so great during my sessions?? Is it always this hard? I assume yes. And I applaud you all for your efforts.

After the outfits were chosen I started to worry. What if I chose the wrong color scheme?? Well, it’s too late now!

  • The following day, hours before the session as my mom was ironing everyones clothes for an hour I started feeling guilty for making my family do this on vacation. My mom assured me that this was important and that everyone was excited. I apologized for the next few hours until we got to the location.

As soon as we got there and met Emily, all my worries subsided and I was calm and ready. Let’s do this, fam!

  • During the session, I don’t think I ever laughed so hard in my life. My brothers were cracking me up with their awkwardness and my grandparents were so cute I could cry. It was actually the most fun time, ever. Thank you, Emily.

We left the session and went to dinner, and I spent the next few days weeks obsessively checking facebook for a sneak peek to be posted! I couldn’t wait to see our images!


FINALLY, I see a blink on my phone and it’s an email with a link to view our photos. At this point there was so much happy screeching happening in my home that it’s all a blur. This was followed by an immediate phone call to my mom to freak out about the photos on the phone with her. Basically lots of screaming, happiness and excitement that sounded like, “OMG! Did you see #19?” “No wait, now #20’s my favorite – oh god, but #21!!”  This lasted about an hour. I scrolled through the gallery over and over and over again finding something special about each and every photo – a certain facial expression, a memory from the day, the lighting. I loved them all.

The next day, I did the same thing… and the following day the same.

Photograph of my family by Emily Plank Photography

It’s been a week now, and I’ve ordered albums for myself and my family members, canvases for my walls, a framed print for my mom and my grandparents, and some specialty items as well. I am going to LOVE seeing these images on my walls every day and I am so thankful that my family was on board with my idea and we were able to create these cherished photographs. Every time I look at them I smile. Emily, thank you for this wonderful gift!


…and thank YOU for reading this post & making it all the way to the end! <3