Fall Holiday Portraits in Sterling VA

2019 Fall Season Followup

This fall, I had to turn down more holiday sessions than I could take. There’s a couple changes I’m making so that I can accommodate more of them. I’ll describe those changes below. But here’s one session I was able to fit in late in the season, and I couldn’t have asked for a more loving, gorgeous family. We met at Claude Moore Park, one of my go-to places for holiday photos, and had so much fun.

Session Prep

All my holiday session clients get a guide to help them prepare for their session. One of my big points of emphasis is helping children prepare for our time together. They often have never met me and we only have one hour together. There’s a lot that parents can do to get their children in the right frame of mind, and I have to say this family either is just really naturally amazing or they followed the directions to a tee. This is one of the first photos I took – the boys just were raring to participate! Both boys came so excited about the photo session and really to roll.

fall holiday photo family mom dad two boys

And roll we did. I always wear my running shoes to these because I am running a lot. Capturing little guys happy and natural means they are moving. I definitely get my workout in on these days.

young boy smiling outdoors
3 image collage of toddler smiling and playing


Although I like focusing on each child in the family individually, I keep my main focus on the connection in the family. I guide families to get super close and love it when they listen!

collage of fall family photos
dad holding two sons
4 photo collage of family with two boys

A different perspective

Although I get traditional photos that maybe the grandparents expect, I always try to get a different perspective as well. These are the photos that really speak to my heart.

toddler looking through railing
young boy looking down and smiling
fall family photo of family holding hands two sons
two boys walking holding hands on path

Golden minutes

I schedule holiday sessions one and a half hours before sunset to take advantage of the beautiful quality of light that just can’t be artificially created. In the fall, that could be as early as 3:30 pm, but in the summer it could be as late as 7:30 pm. Many people refer to a time called “golden hour”, the hour before sunset or after sunrise.

In reality, on a super cloudy day there is no golden time at all. Even on a nice day, there might only be a short few minutes of spectacular golden light. The “golden hour” is really more like “the hour during which a short period of potential golden light might happen”. So, I schedule well in advance of it, and work with whatever light shines on us. For this session, it was a super overcast day, but the sun finally peeked out, giving us some gorgeous golden warmth.

fall family photo mom dad two boys


Every session ends with some photos of mom and dad. Most parents probably take lots of photos of their children but not many of themselves. I know that’s true of me and my husband. Although it’s not a full blown portrait session, I want them to have a little bit of the limelight too.

fall family photo mom dad


I take the parent portraits at the end because by this time the children are done, and they just want to run around. But big brother asked at the end of the session if we could do this every day! I went in for a high five and he came in for a hug! Oh man, having happy little friends at the end of the session is one of my favorite things. Oh, and lollipops help too.

two boys on bench with lollipops

For fall 2020, I am setting aside more time for holiday portraits. In addition, to help families plan better, I will open up the holiday portrait schedule in the spring. However, the notification will go out first to my newsletter subscribers. If you’d like to make sure you get notified, please subscribe. I send newsletters out about once every 1-2 months or less. I tend to ignore email marketing that is too frequent so I want to try to take up your inbox space only when really necessary.

But holiday photos aren’t just for the fall! If you’d like to schedule one for your family before the busy season, view the information page and fill out the inquiry form.

Headshot and Corporate Event Photographer in Northern Virginia

22375 Broderick Drive, Suite 135, Sterling VA 20166, Loudoun County