Photography & travel tips from an award-winning photographer, educator & wanderlust

Missoula Family Photography Session

Living abroad sometimes feels like you’re living life in fast forward mode. One summer, you’re visiting your friends who are happily settling into their brand new house. The next summer’s vacation – Bam! – they are a family of three with an adorable blue-eyed baby girl.

So on one of Augusts’s toasty Sundays, The Delany house was buzzing with friends and visiting family as I entered for our pre-planned photography session. Breakfast was being prepared in the kitchen by some, bedrooms and bathrooms were occupied by others, while the busy parents were hurrying around trying to accommodate everyone and get ready. The baby was being passed on from hands to hands, helping her fix her hair, change her diapers and clothes, like a tiny super star that she was (and is).

It was an uncharacteristically busy Sunday for Katie, Ryan and baby Quinn, but we were determined to make it work. Fortunately, family and friends turned into very helpful assistants with one holding my light, someone else – the reflector, grandmom was helping keep the baby entertained and giggling and someone’s niece was helping move accessories in their right positions. It was chaotic, it was noisy, but it was beautiful how it all came together in the following images.

We then moved to Quinn’s room for a change of atmosphere, feeding time and more personal moments with mom.

I love how the following image showcases how tiny Quinn used to be in comparison to how much she has grown already.

Finally, I asked the family to grab their sunny accessories for an outdoor shoot. These bright, colorful shots would have to be my favorite from this entire session!

Thank you to Katie, Ryan and Quinn Delaney for an amazing time, allowing me to capture your family’s memories and for keeping it cool during such a busy time of your lives. You guys rock!

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  1. Your photos of the family came out so bright and crisp! Do you do a lighting set up for these shoots? Even the outside ones? Maybe not for those. I’m still trying to get the hang of this photography thing. Most of what I do is point and click but that isn’t serving me too well. Just from your blog I’ve picked up a few tricks here and there. Next time you’ve got to get that family into some cosplay action shots! I’m seeing an Incredibles vibe with them.

    • You’ve hit the nail on the head, Brian. When it comes to indoor shoots, I definitely try to use the help of an external flash mounted inside a softbox or a shoot through umbrella also does the trick. Ironically, the images of the mom and Quinn were shot only utilizing natural light, with some post processing work to brighten the shadows and what not (a fast lens also helps in those situations). Outdoors – it was pretty bright, so no artificial lights used there, just the good ol’ sun. Cosplay family action? That could be fun, not sure if grandma would want that framed haha. Thanks for the tip!

  2. What a lovely family! My family has a tradition of having a family picture in a studio once a year. Seeing these pictures makes me wanna do an outdoor photoshoot this time. I hope we can find a photographer as skilled as you.

  3. Awww the perk of being everyone’s princess:-)… with everyone doting around her. and it shows in her photos. love your outdoor shots of them, too. and i love that bunny bed! makes me want to have another baby, this time a girl:-)

    • I know, girls must be the funnest with all the tu-tu dresses, accessories and hats! My male dog has a drawer full of ridiculous outfits, I guess we (women) just can’t help ourselves…

  4. Baby Quinn!! Love the tutu and the outdoor shots! The thing I’m most impressed by Alla, is your dynamic staging of shots. There’s never a dull moment in shots. You are so right about how fast things can change in a year. I am shocked to see how many friends of mine are either engaged or with children or in very unexpected stages of their lives, only over the course of a year!

  5. Sounds like it was an awesome day! It seems like it would be quite hard to photograph babies, but you make it look easy. Always love checking in to see what photography work that you’re doing!

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