What to wear to your family photo session | Happy Valley, OR photographer

Today, we’re looking at what to wear to your family photo session. [If you’re looking for what to wear to your newborn lifestyle session, you can follow a lot of these same ideas, but I’m going to have a separate post for you soon!] I know it’s hard to setup family photos — you have to check everyone schedules, think about naptimes and eating times, and then you’re left with the seemingly daunting task of figuring out what everyone is going to wear!

Blues and pinks for everyone!

Never fear! It’s a lot simpler than it seems and I’m going to break it down by steps.

Step 1: Choose the outfit for the person who’s hardest to choose clothes for. When I say “outfit”, we’re really only looking at shirt/pants/skirt/dress right now. We will look at accessories all together in a little bit! If you have a kiddo who’s extra lanky or super tiny or a husband who only insists on wearing his favorite blue shirt, choose the outfit for that person first! Make sure they look (and feel!) good and then choose all of the other outfits based on that person. If you can, try and avoid neon colors and bold patterns (like rugby shirts or bold checkerboard patterns), and also avoid logos of any kind (Nike, Adidas, sports team names and logos, etc.) unless you’re incorporating your favorite team for a reason. πŸ™‚

I love how the daughter’s pants and her brother’s shirt are the same color — even mom’s necklace matches! πŸ™‚

Step 2: Based off the first outfit, choose clothes for the other members of your family. It’s helpful to base most of your colors off of what “goes” together and not putting everyone in the same color.

What in the world does this mean? Here is an examples of color palettes I found on Pinterest (now you don’t have to go through the vortex of Pinterest… you’re welcome!):

The ultimate color guide for selecting clothes for your session                                                                                                                                                                                 More

Let’s go back to our outfits. If the outfit you chose for Person #1 was denim pants and a grey button-down shirt, you have LOTS of options of other colors you could use to go with that! Find the palettes with the blue and grey and see what other colors you can use for the other members of your family.Β Don’t feel like you have to use all of the colors in a palette! NO ONE in my family looks good in yellow. So, we might incorporate it into shoes or some fun socks as an accessory, but not as a part of someone’s clothing. This leads nicely to…

Step 3: Choose your accessories (wisely)! Don’t try to do too much! You want the focus of your pictures to be on theΒ people, not on theΒ clothing. Also, be mindful of your kiddos. If your little man doesn’t like wearing ties, don’t make him wear one. If your daughter has never worn a necklace before, maybe don’t make this the first time. If your children are going to be distracted by or uncomfortable because of something you’re making them wear, skip it. It’s so much more important that they’re feeling good and happy for their session. So, what kind of accessories should you choose? A scarf can be nice if it doesn’t block the person’s face, a cardigan as a “pop” of color can work very well, and fun shoes are super cute. Dress socks, ties, and suspenders are all fun too. Keep in mind that you don’t *have* to incorporate lots of accessories. Often, less is more.

See how the mom’s necklace matches the color of her daughter’s dress? A nice “pop” of color! And, all three shades of blue tie everyone together.

Step 4: Shoes. Yep, shoes get a whole category. Think about the location where you’re taking your photos before choosing your footwear. If you’re going to be anyplace with dirt, skip the sandals. If it’s chilly outside, throw on some cute boots!

Step 5: Consider the weather. If you’re getting photos done in the fall here in Oregon, wear layers and think about jackets you could wear in your shoot. If it’s June, bust out those sundresses! Consider the weather with your kids, too. Know their preferences for weather-related clothing and try to work with it as best you can.

Blue, pink, white, and grey here! Not too many accessories, but the ones that are here totally work. Everyone’s even wearing the same color shoes. πŸ™‚

Okay! I know that was a LOT of information to throw your way. But, I know that when I get family pictures done, the question of What To Wear is something I really have to ponder. So, now you’re seen my process and I hope it’s helped you think about how to approach this hopefully-now-not-so-daunting task!


“Step forward! Step back! Innnnntroduce yourself!” | Clackamas, Oregon Photographer

Did anyone else sing this song when they were in high school or at camp? You know, when you had to tell people all about who you are? My husband used to coach soccer and now he sings this song with our kids allllll the time and it gets stuck in my head. And, now, it’s probably stuck in yours. You’re welcome. πŸ™‚


“My name is Ann! Yeah!”Β 
While Ann might be my name, I’m more often called “Mama!” around these parts. πŸ™‚ I have three little kiddos (two boys and a girl) under the age of six. So, life is pretty full, fun, and crazy all at the same time! While I’ve been taking photos for most of my life, my kids are what prompted me to want to be a professional photographer. I loved documenting all of their little moments and I wanted to be able to do that same thing for other families. I whole-heartedly believe that pictures are worth taking (and printing!) to share not only with your kids now, but with future generations as well.


“And I live in Oregon! Yeah!”
It’s true, I do live here in Oregon, but I didn’t always! I was born in California and lived there until high school when we moved to Idaho. After high school, I went to college in Washington (go Gonzaga!) and then ended up at the University of Portland for grad school (go Pilots!). I met my husband when we taught at the same high school (me=English/Journalism him=math) and we’ve started our little family here! I love, love, love Oregon. It’s such a beautiful place with easy access to a mountain, the beach, and all kinds of trails and trees and parks in between. When I’m not taking photos, you’ll find me playing outside with my kids, hiking, baking (with and without my kids), and reading a good book.


“And I’m a photographer! Yeah!”Β 
When I was little, I used to look through my parents’ photo albums. I liked looking at their wedding photos (who were those young people in such different clothes?), but I really enjoyed looking at the photos from when I was a baby and toddler. There was something about being able to see myself grow through the eyes of my parents. Then, when I was in about sixth grade, I remember getting to use a disposable camera (remember those?) to take pictures of a trip I was on. It was so fun to snap away and then see those images developed into photos! Being able to print photos and hang them in my house is still one of my favorite things. I’m not always the best about updating our photos, but I try because my kids love seeing themselves on our walls. I think that’s what made me want to be a photographer — to be able to give the gift of these images to other families so their kids can have that same experience.

“Alright, alright, alright!”
Whew! Thanks for sticking with me until the end. πŸ™‚ I hope you enjoyed getting to learn a little about me and I hope I get to learn a little more about you soon, too!


Fun announcement!

I promised that I had a fun announcement for you, so here it is!

Almost three weeks ago, my husband and I welcomed our third child into the world! Our baby boy was born during the eclipse (!) which gives him one of the coolest birth stories ever! πŸ™‚


We are totally in love with him, and so are his siblings! I’m taking some time off to recover and figure out how to operate as a family of five. πŸ™‚ If you’re wanting to schedule a fall family session, please e-mail me! I’m still checking my e-mail and Facebook messages, but it may take me a little longer to respond than usual. Thank you for your understanding and support!

Picture by Ashlie Behm Photography

Children, Family Photography, Newborn, Portland, OR, Uncategorized

Baby Daniel | Portland, OR Newborn Photographer

One of my most favorite things in life is getting to watch my friends become parents, whether that be for the first or sixth time. πŸ™‚ Beth and I taught together for several years and I’ve so enjoyed getting to know her and her husband Andrew outside of school. This summer, they welcomed their first child into their family and little Daniel is incredibly precious.


People always ask new parents: “Do you think he/she looks like you? Or, do they look more like your spouse?” I have to say, Daniel looks like the perfect mix of both BethΒ and Andrew!


I’ve never known anyone to successfully get their baby’s hand prints at the hospital, but Beth and Andrew were able to do it! Then, we took this special photo of Baby Daniel next to his hand and foot prints in his baby book.


Do you see that mural on the wall behind them? Beth and her mom painted the whole thing! I am so impressed.



Congratulations to a wonderful couple and welcome to a truly special family, Daniel! πŸ™‚