Session Planning Guide

Planning your family photo session can feel overwhelming but it doesn't have to be!

Here at Paula Jane Photography I take all the stress out of the equation for you. I want to lessen your frustrations so you can enjoy the process and have a fun experience with me.

Below is a simple guide to help you plan how you want your session to go. I want to help you plan the photoshoot of your dreams!

choose your session style!

You can choose a place your family loves to hang out, a park, the beach, your favourite picnic place. These can be beautiful spots to capture your family memories. 

Or ask me about some of my favourite locations! I have a list of fields, open beaches, small mountains, pine forests, lakes and creeks to choose from. Want something new you can turn into a family adventure? I've got your back. 

I love shooting in locations that allow the children to run around and explore. I want them to also enjoy having their photos taken. 

For outdoor sessions I love shooting in Golden hour, this is the time about 1-2 hours before sunset. Depending on the location, for example if you choose a shady creek location we may schedule your session earlier so as to make use of the light.

For those with little ones we can also schedule your session around 8/9am in the morning through the cooler months, this is by arrangement and at specific locations. 

Family Session

in home session

There's no place like home! Sessions at home are very relaxed and natural. There is nothing like capturing images in the home you grew up in or your children will grow up in. This is where you spend most of your family time together so this is where most of your family memories have been made. 

So long as there is plenty of natural light these sessions can be almost any time of day. Mid morning to mid afternoon though is best. 

Best places to photograph in include the living room, master bedroom, rumpus, nursery and even the kitchen! Theres nothing like a family baking/cooking session with the littlies. If you have shade in your yard or garden this is also a lovely place to capture your family. 

Newborn sessions are best planned in home due to temperature control and lack of mosquitoes, sunburn and distractions keeping them awake. 

Pregnancy is an amazing time. I know, I've done it twice. There is so much excitement, nerves but also so much love for someone who hasn't even entered the world yet. 

Due to being a Mum myself I also know that we don't always feel happy with our bodies while pregnant, so I aim to capture the most flattering beautiful images for you. I also have a few lovely gowns on hand in my closet that you may like to wear. 

I also offer a combination package for maternity and Newborn sessions, these are not advertised so ask me what my offer is.

maternity portraits

Childrens Portraits

Children grow up way too fast. One minute they are a baby in your arms and the next they are going off to school and not long after they are leaving home. In between all these momentous occasions are so many milestones.

I love to capture every stage, your child is different at every age, their personalities grow, they learn and they become little people with their own thoughts and feelings.

So I offer cake smash sessions for those little one year olds. Themed portraits, they want to be a fairy, ballerina, pirate, princess or knight. Know someone with a pony? They want to ride a unicorn, I'll make it happen! I will help find all the props needed and setup their fairytale session.

These sessions are outdoors or can be in your own home. Outdoors are best though as it adds to the adventure and if they want that castle photoshopped in the background, I can make that work too!!

I believe pets are a part of the family. You usually get pets as babies, raise them, look after them and they are with you until the day they pass on. So if you have a pet, a dog, a friendly cat, even a horse can join us. I have locations that are good for dogs but also horses. If you live on a property and have livestock then by all means do a home session if you want and I will include images around the farm. I am a country girl born and raised, I had my own horse stud and did horse handling/breaking for many years so I am comfortable around all animals, except spiders, please don't bring along any pet spiders haha. 

pet portraits

set a date!!

book your session

All that's left now is to set a date!!! When you use the book now links there will be set days and times, choose one and once I am in contact we can change that if needed. Otherwise use my contact page to send me a message and we can organise those finer details and set a date after we get in touch. I want to make sure we pick a date that suits us both perfectly. 

We offer Wednesday morning sessions for young families and newborns and Sunday sunset sessions. 

Newborn sessions are offered midweek but as these get booked within days or a week or so of birth we set a rough time and adjust as needed. Timing is important when booking newborn sessions as they may take up to 3 hours.  

The best time

Session times are very important depending on a number of factors.

Location: Each location will have a different time to suit the light in that particular location.
Availability: Paula Jane Photography only offers certain days and times.
Suitability: I also like to work around nap times and of course your work schedule.

Session Times: 10am Wednesday mornings, sunrise sessions can also be organised in winter when requested. Afternoon sessions are held about an hour before sunset.
Indoor sessions are mid morning to mid afternoon, this usually works best with natural lighting. 


Once you know what you are booking and when, next up is location! We have a range of locations we use but are also very happy to try anything you might suggest as well. We have several lovely locations on the north side of Brisbane as well as the south and some on the Gold Coast. I have different locations available, fields, beaches, mountains, pine forests, creeks and lakes. I am even happy to travel to destination locations (extra fees apply)

If you are choosing in home then I will need to know a little about your home layout and natural lighting. In home and outdoor are lifestyle based, especially indoors. If you are after a studio look then it is best to find another photographer who has a studio. 


Not sure what to wear? As part of the experience fee I help style your entire family. I am a bold and colourful editor so my style loves neutral and bold earthy colours. Think burgundy, emerald green, rust orange, also sky blue and teal are quite lovely. Avoid black, grey and also white, these are hard colours to edit and can either make you look washed out or make your skin look muddy. For a family I recommend 1 pattern, 1 bold and the rest neutral. Larger families can have more patterns and bold colours. I always recommend styling Mum first and the rest around her outfit. When wearing patterns, men and boys look good in wider stripes and in plaid, women look good with smaller patterns like small flowers rather than larger shapes on their clothes. I recommend only 1 pattern for every 3 people. Also don't forget to accessorise, hats, belts, jackets, shawls, and boots.

Most people already have clothing in their wardrobe that will suit, but if not I also offer a small client wardrobe to borrow from as well. If there is a dress online you want to purchase but can't justify the price I also offer to buy your dress/outfit at a discount from your purchase price to add it to my client wardrobe, this is only by arrangement.

 By now you are probably feeling overwhelmed but I am here to help wherever I can. Just take each step one at a time. Give me a call or fill in my contact form and we can talk about your options. I can help you plan out a session that you and your family will absolutely love. 

Want to plan out your session... call me now on 0490 062 920

location guide