Details - Kelly Johnson Photography

Session Details

My photography style is candid, natural, and relaxed. I want to capture your child's unique personality. The way I do this is by letting them play and interacting with them so they are free to be themselves. We want the session to be fun so we can capture the really big, natural smiles and laughter.

All sessions are done on-location or at your home. The ideal place for a photo shoot is outside. I work solely with natural light so the best place for the photo session is at a park, back yard, forest preserve, arboretum, or other pretty place you might know if . Check our my list of possible locations or contact me if you are unsure of where to have your photo session.

Sessions may also take place in your home as long as there is enough window light coming in. Newborn sessions are usually done indoors in your home. If you don't feel your home is suitable for the photo session, we can always meet at a friend or family member's house if that would work better. If you are unsure, sent me an email and we can discuss it!

I also love doing pet photo sessions. Sessions. can be done with the pet alone or with their owners. If you look through my pet portfolio, you will see that I don't use any backdrops or props in my photos. I like to photograph pets in their natural environment. With cats this is usually in your home and with dogs it can be at a dog park, backyard, forest preserve, or other park.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with the photos from my session?
You will receive a signed release with your disc of images allowing you to make as many reprints, enlargements, photo cards, and photo gifts as you like. You can do this at the photo lab of your choice. You can also share the photos with family and friends on personal social networking sites (Facebook). However, I always retail all original copyrights to all of my photos. You may not use your photos in amy commercial way or in any way in which you make money. If you would like more detailed information on this just send me an email.

Do you have a studio?
The world is my studio! :-) All sessions are done on-location at a park, forest preserve, your back yard, or other pretty place. Check out my location ideas below for ideas. Sessions can also be done in your home as long as there is enough available window light.

Can I pick which photos from the session are on my disc?
In general, yes. Here's the process:
Let's say you choose the Mini Digital Package, which comes with 15 photos. After your session I will go through all the photos from your session and weed out all the outtakes, blinking, , duplicate, and generally uninteresting shots. I will show you in your online album all of the shots I think you may possibly like. From those photos you choose your 15 favorites to keep on your disc. I do not show you every photo from your
session (please trust me - you really don't want to see every one!). After you choose your favorites for your disc, the photos you did not choose are deleted. If you can't narrow it down to 15 an want to keep more photos, you have the option to purchase extra files for your disc at $15/each.

Is 60 minutes really enough time for a family session (without a newborn)?
60 minutes us usually more than enough time for a family session. The majority of my subjects are young kids so I have learned to move quick to get the shots we want! In my experience I have found that kids will only last so long anyway, and this is usually the perfect amount of time for a session. I am rarely the one who ends the photo session - I will usually shoot until we all agree that the kids are 'done' ;-) This is usually right around 60 minutes.

Can I get a combination of different shots with my Mini or Deluxe Package?
Absolutely! Most families want a few shots of the whole family, a few shots of just the kids together, and each child separately.

What if it rains on the day of my photo session?
If it rains we will reschedule your session for another day. Your paid retainer fee will be applied to you rescheduled session.

What if my chid is sick on the day of the photo session?
If your child is sick or an emergency comes up on the day of the photos session please let me know as soon as possible and we can reschedule. Your paid retainer fee will be applied to your rescheduled session.

Do you take any black and white photos?
All images are presented in color, black & white, and sepia.

Why do newborn session cost more than regular sessions?
Newborn sessions typically take much longer to shoot because the majority of the photos are taken while the baby is asleep or in a relaxed, sleepy state. In between taking photos, a lot of time is spent during the session coaxing the baby to sleep so we can photograph him/her. We also need to allow time for feedings and diaper changes. Lastly, it includes time for set-up and take-down of my portable backdrop stand and props.

What should we wear to our photo session?

Family/child sessions:
Try to coordinate your family in similar, but not totally matching colors. The style of my photography is very relaxed and candid, so wear clothes you are all comfortable in - no need to get really dressed up. Jeans, khakis, cute sundresses/skirts, cardigans, etc. are all god. For summer, shades of blue, green, and yellow look nice. Reds, browns, and oranges are great for fall and winter. Please try to stay away from wearing all black or all white as these colors tend to photograph poorly in outdoor family photos. Also, try not to wear shirts with large logos or writing on the from as this can be distracting in the photo. See below for some inspiration:
Newborn sessions:
For photos of the family with baby, you have the option of using the black backdrop. If you go this route, it looks good for both parents to wear black tops. A black cami or tank top works well for mom and a black polo or t-shirt for dad. Alternatively, we can take more natural looking family photos without the backdrop if you prefer. We would just take these in your living room or bedroom, or if the weather is nice we can go outside for a minute. If you have any cute baby hats or blankets you'd like the baby to be photographed with, have those handy. I'll bring some also. See below for some examples:
What is the best time to schedule a newborn session?
The best time for a newborn session is within the first 10 days of life. Babies usually sleep more during this time and are easiest to pose, making the session go smoothly for everyone. Also, they grow fast - you want to capture the essence of your newborn with their tiny fingers and toes before they grow!

Many people feel overwhelmed by the thought of having a photo shoot so soon after the baby being born, and I do understand that. You have just brought baby home and are trying to get settled in and life is a little crazy. You haven't gotten much sleep and the dishes/laundry/etc need to be done. Just please know that I don't care if your house is a mess (I promise not to photograph the mess haha!). Make the appointment anyway. You will be glad you did. :-)

In order to be sure that I will be available to take your newborn photos, please contact me while you are still pregnant to reserve a tentative date for your session based on your due date. We can then adjust the date as needed, depending on when the baby actually arrives. I only schedule a few newborn sessions per month to be sure I can meet everyone's need and changing schedules, so please contact me as soon as your can to reserve your spot.

What can I do to prepare for my photo session? Can I bring anything?
In general, it is best that the kids are rested and fed before the session. We all tend to get a little cranky when we are tired or hungry, so this is a good place to start. You may want to bring a snack for them to eat during the session. Sometimes little things like this can keep them happy and I don't mind at all taking a short break for them to eat. If there are any cute hats, tutus, blankets, sentimental items, or special toys that you would like them to be photographed with bring those also. Past clients have brought tricycles, wagons, special blankets, cute hats, and a mini pumpkin for a fall session.

For newborn sessions we want the baby to be sleepy. We can take as many breaks as you need to feed or change the baby. Please have pacifiers, swaddle blankets, noise machines, or whatever soothes your baby handy. Before the session, it is best ti turn up the heat in your house a few degrees. this helps keep baby comfy, warm, and sleepy.

For pet sessions, bring some of your pets favorite treats and toys. If your dog likes squeaky toys, be sure to bring those.

How do I book a session? What's the process?
First, start with sending me an inquiry on my contact form or email me at Let me know what kind of session you are looking for, how many people, ages of children, what town you are from, and any questions you may have. I will let you know what dates I have open for your session. Once we agree on a date/time/location via email, I will mail you a copy of my portrait agreement to fill out and return. At this time a non-refundable $100 retainer fee is also due to hold your date/time. You can send this back with your portrait agreement.

Location Ideas

The best locations for scenic outdoor photo sessions are usually parks and forest preserves. The ideal location has a lot of trees for shade and landscaping with pretty flowers. Forest preserves are god for any season, but work especially well for fall and winter photos.

Below I have listed some places that I have either had a photo session at before or have heard are good places for photo sessions. Locations with stars are my favorites. You must log into Facebook for the example links to work.

Arlington Heights



Downers Grove

-Wilder Park - 175 Prospect Ave. - Examples 1, 2

Glen Ellyn


LaGrange Park
-Various forest preserves

-Morton Arboretum - 4100 Rt. 53 (client responsible for entrance fees)



North Riverside

Oak Brook

(Rosemont Park District requires a permit to be obtained for professional photos at either of the above locations @ $50 per 1/2 hour.)



Western Springs

Some locations may require the client to be responsible for additional fees such as parking fees, park entrance fees, or photography permits. Please inquire for details.

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