Using Beloved for Families

I’ve been incorporating the Beloved technique now into everything I shoot, regardless of whether it is a “beloved session” for a couple, or whether its working with strangers in a commercial shoot.

But only recently did I decided to approach an entire family session with the Beloved concept from start to finish.

I’m happy to say that it was amazing!

One of the invites that I used with this family was “The Telephone Game”.  I asked the youngest to share a message with the rest of the family which would subsequently be passed along through a whisper down the line.  It was hilarious, and every member of the family wanted to take a turn.


Even though the Beloved Field Guide was created with couples in mind, so many of the invitations are adaptable to a variety of settings.  The guide is a really great resource to get you started, and even though I still use so much from the field guide, once you shoot several sessions its easy to start to think of invitations on your own.











Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah.  She delights in having freshly brushed teeth, loves the scent of lavender, and believes that everyone should try balsamic vinegar on their vanilla ice cream at least once.

Brooke teaches inspiring online photography classes that bring you confidence in your skills and creativity.

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11 Responses

  1. Brooke, these photos are gorgeous! I have always wondered about Beloved sessions and how you find out more about them. Do you have to buy the prints that you link to? Does this really give you enough information about Beloved sessions? Is there another guide somewhere that I’m missing?!

    1. Hi Emma! Thank you! You don’t have to buy the Field Guide, but honestly, its been an extremely valuable resource to me (most especially coupled with the class I took earlier this year from Jesh De Rox). Its full of ideas to use and that alone has been so helpful in me learning how to tailor it to my own needs. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jesh offers another class sometime soon. Get on his mailing list for sure!

  2. This family is in my ward! Love them and love the photos. So are you back to shooting families? I really would love to have you do my family next spring!

    1. Oh Chalet! What a delight to hear from you! And how fun that you know this family! They were absolutely delightful to work with! They purchased a session that I donated to a charity auction last year. So technically, I’m still on hiatus 😉 But we’ll see what things look like next spring 🙂 Getting together with your family would be so fun!

  3. Brooke, do you have any tips or tricks for these sessions to keep the families focused enough to actually be able to execute Beloved invites? I don’t know if it’s just because I have worked with very young families (kids 4 and under, both times with three kids under 4), but I’ve had trouble feeling like my family sessions aren’t just turning into “crowd control” and trying to rein in the kids. And honestly a lot of times the parents seem a bit stressed that one or another of the kids wants to take off running that it is hard for them to focus on invites. Do you have any strategies to approach this? I’ve had success working with invites with one parent paired with a child, or even when I’ve had two parents and only one child, but not with the whole shebang with kids that young. Is it just a side effect of the ages?

    1. What a great question Sara! Absolutely, I think age factors into things. This family was great because everyone was old enough to follow along. I also think one thing that is really helpful is to prepare the family for what and why I do things the way I do. I took about 5 minutes before we started shooting to explain how the rest of the shoot would unfold and that parents weren’t allowed to discipline their kids at all. Setting those type of expectations has made a world of difference for me. But absolutely, working with toddlers makes everything harder.

  4. Brooke, these images are amazing! Does the field guide work on its own accord or do I need to take the seminar? I’m sure it would be best to take his course but it’s cost prohibitive for me. Can I have success with the field guide alone? I still need to improve the interaction among my subjects. This is the toughest part for me but it’s what I want to conquer so badly!

    1. The Field Guide became much more valuable to me after the course since the course helps to add a bit of context to the guide, but I still think you can use the guide and learn on your own. I wouldn’t be surprised if an affordable guide/course option comes along soon

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