Portrait Session Guide

Mallory shelton PHotography

I am so glad you are here! I know there are a lot of photographers out there. It is truly an honor to have your inquiry about a newborn session! I'm a Southern girl, born and raised in Arlington, TX. For 13 years, I was working in the corporate world as a real estate analyst and photographing families on the side. In November 2020, I took a leap of faith to go full-time with my photography business, and I couldn't be more excited!

I live in Aledo, TX with my husband, three boys, and our sweet Vizsla pup, Palmer. I love Jesus, Tex-Mex, hand lettering, and always have a to-do list (or ten), I cherish my morning quiet time with a cup of coffee. I love a good monogram (even for the boys), traveling, and a summer night on the porch with a fresh glass of sangria!

As a lifestyle photographer, it is my joy to work with you to capture your family. The joy, the chaos and the smiles through each stage of life!


  • Relax. Mama, the more you relax the more your children will relax. They feed off of mom and dad. They sense stress. If you can relax and let me guide the session, your session will go more smoothly.

  • Allow me to direct you, give you cues and work with your children to get the smiles, laughs and wonderful candid pictures.

  • It Is okay to bribe! Sometimes children need to know they have a reward coming once the session is over. It is okay to bribe with something special (ice cream, dinner, suckers, etc.)

  • Bring a treat to use during the session if needed. Smarties, fruit snacks and raisins are great options. These do not make a mess or have chocolate involved.

  • Feel free to bring toys, snacks, etc for your little ones or a blanket to sit on. Sometimes the toys can help with little smiles and we can take a break for a snack when needed.

Session Prep Tips

What you wear can add to the style of photography you see. I typically recommend wearing light or neutral colors (white, ivory, blues, pinks, navy). These colors always photograph beautifully and help you achieve the style you see throughout my portfolio. 

If you are doing your session during the Fall, rich yellows, greens, maroon and navy are pretty with the Fall colors in Texas. Depending on the number of people in your family, I recommend 1 or 2 people in patterns. The goal is to coordinate through the colors each of you are wearing. 

You can visit my Pinterest board for more ideas for your family - Spring: “What to wear” or Fall: "What to wear." I also offer wardrobe consulting, and would be happy for you to send me pictures via email or text message to help you decide on your family wardrobe.

What to wear tips



Old Navy


Zara Kids

Shops for kids

Banana Republic




Peter Millar

Shops for Dads



Morning Lavendar


Pink Blush

Shops for Moms

What to Wear

  • Vibrant, neon colors. These reflect on your skin tones.

  • Shirts with words or logos

  • Too many accessories

  • Being too matchy, matchy as a group (think white shirt, and denim days)

  • Apple watch or hair ties on your wrist!

  • Something that is not you, or you do not feel comfortable in! 

  • Black or all navy. This makes images darker.

  • When in doubt, I am happy to help! Please feel free to call or text me 817.308.6334.

What Not to wear

  • Arrive ready to begin your session, or show up 5 minutes early to put your child's outfit on.

  • Wipe your child's face and nose prior to coming into the studio or leaving the car. This will help your child calm down or adjust before the pictures.

  • Milestone sessions are meant to capture your baby or toddler, not for full family sessions. My focus is on your baby, and mama if needed. 

  • Keep things fun leading up to the session and in your car. Play fun music talk about where you might go to dinner or lunch. 

  • The thing that makes the biggest difference in the session is YOU. Kids (and dad's) feed of mama. So relax and let's have fun during our session!

  • Lastly, please share this information with your spouse so he can know what to expect as well

A few last thoughts

This is not a problem! A studio session is an additional fee of $75-85 per hour. Both an in-home session or studio session would take place between 10:00am and 3:00pm due to the nature of the light within your home or a studio setting.

What if we prefer to do our home or a studio?

Each session is unique in the number of images it produces. On average, a session produces at least 60 high resolution edited images.

How many images do we receive in the gallery?

Yes! You have the option to order high quality prints through your gallery. I offer additional items including canvas prints and heirloom albums. Please inquire for more details and pricing.

Do you offer prints or albums?

Session retainer fees are good for one reschedule at photographer's discretion. Rescheduling includes inclement weather and illness of client or photographer. Please notify me at least 24 hours prior to our session.

What if we have to reschedule?

Portrait Sessions take place either 90 minutes after sunrise or 2 hours prior to sunset. This is when the lighting is best for my photography style in the locations I have suggested.

What time of day do you recommend doing an outdoor session?

Frequently Asked Questions