the journal




fresh 48



How many of you wait until Fall to get your family photos done year after year? Ok guys, so please don’t come at me here. I am just as much into the beautiful outdoor sessions with the fall foliage as the next gal. Give me a sunset, a family with pretty styling and its totally my jam. But I am also here to tell you that if you haven’t done a low-key, casual family session that this is your sign to book one now! Let’s talk about unconventional/”outside of the box” ideas for your next family photo session in Iowa City, IA.

If you are looking to step outside-of-the-box, I have some fun + creative ideas for unique family photos in Iowa City to share with you.

When most people think of getting family photos taken, they defer to Fall. I’m just here to tell you that other seasons are also worth considering! 😉

Any time of year can be amazing for an in-home family photography session, so let’s talk about some fun + interactive ideas for you to consider. Some of these ideas in the lists are for at home. Home is one of the ultimate places for your own family’s nostalgia and memories being made. There is something really special about your own space. Your children will likely feel most at ease.

If you aren’t into having your session at home, there’s also ideas for other adventures. I’m going to list out some ideas by each season for you to think about. Look over the list and think about which season(s)/idea(s) would be your family’s vibe…let me know your fave idea!


  • Sledding
  • Cross country skiing
  • Building a snowman
  • Baking
  • Board games, family charades etc
  • Dance party
  • Cuddles/pile up +/or pillow fights in bed
  • Arts + crafts (painting, etc)
  • Holiday traditions
  • Jam session (if your family is musical, this is super fun!)
  • Dress Up/Tea Party

Winter gets a bad rep. At least in Iowa, Winter brings colder temps and families typically spending more time inside their homes. Most families go into hibernation mode and don’t even consider an in-home family photo session. However, even in Winter, it can be a fantastic time to capture all of that coziness + quality time of the cold season. Think hot cocoa, board games, extra long cuddles in bed, bubble baths, etc etc.


  • Playing in the yard (i.e. swing, tag, etc)
  • Smelling/picking flowers
  • Playground fun (backyard or going to a park)
  • Flying kites
  • Picnic
  • Clothesline session (white sheet, fresh flowers etc)

I just love how Spring feels like a fresh start. It’s a great season to enjoy the outdoors, but with milder temps.


  • Running through the sprinkler
  • Water Balloon or water gun fight
  • Skateboarding/take turns riding on skateboard (driveway, top of parking garage)
  • Fun at the lake (boating, swimming, hanging at the dock)
  • Trip to the berry patch (i.e. Berry Basket Farm or Wilson’s Orchard)
  • Playing in the yard (i.e. tire swing, tag, bubbles, trampoline)
  • Gardening (collecting vegetables, picking flowers)-if you don’t have a garden, going to a local flower farm
  • A day hanging out at the Farmers Market: (i.e. carrying flowers, going to food trucks, listening to live music etc)
  • Playing at a pool or splash pad (some of my faves are Coralville Pool, Fairmeadows Park in Iowa City and Solon Splash Pad)
  • Creek stomping
  • Enjoying summery treats i.e. watermelon, ice cream (home or ice cream shop), popsicles etc

When I think of summer I think of childhood nostalgia. Running around the yard barefoot, giggling with my sisters as we had water balloon fights or played in the sprinkler. This is a perfect time to capture you and your family in your element.


  • Collecting leaves + acorns
  • Nature walk/hike
  • Playground fun (backyard or going to a park)
  • Bonfire
  • Picnic
  • Picking out pumpkins at pumpkin patch
  • Apple picking

I hope this makes you excited to try something new for your next family photoshoot. If you don’t want to use your home, you can also look over My Favorite Iowa City Photo Locations. Even if you want to stick with Fall, you can still adventure out a little with a new idea. With these unique ideas, you can always add these to your full family session for a little flare. I am always up for your ideas as well, so I can’t wait to hear from you and begin planning your next session! Let’s chat!


Unconventional Family Photo Ideas for Every Season