Alex, Kelly, + Duke [Iowa City, IA Family and Pet Photographer]

This session is one I looked forward to this fall, sadly it got rained out the first weekend we had planned, but we ended up with some decent early November weather so it all worked out in the end! I just love that Alex and Kelly bring their sweet, goofy doodle Duke along for the session.!

Alex is a former co-worker (now friend) of mine, and I met his wife Kelly through him. She's a crazy awesome health/fitness guru over on Insta (@kp_ingitsimple) and you MUST check her out. Not only will you get great meal inspiration (I'm always favoriting things until later to try!), but you'll also get to see snippets on her stories of the fuzzy, lovable Duke. Anyways, here are some of my favorites from their session near the IMU in downtown Iowa City!


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Jen Madigan Photography is an Ohio and Iowa based family and child photographer. She specializes in capturing the love in life's big and little moments. Jen is a Mentor, Ohio Photographer and specializes in maternity, newborn, and family sessions. 

 I would love to tell your family's story through photos! Contact me for details and to book: info@jenmadigan.com

Ann, Jon, and Jakson [Veteran's Park Mentor, Ohio Photographer]

Ann and Jon are some of the new friends I've made out here in Ohio, so when they needed family photos I was so honored that they took me up on my offer! Jakson is seriously the happiest little guy ever, and he made my job super easy at this session! Here are some of my faves!

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Jen Madigan Photography is an Ohio based family and child photographer. She specializes in capturing the love in life's big and little moments. Jen is a Mentor, Ohio Photographer and specializes in maternity, newborn, and family sessions. 

 I would love to tell your family's story through photos! Contact me for details and to book: info@jenmadigan.com

Ashley + Adam [North Liberty, IA Engagement Photographer]

I can't believe it's taken me so long to blog this session! Ashley and Adam booked me for their August 2019 wedding back in July or August, and so we set the date for one of my return trips to Iowa for their engagement session this fall. Of course, like all of the best laid plans, it was supposed to rain the entire weekend. So, when I got off of the plane that Thursday and the sun was shining, I texted Ashley and asked if they would be able to meet me that evening instead. These two rockstars rearranged their schedules, and made it happen! I'm so thankful that we were able to get this in and grab that beautiful sunshine!

Ashley and Adam met on the job, and in honor of their love story's start and a nod to their professions, Ashley created a newspaper for us to use in some of the photos, how awesome is that?! Here are some of my favorites from their downtown Cedar Rapids and Cedar Ridge Winery engagement!

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Jen Madigan Photography is an Iowa and Ohio based engagement photographer. She specializes in capturing the love in life's big and little moments. She is a Mentor, Ohio Photographer and specializes in engagement and lifestyle sessions.

I would love to tell your story through photos! Contact me for details and to book: info@jenmadigan.com

Shantha + Ian [Willoughby Hills, Ohio Squire's Castle Maternity Photographer]

Shantha and Ian are expecting their first little one any day now, and a month ago she was looking absolutely radiant as a mama-to-be! These two met at work, where they are both teachers, and I learned Ian is also a fantastic nature photographer!

So thankful for the beautiful weather for their session (despite getting rained out for the first one), including the gorgeous leaves here in Ohio. We did their photos out at Squire's Castle, and had so much fun! Here are some of my favorites from their session, enjoy!


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Jen Madigan Photography is an Iowa and Ohio based maternity photographer. She specializes in capturing the love in life's big and little moments. She is a Mentor, Ohio Photographer and specializes in maternity, newborn, and lifestyle sessions.

I would love to tell your family's story through photos! Contact me for details and to book: info@jenmadigan.com

How To Style Your Family for Photos [Cleveland, Ohio Family Photographer]

The question I get asked the most after people book their sessions is, "what should we wear?!". I get it, choosing an outfit for yourself can be challenging, not to mention coordinating your husband and children too. It's a lot, and tends to be the most stressful part of the session, but stress no more! I've coerced my amazing friend Coelle into writing up her tips and tricks for styling a family for photos. She has a background in photography as well as interior design, and just has a great eye for coordinating ensembles. I hope you find her styling tips helpful when planning your own outfits for your photos, and be sure to visit her at Coelle Hope on Instagram, or coellehope.com for beautiful, family friendly design.

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I have worked in photography and currently work in interior design so styling for family photo sessions is sort of right up my alley. However, it can occasionally still throw me for a loop so I wanted to share the tips and tricks I stick to when planning that always help us look photo ready and still have each family member looking and feeling like themselves!

  • Consider your session location! Unless the plan is to do something avant garde like wearing a ball gown in a corn field, which believe me, I am totally on-board with that act of personal expression! Just make sure you have that convo with your photographer to make sure everyone is on the same page. Back to the typical situation; if it’s an outdoor session and you have a running toddler, consider clothing that moves well, does not wrinkle easily, you can sit in it, hold your child in it without flashing everyone.That type of thing. Or if your venue is a modern art gallery and you have always wanted to rock stilettos for family photos- now is the time!
  • Dive into your color palette! What colors do your family members usually wear? If you do the purchasing for your family, what do you gravitate towards? Stick within this realm for color. Same with patterns and textures! Stick with your comfort zone. If you never wear ruffles, don’t start for a photo session. We are mostly a solid and stripes type of family, so I embrace it when putting together our looks and can still create interest within our comfort zone.


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  • Lay out the plan! I usually start with my husband or myself because typically one of us has THE outfit or THE top I’m planning the entire look around. After that I move to the kiddos. This is where it can get a bit tricky because we have three boys and although I want us to compliment each other, I don’t want them dressed the same or even coordinated too predictably. Make sense? 
  • Example of complimenting children’s outfits for my family of three boys. All three outfits are the same level of comfy-casual but not too similar. These differences provide visual interest and give everyone their own look.
    • child one: button-up shirt untucked with sleeves rolled and jeans
    • child two: pullover sweater and colored jeans (grey-wash, or olive green..) 
    • child three: solid t-shirt with open cardigan and jeans.
  • Create additional points of interest by giving everyone some fun personal style pops! Everyone gets something is my rule! I like to vary the location of the style pop on each person. So if one child wants to wear a hat, not everyone gets to wear a hat. Sorry, harsh, I know! This is a good opportunity to find something that is “so them” and years from now you will look and say “Ohh you DID always love red shoes!” You might be wondering how do I do this for my husband and I? Let me give you examples. Your husband can rock those trendy leather shoes (dark plain socks, of course) and his nice watch. He could also add some layers to provide that style. If he typically wears a t-shirt, make it a solid t-shirt and add a casual blazer, cardigan, or long sleeve pocket T in another solid color. If he has cute glasses he likes to wear (anti-glare please!!) have them wear those! And for me, my base outfit might be plain but I can add a scarf, and/or fun shoes. Or maybe I'll throw on earrings with a solid top but patterned skirt for a style pop.
  • Remember how I mentioned the kiddo that loves red shoes? Well, I really want to talk a bit more about footwear. (Sorry, soapbox!) I really like to have the kids wear shoes that aren’t their everyday sneakers (unless your children somehow keep those looking good). I typically find “picture shoes” at either Target or Old Navy (the slip on All Star knock-offs work great!). Trust me, you will look back at those photos with everyone perfectly styled and then those darn every day sneakers will stick out like a sore thumb!

After reading those tips, now you are ready to plan and style your family photo session! You've got this!


Jen Madigan Photography is an Ohio based family and child photographer. She specializes in capturing the love in life's big and little moments. Jen is a Mentor, Ohio Photographer and specializes in maternity, newborn, and family sessions.  

 I would love to tell your family's story through photos! Contact me for details and to book: info@jenmadigan.com

The C Family [Willoughby, Ohio Family and Child Photographer]

Let me just start by saying that this session was COLD. Like, snow was falling on the way to the session cold, but this family (particularly Jackson!) did AMAZING. Seriously, they didn't complain once, and brought all the smiles. The park was beautiful (and pretty empty due to the cold), and we even spotted some deer at the end, which made Jackson's day. I hope you enjoy this session as much as I loved photographing it!

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Jen Madigan Photography is an Ohio based family and child photographer. She specializes in capturing the love in life's big and little moments. Jen is a Mentor, Ohio Photographer and specializes in maternity, newborn, and family sessions. 

 I would love to tell your family's story through photos! Contact me for details and to book: info@jenmadigan.com