Photo Session in the Hotel Room!

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Not that kind of photo session, folks!  This is a family website!  We went to Washington DC this weekend to visit family.  My dad and stepmom were in town from Germany for work so we flew up to see them for a long weekend.  My sister and her family just recently moved to Virginia Beach so they drove the three hours up to visit as well.  The four cousins hadn’t seen each other since June and it has been much longer since the grandparents had seen all four cousins together.  Before the visit, we had planned to do a photo session to update our very out of date pictures of everyone together.  We had planned on doing the photo session somewhere on the grounds of the Homestead Farm, but unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas.  We didn’t want to wait to take the pictures because we would run out of days and soon it would be time to go back home.  We thought about the hotel lobby, a covered area in a park, and many other options.  We settled on taking the pictures in the hotel room and we are so glad that we did.  A picture of my family sitting on the hotel bed will hang in my living room and will not only remind me of this particular trip but will also be symbolic of the many trips we have taken as a family and the many more hotel rooms we will be staying in! 

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Beautiful hotel rooms are perfect for impromptu pictures!  This particular hotel room has a beautiful head board and a big fluffy white down comforter that made for a gorgeous background.  The lighting was soft and the windows were plentiful. 

My dad, stepmom and the four grandkid cousins:

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My sister and her husband (they are still newlyweds!):

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My sister and her family:

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Me and my sister:

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A few things we learned during our photo session:

  • Snap the “everybody look at me and smile” picture first.  Then let the kids goof off!
  • Utilize the natural lighting coming into the hotel room through the windows.  Place your subjects near the windows.
  • If the sun isn’t shining, most hotels have soft lighting.  Turn on the bedside or table lamp.
  • Don’t worry about rearranging furniture to suit your purposes.  Just be sure to put it back in its proper place.
  • Take a look at your background.  Make sure that you are not going to have to edit out cords, lamps, luggage or half a picture that was hanging on the wall.  Some editing is good, especially if you know what you are doing.  We took a few pictures that were beautiful but we just couldn’t edit some of the stuff out of the shots so they are not fireplace mantle worthy. 
  • Some of the best pictures we got were when the kids were having fun just being kids!

Be sure to stop by DeliciousBaby to check out other great travel photos at Photo Friday.


  1. 1

    Wow… what a great story…

  2. 2

    The candid shots are wonderful and the topic itself it good. I’ve tried doing this in hotels but never can create the right mood.

  3. 3

    I love those free and spontaneous shots – they capture the essence of a family way more than posed ones do.

  4. 4

    I love the goofing-off pics with the grandparents. Looks like a very fun photo session!

  5. 5

    It’s good to take some time to take some family photos like this, even if it takes a little effort – you’ll always be pleased you did afterwards

  6. 6

    These are great, and you know I never thought of taking pictures in a hotel, but it is a great idea since most are much better decorated (sadly) than my own home.

  7. 7

    Great photos, I love the ones with the grandparents and the kids playing best, it looks like they were having a lot of fun!

  8. 8

    I love these pictures! What a great famil photos and such a great idea. I think I will need to steal that idea for our next trip. 🙂

  9. 9

    These photos are just gorgeous. What a fruitful photography session this was for your family!
    I took one of my favourite self-portraits in a hotel room in Sardinia (nope – it’s not one of “those” kind of photos either) – it was a beautiful room beside the harbour and it had huge windows admitting great light. Perhaps there is also something about a posh hotel room that puts us at ease.

  10. 10

    Great work of making what you have to work with work for you!
    These are great shots, and so much better than a lot of the more carefully staged shots you see elsewhere. The personalities really come through in these photos.

  11. 11

    Marina-Thanks so much!
    Cate-We are lucky the mood was perfect because it was a one chance deal! Part of the family was heading home the next day.
    Catherine and Sarah-Those are our favorites as well. It really captures what all of us hanging out together is like…all the time!
    Heather-That is so true about taking the time to do the pictures. Everybody always complains when I make them take pictures (I am the one with the camera all the time) but they are first in line to order prints when I hand them cds!
    Carolina-This hotel was certainly better decorated. I should have taken pictures of the surroundings to steal some decorating tips!
    Maria-We had a blast…no tears here!
    Amy-Definitely do it! We set the self timer for a large group picture, but I wish I had invested in the 20 dollar remote for the camera before we left.
    Monna-Thanks so much. That is such an honor to receive this compliment from you as I admire all the photos you put up on your website! Did you post your favorite self-portrait on your site? I will have to go find it.
    Dominique-Thank you so much. You can definitely tell that we have four goofy kids in the family!