Kristen Swain Photography



new england families, COUPLEs, and landscapes

Nantucket Family Session


March 9, 2024


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Nantucket family session | Photography by Kristen Swain

“I would love shots that capture the sweet chaos of life right now.” When I read these words in Sally’s email inquiring about a Nantucket family session last summer, I knew we’d be a great fit. Raising four littles under 6 is no easy task, and wrangling them for an hour of photos sure isn’t either, but when you go into it expecting the unexpected and on board for all of it, you can truly make magic. My mission is to find and capture the beauty in every moment — the challenging and the joyous — and I love a client who appreciates that both can exist at the same time.

This was the family’s first visit to Nantucket, coming all the way from Dallas, and it was actually Sally’s husband Robert who suggested getting photos done while they were vacationing on island. Sally also told me that this would be their first family photography session outside of their own home or a studio. I was excited to document her playful crew surrounded by mother nature’s lush greens.

Sally and family were staying in a historic Captain’s house on Main Street, which provided a beautiful backdrop for our session. We made the most of the home’s well-manicured backyard, finding pockets of beauty to capture in every nook and cranny.

After I arrived and set up my camera gear, Sally and Robert sent their kids outside one by one, giving me an opportunity to photograph each of them individually while mom and dad finished up with the baby inside, which was really a fun way for me to capture some solo shots and get an early glimpse of the kiddos’ unique personalities! 

Nantucket family session | Photography by Kristen Swain

Sally has impeccable style, and she had carefully selected white dresses for herself and the two older girls (La Ligne for mom and Lali Kids for the tots), while opting for soft blue tones for the boys and baby. These style choices made a huge difference in our ability to create frame-worthy family photos. I highly recommend whites, neutrals, and colors like muted blues that can stand in as neutrals for your photos, and it was especially important for this session, where we were surrounded by so much green — we needed colors that would pop agains the green but not clash with it.

Family in backyard, wearing white and blue with one child crossing arms and running away.
This image, showing a beautiful contrast of emotions, mirroring the contrast between the lush, natural green grass and trees against the lines and structure of the white guest house on the property, placed in the top ten in the families category in a 2024 portrait photography contest.

We made really great use of our time and captured several photographs of the full family and all four kids together during the first half of the session. I love to knock these out of the way early if everyone is smiling at the start, because so many things can shift in an hour: weather, light, the condition of everyone’s clothing (hello grass stains and accidental – or intentional – dips in the water!), and family members’ moods as well. As this backyard summer photo session progressed, genuine emotions started to surface from the three older kiddos (being one of four can be really hard!), but the images that highlight these more difficult moments are some of my personal favorites. (And I’m not alone in this! The image above placed in the top ten in the families category in a recent portrait photography contest hosted by Click and Co.) I’m so grateful we were able to capture the real moments on camera, along with Sally and Robert’s tenderness and grace towards their littles ones, truly embodying the essence of sweet chaos.

Style Details:

Toddler in a white dress shovels dirt next to bushes.
Mom in white dress with blond hair walks away from camera into a garden, holding baby girl with strawberry blond hair.
Mom, dad, and three children, all in white and blue, play in the garden.

Nantucket family session | Photography by Kristen Swain

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Choose from several package options for each type of session I offer. 
Single-session packages start at $900. Multi-session Collections available
as well. Please inquire.



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