Family Photos London City Hazelnut Photography

Color Schemes

Taking your photos from Great to Spectacular through Color Schemes

Clients often seek advice on what to wear once they book their session.  I say, picking a color scheme is the best place to start when deciding what to wear for your family photos.  Keeping your family’s style in mind is key to choosing your wardrobe.  Personally, comfort is more important than style.  I’m going to shoot it to you  real straight here. Pick clothes that fit and aren’t too tight or too baggy.  Dress your figure and feel confident in how amazing you look!   You see, photos evoke emotions.  If all you remember looking at a photo is how you felt on the day, wouldn’t you rather feel confidence when you hang it in your home?

Equally important though is the style of your home.  Does your home look like it walked out of a Pottery Barn catalogue?  Do you have a beach theme?  Different color schemes in different rooms?  Where in your home will you put these pictures?  Believe it or not, these things play right into your wardrobe choices!

For the purpose of family photography, there are a few specific color schemes you will want to explore when choosing outfits for your family photos: 

Let's have a look below

High-Contrast Colors

A high contrast color scheme would be one with bold colors or patterns.  Some good examples would be black on white, and vice versa, yellow on black, or greens and reds. The blues against the orange top I wore is a perfect example of a high contrast color scheme.

apple orchard chesapeake family photography
Family Photos London City Hazelnut Photography

Low-Contrast Colors

A low contrast color scheme would be colors that are closely related.  This is a great look for the beach, fields of flowers and multi-generational photos.  When you look at a color wheel, low contrast colors are three colors side by side.


This works especially well with shades and hues of blue.  The way these kids popped off the red barn made the blues a perfect color scheme for their family session!

Neutral Colors

Neutral color schemes work great in any circumstance.  They are easy to coordinate as well as accessorize. Neutrals blend well with skin tones and background colors making a timeless looking portrait for your family.  However, accessories are a key component of making this style successful.  You want the style to look effortless, but don’t want blend into the background! Here are some good neutral palettes to point you in the right direction.

Once You've Chosen Your Color Scheme

It's Time to Decide What to Wear!

Choosing What to Wear

Need More Inspiration?

Head on over to my Pinterest page to see some of my favorite color schemes!

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A very special thank you to my friend Rachel Tennant at Hazelnut Photography for taking my family photos over the last several years.  If you are in London and need your photos done, I highly recommend her!

Madison Senior Session

Grassfield High School 2019 – Madison C.

It’s that time of year! It’s time to finish up those finals and turn in those last few assignments… time to wrap up and submit those college applications and get excited for the next chapter of life! I love this time of year because I get to capture the faces of the future, the faces of those who are ready and driven, with a dream on the forefront of their minds as they come to graduation! So, let’s hear it for the classes of 2019! 👏

Calling all Chesapeake senior graduates! 🌸 Spring is the most photogenic season- colorful blooming flowers, fresh new leaves on the trees, and fresh sun rises/sets! There are unlimited possibilities for vibrant backdrops in the Hampton Roads area. Senior portraits are perfect this time of year.

Let's hear it for the class of 2019!

Not only was Madison a dream to work with, she has such a passionate heart. Whether it is caring for animals, big and small, to playing a powerful piece in orchestra, she puts her heart into her work.  Look at how that reflects on her senior photos! We photographed in the gorgeous golden light of sunset, just behind Grassfield High School in Chesapeake. It’s only natural to be a little nervous on the other end of the lens, but Madison warmed up quickly; good instruction and the confidence and joy that graduation brings students is key!

A graduation shoot in the heart of Hampton Roads is blast! Such a reward on my end to see these young adults’ hard work pay off, and to reflect that in their photos. Madison is looking forward to a future working with animals as a veterinarian, but for now she is putting her heart into working to save up for college and volunteering in her free time. Chesapeake is blessed to have such amazing young adults! 👩‍🎓👨‍🎓

It’s not too late to book your high school senior’s portraits.  Give us a call at 571-214-3295 or click here to schedule your session.

Chris and Jessica - Engaged!

Chris and Jessica - Engaged!

Little Island State Park – Engagement Session

I am so excited for Chris and Jessica’s wedding this weekend. We have had to spin rather quickly, but everything has come together beautifully! Jessica wanted a beach engagement session, and I couldn’t be any happier with how the photos came out!

"We met on a blind date a friend set up.  After a few dates we knew we were meant to be together"


Chris and Jessica have been together for fifteen years!  Can you imagine?  When they first told me how long they’ve been with each other, I am pretty sure I couldn’t take the surprise off my face.  You rarely hear about long term dating let alone a long engagement. With that,  I firmly believe that if you take your time in getting to know your partner you have a better shot at the long run.  These two right here are proof.

We had a gorgeous day at the beach.  The sun would peek through the clouds and created an incredible picture for these two lovebirds 💕

The best relationships are ones based on friendship

These two were a dream to work with.  We had a lot of fun goofing around up and down the beach, and across the street at the nature preserve.  Chris found a lot of fun in scaring me, letting me know how many snakes were around in the nature preserve.  If there is one thing I can’t do – it’s keeping my cool when it comes to snakes.  No sir.  Needless to say we didn’t stay there very long.😂.

Chris and Jessica’s wedding will be held at Grand Affairs in Chesapeake.  They’ve been planning for this for a few years now.  With all of the hard work as well as the detail they’ve put into the wedding and reception it’s sure to be a perfect day.💖

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Family Photos in Suffolk

Family Photos in Suffolk, VA

I love my job.  Especially when it comes to all of the different people I get to meet and the new places I get to see.   I recently took Joanna’s family photos in Suffolk.  Joanna and I hit it off on the phone right away.  As soon as I heard her British accent, I have to admit, I got a bit homesick for England.  I may have only lived there for a few years, but it became home to us very quickly.  She and I talked for nearly an hour about where we lived, what we loved and missed, and living here.  Not to mention photography of course!  We straight away clicked on the importance of having pictures printed out and to be able to actually see them on the walls and in frames.  I could have chatted with her for hours!

Choosing A Location for your Family Photos

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When deciding on a location for your family portraits, take into consideration your own family style.  Does your family like the woods or the beach?  Would you prefer a field with blowing grasses, or perhaps the beautiful blue water of a nearby lake?  How would those locations fit into the style of how you decorate your home?  Joanna ended up choosing Sleepyhole Park for her family photos in Suffolk.  I had never been there before but it was an absolute stunning backdrop.  There was a long fishing pier overlooking the Nansemond River where I met them.  The sun was gorgeous as it came over the treeline and reflected down onto the water.  We were able to use the trees for some gorgeous dappled lighting as well. It is an ideal location for for family photos in Suffolk!

Digital Files are Great, But...

Why spend money on a photographer if all you will do is buy the digital files?  You see, a lot of people will post the pictures from their professional session on their social media accounts and never get around to printing them out! Then a month goes by, and they have since changed their profile picture a few times and those photos that they cherished for the week or two are starting to become just a memory.

They get that reminder, you know the one I’m talking about. The “On This Day” reminder.  They will put them as their profile picture for a few weeks only to change it again when the next thing comes along. We are all guilty of it!  Where would you be if you never printed out the pictures from your session?  Bigger picture, how would you know what your great grandparents looked like if all they owned were digital files?

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How do I choose the right photographer for my family photos?

Choosing a photographer for your family photos can be hard!  With all of the talented photographers out there to choose from, you also have to be sure that you don’t hire someone who claims to be a professional and turns out not to be.  Now a days when anyone and everyone has a camera, how are you to be sure you can trust who you are working with?

I advise anyone I talk to, whether or not I fit the description of the photographer they want to hire to ask if the company has a business license as well as how long they have been in business.  As a business owner, I frequently encounter people who have been burned by a so called photographer in the past.    I think my biggest piece of advise would be to look at their website, and have a phone conversation with anyone you are considering hiring.  Sometimes it’s easier to build trust in someone when you have an actual voice on the other end of the phone.     Don’t know what to ask about?  Well, don’t worry.  I’ll help you.

What kind of questions should I ask a photographer before hiring them?

I think it is really important to get to know a photographer before you hire one.  I want you to know what you are getting when you hire me.  The experience of hiring a family photographer should be one you enjoy.  I’ve put together a list of questions to help you narrow down your search when looking for someone to update your family photos.

  1.  How long have you been in business, and do you have a business license?
  2.  Do you treat your photography a business or is this something you do in your spare time?
  3. Do you have any testimonials from past clients?
  4. What is your process for a client?
  5. Is anything included in the session fee?
  6. What is the ordering session like?
  7. Do you offer digitals and prints?
  8. How long does it take to get my pictures back?
  9. What makes you different?

These are just generic questions, by no means do you have to stick to a script.  By the end of the phone call you should have a good feel of the way their business is run.

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Last but not least!

Beware the cheapie photographer.  The one that offers you 75 images for $50.  This should scream run to you.  You probably already know when someone is offering you a deal that’s too good to be true, it usually is.   I’ve written about this a time or two before.  You can read all about it here

We're Moving!

Chesapeake photographer, family photography Norfolk

In just a few short weeks, we will be moving from London all the way to Oahu, Hawaii!

It is with a bittersweet heart to have to say that in just over 3 weeks we are literally moving  to the opposite end of the world. Oahu, a small island that is a part of the larger Hawaiian Island chain in the Pacific, will be our next little piece of paradise.  The excitement of moving to the Hawaiian islands does not come without a bit of a heavy heart though.

We absolutely love living here in the UK. Our family has had so many experiences and made so many wonderful memories here. It will be a very sad day for us when the time comes to say goodbye to what has been such a welcoming home. While living here, we have had the privilege of meeting extraordinary people from countries all over the world. Our family has visited places that many will never get to see, and we have been truly humbled by it all. We are grateful for the lifelong friendships we have made and will consider ourselves beyond lucky to cross paths with some of these people again.

It’s not just our friends we are leaving behind.

Meredith Hodge Photography has come such a long way in the past few years.  I truly hope that it continues to grow into the creative brand that I dream for it to be.   It is a difficult task to have to pick up your business and move it to the other side of town.  Can you imagine moving to a different hemisphere?  As far as the business is concerned,  I will be shutting down the London operation on May 30 until we are settled again in paradise. We will have one further London family session on June 3rd.  You can get more information by getting in touch with us here.

Our growth and success would not be without the support from our clients, our vendors, and our partners.  A sincere thank you goes to each and everyone that we have worked with over the last three years. All that you have  done to help support the business has been instrumental in our past and future success.  People like Heidi Hayward, Rachel Tenant, Nina Mace, Gary Hill, Lisa McCormick, Alex Ingram, Claire Kempster, Andy Smith-Dane, and countless others.  I have been so fortunate to have been surrounded some of the the best in country and I will always be grateful for the relationships made with you all. If you are ever in Hawaii please look us up! We will always make time for our friends!  So it is with deep regret that we have to say goodbye, but hopefully, it is only just for now.


With lots of love,


Do you live on Oahu? I would love your input!

We are a family that loves new adventures.  Of course we are looking forward to the obvious, visiting Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona.  Driving up to the north shore, to watch the surfers, as well as experiencing Honolulu for the first time and discovering the city.  We are super excited to learn about the culture and the history of the island.  If you live on the island of Oahu, leave a comment below.  I would love to hear from you.   What are some of your family’s favorite places to go.  What about the history of the island, are there certain customs that we should know before we get there?  Things we may not know about??   Things to see and do?  Do you have a favorite place to grab a bite to eat?  Or a great kids playgroup? I am a sponge looking to soak up all the information of the island that I can.   I am looking for anything, even if it’s not photography related!  Subscribe by clicking here for a special offer for those that help us get to know our new home!

family photograph ideas, family photography, springtime pictures

The Dalo Family

A Springtime Photography Session

As a family photographer, I consider it my job to get to know the families that I work with on a personal level.  I try to treat my clients as friends because it is important to have trust in any type of relationship, whether business or pleasure.  I felt so fortunate to meet the Dalo family, because  I absolutely LOVE them.  When I first talked to Meghan, I knew she was someone that I was going to love working with.  We met at one of my favorite locations to shoot family photos in Chorleywood.  While it was a little chilly out, we were so lucky to have the sun shining down on us.  As we initially had to postpone their session because the rain was just too much so we were very happy to see the sun that morning.

One of the things that I enjoy the most about being a family photographer is seeing how a family interacts with each other.  This is especially true with this family.  You can see how much love there is between all of them.  They all have individual and collective bonds with each other that made my heart swell to see.  You can see that Megan and Jimmy have the “fun factor” that Josh and I talk about so often.  They are a couple that really enjoy having a good time together!

I posted a video below of some of my favorite images from the session.  I am new to the whole  video creating thing, so I would really appreciate any feedback you have!

We are moving!

Meredith Hodge Photography is moving!  Sadly I will be packing up my family and my camera and moving to Kailua, Hawaii.  I am so excited about our new adventure.  At the same time,  I am so sad to be leaving such a wonderful place and even greater people behind!

I will be shutting the doors to the shop at the end of May, with the exception of a few preplanned sessions.  Click here to book your session before I leave!

London Transport Museum

Looking for a fun day out with your kids in London?

Try the London Transport Museum.

It's a fun place for kids and adults alike to learn about the history of transportation in the UK.

It's a great place to entertain your kids on a rainy day, or even just a fun place for a meet up!


The London Transport Museum is a great place to take your kids for a day out in London.  If your children are anything like mine then they love planes, trains and automobiles!   Located in Covent Garden, the Transport Museum gives a hands on “all aboard” view of the history of transportation in the UK.  The exhibits of the transport museum include everything from the old rail cars to the iconic double decker bus!

My boys absolutely love trains; and while my experience with girls is somewhat limited, I’m pretty sure most little girls love trains too! This place is full of trains and busses to climb in and out of! We had a great time bouncing on the seats of the antique train cars. There is quite a big difference in the amount of cushion from todays rail and tube cars to the trains of yesteryear!  You feel nostalgic sitting in those trains with the feel and intricacy that the wood trim and the musky smells.  Train cars were built for comfort and luxury as opposed to profit back then.

The kids received a ticket to stamp as they go through the museum to keep their interest piqued throughout. I personally loved the fact that there are interactive play areas throughout the museum to appeal to the little kids, while at the same time providing rich history that people like me enjoy learning about. Kids can pretend to be the train conductor, or a ticket operator in addition to drive the double decker buses!  There is a little cafe on the ground floor where the littles can push trains along on the wooden train table while parents can have a cup of tea all the while keeping a mindful eye.   There are also train simulators that let you learn to drive the train, which really appealed to the older kids.

All in all, you and your kids will most certainly enjoy your visit! Tickets to the Museum are £16 for adults (if you book in advance, I believe they are £17.50 at the door).   Good news is that children get FREE admission to the museum! Additionally, one more bonus is that your ticket is good for a year. If you decide you haven’t had enough you can save your ticket and come back another day!  Getting there is really easy too.  Just take the tube to the Covent Garden stop, from there walk down to the entrance of Covent Garden and go around to the left.  Follow it around the corner and you run right into it. However, you can also walk straight through and out of Covent Garden, the entrance will be to your left.  Here’s the address for you Google lovers, Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 7BB.

You can find more information on the London Transport Museum at their website


There are so many fantastic places for you to explore in London with your children.  I love finding new places that my kids will enjoy.  I would to hear what your favorite places are!  Drop a line with some of yours below!