From Chaos to Keepsakes: The Joy of Photographing Large Families with Kristen Coberly

Sandy beaches, wind and waves, and small children everywhere… sounds like a recipe for chaos when it comes to a photoshoot, right? Well, to be honest, it is! And that’s okay with Kristen Coberly. 

In this episode, Kristen shares how she’s learned to embrace the chaos of photographing large families by planning for multiple outcomes, going with the flow, and learning to turn toddler meltdowns into memorable keepsakes. She shares her very best tips for photographing big families, including the pre-session prep she does with each family. 

Plus, she and Lisa discuss their love of printed photos and where you can find some of the best albums to share with your clients!

This episode is so fun and chock-full of helpful tidbits! Let’s dive in!

What’s in this episode:

  • [02:03] How Kristen got her start in photography (and why she loves large families so much!)
  • [04:05] Kristen’s best tips for keeping photo sessions with large families fun and stress-free
  • [10:44] How Kristen stays flexible and fluid when it comes to her beach photography sessions
  • [17:44] Kristen’s unique take how she manages her shot lists
  • [20:21] How Kristen manages kiddos who just aren’t cooperating at her photo sessions and her “Sand, Nap, Snack” strategy
  • [26:00] Kristen’s Lightning Round

Tune in to this episode to learn how Kristen Coberly makes photographing large families fun and as stress-free as possible!

SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

And if you want to hear more from Kristen and how she captures the beauty of large Ffamilies , she’ll be teaching at our online 2024 Family Retreat!

Resources Mentioned

Wooden Banana albums

Meet Kristen Coberly

Kristen has lived in Pensacola, FL and the surrounding areas for her entire life. She is married to the love of her life, Josh, and has made a beautiful life with him and their seven children. She began her photography journey seven years ago photographing her children, but now can be found photographing clients along Northwest Florida’s gulf coast.

Connect with Kristen

Visit Kristen’s website

Follow Kristen on Facebook

Follow Kristen on Instagram

Did this episode with Kristen Coberly on photographing large families inspire you to step outside of your comfort zone a little bit? Check out this episode In the Wild: Adventure Family Photography with Rebecca Lueck that shares how another photographer started their career!


[00:00:00] Kristen Coberly: The biggest thing that I like to tell people is don’t try to change the chaos. Let the chaos change you. It’s a large family. There’s chaos. I mean, any family that’s got more kids than two tries to tell you their family life isn’t chaotic. They’re lying to you. There is chaos, you know. But it’s still beautiful chaos.

[00:00:19] It’s still something that the parents obviously love or they wouldn’t have kept having children. And so, it’s beautiful. The biggest thing is to come in and be like, all right, where’s this chaos at? What is this family dynamic? How is this family dynamic feeling? And then you jump into that and you just become a part of it instead of like, all right guys, this is what I need.

[00:00:44] Lisa DiGeso: Welcome to the art and soul show where we dive into heart opening chats on photography, business, life, and that messy in between. I’m your host Lisa DiGeso. A mom, a photographer, and entrepreneur, and I’ll be sharing honest conversations and [00:01:00] advice for photographers with insight on mindset, entrepreneurship, and creativity.

[00:01:05] The goal of this podcast is for you to be able to gain insights and strategies that will get you real results. Because let’s face it, having a photography business can be lonely. But it doesn’t have to be. This is the place you can go when you need a boost of encouragement, a kick in the pants, and inspiration to pick up your camera.

[00:01:25] This is the Art and Soul show. Hello, my beautiful friends. Welcome back to the show today. I am so Super excited to dive into today’s conversation with Kristen Coberly. Now, Kristen has lived in Pensacola, Florida and the surrounding areas her entire life. She is married to the love of her life, Josh, and has made a beautiful life with him and their son.

[00:01:47] seven children. She began her photography journey seven years ago photographing her children, but now can be found photographing clients along Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast. Welcome. [00:02:00] Thank you for having me. So tell us who you are and what you’re 

[00:02:03] Kristen Coberly: passionate about. Yeah, so pretty much like you said, I am a wife and a mom to seven children.

[00:02:10] They’re actually all eight years old and younger, so they’re all just like stair steppers in there in a very short period of time. So, besides that, there isn’t much that I have time to do. I invest my time in them, which I absolutely love. It’s not one of those things that I hate or, you know, regret. It’s something I enjoy.

[00:02:30] And, um, yeah, so even whenever I’m doing photography stuff, if I’m editing or answering emails, I have a child of some sort in my lap and, uh, that’s why I think this job works so well for me. Um, but yeah, so I’ve been doing photography for seven years, but really didn’t decide to say, Hey, this is what I’m going to do.

[00:02:48] And I’m going to put my all into it until about March of 2022. I have photographed a bunch of different clients in a different moments, different locations, and have just found that my heart [00:03:00] is totally into families, especially those with multiple young children that kind of mirror what I deal with on a regular basis.

[00:03:08] And being on the beach. That just happens to be where I absolutely love taking the pictures. So that’s where I’ve decided to put my passion and my specialty. So I love 

[00:03:19] Lisa DiGeso: that. So how, how young is the youngest one? Yeah. So she is three months old. Oh, she’s a little bitty. She’s a little bitty. Yep. Yep. I love that.

[00:03:29] She’s still, still really little. So. Yeah. I love that. I actually, I did a session this past fall with my clients. It was their seventh baby and oh gosh, it’s just, and they’re all, I think they’re all two years apart. So there, I think they’re a little, they’re, their spread’s a little bit wider. Actually, maybe not.

[00:03:45] Maybe, maybe a year and a half apart. But, oh gosh, what a beautiful family and I love, love big families. So I love that your specialty is actually working with big families too and beach sessions because both of those have some wild and crazy [00:04:00] variables. So can you maybe share some of your favorite tips for working with larger families?

[00:04:05] Kristen Coberly: Yeah, so pretty much the goal of any session, no matter the family size, but especially with large families is just to try to provide a stress free experience, you know, and one of those ways during the session is to keep everybody moving. That’s kind of something that I’ve noticed is whenever there’s a lot of dead time or a lot of Hey, please look at me and smile.

[00:04:27] That doesn’t go very well, you know? I mean, we’ve got a bunch of components, a bunch of moving parts, and I mean, you can imagine trying to get two kids to look at a camera, and when you add seven, that adds a little bit more stress. And then the parents sit back going, you know, they’re probably not all gonna look at you.

[00:04:44] And then they start getting stressed and they start focusing more on, Hey, look at the camera. Hey, look at the camera. Stay right here. And so I have just found that if you just keep everybody moving, then everybody has a fun time. Within that, it’s just really important to [00:05:00] give prompts that are specific.

[00:05:02] So, you know, one time I got out there and I was like, Alright guys, let’s play games! Let’s do it! And then I sat back, and the middle boy jumped on top of the older boy, and they started wrestling, and before I knew it, the littlest one was on top of them. Parents were like, no, stop, this is not how this is supposed to go.

[00:05:21] And I like, of course, was in a panic, you know, but I have found that if you give more direct instructions and say, hey, we’re going to play red light, green light. And so we’re giving them boundaries to be themselves within those. That really just makes for a better time for the photographer. For the parents and for the kids, they have fun and parents are not stressed as well as myself.

[00:05:45] I don’t leave going, Oh my gosh, I just had kids tackling each other because I asked them to, you know, even though I didn’t say wrestle, they did exactly what I asked them to in their minds. Playing games was, was wrestling with each other. So that’s my biggest thing is just [00:06:00] keep people moving. Another one that I think is just really special is know their name.

[00:06:05] And this may not seem like. This awesome tip or whatever, but we sit back and with our smaller families, we take the time and we take the effort to know, you know, the kid’s names. And then when we see a list of seven or we see a list of nine and the numbers get bigger, it’s like, okay, that’s a little too much.

[00:06:22] We’re not going to even attempt it. And for me, I’ve really just seen with my large family clients that the moment that you call them by name, it really just Sparks something in them that all of a sudden they like are happy to be there. Yes. Everywhere our large family clients go, they’re a number. They walk through the grocery store, they’re being counted.

[00:06:42] People are always like, oh my gosh, are they all yours? And that really starts to. Become a part of their identity. You know, they’re just one of whatever the family’s name of or family’s name is, excuse me. So whenever I come out and I meet them at their vehicle and I’m like, you know, [00:07:00] Blake and call them, their eyes light up and they’re like, you know, my name, I’ve had kids say that, you know, my name.

[00:07:06] Yes, I do. And right there, the session just goes so much smoother. They want to have a fun time. Because all of a sudden they’re an individual to you and that already makes their experience better. So that’s just something that I have seen that makes my sessions run so much, so much better. So, and then lastly is the biggest thing that I like to tell people is don’t try to change the chaos.

[00:07:28] Let the chaos change you. And it’s a large family. There’s chaos. I mean, any family that’s got more kids than two, tries to tell you their family life isn’t chaotic. Okay. They’re lying to you. There is chaos, you know, but it’s still beautiful chaos. It’s still something that the parents obviously love or they wouldn’t have kept having children.

[00:07:49] And so the biggest thing is to come in and be like, all right, where’s this chaos at? What is this family dynamic? How is this family dynamic feeling? And then you jump [00:08:00] into that and you just become a part of it instead of like, all right, guys, this is what I need you to do. So those are pretty much the biggest things that I’ve seen.

[00:08:09] Lisa DiGeso: Those are great tips, especially the name recognition, because it. Really, like, one of our basic human needs is to be recognized and to be seen. And when you have so many siblings, like, it is, especially as a middle child, like, you kind of just feel like you’re just there and maybe just like, or people are always screwing up your name because they’re calling you your younger sibling or your older sibling.

[00:08:33] And so when someone gets it right, you’re like, oh, this person cares about me. And so they’re going to, they’re going to respond to you as the photographer so differently than if you’re like, Hey, number five, right? Like 

[00:08:44] Kristen Coberly: exactly, exactly. And even like, and kids, they offer so much grace naturally, you know? So when they get out of the car and it’s easier than because they’re all kind of lined up, we’re not all like running around at that point.

[00:08:55] And when you get it the first time, then during the session, if you do mess up, which is [00:09:00] totally fine, the kids are like, well, wait, I’m, I’m so and so, you know, you got it wrong, but that’s okay. You know? And. It’s just really special and something I enjoy and I even get just a little bit of joy from it seeing that they find joy in it as well.

[00:09:13] Lisa DiGeso: I have clients and they just had their fifth baby as well and I love them. It’s funny because mom loves like that one picture where everybody’s looking at the camera, but I also know she loves the outtakes too. And, like, I have some of the best outtakes, and I’ll send her little videos and little snippets of, like, while I’m editing, I’m like, can you believe this?

[00:09:33] She’s like, please just make sure that you give me those too. So is giving outtakes to your clients something that you incorporate too? Because those are my favorites, honestly. 

[00:09:44] Kristen Coberly: I 100 percent do, because a lot of the times the outtakes show the kid’s personality. Yep. And that is a way that it shows the individuality within each person.

[00:09:56] offer soft proof, so I will include All of them [00:10:00] that I think is good, that shows personality. Um, one time I had a kid flying in the air, and I totally included that. And sometimes parents pick them, sometimes they don’t, but I always give them the option to do so. 

[00:10:10] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, I love that. That’s so funny. I have this one time, and we went down to the beach, and this toddler was running.

[00:10:17] And she was like going full steam. And I caught the shot where she went, And the dad was like, look, and the mom is like, we have that on our wall. Like, that is the funniest picture, right? Like, and I’m like, these are my people. With beach sessions, let’s talk about those wild and crazy windy days. Hair whooping everywhere.

[00:10:42] Do you embrace it or do you reschedule? 

[00:10:44] Kristen Coberly: So there, in my opinion, is two types of wind in Florida. There’s the typical beach wind that you’re always going to have and it even can be a little gustier on times. We don’t reschedule with that. We embrace it. We go with it. The moment we choose to take pictures on the [00:11:00] beach, we know the wind’s going to be there.

[00:11:02] But we also have that like You know, tropical system wind that will, you know, pick up and sand will be pelting you and the waves are crashing at a height that is terrifying. And at that point, I just don’t consider that safe anymore. And I will reschedule for those. And that can happen even if we don’t have a system heading our way, there can just be a system in the Gulf going to different areas and it can really affect the way we live.

[00:11:27] It’s how our climate is here. So 

[00:11:30] Lisa DiGeso: yeah, 

[00:11:30] Kristen Coberly: definitely reschedule for those 

[00:11:31] Lisa DiGeso: type of situations. So how often do you end up with clients in the water at the beach? Yeah. I 

[00:11:38] Kristen Coberly: leave that up to them. I end up in the water 100 percent of the time, but I always leave it up to them whether they want to get in the water.

[00:11:47] I love water shots. So yeah, I get a lot of tourists as my clients and for whatever reason, they love going out to eat, right? Cause who I mean, everyone loves going out to eat for a vacation, but they [00:12:00] save it for after the photo shoot. Yeah. And so they don’t want to go out to eat soaking wet. And I totally don’t blame them.

[00:12:06] So I really try to put a bug in their ear when I have my pre session phone call with them. I’m like, so be thinking about getting in the water. And then that way they know, you know, to either be prepared or to tell me, absolutely not. 

[00:12:19] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. I think it’s my son, when he was about maybe three, anytime he saw that, cause we live off it.

[00:12:25] with areas with lakes. Anytime he would see a body of water, he would take off running straight towards it. And he couldn’t swim yet. So we were like, Oh my gosh, like, just stop. I 

[00:12:37] Kristen Coberly: have one of those. She was obsessed with Moana growing up. And so she literally like at two years old would just go straight for the ocean and expect it just to, I guess, open its arms to her, 

[00:12:48] Lisa DiGeso: you know?

[00:12:49] So yeah, 

[00:12:51] Kristen Coberly: we had to watch it really close. 

[00:12:53] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, that’s so funny. So what is your business model? Are you IPS, digital, hybrid model? And can you maybe [00:13:00] share why you made that decision and what’s working for you right now? Yeah. So 

[00:13:03] Kristen Coberly: right now I am hybrid. I did just start that in January of this year. So haven’t had a lot of it.

[00:13:10] Cause my busy season as a beach photographer is mainly May through July. So I’ve been in kind of my dead time, but yeah, I, chose to go with it just because, I mean, like all photographers, we want to see that artwork printed off. We want those memories to be able to be passed down. And we’re in a digital world where that doesn’t really happen.

[00:13:30] And so I’m really trying to encourage my clients to have them print it off and not just print it off from those fast printing labs where, you know, it’s not going to actually last through time, but actual heirloom quality type items. And Right now, you know, I haven’t seen a lot of people go that option because I do how I decided to go with it Is that I have one package that has all digitals and it’s only like 10 digital So it’s super small just mainly for people who are just wanting [00:14:00] to update their family pictures And then my middle and top ones include print credit with it And so I’ve noticed that a lot of tourists are mainly Steering towards that smaller one to get digitals.

[00:14:12] Then whenever I provide my soft proof gallery, they’re upgrading their galleries and buying more images. So. I’m seeing that, I don’t think it’s a financial decision that they’re going with the digitals. I just don’t think we’re in a generation that really appreciates printed artwork the way that I think we should.

[00:14:31] So I’m, I’m trying to think on ways to hopefully open that up and see people and allow people to see what the benefit of printed artwork really is. But from May to August ish, I’ll be able to see if more people pick that and how that goes. So we’re just testing it right now. 

[00:14:50] Lisa DiGeso: That’s awesome. I just started adding albums.

[00:14:52] I’ve been all digital for like, oh gosh, like 14 years. And so I’ve just rechanged my business where I’m actually doing all digital, but I’m also [00:15:00] including an album. Like that’s just like in the package. Oh, I love that. I found these beautiful albums from Wooden Banana. And I don’t know if you’ve heard of them.

[00:15:09] They actually, yeah, they, they are like velvet covered albums and they are gorgeous and they’re actually like not overly that expensive and amazing quality. And it’s taken me forever to like add a product cause I’m so picky, but I’m really, really happy with wooden bananas. It was really good. And I think it had free shipping too.

[00:15:30] And I’m in Canada. So that was cool. 

[00:15:32] Kristen Coberly: Oh, I’ll definitely check it out. I mean, one of the things too, is that printed pictures make my heart happy too. And so it, to me, one of the, my favorite things is whenever people are just posting pictures on Facebook randomly of their house and I’ll be scrolling through and be like, I took that picture.

[00:15:48] Like they thought it was awesome enough to print it off. And so. You know, one of those things that just would really make my day as a photographer to see it all printed out and be able to deliver it to them and be like, here 

[00:15:58] Lisa DiGeso: is your artwork, you know, so. [00:16:00] What I just recently did is I got myself a really fairly inexpensive digital photo frame.

[00:16:05] And because I had so many like images on my phone, like everywhere, nothing was ever printed because obviously, I’m a photographer and I will do that last for my family, right? Right. So I ended up getting this digital frame and oh my gosh, like my son goes through it every single day. Like he is obsessed with it.

[00:16:26] He’s 14 and he’s just like goes through and like as you can swipe through it and I was like, you know, like I wish there was like a fairly inexpensive like a 30 or 40 dollar digital frame that we could like Just create these for our clients where they’d have like, just like a digital, wouldn’t it be amazing?

[00:16:44] Oh my goodness. So I’ve been trying to source like a good quality, fairly inexpensive digital photo frame where I could do something like that. So that’s like kind of what I’m working on, but right. Like, because then they’ll have something, right? That idea is like [00:17:00] spectacular. Like that is incredible. I like, I love it.

[00:17:03] I absolutely love it. But like right now, like I can only find them for like, you know, maybe a hundred bucks and I’m like, I wish they were like 30, 40 dollars. Like that seems like I could build it into my pricing and then buy like in bulk and then have it loaded up and you like give that, now you have your session and rather than you’re just think it’d be so fun.

[00:17:23] I agree with that. I think it’s a different way. Just a different way of doing it. Yeah. I’m such a little weirdo. 

[00:17:29] Kristen Coberly: No, I think that’s awesome. And Thinking outside the box to be able to see the need in this digital world, but also know that the pictures need to be displayed and being able to mesh those two, I think that’s genius.

[00:17:40] That’s not weird at all. So thank you. You’re welcome. So 

[00:17:44] Lisa DiGeso: do you have a shot list when you go on location and how important to you is it that you have a plan? Because I feel so much more calm when I actually plan things out a little prior. So what is your approach when it comes to your sessions? 

[00:17:57] Kristen Coberly: Yeah. So I’m a huge planner, but to a [00:18:00] fault, so I don’t roll with the punch as well.

[00:18:02] So early on in my photography career, I realized that that fault is a huge deal whenever you are coming up with an exact plan for your photography sessions and expecting the little people in our families to go along with that. So I like to look at it. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of these books where you read the first chapter, and then it’s like, all right, you get to decide what happens next in the story.

[00:18:27] And so that’s what I like to think of my sessions as, that it’s almost like this giant flowchart that, you know, once we read it. Like for the book example, you know, you read the first chapter and it’s like, okay, do you want Annie to go on the Ferris wheel? Or do you want Annie to go on the merry go round?

[00:18:42] And then, you know, you get to choose that and then you go on and at the end of the story, you have pretty much created the end, but it’s within the author’s imagination realm, you know? So that’s kind of how I view my sessions, which now I’m the weirdo, but that I have this [00:19:00] story that needs to be told, which is the family story.

[00:19:04] And I’m keeping them within this realm, but allowing them to have these choices and guide me where we’re going. The overall idea is I’m coming in with a very loose plan, like a flow chart of, okay, is the kid feeling cuddly today? Yes? Then this is what we’re going to do. Are they feeling energetic today?

[00:19:23] Then this is what we’re going to do. So I have different prompts, poses, shots in my mind. Um, but in reality, I just kind of go with the flow with what they’re with, what we’re going with. But I don’t come in just like, I have nothing planned. We’re just going to, you know, I have ideas, things like that. 

[00:19:43] Lisa DiGeso: I love that.

[00:19:44] I love that. You know, I sparked a little idea there that I just wrote down and I’m not going to share yet, but it like, I got a good idea. I’ll have to hear it later. That’s awesome. I’m going to work on it. I’m going to work on it. You know, like when you just get like all of a sudden, like you just like get like a glimmer of inspiration on [00:20:00] something, you’re like, Oh my gosh.

[00:20:02] Now, I have to map this out on a paper, but I have an idea. So good. So let’s talk a little bit about uncooperative kids. It happens to all of us at some point. So what do you do when a session starts to go sideways or you just aren’t getting what you hoped for? Yeah. 

[00:20:21] Kristen Coberly: So I have found that most of the time, the uncooperation is coming from little ones, the ones that are about three and below.

[00:20:30] So to help kind of curb that, in my pre session calls with my clients, I really drive this idea of sand, nap, snacks. And with that, since I deal with a lot of tourists and a lot of vacationers, their toddlers have never seen the ocean. They have never seen, which, we’re the Gulf of Mexico, it’s not technically the ocean.

[00:20:52] But it all looks the same from the viewpoint of sitting on the beach, and they’ve never seen sand. So, then, most of the time, they schedule their [00:21:00] photo shoot with me the first night they’re there, so sunburns don’t happen. And the first time that they get to stick their toes into all of this is during our session.

[00:21:09] And for toddlers, that can be extremely overstimulating. And so, that is something I really drive is like, hey, find a park that’s got sand. Find a neighbor with sandbox. And put them in it, make them get dirty in it, so that that is just one less thing that can trigger a meltdown. Next thing is a nap. A lot of times on vacations we skip nap time, which is totally fine.

[00:21:34] But I just remind them that on the day of the photo session, please don’t do that. Especially if we happen to be, you know, going to the beach all day during the day. They’re gonna be really tired and worn out from the sun. The beach sun is not like any other sun that they’ve experienced. Mm-Hmm. And so when we skip nap, well now they’re tired.

[00:21:54] And I know how I get when I’m tired and we can’t expect our little people in our life to act [00:22:00] differently whenever they’re tired, you know? And so that’s a, a big thing. And then the other one is snack, like I mentioned beforehand. A lot of my clients like to eat dinner after the session, so they can go sit down and enjoy the beach cuisine, which is great.

[00:22:16] But then they forget about the little tummies. And so I let them know, please feed a pretty hefty snack before you come to the session. And so I have found that by really mentioning these things to my clients ahead of time, it’s eliminated a lot of the meltdowns that I’ve had. Now, of course, they still happen.

[00:22:36] Thankfully, I’ve only had about two of those happen in, um, since I started. Really driving the sand, nap, snack situation. And the children did scream the entire time. They kicked. They were losing their minds. It was. But thankfully, I was able to just let the parents know, Hey. This [00:23:00] is, we’re seeing the whole picture.

[00:23:01] This is like a video happening and we’re seeing every single second. We’re seeing the kicks. We’re seeing the screams. I’m like, but a picture is just a second in time. He has to take a breath. You know, she has to for a second, stop screaming. She’s gonna for a moment, stop kicking. And those in between moments really do in picture form.

[00:23:22] Look beautiful, especially when we’re looking for the lifestyle kind of vibe and stuff. And so that’s what I really just drive home and I let them know ahead of time as well, and continue to remind them throughout the session is don’t panic. Don’t get. Frustrated because for some reason we can see frustration in adult’s faces a whole lot better than in children’s faces.

[00:23:45] Exactly. Exactly. And so we’re going to get those in between moments. We’re going to get you a nice gallery that you’re going to be able to look back on. It may not look what you thought in your brain was going to happen, but it’s still going to be authentic to your family. You know, normally [00:24:00] meltdowns on the beach for their session, They have meltdowns on a regular basis.

[00:24:06] That’s just the stage of life that they’re in. And we’re here to embrace that. And we’re here to capture the authenticity that this family is offering. And so I just let them know it’s going to be fine. And then I just hold that shutter button down. Because I’m going to miss the in between moments possibly too.

[00:24:22] So I just hold it down, keep on clicking. And every time I’ve been able to, thankfully, be able to give a gallery. And, um, I can’t take full credit for it, but it’s It happens. 

[00:24:34] Lisa DiGeso: I know. I know. There’s been some, there’s been a few sessions that I was just like, I don’t even know who took those photos because how did I make a gallery out of that?

[00:24:42] Kristen Coberly: Exactly. Exactly. There was one out of the two where I literally all the way to the beach, cause I do live about an hour away and I’m driving home and the whole time just like, 

[00:24:51] Lisa DiGeso: I pray I got something good. 

[00:24:53] Kristen Coberly: I pray I got something good because even though I was telling the parents it’s going to be okay, like, I’m sure we got something.

[00:24:59] I did not know. [00:25:00] I was not sure. So, 

[00:25:03] Lisa DiGeso: I hope I can make something with this, right? Exactly. Exactly. I mean, worst case scenario, I might have to head swap, right? 

[00:25:10] Kristen Coberly: Exactly. That’s why you take so many so that you have content to be able to make those composites. 

[00:25:17] Lisa DiGeso: Seriously. Now, do you have a go to never fail prompt that maybe encourages emotional connection?

[00:25:24] Kristen Coberly: Yes. So, I don’t know if it’s one that I should say I’m proud of or not, but I’ll tell everybody to look at a certain member of the family, normally it’s like dad or maybe big brother, and I say, alright, look at them and say, you smell funny. And the initial response, that’s not what I want, because, you know, the little kids will laugh, but normally our teenagers are like, this lady is insane, but it’s the look of each other going, she’s insane, that creates them to laugh, and then that’s the moment that I get.

[00:25:52] So it’s not so much that my prompt works for the way that it’s intended, but it gets emotion every single time. [00:26:00] 

[00:26:00] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. I love it. So. So good. All right. You ready for our lightning round? All right. Yeah. Okay, so what three things do you want to be remembered for? I want to be remembered 

[00:26:11] Kristen Coberly: that I love Jesus with all of my heart, that I love my husband and my children.

[00:26:17] And that I love others. Those are the three things that I really want to be remembered for. I love that. If you like to cook, what do you like to cook the most? So I don’t know if it counts as cooking cause it’s more baking, but homemade blueberry muffins. Ooh, yes. Yep. That’s 

[00:26:33] Lisa DiGeso: my favorite to make and then eat afterwards.

[00:26:36] I love that. I’ve been gluten free for eight years and. I just found some amazing gluten free flour and, you know, you’ve inspired me because I’m going to make gluten free blueberry muffins this weekend because I haven’t had them in so long. They’re good. Love it. If you have a favorite movie, what’s your favorite movie?

[00:26:53] So, Pride and Prejudice, I just, it’s a 

[00:26:56] Kristen Coberly: classic and my husband hates it, but I just love it. I can watch [00:27:00] it every week. I can’t. 

[00:27:01] Lisa DiGeso: I feel that way with Emma. Like, I love, like anything with like Regency or, are you a Bridgerton? Do you like Bridgerton? I have never seen it. I probably should. Yeah, you’ll binge watch it.

[00:27:12] It’s so good. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A doctor. A doctor. And 

[00:27:17] Kristen Coberly: I actually went into college and was in the middle of the bachelor classes to make my way there before I decided that being a mom was actually where I wanted to go. I love 

[00:27:29] Lisa DiGeso: that. Favorite guilty or not so guilty pleasure?

[00:27:33] Kristen Coberly: Oh my goodness. It is yogurt covered pretzels. I don’t know why, but they have just, they have my heart recently. I can be sitting there editing and I have to put the bag away because I’ll just start mindlessly popping them in as I’m editing. It’s It’s bad. But yeah. 

[00:27:46] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. Where do you feel most centered and happy?

[00:27:50] Kristen Coberly: Sitting in my yard watching my husband and kids play. Like that to me is just what brings me the most joy in this life. [00:28:00] There’s something about their laughter and something about watching my husband be a dad, which was his dream all along. I was over there dreaming about being a doctor and he wanted to be a dad.

[00:28:09] And just being able to watch that play out has been the best thing, 

[00:28:14] Lisa DiGeso: so. So great. What advice do you have for someone just starting out in photography? 

[00:28:20] Kristen Coberly: Yeah. So I think the best thing is just, you know, don’t give up. And that seems so cheesy, but we see this statistic where photographers, they do quit after two years, but then we also see this statistic that photographers become the most successful after two years.

[00:28:36] And so the moment you feel like quitting, that’s when everyone does, if you keep pushing on the success is coming and the clients are coming, you’re going to feel confident in where you’re at. And so that could be, that’s, that’s pretty much what I would say is just keep on going good. The success will come.

[00:28:53] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. What’s been the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given? 

[00:28:58] Kristen Coberly: Yeah. So be [00:29:00] consistent that, you know, even it’s what you do during the dead times is what determines your, your positive times. And so for me, I like to be in my feelings and my emotions. And whenever I see things, you know, not going so well, I’m like, all right, that’s it.

[00:29:16] That’s That’s my cue. I need to give up, you know, and being able to just move past that and just consistently do your marketing consistently, do your model calls, even whenever you may not have things lined up for the future. Those are the moments that define that future. 

[00:29:31] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah. I love that. 

[00:29:33] Kristen Coberly: So where can our listeners learn more from you?

[00:29:36] Yeah. So my website, kristencoberlyphotography. com. And then I have a Facebook page and an Instagram account, kristencoberlyphotography on those as well. 

[00:29:46] Lisa DiGeso: Awesome. And can you share what you’re going to be teaching on for the online family retreat? Yeah, I’m sure they can probably guess 

[00:29:53] Kristen Coberly: it, but I’ll be talking about capturing the beauty of large families and just talking about [00:30:00] styling, how to organize the sessions to where they’re stress free.

[00:30:04] And, uh, then I’ll be showing a behind the scenes video of photographing a family of eight with seven children and then editing those 

[00:30:12] Lisa DiGeso: images as well. So I’d love to end my interviews just with this last question, and it is, what are you currently curious about or artistically curious about? 

[00:30:22] Kristen Coberly: Yeah, so That’s, I honestly don’t have anything, but that was really kind of like, that’s kind of sad to me because that means that I’m not letting myself have those creative moments and those creative times.

[00:30:34] So it’s something that I definitely want to branch out in and really start thinking about and really giving myself the time and the space to do that because that’s what keeps us rolling in this business. You know, it’s what helps keep burnout from happening and it’s what keeps us centered in the midst of it.

[00:30:50] So. That’s something I really want to start focusing 

[00:30:53] Lisa DiGeso: on. I love that. Well, Kristen, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you. Yeah. Thank you for having me. [00:31:00] I really enjoyed it. Oh, my beautiful friends, I hope you have loved this interview just as much as I have. I am sending you so much of my light and my love today and every single day.

[00:31:13] We will see you next time.

[00:31:17] Hey friend! You know what’s the worst? It’s just being mid session and completely freezing. You start to feel awkward, your clients start looking at you for direction, and your brain feels like you just hit a wall. Now believe me, you are not alone. And that’s why we created the Storyteller’s Toolkit. It’s an emotive prompt guide to help sessions stay free flowing and fun.

[00:31:37] And best of all, right now, it’s totally free. It’s full of prompts for parents, motherhood, family, siblings, and couples, and even surefire smile prompts. And we’ve put together over 200 prompts for you so you’ll never be at loss for an idea again. Grab your copy at

share the love


Leave a Comment




Ebb and Flow: The Myth of Finding Balance as a Mother and Business Owner with Aspen Dawn

Play, Prompts, and Passion: How Liz Devinny Creates Playful Photography Masterpieces

Scroll-stopping Storytelling: Creating Fine Art Children’s Portraits with Photographer Iwona Podlasinska

A Passion for Pet Portraits: Making Furry Friend Photography a Profitable Business with Nicole Begley

Contracts, Copyrights, and Copycats: The Must-Do Legal Tasks for Your Photography Business with Kiffanie Stahle

Marketing Mindset Makeover: Why It’s Time for Photographers to Rethink Their Marketing Strategies with Carolina Guzik

The Profitable Photographer: Pricing for Profit in Your Photography Business with Jamie Devlin

The Procrastinating Robot with Lisa DiGeso: Strategies to Deal with Overwhelm & Procrastination

Picture Perfect Productivity: Strategies for Streamlining Your Photography Business with Brittnie Renee

Countdown to Success: Using The Rocketship Blueprint to Propel Your Photography Business Forward with Senior Photographer Sean Brown

Focus on Inclusion: Empathy and Advocacy in Neurodivergent Family Photography with Stacey Feasel

Learning Curves: How Maintaining a Lifetime Learner Mindset Can Help You Master Your Fine Art Maternity with Esther Kay

A Kid at Heart: The Art & Business of Preschool Photography with Trina Julius

The Business of Being Yourself: How Embracing Your Uniqueness Unlocks Your Creativity & Helps You Stand Out in the Newborn Niche With Natasha Simpson

Better Together: How Hiring a Team of Associates Can Help You Grow Your Photography Business With Jill Smith

From Scrubs to Shutter: Balancing Nursing, Photography, and Passion with Shannon McTighe

The Wild Side: Embracing the Beautiful Mess, and Capturing Authentic Connection with Tiffany Crenshaw from Animal House Photography

Golden Moments: Elevating  & Nurturing Client Relationships with Maternity and Newborn Photographer Kellie Golden

The Heart of Photography: Josie Tan’s Approach to Client Connections & Building Relationships in Your Photography Business

Advice From the Pros: Lessons and Reflections From 16 Photographers on What They Wish They Knew as Beginners

Giving Up the Ghost: Releasing the Stories Holding You Back in Your Photography Business.

Practicing Presence: The Healing Power of Slowing Down & Tuning into Mindfulness & Creativity in Photography with Joy Prouty

Inkpot Insights: Crafting Web Magic for your photography business with KP and Jessie from Inkpot Creative

Creating or Consuming: Education as More Than Entertainment, Taking Intentional Action Towards Your Creative Goals