photography tips

12 Instagram communities for parents (and not only)

Today I am going to showcase 12 Instagram communities for parents (and not only).

If you started your Instagram account but it seems like nobody sees your pictures, nobody is liking them or commenting on them it’s probably because you’re not “hanging out” in the right places and because you’re not involved too much into liking and commenting yourself.

Also stop using very general hashtags like: #kids #food #children #fun #beautiful #family #etc 🙂 There are so many pictures under those hashtags that yours if not standing out with something super original then will be lost within seconds after posting it.

Find few communities and stick to them. Use their hashtags for relevant pictures you post and stay active in those communities. Don’t just post and go away. If you want to get more likes, start conversation under your picture you have to make the first move. Comment on photos of other people, spend some time going through the hashtags and like other people photos.

The communities I’m listing in this post are fun and family friendly accounts that focus on photographs of parenthood, children, food, fun and creative photographs of your everyday life.

Sometimes if your photo is interesting enough you might get your picture featured on their grid. That’s pretty great if you want to get more exposure to your account or if you want to gain more followers. At the same time following those accounts and using their hashtags will give you access to a great number of moms and dads who serve as great inspiration.

Some of the accounts have weekly or daily “challenges” / “themes” that you have to follow in order to get featured on their grid. But some have general hashtag that you can use every single time you post something on your Instagram account but it’s not related to the daily(weekly) theme.

The accounts I will mention here today are not only children related. They vary from food and life/home style to flowers and bugs and more.

Here we go:

1. Moms with cameras (

◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌ ●●●⇢ⓓⓐⓘⓛⓨ ⓣⓗⓔⓜⓔ⇠●●● ◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌ ✪WEEKEND FAVS. || #momswithcameras✪ ◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌ ✽ѕelecтed вy мod: @heidikesteloot Thank you @ewasamples for sharing your beautiful photo with @momswithcameras! Please be sure to show your support and visit their gallery. ◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌●◌ Please remember to tag #momswithcameras for a chance to be featured during today’s theme. ●⇢Please note, by tagging #momswithcameras you are giving permission for this page to feature your photos.

A photo posted by moms with cameras (@momswithcameras) on


2. Hiyapapayaphotoaday (

_______________________________________________ Today is a main tag day and anything goes as we highlight your images tagged to #hiyapapayaphotoaday. Please help us congratulate the following photographers on their great features: @ewasamples @rr_desh @minimalistchick @its_alwaysautumn ______________________________________________ Tag your photos with #hiyapapayaphotoaday for a chance to be featured! ______________________________________________ RULES : ?You may tag up to eight (8) old or new photos for each theme. ?Only tag photos that have NEVER been featured on @hiyapapayaphotoaday. Browse the hashtag to get ideas and inspiration and to support and encourage other artists! ______________________________________________ { Mod: @hiyapapayamom } ______________________________________________

A photo posted by BY @HIYAPAPAYAMOM (@hiyapapayaphotoaday) on

    3. Sunny picture challenge (  


4. Shutter Sisters (

    5. The children of the world (


6. Snap-ish (

    7. Our everyday moments    (

8. jj_nosquares (

with this account is a part of @jjcommunity which you should follow as well and some of their other accounts:

  1. @jj_its_kids
  2. @jj_mobilephotography
  3. @jj_fromwhereistand
  4. @jj_blackwhite


9. All the differences (

10. Mom_Hub (

  11. Nothingisordinary_ (

Repost from @nio_mod_riceandbeans, Hello NIO friends!! Today it’s another beautiful NIO day! As always, many possibilities , and many beautiful images are being showcasing on our main gallery today! Keep on tagging all your non themed shots to our main tag #nothingisordinary & #nothingisordinary_ for a chance to be featured ! Please say hello to our featured artists by visiting their galleries : —————————————— ——– TL @mecminun BL @formligen TR @hiyapapayaphotography BR @ewasamples ————————————————– – New and old pictures are allowed – Please tag your OWN photos that have NOT been previously featured -No more than 7 photos on our themed tags Collage by @nio_mod_riceandbeans aka @MsBrasil2000 ————————————————– A photo posted by Join us! Tag#nothingisordinary (@nothingisordinary_) on


12. My_365 (

Last but not least. This community is where I started my adventure with Instagram and got to know most of my followers and the people I follow.


Instagram can be a fun way to connect with people, even make friends. For example a year ago I got to hang out with very talented and super creative @dodovo while visiting Orange County. I had never met her prior this trip. We only knew each other from Instagram and through our pictures. 


Anyway, if you are on Instagram don’t forget to follow me (@ewasamples) and say “Hi”.

Also, don’t forget to edit your photos before you post them anywhere. Here is my video with in which I show you how I edit my iPhone photo before I post it on Instagram:

if you’d like to chat about your session with me, please email to ewasamples(at) 
also, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter and in return get on an exclusive list of mini-sessions, and model calls. 

How to look beautiful, comfortable and confident during a family photo session

In my opinion, there are as many ideas of how to dress for a family session, as many family photographers are out there.

I’m ok with using patterns while some photographers try to discourage from doing so. I’m ok with mismatching and not coordinating although I know, that many photographers have different opinion about it. And that’s ok!

I love scarfs, shawls, hats, and always encourage my clients to bring those accessories to the session, while other photographers would encourage you to have clean and simple style without any distractions from you as the main subject. That mostly happens with studio photography.

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The common question

We all have our own styles and we want our clients to dress the way we like our brand to be portrayed. Elegant, funky, colorful, vintage. If someones style is vintage and elegant they will guide you to dress accordingly to their brand’s style.

One of the most common asked questions before the session is: “What do you want us to wear?

– “Wear whatever you’d like” said no photographer ever. We always try to give a small hints and advice of not to wear, what colors to avoid, etc.

I do try to encourage families to pick clothes that would make them feel comfortable and confident. I also always say,

“wear something that’s YOU”

If you’re planning to do a glamour sessions, or to update your social media profile photos session, then that’s a different story, and I will want to talk about that, also by inviting local photographers who specialize in that kind of photography for short interviews. Will be posting the interviews here.

How to look confident and comfortable during family session, san jose family photographer

Sometimes feeling comfortable is not enough

On the picture above I’m wearing cloths that are comfortable and make me look/feel confident. That day I also let my kids to dress themselves. This is us and I adore the picture simply because our dog (who is old and very sick) was with us and the main reason for this picture (and few more) was to photograph the four of us together. I didn’t really care for festive clothes, because it wasn’t the look I was going for here, it was the memory.

You don’t want to look at your family portraits and wish you were wearing something different. That spoils the whole experience.

There isn’t a worse thing, then spent great amount of money on outfits for the whole family and then right before the session find out then the kids don’t want to wear it because it’s something new and probably not comfortable, or something that they don’t really like but it was picked because you wanted to match it to your dress or dad’s outfit. It also isn’t fun when during the session you don’t feel comfortable in what you’re wearing; When it doesn’t feel like it’s YOU.

In a perfect world you should feel 100% confident with 100% beautiful, and 100% comfortable. Is this really possible to achieve? Probably, but I think trying to reach a healthy balance among those 3 is the best indicator to start from. There are always things that won’t be 100% the way you want it. There is always not enough time for the perfect make-up because dressing the kids took way longer than you had expected. Let me know if I’m wrong but I think that most of today’s moms feel the most comfortable in yoga pants and t-shirts so asking them to wear something beautiful, festive, and at the same time comfortable feels like something very contradictory. right? 😉
But still I always say that anyway, knowing that many of my moms will come to the session wearing jeans. Am I upset about it? Not at all, as much as you shouldn’t be if you choose to dress that way. Just don’t forget to thrown some extra jewelry, and a colorful scarf and you’ll be looking good!

Here is a photo that hangs on my wall as a canvas:

nola's iris garden-4a

My kids wearing my scarfs (what they simply LOVE to do), one of them wearing her shoes on the wrong feet (at that time she wouldn’t let me help her with putting them, she wanted to do it “by myself”). Kissy and huggy in a new, unique place. THAT’S US!

It was us during one of our “adventures” while location scouting. The photo tells a story to me, and it’s way more US then the photograph with me in a black dress (last picture in this post)

The less you have to spend on your outfits the more you can invest into your post session products

Dressing nice to a session doesn’t have to mean spending extra $500 on outfits. There are ways to coordinate outfits for the entire family just using the clothes you have in your closet. You just need to know what to look for. If your friend has a dress that you really like, and it’s your size, and she doesn’t mind you using it, well, what’s the problem in borrowing it? There are many ways and resources, and I will try to help you to find out what would work the best for you in this matter.

As an example, here is a dress my mom used the wear when she was a young woman. I inherited it when 15 years ago she decided to clean her closet and this was one item she wanted to get rid of. This dress is unique, and I love unique! If you have a treasure like that in your closet, bring in with you! I WOULD LOVE TO PHOTOGRAPH YOU IN IT!!!

How to look beautiful, comfortable and confident during family session

How to look beautiful, comfortable and confident during family session

Color matters

If you want to make the session fun and colorful and if you’re a family who really cares about details then there are websites out there which can help you with picking the right color palettes for the entire family.  Here is a websites with ready color combo palettes and schemes. Just find your favorite and try to coordinate your family outfits accordingly to one of the pallets. It’s a really great website if you dig deeper into it. Here is another website where you can have more fun with experimenting with the colors. This website let you see what are the complementary colors in case if you’re one of the bravest and would want to dress your family in those colors.

For the picture below my kids wanted to wear tutus, and you know, when a kid wants something, the kid gets it just for the sake of a good picture in the process 😉 With all the color going on them, I simply tried to stay neutral.

How to look confident and comfortable during family session

Pastel colors work best for photographs. I always encourage people to avoid red, white, black, and bright yellow. Small accessories like shawls, jewelry, sweaters, jackets, hat, etc., make a big difference in the picture. If you normally don’t wear any make up, I would recommend to add some blush and mascara to your overall look for the purpose of the session.

With whatever you decide to go, don’t over do it. Don’t reach the point where you don’t feel like yourself anymore.



If you’d like to chat about your session with me, please email to ewasamples(at) 
Also, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter and in return get on an exclusive list of mini-sessions, and model calls. 

Hope to hear from you soon, 
Ewa, your Family Photographer



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How to do a cake smash session {Cake Smash Photographer, San Jose, CA}

This post is for professional photographers as well as for parents who consider hiring/doing 1st b-day cake smash for their little one. In a few simple steps I will tell you how to do a cake smash session, and succeed with it.

Cake smash is not about posing, it’s not about the right outfit, or the perfect location. It is about fun and mess, and celebration of your little one turning ONE! It is one-of-a-kind session, and I highly recommend doing it with your kids.

I won’t lie to you.

Cake smash sessions are not the most complex and hard to do. They are super fun, and they can be done in a comfort of your own home. No matter if you’re hiring a professional or doing it yourself, theses few simple tricks will help you to get the best out of this session.

If you’re prepared the right way, they are not even that messy. If you’re hiring a photographer, it is good if he/she can come to your home, so you’re close to the bathtub after the session is done.

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1. The best time to do the cake smash session.

DEFINITELY MORNING, right before breakfast.

It is good to feed you lil one a very small meal before the session. The more hungry the baby is the more likely he/she is to dig into the cake! Also sleepy and cranky babies equal disaster, no matter what activity we are trying to do with them. Our little ones go through stages of up and downs during the day. It is the best thing to pick the right time. If your baby is most likely to be happy after his afternoon nap then do the session at that time.

2. The cake.

CAKE IS IMPORTANT, but don’t let it to take away from the whole experience. Don’t forget that it’s your little one who is in the focus not the cake.

If the cake is too sweet, it’s guaranteed the baby will not want to eat it. Most store-bought cakes are too sweet for such small kids to enjoy it.

Also the frosting should be soft so the baby is encouraged to dig deeper. The softer the better.

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3. Decorations

Cake smash session can be done anywhere. Studio, your home, your back yard, public park. I like simple decorations that you can get at any party supplies store or etsy. Color coordinated set up is recommended. You can use you wall as a background, and get a plexiglass sheet from a store for the floor, or vinyl flooring from Home Depot. If you already have a hard wood floor then non of these are necessary.

smash cake photography, san jose -1

4. Team work

No matter if you’re hiring a professional or doing it yourself, cake smash is a team work. One is taking pictures while all the participants try to encourage the baby to eat the cake or encourage him to smile.

Often the baby will burst into tears or simply will want to leave the scene without even trying the cake. Do not give up. Try to encourage him/her to have a bite. Cut it for him/her if necessary. Engage into a game of digging in. In the past I had a baby who didn’t want to touch the cake, but was ok with digging in with a fork. Get creative with it.

You must know that situation is new to your baby, and he/she needs some help to understand it.

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5. Don’t hesitate to use tricks

Remember, during cake smash session your baby is put into a totally new situation. Not only he/she is presented with a overpowering flavor of sugar, sugar, sugar, he/she also is not sure if all of the sudden he is allow to get so dirty and messy and just go for it. Let encourage the baby to eat the cake by sneaking a favorite food into the cake, for example, small pieces of banana 🙂

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6. Bathtub

Cake smash without sweet bathtub photos is not a complete session. Don’t forget to finish your session with some water and bubble bath 🙂 Make it playful and relaxing, your baby worked hard for this.

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If you’d like to schedule a session with me, please email to ewasamples(at) 
Also, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter and in return get on an exclusive list of mini-sessions, and model calls. 

Hope to hear from you soon, 
Ewa, your Family Photographer

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