Clever Ways to Make your Adoption Profile Photos Stand Out



My mantra is and will always be: photos are the most important part of your adoption profile book. They are the quickest way to connect with expectant parents. Picture it, an expectant mother is handed a stack of 5-10 adoption profile booklets to review. Does she read every book from start to finish at first? No. She skims the books, looking for things that resinate with her- maybe it’s your warm smiles, your German Shepherd (she grew up with them too!), your photos by the beach because she dreamed of having a child grow up by the ocean. After you connect visually through photos and design, she will then take the time to read your book word-for-word. Text, adoption language, and design are all super important but photos are hands down, the most important part of this process.

I realize that putting so much pressure on good quality photos can be overwhelming. It can be tempting to use whatever photos you have in your current stash, even if the quality is subpar, because the thought of taking new photos for your profile can feel really daunting. I hear you. I was there once. But I can tell you that it makes all the difference.

I get a lot of questions about how, where, when and what to do when taking new photos for your booklet. This post is dedicated to finding alternative and clever ways when the traditional outdoor, nicely lit photo just isn’t possible. Some of us live in areas of the country and world where it’s hard to get beautiful photos year round (I’m in Wisconsin, so I can relate!).

First and foremost, I suggest ditching the iPhone for your cover photo, back cover photo, and supporting large photos placed within your adoption profile book. Cell phone photos have come a long way and they work well in certain areas of your booklet (if they are nicely lit and not grainy)- but I highly suggest taking some photos with a point-and-shoot camera or a DSLR. Most of my clients hire a professional for these portions of their profile booklet, but I have a camera rental program if you’re interested in doing it yourself! Just contact me for more information!

For those of us who live in cold-weather climates it can be so hard to take great photos in the wintertime! Check out these clever clients who did a photoshoot at an indoor garden center- the lighting was fantastic and the greenery makes a great background! If you need to take photos for your adoption profile book in the winter think about indoor locations like garden centers, quirky coffee shops, or cheery stores like Cost Plus. Just check out these amazing engagement photos taken at everyone’s favorite store, Target!


Stunning, right? I just loved looking these photos over. Great job Kelsey and Ryan!

Last but not least- check out Ugly Places, Pretty Portraits. I love the idea of taking photos in front of the paint samples! What a great idea!

Our Chosen Child