Family Portrait Philadelphia Background

Newborn & Family Portrait Studio – Our Philosophy on Backgrounds

Apr 29, 2021

Honestly, yes, we have a philosophy on our backgrounds. We don’t just look at something on Pinterest and think oh that’s cool, let’s do it! As a newborn and family portrait studio in Philadelphia, our backgrounds are actually really intentional, tied to our brand, and curated to fulfill our promise to you. Wow, that’s a lot from a background.

What’s the first thing you see when you look at this picture? Is it that the baby’s beautiful blue eyes? Or is it Dad’s kiss. Maybe Mom’s grin? Maybe it’s all of it. Maybe it’s the feeling of how connected they are. But I’ll tell you what it’s not. It’s not the background. It’s super intentional that you are the focus of our imagery.

Our Brand Promise

Our brand promise is that we deliver fresh & modern yet timeless images. Cool, super easy, right? Nope. It’s super easy to get caught in what’s cool and current and run with it, especially with an incredibly creative team. But here’s the deal, one of my favorite things is when people (and by people, I clearly mean me) build a gallery wall of family portraits year after year. And you know what would ruin that? A super dated family portrait. So it’s a delicate dance to ensure we are delivering fresh and modern images that will look just as captivating in 10 years.

We cater to three totally unique vibes: Classic (transitional and traditional alike), Modern, & Boho Chic. These looks aren’t just about what you wear by about how you style your home. That’s why we always have five backgrounds, a few we will have year after year!


  1. Creamy White: Also called Ivory. As in Ivory Tree, see what we did there? Ok so why Ivory. Honestly, it’s super classic. It’s super timeless. It’s also super modern. And obviously boho, too. And literally every skin tone looks legit amazing on it.
  2. Backlit: This is when we place the light source behind you (ie you sit in our window). We’re kinda obsessed with this because it simply makes you glow! And whose little angel doesn’t deserve to glow!
  3. Whitewashed Brick: So the interesting thing about this background is that it gives tons of texture but doesn’t add a ton of distraction. And it transforms based on how you’ve styled your family session.
  4. Wallpaper: Ok, this is where we get crazy & wild. I know, we’re not spring break worthy. But this is changed out seasonally, so it will have a light and bright spring vibe or a comfy & cozy winter vibe. It’s for folks who aren’t afraid of color or pattern.
  5. Interior Design Trend: So this one is also a bit trendy, but let’s be clear design trends typically last at least a decade soooo. In the past, we’ve had a reclaimed wood wall (hello, Joanna Gaines) and we are transitioning to a board and baton (hello, Studio McGee). It’s something you could find in your home.
  6. BONUS: We always rock a holiday look!

Why It Matters

Cool, so know you know we always have five backgrounds. Oh, did you know you don’t need to choose a background? That’s right, you’ll use multiple backgrounds, and the photographer will work with you to determine which best matches your style (based on what you’re wearing), your home, and your skin tone!

Here’s what I think is the best part. They all work together. They are literally curated to ensure that if you select a wall collection, you can pick one image on one background and one image from another. Now we might steer you towards a balanced collection (i.e., two on one background and one from another if you have a classic vibe). But we guarantee all of the backgrounds will look amazing together. Here’s the secret, we ALWAYS have an ivory element in each background. It will tie it all together always.

Final Thoughts

We keep it simple for a reason. The very best reason. Your kids are cute. Your family is amazing. We have a fundamental belief that a simple background curated with care enables your big personality to shine. You could find any one of our backgrounds in someone’s home. That feels important to us.

More deets here about how to display your family portraits!



About the Author

Lara Aman Mattey

Founder I Owner I Ivory Tree

Lara is the coolest person alive, according to her husband, Nick, & two little ladies, Caitie & Lorelai. But she thinks her time is limited on that statement as they continue to grow older. Lara comes from a large family, with whom she is still very close with & you’ll often see shared through the blog and on social media. She went to Penn State (We Are…) where she met Nick.

Ivory Tree's very own photographer, Marcy shot her newborn photography sessions & Lara was hooked! Lara is not a photographer, super weird, we know. But lives for the experience, creative direction, and meeting all the cool folks who come through the Ivory Tree Portraits studio!

In addition to studio awards, Lara was also recognized at a Women of Influence on the Main Line in 2023.

Follow along as she shares studio antics, personal antidotes, & fun stuff going on in the community.

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