Frequently Asked Questions

What is the story behind “Red Thread?”

The Ancient Chinese Proverb is a commonly-used saying within the adoption community. It symbolizes the bond that all adoptive children have with their adoptive parents, even before they meet. An invisible “red thread” connects them to the people they are destined to meet. Although this Proverb truly relates to all people, it has a particularly strong connection to adoptive families and seemed like the perfect name for this organization.

Does Red Thread Sessions match adoptive families with photographers?

Red Thread Sessions operates a website that connects adoptive families and participating photographers via the website listing only.  The website acts as a bridge for families to reach out to participating photographers.  The website does not offer a matching service, which allows adoptive families to have the freedom to choose a photographer who best meets their needs.

How do I find a photographer?

Congratulations on your adoption! To find out if a photographer is available in your area, please click on the “Find A Photographer” tab above. After you read and agree to the disclaimer, you’ll be able to search for your area. If you aren’t able to find a participating photographer in your city, try searching for your state with the fully spelled out name, and then with the abbreviation. Also, please take into consideration what city you will be flying into if you are searching for an airport homecoming photographer.

The photographer I contacted wasn’t available and/or I couldn’t find a participating photographer, what do I do?

Try searching again for another photographer in your area by the full state name, and then the state abbreviation. If you still are unable to find a participating photographer, that means that we don’t currently have participating photographers in your area. We are growing everyday, but still don’t have photographers covering every U.S. city. Please let your local photographers know about our organization so we can represent all of the major cities!

I contacted all of the participating photographers in my area, but no one responded to me, what can I do?

Participating photographers have agreed to respond to all inquiries within 48 hours. While we understand that life sometimes gets in the way and this isn’t always possible, please contact us directly if you haven’t heard back from them in 72 hours. You can contact us via email at We do our best to maintain the listings with photographers operating active businesses, so your help is very much appreciated.

Will I have to pay anything?

The investment for your Red Thread Session will depend upon your professional photographer. Your session fee, deposit or retainer is completely waived – your photographer has graciously waived those fees for your family. However, each photographer sets their own print and product pricing. Please contact your participating photographer for details about the investment for your session.

Why do we only have 3 months to complete a session with a participating photographer?

Red Thread Sessions are meant to capture the newness of your family and all of the emotions that go along with that.  This is what makes our sessions so unique.  Our aim is to preserve the precious, happy, confusing, exciting, exhausting, traumatic, life-changing time that is so often brief and fleeting in the life of an adoptive family.  The first three months represent the very special transition that takes place in all adoptive families.

I want to do a Red Thread Session, why do I need to sign a model release?

Red Thread Sessions runs a blogsite and participating photographers submit images from their Red Thread Sessions for inclusion in the blog. We want to celebrate your adoption with you and we are excited to show off your new family! In order to do that, all participating families must sign a model release that provides our organization with permission to publish your images.

I am pregnant and planning to relinquish my child in an open adoption. Do I qualify?

Yes! Although pain is a very real part of any adoption process, photographic memories are still so important for both you and your child. Birth photos can help a family working through the grief of relinquishment and photos serve as a cherished keepsake for an adopted child. However, a Red Thread Sessions photographer must be contacted with the consent of the adoptive family.

My family would love an airport session but our arrival date won’t be known until our adoption is complete. How can we make it happen?

Please contact your participating photographer to discuss scheduling details. Your photographer understand that flight arrangements are generally made last minute and will do their best to accommodate your schedule.

I have already completed my adoption but I would like a session. Do I qualify?

If your adoption has been completed in the last 3 months, then yes, you qualify for a Red Thread Session! Please contact a local participating photographer as soon as possible to schedule your session.

How many people can participate in our session?

Your Red Thread Session is designed for your immediate family only. If your session is an airport or birth session, your photographer will capture the activity going on during the time and will include the people who are present. In those cases, there may be more than just your immediate family involved.

Will the session be in a studio or outdoors?

This will be dependent on the type of photographer you choose to work with. Some of our participating photographers work outdoors while others choose to work in a studio. Please choose a photographer to suit the type of session you would like to have.

What if my child is still adjusting to the adoption and isn’t cooperating or feeling very happy during our session?

This is all part of the adoption process and our photographers understand that. Adjustment and transition is a huge part of the adoption process and we want to capture that too! To make sure your child is at his/her best, please schedule at your child’s best time of the day. It also helps to make sure that your child’s tummy is full before you start your session. You may refer to your photographer for other hints and helpful ideas, but please remember that our photographers have a lot of experience working with children and know how to bring out their best!

Will I receive digital images as part of my session?

All products, including digital images, are up to the discretion and business practices of the participating photographer you choose to work with. Please contact your photographer for digital file investment information.

How do I sign up to be a photographer?

Thank you for your interest! Please click on the “Volunteer” link for more information and requirements to become a participating photographer.

Who do I contact with a question/comment?

Please use the “Contact” page and your question will be forwarded to the appropriate member of our team.