What should I expect during a standard photo session?
It is my hope that sessions be fun & relaxed for clients. While there will be some posed shots, there will also be many candid moments. If I can offer the biggest piece of advice, it would be to take a deep breath and relax. Go into the session planning to show your loved one(s) how much you love them! If you are relaxed, having fun, and enjoying your special time with your loved one(s), it will translate on camera.
We will be on location, and we will discuss where and what best fits you. I shoot natural lighting outdoors, unless it is for a special event. The best time is during "golden hour" which is 1-2 hours before sunset. Having a child of my own, I know how important it is to make sure your children are comfortable with me. Sometimes that means telling cheesy jokes, making silly noises, blowing bubbles, etc. I have also been known to bribe with sweets (with parental permission). My assistant and I are patient and willing to do our best to capture their sweet smiles and it's absolutely okay to take a break and let the kiddos take the lead. The fee includes photographer’s time and talent, a fun photo session, a social-media preview, and an online gallery with digital downloading/print ordering options.
What do we wear? Bright eyes and a smile! It is so important to be comfortable and well-rested. If you feel uncomfortable or tired, chances are the pictures will show it. Find something that fits your own personal style and just be yourself. That being said, here are some pointers:
What is your theme?
After having these pictures taken, I sure hope that you will want to display them in your home (and not just on your holiday card). I'm a big believer in displaying family photos. Not only do personal photos make us feel at home, but I think when kids can actually see images of love & laughter all around them, it only helps to reinforce that they are growing up in a loving, supportive environment. It also goes without saying that these photos can be passed down for generations to come...
So let's say you have a blank wall in your family room and you're hoping to hang canvase(s). The clothing or theme you choose should look nice and match with the color scheme in that room. It doesn't have to be "matchy matchy" per se, but the colors & theming should compliment. Is it vintage, traditional, modern, playful, dressy? You want the wardrobe to reflect this theme, so make sure if it is the whole family being pictured, they all get the memo. There is an unwritten rule of “3+1”, which means three coordinating colors plus one color pop. As a tip: start with Mom's outfit and go from there. Try to avoid shirts with logos such as “See Rock City” (even though Rock City is the jewel of the south). Tops with one letter or number from places such as Etsy are very cute, especially if it is a child's birthday portrait. If you want to go with a traditional black or white, spice it up a bit by placing pops of color somewhere. It is that little bit of difference that adds dimension to your photos. If everyone is wearing the same colors, I always suggest a color-complimenting scarf or hat. Be even more daring and make that a patterned scarf or hat!
What about my engagement shoot?
What I love best are when one is in solids and the other in a fun pattern. Be yourself but add a little “something” to make them extra special. Fun pair of shoes, fun hair accessory, hat, etc. Most times, the bride-to-be outshines the groom-to-be, but make sure not to take away from him completely. Meaning, just as important it is for you to look YOUR best, it is JUST as important for “Paul” to look his best, too. Get your hair done. This is a good time to try out your hairstylist for your big day. Also, getting make up done is key! PS. Please be careful if you're getting a spray tan, to avoid the orange look.
What about my maternity shoot?
Tanks with Jeans. Long, maxi dresses that show that sweet baby bump. Dresses with fun shoes. Dad’s-to-be in Jeans & Tee or khakis & relaxed button-up or polo shirt. Simple, sweet, and comfortable. Feel free to bring any props you'd like to incorporate including but not limited to: onesies, baby shoes, ultrasound photo(s), etc.
What about “Nolan's Blankie”?
When my sweet boy was a toddler, he carried a security blankie with him everywhere he went. To this day, he still sleeps with it and it accompanies him on every single road trip. I think it is so important to bring things like this to your shoot; however, it’s always best to leave “Blankie” at the bottom of mom's diaper bag until the very end otherwise “Blankie” will be in all of the images. Not sure you want that? Please bring something that will soothe the sweet little ones just in case- think suckers, snacks, etc. Most of the time we do not need these items, but there is always a chance with kiddos. Also, if they eat before the shoot, make sure they have wiped their mouths. Try to steer clear of giving them any colored beverages (like Hawaiian Punch) an hour or two before the session. Clean faces & teeth are the best!
Any other items of importance like a memorabilia, a grandmother’s quilt, etc just bring them. Please let me know if you want something in the picture so that I may incorporate it.
How many clothing changes should I bring to a shoot?
If you are booked for a mini session, then no outfit changes. If you have booked a full session then two outfit changes would be just fine!
** If you are still stumped, I would love to help you. Check out my Pinterest board of wardrobe inspiration HERE or just email me! :)