What should we wear?
The most important thing I tell my families and couples is to choose clothing that matches your style, that fits well and that you’ll be comfortable in and happy to wear. Trust me - if you're uncomfortable or something doesn't fit right, it will show!
Here are a few other pointers to think about:
- While it used to be popular for everyone to match exactly (think matching white shirts and jeans!) many families now lean towards choosing a color palette of 2-3 colors then letting each family member choose their favorite clothes within those colors. In general, it is best to stay away from neon colors except for as an accent.
- Pay attention to the details - fun jewelry for the ladies, and hats/scarves can make fun accessories for all ages!
- How about shoes? Comfortable and classic is best, e.g. boots, pumps or sandals for ladies/girls and loafers or canvas shoes for men/boys. It’s best to avoid flip-flops or running shoes that may detract from the rest of your outfits, and make sure socks are clean and understated in case they should be visible!
- Avoid wearing clothes with logos, characters or wording. They can be distracting and take the focus away from your family's beautiful faces.
Check out my Pinterest Gallery with examples that other photographers have put together if you'd like to get some ideas.
What should we bring/have handy?
You shouldn’t need a lot, but depending on your family here are some suggestions of things to have handy (or pack in a small backpack or tote if we're shooting outside your home).
- If your family includes small children, light snacks and something for them to drink are good to have on hand – items that won’t stain if dropped on clothes. Children (and adults!) are always in a better mood if they have full bellies and are well-rested. Water for the adults is also a good idea.
- For babies/toddlers: extra diapers, wipes and a change of clothes just in case! Having a change of clothes for older children is a good idea as well – you never know!
- Feel free to bring toys/stuffed animals/books that your child loves and that you don't mind them being photographed with.
- For the girls/ladies don’t forget bobby pins, hair ties, make-up for touch-up, etc.
- Lotion & chapstick – especially in winter for any dry skin on hands, elbows, knees or faces.
- If your shoes aren’t comfortable, bring an extra pair to change into if we need to walk to get to a spot.
What’s a typical session like?
A typical session lasts around 90 minutes at an outdoor location that we'll choose together, and normally starts about 60-90 minutes before sunset. I’ll confirm timing with you 36 hours before the session.
A typical session lasts around 90 minutes in the comfort of your home, and normally starts around 10:00 AM. I'll begin the session spending a few minutes walking around, checking the lighting in different rooms to find the most flattering location(s). Each home is different but bedrooms are often a fun place to shoot in, as well as front porches/back yards (weather permitting).
General Session Tips
If possible it helps if young children have had a chance to eat, and if they’re still napping have a chance to nap beforehand.
I aim to make sessions relaxed and fun, and while some of your portraits will be posed I also aim to capture the natural moments in between. Definitely let me know if there are certain poses or groupings of family members that you want included. I'm always willing to incorporate your ideas, so don't be shy if you have any suggestions.
What happens if I have to reschedule or cancel?
I get it, life sometimes gets in the way of well-laid plans - kids get sick, unexpected things happen and you may have to cancel our session. My policy is as follows:
- Sessions can be rescheduled more than two weeks prior to the scheduled time, to another open date.
- I am able to reschedule cancellations taking place less than two weeks prior to the session one time, to another open date.
- If a session is cancelled twice less than two weeks prior to the session, the non-refundable deposit will be forfeited and a new booking required if you chose to move forward with another date.
The reason for this is simple - when you schedule a session with me I’m reserving that date and time just for you. This means that I was unable to offer it to anyone else, and I’m usually unable to fill the slot if it's cancelled less than two weeks beforehand. There is a lot that goes into a custom photography session - time emailing back and forth beforehand, contracts/paperwork, scouting the location, driving to and from the location, 90 minutes shooting, 4-6 hours uploading images to computer, sorting through and selecting images, custom editing selected images and providing those images to you; more emails about your images and potentially time spent ordering, packaging, and delivering prints. In all, I spend about 6-8 hours per client session from start to finish.
I promise to value your time and commitment by putting everything I have into this process and hope that you will do the same for me. I'm sure you can understand why I feel this way and why I’ve made this my policy. Please let me know if you have any questions about this.
Have other questions before your session?
Let me know!