Let's start here…..with two cuties that I met when they were babies and they hated me then….and I have taken their photos every year since and guess what? Now they love me because they know me, know what to expect and we have fun! That is my goal with each of my clients…..
….ok, hopefully you are smiling now.
DETAILS & THOUGHTS
+ I am a modern, lifestyle photographer which means I aim to get my clients at their natural best and not perfectly posed. I will pose you and then wait for it to naturally "de-compose", often that is when we get the best shot.
+ I take a lighthearted approach to the session and will often step back and just let our time together unfold. In order for you to get the most out of our time together, I ask that during the session, you leave the cares of the world behind and vow to love each other, giggle, and have fun!
PRIOR TO THE SHOOT
+ Prior to the shoot I will want to speak with you about you, your family and get to know you a bit in order to figure out how to structure the shoot. You can help me by 1) providing as much information on your family as possible and 2) communicating your goals.
+ Communicate any goals for the session with me before or at the beginning of the session. Is there a certain look you are going for? Do you have something particular in your mind that you want to do – a photo that you love, a setup, a location, etc. Feel free to send me any sample photos in advance.
+ Newborns should be fed before the session and have a full tummy at the beginning of the session. This will leave them sleepy, cuddly and happy to start the session. Expect that we may have to break for a feeding at some point during the session as well! The house / room we are shooting in should be warm and calm. Please have a few clothing options for the newborn as well as a swaddle prepared. During newborn sessions it is also very important to make the other siblings active participants so I will spend time focused on them as well.
+ We want to capture you being you! I will give you direction and suggest activities, poses, but our goal is to get a finished product that leaves you with memories of you and this time in your life forever. So, what helps achieve this?
Be playful! Don’t be afraid to pick up your children and toss them in the air.
Be loving! Give your wife a sweet kiss on the check. Tell your husband how much you love him and appreciate him for being there for your family.
Have fun! Laugh. Giggle. Joke. Embrace. Kiss. Snuggle. Play.
Doing these things will allow me to capture the emotion and true beauty of your family. Leave the stiff “cheese” faces behind. Show your me who you really are, so that she has the opportunity to capture your love through her lens.
BE CALM: If you are calm. The kids will be calm. Don't worry about how anyone is acting (this is esp for toddler and babies..... oh and husbands :)) your worry will put pressure on them. I can handle it and will tell you if I need anything. My approach is very calm and easy going and to let kids be themselves. After all, that is what we want to capture! Often times the less direction kids get the better. Yelling and demanding young children to look at the camera to smile will only stress your children out and will result in strained, unnatural photographs. Please step back, and allow me to naturally interact and talk with your children. This will result in natural, gorgeous smiles. Help me capture the true essence of your child’s personality by talking with and coaxing out those smiles naturally and easily. A parents stepping back and be especially important with teens, but that depends greatly on their personality and we should always discuss this beforehand.
BE HAPPY: Put all cares and worries aside and come light of heart and ready to have fun!! This is extremely important. The more you love your fellow subjects the more you will love the finished product. The camera captures relationships and feels emotion deeply, as do I.
LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!
Daddy, please cheerfully participate! I know that many dads dread the family photo session, but fathers, please understand how important capturing your family is. These images will be left as a legacy, when your children are grown, with families of their own someday. Family photos are treasured forever and they are so important. Once you see your happy wife and amazing photographs, you will be so glad that you gave this time to your family. The more engaged and open the dad is the easier it is on everyone. Give him a drink before if it helps! :)
LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!
WHAT TO WEAR
+ Where to start: When selecting your clothing think of the outcome you are hoping for and dress the part - Where are we shooting? What are we shooting? Is there a theme? Are you going for a certain look? Are you going for soft elegance where neutral tones will look best? Outdoors where jeans, and blues work well with nature's colors and textures?
+ For a newborn shoot I always suggest neutrals because they add to the soft, calm tone of newborn photos.
+ What is most important is that you are comfortable in what you wear. I am going to ask you & the kids to sit on the grass, benches, mud (just kidding….well maybe), cuddle up on the bed or sofa and I want you to look good but I don’t want you to worry about getting dirty or wrinkled because you might. This is particularly important for kids. We are aiming to capture the reality of life and the beautiful nature of the interactions in your family. THIS means that we will move around and the kids MIGHT get dirty and that they should be comfortable enough to be themselves. If your daughter does not like dresses and it is a battle to put it on and she is pouting…..then it would probably be a good idea to be an alternate outfit just in case.
+ Matching is out. Coordinating is in. Be creative! So how do you coordinate without matching? Start by choosing a color group or category. Examples color groups would be: pastels, deep colors, primary colors, earth tones, etc. Coordinating color is what really brings wardrobe together. I usually choose two to three main colors of wardrobe, and maybe one accent pop of color. Also, mixing stripes with plaids and tweeds is okay! Expression is important. We want to see your personality through your wardrobe. Layering ads depth and dimension and can really add to the photo – sweaters, cute belt, statement necklace, blazers, etc.
+ Dress for the situation and location - A fancy black dress and a dress shirt and tie wouldn’t be the most appropriate wardrobe for a forest or grassy setting. More formal wear would be more appropriate for an urban or “big city” feel. Also, if we are shooting a lifestyle session at home wear whatever it is that you would wear at home. No coordinating or matching necessary. Those sessions are meant to be as normal, true to life and every day as possible.
+ Minimal wardrobe for newborn sessions. The times I recommend clients keep wardrobe super simple is during newborn photos. In these cases, you don’t want the clothing to overshadow the precious little person that we’re showcasing. I recommend grey, black, and white for these shoots. If we’ll be posing a big sister with the baby, light pink is a good color that adds a little something, but again, it’s not enough to overpower the baby.
+ Things to stay away from:
- Steer clear of fluorescents. Fluorescent colors tend to color cast on faces, necks and hair. They’re harsh sometimes. I always recommend versions of primary colors. Yellow (mustard), red (maroon, brick), and blue (navy, royal).
- No small checks....gingham and small checked men’s shirts sometimes make photos look fuzzy. While I have had successful shoots with both, it is ideal to stay away from these. Stay away from green when taking photos in grassy/wooded areas, it can be too much green
- Avoid loud patterns and graphics: I’m not anti-pattern. It is the giant logo across the chest or a cartoon character on their shorts that draws attention away from the beautiful little subject! I prefer clients not choose clothing that draws attention away from their face. I also feel that big logos or images on clothing takes away from the peaceful, beautiful moment I am hoping to capture and have you treasure for a life time!
I can't wait for our session! Feel free to ask me ANYTHING! Remember my goal is to make the photographs you are dreaming of!