I can’t wait to embark on this adventure with you! The gift of documenting your family is a wonderful thing and something that your family members and children will hopefully treasure for many many years to come. So let’s make sure it’s awesome!!
The first thing we need to do is think about HOW you would like to document your family. This is your homework! I’m hoping you have chosen me because you are drawn to my style of photography. I love to document the interactions between family members. Sit and smile for the camera is definitely NOT my style.
Where to start???? Make a list. What do you envision the backdrop of your session to be: a wide open field, a beach at sunset, in the woods making s’mores, a lifestyle session in your home? I want to hear about you and your family. What types of activities do you like to do together,?? I always have an open line of communication; it is key to getting to know you even before our session begins, so talk to me! In addition, I want you to know a little about me. Read my BIO too!
*A note on Pinterest: I love Pinterest, and it serves a great purpose. Use it to brainstorm themes and clothing. HOWEVER, please don’t ask me to regurgitate someone else’s work. That is someone else’s style, another day/time/location/moment/family. I will NEVER be able to replicate an image exactly, nor would I want to. Feel free to pin MY images to a board and share them with me before your session.
Take time planning your clothing. What you wear can be just as important and where we shoot. Keep it timeless, simple, organic. A mix of solids in a color theme with a soft color pop and a simple pattern is always a winning combo. Dad in gray or kahki slacks and button down with sleeves rolled, or a nice textured gray sweater for example, or mom in a long flowy dress, jeans/boots and flowy top. Please NO STRIPES OR NEON COLORS. These are never flattering. No logos/animal/graphics on kids shirts.
Some favorite shops are: JCrew, Anthropologie, Hazel and Olive, Old Navy, Mini Boden, Boden, Zara for kids, Francesca’s in Evergreen Walk, Little Trendsetter, Joyfolie, Bailey’s Blossoms, Olive and Evie, and James Vincent Design Company .
Are hats, flower crowns your thing? Add that in too! I have great connections for these items (joyfolie, local florist) and a few items available in the studio wardrobe.
Finally! After all this planning you get to sit back and let me do the work. Families often show up and aren’t quite sure what to do. Hopefully I already know a little bit about you and vice versa.
So we are all here, you are dressed up, I have my camera, now what? There is always a 15 minute warm up time. This is when your family is getting comfortable with me and my camera. It will feel stiff, slightly uncomfortable. This is when I like to get my more formal and posed shots. I will direct you to look at me or your kids, etc… After everyone relaxes a bit and the kids are getting into it we can start having fun! Parents PLEASE don’t direct your kids to look at me/ say cheese. Let me interact with them and build a relationship with them. Your only job during the session is to listen to me and to interact with your kids in a fun and playful way. I want to see you playing with them and having a great time. We don’t want to document stiff smiles and unhappy children/parents.
Snacks for the kids during the session. Please leave them at home. While I understand the desire to have a bribery, the end result is usually an unhappy child with a mouth full of food. I’m fairly certain you don’t want to display that on your wall! Instead, offer a reward after the session. Discuss this on the drive to your session so that they are excited about it!
A note on dads. Hopefully they have been involved in the planning process so far. However, if they are just showing up for the date please inform them well ahead of time that this will take 1.5 hours. I will ask them to lift/play/get on the ground with their kids. We don’t want grumpy kids and we definitely don’t want grumpy dads.
Cell phones during our session. Nope. Don’t bring them out and don’t take pics of your kids during the session or the session is over.
After The Session
Now that the session is over my really work begins. I need to cull through all of these gorgeous images in their raw form, inspect them to select only the best of the best, run them through a hand editing process and post them in a gallery for you to view. This is a time consuming process (often 5+ hours per session) and one that has taken years to develop. It typically takes 5-7 days to turn your images into art.
I am one of the few experienced photographers in the area that offers digital images to my clients. I will continue to do that this year, but all of my collections come with a print/album credit. Use it!!! Get those images in your hands. A digital image on a computer can never ever compare to a professionally printed image. Think about how you want to use your art. Do you want a large wall display, a mini album to stick in your purse, a large coffee table book with thick durable pages that lay flat and a premium leather or linen cover, an artisanal walnut box with a sliding top containing thick/premium cotton prints from your session? I have examples of all of these things for you to touch and feel. Please don’t take this art that you worked so hard to achieve and have a shutterfly book made or prints through walgreens. Not only does that leave you with items of poor quality to display, but it definitely doesn’t represent the work we put into these images and diminishes the value of your art and my brand. If you are stuck and aren’t quite sure what you want to do with your images, just let me know and I will be more than happy to offer suggestions!
I ask that all print orders and digital selections be placed within 7 days of receipt of your gallery.