Prior to your session
I want us to have fun during your session! Please try your best to communicate with your kids that our goal for the session is to enjoy ourselves. I am all for playing, and dancing, and I pretty much make a goof out of myself.
I am all for bribes! Ice cream after the session, anyone? However, I just request to not bring any sweets during the actual session. Some clients like bringing some to surprise their kids with after the session.
MOM + DAD
I totally understand that photo sessions can be stressful. Moms, I’m sure Dad would appreciate a little bribery too, but maybe something better than a bag of sweets!
WHAT TO WEAR
The eternal question! I am here to help guide you with your choices in your clothing. The most important part of your outfit is this: wear something that will make you feel confident, and comfortable! I want you to wear something that will exude you! Here are some tips though to help stir you towards the right direction.
I love layers. Put together one or two layers together. Think plaid shirt + a hoodie or a cardigan for the boys, or leggings, shirt, and a coat for little girls.
*Stay away from neon clors, or big headbands and bows. They tend to make photos dated , and eyes tend to be drawn to the accesories rather than the face.
For Moms: Dresses + sandals for spring and summer, or with boots for fall. A lot of my clients love neutral patterns, and those colors do tend to photograph really well. Jeans plus a cute blousy or boho top works well too! A personal favorite for me is putting that together with a statement necklace. Wear your hair down, perhaps in a nice wavy curl also.
For Dads: Chino pants/short and jeans are always the best option! Cargo pants tend to not photograph well. Button up shirts, henleys, button up + plain t-shirt inside works also.
For Girls: Same as mom! don’t forget to accessorize.
For Boys: Chino pants or shorts also are the best to photograph. Pretty much the same as dad!
For babies and tots: I actually do love photographing rompers also! Please feel free to share your romper ideas.
WHAT TO WEAR | MATERNITY
You will have access to all my maternity gowns! I carry a few very neutral and pastel colors. Interested in purchasing your own? I highly recommend Sew Trendy Accessories. Please allow 8 weeks for processing of your dress. The sooner you order, the better. If you would like to try on the ones I have in the studio, we can set up a fitting appointment prior to your session.
When picking out your maternity dresses, the best ones I’ve found are dresses that cut above the belly. Bodycon dresses are perfect as well as they hug the bodies in all the perfect places!
Want to do pants + top? Definitely! Think of jeans and leggings for pants, and a fitted top also!
*dads- please refer to the prior page for tips on what to wear.
I suggest picking at least 3 colors for your photos. Think of having at least one color that will make your photos pop. As you decide on the colors, think of your photos as art work. Since photos will most likely be displayed, pick colors that will also work well with where you will display them.
Pick at least one or two people in the family to wear something with a printed pattern on it. From that outfit, go ahead and pull the colors out of that outfit and distribute it to the rest of the family. You can distribute this by getting a plaid shirt for dad, or a putting the colors into layers. This could either be from skirts, to boots, cardigans, and even shoes! Mix and match.
Just as important it is to find accessories for the head, such as hair bows, head bands, hats, fedoras, it’s also important to prioritize shoes. Wear shoes that are not going to take away from the outfits. Think boots, boat shoes, loafers, converse canvas shoes, TOMs, Vans classic shoes, and the like.
Avoid running shoes type of sneakers, flip flops, or sneakers that have cartoon characters on them.
Dads: if you’re wanting to wear loafers + chino shorts, please keep in mind that white socks tend to not photograph well, and going sockless is a better option.
what not to wear
Just like how there are things that are good to wear, there are things to avoid. Stay away from the white shirt, blue jeans or khaki pants look. Another look to avoid from is matching outfits for all the kids. I mean exact same shirt,pants, or dress for all the kids.
Remember to coordinate, not match!
There are also colors to avoid. Anything that is fluorescent do not photograph well. Red is good, but think more burgundy, and less fire truck red. Green is a good color, but avoid anything in the kelly green shade. The reason for this is that these colors tend to cast on skin, then giving the appearance of skin to be that color. Neon yellow skin is not fun!
A lot of stores will offer help to styling you and your family. Stores like the Gap, H&M, and Nordstrom are some stores that will help out coordinating outfits for you and your family.
Dress for the weather! Prepare backup outfits, coats, cardigans, or jackets in case the weather all of a sudden changes on us!
ON THE DAY OF YOUR SESSION
I mentioned earlier how I really like bribing kids during photo day. Keep in mind though that most snacks and candies will make a mess, and we wouldn’t want that on their carefully picked out outfits. Keep the snacks or treats in the car or your bag, and they can enjoy them later. If we really do need to take a snack break, please have a backup shirt, and baby wipes ready. I do keep some handy in my car with me to help out with cleanup.Make sure to use the bathroom prior to coming to the session. Also I suggest limiting their intake of liquids so that we don’t have multiple interruptions.
My sessions typically last about 1-2 hours. They’re a little bit shorter for families with kids under 2 years old, as to not overwhelm them.
Since my sessions are shot two hours prior to sunset, please make sure to adjust nap times. I understand that this is a concern specially with routines, but I promise it’s worth breaking it just for one day.
For older kids, I suggest not stressing out about their real smile. I will capture their real smile. Try to avoid practicing “cheese” with them as this makes for stretched out muscles on the face. If you insist, practice with words that end with -ah like “grandma.” As always, I promise to only deliver real smiles.
MOM + DAD
For photos that it’s just the kids, I have one request. I would like to interact with your kids on my own, but I promise to ask for help when I need it. Some parents think it’s best to stand right beside me, or behind me, but that ends up distracting the kids. Their eyes become directed towards you, rather than me, or the lens. I like playing, and chatting with the kids, so please don’t worry if you don’t see big smiles right off the bat.
For family poses, please don’t worry about your kids. Some parents will talk, and say things like “look at the camera” but then that ends up for shots with parents talking. Don’t worry, and just focus on things like good posture, and chin positioning. Chin out (not up) and tongue right against behind the front two teeth make for the most flattering face. Please be rest assured that I am making sure that I am looking at everyone in my camera, and making sure all are good.
I will also take my time to take photos of just the two of you! I usually save this for the end of the session. I know, I know, mom and dad need photos too though! During this time, maybe bring a book, or a game for kids to play while we are doing your photos. I usually have a blanket with me, so they can go ahead and sit down there while we do your photos.
weather & illness
As I suggested earlier, prepare for weather. Things can change, so always have a backup outfit
just in case it changes on us. Don’t over or under dress. It’s not something that I can do to take out goosebumps or beads of sweat.
Now in case of rain, or heavy snow, I will cancel if 2 hours prior to me leaving for our session, the weather is still unruly. As for overcast days, I do not cancel on them. We will just shoot without full sun as long as rain isn’t in the forecast. Overcast days actually make for pretty good photo days.
If a child or you are sick, please let me know ASAP! Unhappy and sick kids will not make for good photos, and this is most likely something you wouldn’t want to hang on the walls anyway. Please also remember that besides families, I also photograph newborns, so it’s best that we all are healthy when we meet.
AND ONE MORE THING…
I try to keep my setups simple, and don’t like to bring to much fuss for the photos. I want them to exude your family, and not the prop or setup, so I limit what I bring to pretty much just a blanket at most.
One thing that I do LOVE is if your kids bring their lovie, or favorite blanket or stuffed animal. Those days where they are just in-love with something so innocent, and quintessentially childhood just go away way too quickly.
Nursing moms- if you would like to include nursing photos, don’t hesitate to ask me, please. This is something I would also love to photograph for you!
Buy clothes that fit NOW, and not for later. Make sure the clothes are flattering and that they fit. I know it’s tempting to have something to be worn later on, but baggy clothes don’t photograph well.
Please bring bug spray as well. I do tend to shoot in high grass areas. I do carry my own, but please feel free to bring your preferred brand.
I am looking forward to meeting you and your family. If you have any questions that were not covered here, please let me know!