First, thank you, for booking a family session with me. I know you have plenty of options for photographers, and I do not take it lightly that you chose me. Your family and your gallery of photos matter to me. I have put together this page of information to help you make the most of your session and answer any questions you may have. Of course, please don't hesitate to contact me with any other questions. I look forward to working with you to create beautiful art that tells your story of your family.
Location, Location, Location!
Now that you're booked we will start discussing the perfect location for your session. There are several favorite spots in the area that I love and are great for family sessions. The locations I recommend I know to have good light, and offer variety and depth for your family photos. Of course, if you have a spot that is special to your family, I'm more than happy go there. Together we will work together to find the perfect spot to document your family.
Rain or Shine?
The biggest question I get from parents who book a session is, "what if it rains?!" Don't let the weather be a worry for you. This is the pacific northwest and it rains. So we just have to be flexible. As we approach your session date, I will be watching the weather forecasts. If rain is forecasted for your session date, I will offer you three options.
- We select a location that has cover to keep you dry from the rain. I have a couple favorite spots.
- We do the session in your home.
- We reschedule.
All options are okay with me, it is just what will be best for your family. If your hair is like mine and gets really big when it gets wet, pick a different option. I get it. When we are flexible, we will find the right solution to rainy weather for your family.
What do I bring?
In all honesty, you do not need to bring anything. I do not use or bring props or anything like that. I want the focus to be on your family. However, I encourage parents to bring anything that is special their children. If your child always has his lovie with him, bring it. We won't do every photo with it, but let's capture that lovie while he still uses it. Maybe your daughter is like mine and carries her baby doll EVERYWHERE. Bring it along. Or does your family love to read a certain book together, or throw baseballs? Bring a book, or a ball and gloves. Think about those special details that tell the story of your family right now. We may not use everything, but at least we will have a chance to include them in your session. And often, kids are so excited to have their favorite thing included in photos.
One other thing to bring would be a snack (or treat) for little ones. Keep in mind the mess factor. Things that work well are fruit snacks, little graham crackers, cheerios. Smarties are my favorite treat for kids. They don't stain mouths and are little so they don't take them long to eat for a quick pick me up.
What to Wear
You've set the date, picked your location, now it's time to decide what your family will wear on picture day. The easiest way to put together outfits is using the personal styling site I have included in your booking email. The site allows you to select your style and find outfits for each member of your family that coordinate and photograph beautifully.
I have also put together a board on Pinterest to help you get started thinking about colors for your outfits. You can also peek through my portfolio to see ideas, too!
A few things to consider;
- Mom, dress yourself first. We are the hardest on ourselves. So pick something that you feel beautiful in. If you hate your shoulders, don't wear a sleepless top. When you feel beautiful it shows.
- Pick 2-3 colors for the family and everyone wear a variation of them. I suggest having two main colors and a third color as a "pop" color. Layers and accessories are a great way to add in that pop of color.
- Don't be afraid of patterns for some of you. Guys look great in stripes, plaid, flannel. Let them wear it!
- Avoid logos and really bright colors. Logos and words on clothes can be distracting. And colors that are too bright can also be distracting and pull attention away from your children's sweet face.
- Keep the time of year and location of your session in mind. Dress kids in weather appropriate outfits helps them cooperate best. If you're having to take a coat that you don't want in the photos on and off, the may not be excited to take it back off. Rocky terrain is rough with high heels, or by the river could mean getting a little wet.
- Lay out your outfits before your session. Try them in different combinations making sure that no one clashes or blends in (i.e. Mom and daughter in solid black, etc.).
- Once you have started putting things together, take pictures with your phone and text or email it to me. I'm happy to help and offer suggestions or reassurance!
- Let your kids be themselves. While I understand that you want everyone to look nice, if your daughter never wears a dress, don't put her in one. Or if your son really hates wearing a scratchy wool sweater, don't put him in one. If your kids are uncomfortable, it will show. And we want these photos to show who they really are right now.
If you're feeling stuck, please don't hesitate with any questions. I am here to help and I love getting a sneak peek of what you'll be wearing!
During Your Session
During your session I will guide you as I photograph your family. I help you get into positions that show your connection with each other, while being flattering and comfortable. We will begin with the most "posed" shots and then we will move into more playful poses. The idea is that by the end kids don't feel like they are having their picture taken, and instead they are just having fun with mom and dad. There will be big bear hugs, snuggles, tickling, spinning, twirling, dancing, running, jumping.
As parents it is often easy to want our children to be "perfect.' Trust me, I have 3 young kids, so I know. But my job is to worry about them. Your job as parents is to love on them, look happy and excited. Your mood will be contagious. I promise they are doing beautifully and we are capturing wonderful memories.
After Your Session
Once your session is completed, I will get to work on your gallery. Post processing takes approximately 2-3 weeks. I will work to get you a sneak peek on Facebook and Instagram as soon as I can. (Please let me know if you prefer not to have your images shared on social media.)
Once your gallery is ready, I will send you an email with a link and password to access your images. You will also receive instructions on how to favorite any must have images for your complimentary 8x8 album. At this time, I will put together a custom design for you, and, once approved, I will send off to a professional printing lab!
You may download your photos and order prints, canvases, holiday cards and/or albums directly from your gallery.
What is the End Result?
While you wait for your gallery, it is a great time to start thinking about what you want to do with your photographs when you receive them. You didn't invest time and money on family photos to let them sit on your computer. Will you want to put a want a canvas for your walls, prints for grandparent gifts, or maybe an album to have all of your favorite images together beautifully in one place?
If you're unsure of how to use them, I'm here to help. I can suggest sizes for your wall space, or even design a wall display of several images in one space.