Family Prep Guide

Preparing for your session

My goal for your session is creating beautiful images that you will look back on and love. In doing this I spend time prepping for your session to ensure everything runs smoothy and you are at ease.

This prep guide is another step I take in preparing you for your session to help ensure that your images not only capture you in this moment, but also convey your story authentically.

In this guide I will cover; communication, what to wear, posing tips, what to bring, what I have in studio or what I bring to your location session, what to expect during your session and when you will receive your gallery.

First, it is very important to communicate your vision for your images. What colors should you wear? Would you like an in studio session? Would you like a location session, if so, did you have a particular location in mind?

The days leading up to your session I will reach out to make sure we have gone over every detail of your session.

What to wear

Here are some tips that might help you coordinate your outfits

• Think about the location. Make sure you’re dressed in a way to make it easier to move. If your signature look is a pair of heels, remember to bring a pair of sneakers or slip ons in case we are going on an adventure to get to our location!

• This isn’t the time to try out a new style. Wear something that you would normally wear. If dresses are not your thing and you hardly ever wear one, don’t feel pressured to wear one if you want the photos to look sophisticated! There are other ways to achieve that look without going outside of your comfort zone! You want to look like yourself in these pictures. Remember, feeling comfortable and confident is key!

• Solid color outfits tend to look better than prints, which can be distracting and overwhelming. If you do go with a print, make sure it’s not too loud. If you are a bold person, opt for a super fun pair of shoes or showcase it with your accessories, rather than a bold print.

• Start with a neutral base and build from there. Neutral tones are typically more flattering and cohesive than bright colors. Pick two or three neutrals to start with and then add little accents of color if you want!

• Consider the weather! Make sure you’re prepared with cute coats if it’s cold or rainy!

• Do not match. Avoid wearing the same outfit (especially the classic white-t-shirt look.) and avoid putting your kids in the same shirt, it’s tempting because it’s cute but it doesn’t make each child stand out! Instead, try to coordinate. Mix and match the base neutrals that you picked out. You should also look like you’re all going to the same place.

• When trying to coordinate outfits in a family I find it easy to do one outfit first (I would recommend planning the entire wardrobe around your outfit). Take that outfit and use it as inspirations for other outfits. Use the same base neutrals and find different ways to incorporate your pops of color in the other outfits. Remember to think of your location. Try to coordinate with the setting, you don’t want to clash with the trees or even with your own home decor.

When dressing kids for sessions, keep these things in mind:

  1. Avoid character themed clothing. Stay away from logos, images, or graphics. Even though it might be their favorite shirt, it will be a serious distraction in the image.
  2. Make sure they have matching socks!
  3. Being able to move around in their clothing is a must!

If you’re still stuck, head to Pinterest for inspiration and you can send me pictures of your outfit(s) if you want my opinion! When in doubt, ask!

How to prepare

There are a few things you can do to prepare so that our session goes smoothly and we can all have a great time and get great pictures!

• Avoid foods the day before your shoot that make you feel bloated (fast food, foods that are high in salt or fat or sugar). Trust me, being bloated is not going to make you feel pretty during your shoot!

• Bring some snacks. For children, make sure they are well fed and watered and rested before the shoot! Bring non-mess snacks. Avoid gummies, chocolate, or crumbly items, instead opt for cheerios, raisins, even mini marshmallows, white cheese (in case it gets stuck in their teeth), or a promise for a bigger treat later… I am not above bribery!

• Make sure everything is all ready the day before so you aren’t scrounging up your clothes in the morning, you don’t want to be flustered before your shoot!

• Don’t get your hair cut/colored right before the shoot, the best time to do it is about a week to two weeks before.

• Try on your outfit a couple days before the shoot, you want to make sure that you still feel great in it. If you don’t feel great, change it up!

• Talk to your kids about the session before. It’s best not to surprise them with it, if they know what’s coming they can prepare themselves (even children as little as 2 need some warning!). You can show them my picture and tell them that a silly friend is coming to take their pictures, but not to worry because they aren’t going to have to sit and smile for an hour!

• If you have any questions about your session (that isn’t answered in this guide) send me a message!

What to Bring

I will usually have a lot of back up stuff with me for your session. However, here are some handy things that you might end up needing!

  1. Water bottles (especially for those summer sessions or hiking sessions, it gets hot!)
  2. Snacks
  3. A brush, hairspray, and/or gel.
  4. On that same note, bring a little makeup bag for touch ups. Make sure to include some type of towel in case anyone gets too sweaty.
  5. Comfortable shoes!

There's more!

Okay, now that you are ready for your photo shoot, I have some great extra tips and tricks for you! This will help you with my shooting style and give you an idea of how your session is going to go.

I do my very best to make sure your pictures don’t look “posed.” I will start with a few posed photos for you, however, I am a fan of candid photos and will do my best to help you feel comfortable to get those more natural looking, candid poses.

Never stop moving. Seriously, the more movement you give me, the more pictures you are going to get. When I give you a direction and you stand still, you are going to get one shot from that pose. But if you take my direction and move around, you’ll get so much more variety. Don’t worry though, you’ll get the hang of it while we’re shooting! This style of photography works so well with kids because sometimes they don’t even realize they are getting their pictures taken! Feel free to take any liberties with any of the directions I give you, kisses, hugs, tickles are all welcome at any time!

We’re going to get really silly. I will be making a fool of myself all in the name of getting your kids to laugh and I expect silliness on their end, and that’s okay! I want to encourage as much personality as I can and I suggest you do the same. Nothing screams authentic quite like trying to do the chicken dance while hugging!

If you are uncomfortable in any of the poses or actions, stop and adjust. If you’re uncomfortable then the pictures look forced and we do not want that!

Be yourself! Remember, these are pictures of you so don’t try to be like that person from Pinterest. We will try a number of shots and not all of them will turn out and that’s okay. The ones that do turn out will be the most natural and beautiful versions of you and your family!

It is really important to arrive on time. We are booking your session according to the light so we may be limited, it is very important to start on time. It's best to plan to arrive early. I can't wait to capture your family!

Turnaround time

Turnaround time often depends on the time of year and how busy I am. Typically I deliver your gallery 7-14 days following your session date.

I'm looking forward to your session and can not wait to capture these memories for you!

Please let me know if you have any questions!