Thank you so much for considering me for your family photos! It is my hope that together we craft not only awesome memories, but gorgeous, timeless images as well. My style is photo journalistic, I love capturing families playing, snuggling, being goofy, and just loving on each other. I will always do my best to get that one desired shot of everyone looking and smiling at me, but will for the most part, be giving piggyback rides to your kids, encouraging dads to show off their kid-flying skills and having little ones give moms their BEST hugs EVER. I do my best to create a fun and easy-going experience that will have you coming back to me again and again for your family photos!
Family session last about 1 hour and typically take place in the evenings for optimal lighting. The family photography package includes 40+ professionally edited digital images with printing rights.
Preparing your kids for our session as much as possible often takes the timidness out of the evening. Please make sure kids know that this is FUN! No threats, as they usually bring about tears and added stress. Don’t even bother telling them to be sure to smile or “be good”. My goal is not to get a picture of your child “being good” or just “smiling” but having fun and interacting. Some kids who have been coached to smile for the photographer get so nervous that they are fighting laughing and relaxing because they are so worried about having their picture taken or making their parents happy!
Instead, I’m a huge fan of bribery - (ice cream after!) is always a great idea for the ones who need a little extra encouragement. However, please don't bring sweets for bribing during the shoot, they tend to be a distraction.
Styling is one thing I try not to have too much of a hand in, since I want you guys to still be you, but here is my 2 cents:
Think layers. Probably the biggest difference between sessions that look great and sessions that look wow: little boys in a t-shirt, with a button up over it, along with a blazer. Throw on a fun hat (bowler, fedora, stylish ball cap) and you're set! Little girls: same thing, leggings, fun skirt, tank with a sweater and a tasteful (not too big) headband.
As you think about your color palette, imagine your family being one complete piece of artwork. Each person/outfit will bring together a feeling of formality and coordination. Instead of everyone wearing the same shade of blue - think about what accent colors might look nice with said blue. Perhaps blue plaid shorts for your son with a t-shirt, vest and hat. Pull some of the colors of his plaid shorts to find a great skirt or dress for your little girl. Dad can wear some jeans and a shirt that coordinates with the plaid shorts and skirt on your daughter, and finish it off with an awesome jacket. Mom will round the entire family out with some great boots, leggings and darling dress that (again) coordinates with the family color story.
Remember to dress down to you and your family's feet! No scuffed Reeboks for boys, but fun shoes like Converse, "boat" shoes, or boots. Same for girls, no Dora crocs, but more traditional Mary Janes or boots work best!
What NOT to wear. Remember the Olan Mills look of everyone in khakis + white button down shirts? That isn’t the kind of matching I’d like you to do. Again, think coordinating without matching perfectly. Dads, instead of defaulting to a plain polo - look for fun colors, stripes, plaids. Texture photographs amazingly. Get creative!
Helpful tip! Head into your local GAP (or the like) and mention you’re styling for family photos. They are happy to direct you - and free of charge! No need to pay a stylist when you have knowledgeable fashion advice right there in the store.
Just a few thoughts on your kids + the big day! I mentioned bribery. Love it! Keep in mind that most bribery snacks make messes and have dye in them to change your kids' mouths. Usually this backfires and all they want to do is eat instead of pay attention to me. I suggest keeping the goodies in your bag or car until after we’ve finished.
Please make sure your children go to the bathroom before leaving, as well as limiting their liquid intake beforehand. This allows us uninterrupted shooting time!
Sessions with younger children (18 months and under) typically last one hour. If your little one isn't accustomed to staying up until sunset, please adjust their naps as best you can, and rest assured that one night of staying up past their bedtime will be just fine as we will actually be having fun (I promise!).
With your older child, please don't say, "That's not your REAL smile". I know what a real smile looks like, so even if I'm snapping away, I'm just trying to loosen up your son/daughter! I promise I won't be giving you cheesy smiles for your finished order!
As with any age, I take my time and do my best to allow your kids to feel comfortable around me and know we are going to have a blast!
Mom & Dad. During the shoot, if you are not in the picture, please let me just interact with your child, unless I ask for help! Many parents will stand behind me trying to get their babies' attention and all it does is distract baby from me! I like to give the little ones a chance to just play with me, so it's okay if they aren't giving big smiles right off the bat. Trust me and trust the process.
Mom & Dad. Something else to keep in mind is to be watchful of your own expression as you’re trying to get baby to smile. Remember you are in the photos as well! Rest assured I’ll be watching all of you and will definitely let you know if I see something out of place or looking off.
A quick but important note: if the weather turns out warmer/cooler than you anticipated when putting together outfits, please adjust what everyone is wearing. Doing a session when it's sweltering and kids are over dressed is never fun. Likewise, if a cold front comes through unexpectedly, please put sweaters on your children however, I will most likely reschedule or cut sessions short if I think the kids are too cold/overheated. In case of rain, I will be watching the radar all day and will be in touch with you to reschedule if necessary.
Just as important as the weather is that everyone being photographed be feeling 100%. There is not anything worse than an unhappy and sick feeling child - they especially do not want to be in front of a camera. At the first sign that your kids aren’t well, please give me a call and we can reschedule.