As a mom of three, trust me when I say: I get it. I know getting ready for a session feels pretty daunting.
It might feel a little overwhelming when you hand over your retainer payment for your session. There’s a lot of questions floating around in your head, amiright? Hopefully this guide answers all of your questions and you feel prepped and ready for your upcoming session. Your only job is to show up ready to laugh and snuggle. I’ve got the rest.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions you may have. I am here to help this process go smooth from start to finish.
Photo session day tends to be a little crazy. Several days before your session pull every outfit together and put in a special place, hanging up. Go ahead and steam anything that needs it. Gather accessories (like jewelry, watches, hats, suspenders, and shoes) and put them in a bag so it’s already together. The last thing you want to be doing is scrambling on the day of your session.
Treat your session like a special occasion. This is so much more than just family pictures. This is a chance to make memories together. Schedule hair, make up, and nail appointments. If you don’t want to splurge on those things, make sure you have a #selfcareday and give yourself a manicure.
You know how your husband has been grumbling about this idea since you first mentioned it? Let’s make this more enjoyable for him, shall we? First of all, let him know what my style of photography is like and share the tips I have mentioned. They probably haven’t been scrolling instagram for inspiration so they likely don’t know that it’s okay to laugh, play, and that they don’t have to be looking at the camera for every photo. Let him know this isn’t going to be as painful as those JC Penny photo shoots his mom made him do when he was growing up. I want dad to be himself, and maybe bring him a surprise beer if he needs a little help loosening up.
Pack a little bag to bring to your session.
If you have small children plan to arrive to your location early and change them once you arrive to avoid wrinkles from the carseat and inexplicable stains (you know from those old M&Ms that live in the cracks of their seats.)
It’s a good idea to have snacks and treats to help the little ones get through the session happily. Smarties, gummies, and puffs make excellent, non messy, mid-session snacks for the grumpy gills.
For the really little ones bring their favorite toy that makes noises or lights up so I can grab their attention easily.
A few other things to bring to make your session go smoothly are bug spray, hot hands (for winter months), water, comb/brush, baby wipes, a change of shoes, and a beer (just kidding… kinda… unless it helps then I’m all for it!)
TIP#1: This is going to sound weird, but hear me out. Don’t parenting during your session. Let me be the one to tell your kids what to do. You get to focus on loving and snuggling and laughing. I cannot stress this enough. Kids are cute, always. Moms & dads who are trying to force kids to sit still tend to have… not cute faces.
The caveat is, if they are in immediate danger you can for sure step in and be the parent again.
TIP #2: We are going to avoid “cheese” and anything else that forces smiles. I always tell my own kids that the most important part of this experience is that they have so much fun. I want real, genuine smiles. Above all, I want this to be fun for the entire family.
TIP #3: I want your photos to capture the essence of your family. Each and every family that steps in front of my camera is unique. I have go to prompts and activities to get you moving, but the beautiful thing is no 2 sessions are going to look the same. Don’t be afraid to let loose and be yourselves.
TIP #4: I’m definitely not against bribery. As a family choose a treat or activity that you will do after the session.
TIP #5: Small kids can’t fake it. They feel what they feel. I will not force them into anything they are not comfortable with. But don’t worry, I’m pretty good and making kids feel seen and welcome. I’m also not afraid to get really, really silly.
My favorite sessions are the ones where the kids let loose and feel free to be themselves. Even if that means I’m getting a few extra steps on my apple watch. It’s my goal to help you embrace these moments with them instead of trying to make them act a certain way. We will make sure to get a few shots of everyone smiling and looking at the camera, but for the most part I want you to just have a great time and be yourselves.
My favorite thing to capture is all those in-between moments that can’t be perfectly posed anyway. If one of your children starts running away from the group giggling, scoop them up and smother them in tickles and kisses. If they are shy or upset, hold them close and tell them how wonderful you think they are while tucking their hair behind their ear. If you as a parent keep smiling and having a good time, I will be able to capture sweet moments the whole way through.
Adjust bedtime and nap schedules. Especially since the late spring and summer sessions tend to start pretty late in the evening it’s a good idea to push back nap time to accommodate for the later bedtime. I do not recommend giving your toddler caffeine (if you chuckled at that you’ll probably enjoy my dumb humor.)
WHAT IS YOUR TURN AROUND TIME?
You can expect your proof gallery within 7 days and the final gallery about 2 weeks after you make your selections.
WHERE SHOULD I PRINT MY PHOTOS?
I suggest printing them through my online gallery. You receive the same cost I do through my professional print lab that has been vetted by me to have the highest quality possible.
I’M NOT PHOTOGENIC CAN YOU HELP?
YES! Believe it or not, very few of my clients would consider themselves photogenic. It’s my job to make you look ah-mazing.
WHAT HAPPENS IF IT RAINS?
I don’t want my camera gear or your hair getting messed up. If it rains, we will reschedule.
WHAT TYPE OF POSES DO YOU DO? CAN I SEND YOU PINTEREST INSPIRATION?
I do a mix of posed and guided candid poses. We will capture a few classic “smile for the camera” photos. But the vast majority will be in motion. I’ll give you a few prompts to get some genuine connection. You can certainly send me some Pinterest inspiration but keep in mind I can’t recreate a pose exactly and I will put my own twist on it. You hired ME after all.
CAN WE BRING OUR PET?
yes. yes. yes.
WHAT IF MY CHILDREN DON’T COOPERATE?
Your child isn’t special in that regard. I’ve seen it all, and I’m used to it. Here’s the important thing… don’t let it get to you. I can get photos of any wild child, but I cannot get a flattering photo of a mad and sweaty mom.