Hey hey! I'm so excited to have the opportunity to document and craft some photos for you. You can come with a glimpse of the kind of images you want, or we can figure that out together! These sessions are totally collaborative, so if you want to go for a certain look or vibe, I'm here for it. It's totally normal to also feel a little anxious about your session, so this guide is here to help ease any worries and questions. We'll cover choosing a location, outfits, the process, and more.
You might be asking what the heck golden hour is! In short, it's the hour or so before sunset when the light is the softest. So I tend to shoot my sessions 60-90 minutes before sunset to make sure we get the most magical light, and to avoid harsh shadows and bright spots. This also means that it’s super important to be on time. If you’re late to an evening session, we could run out of light before we’ve finished shooting.
Sessions may fall during or after bedtime for your kiddos. As much as I know a consistent bedtime routine is important, in order to capture the best light (during golden hour) we're likely going to have to throw off your schedule a bit. Sorry about that, but I promise it's worth it! And ultimately this is how I keep my work consistent.
To make this all happen, there are a few things you can consider: such as pushing their nap a bit later in the day, keeping them awake on the ride over (so they don't wake up groggy/grumpy) or packing some PJ's so that they can crash in the car and you can tuck them into bed as soon as you get home. Kids also often get a burst of energy once the fresh air hits them, and they can play/run around during some photos.
A stranger holding a big ol' camera in front of your kiddo(s) is an entirely new element for them! They’re likely not going to entirely be themselves. Your quiet child may unleash the energizer-bunny from depths you've never seen, or your wild-child may suddenly become shy or anxious. Rest assured, it’s all ok! The best thing you can do for your kids is to go with the flow and stay positive. The more you relax and have fun with things, the more likely your little (or big) one(s) will get on board. It can also be helpful to pack a few treats/bribes for younger kids. My 2022 family sessions were practically sponsored by M&M's. FUN NOTE: We got the best genuine smiles + laughs when parents yelled out funny words instead of "say cheese." See below!
For a lot of families, they let all the funny words rip to get their kids to laugh endlessly. I don't care what it is if it works. Phrases that I've heard parents use to get kids (and adults!) to erupt with giggles are things like yelling poopy booty, buttcheeks, fartling, and penis.
I highly encourage families to not forget about the love they all share. Get close, share a moment with your kids, or with each other, and give them the space to do so. It can be serious, silly, or intimate. Not every family is open or shows their love the same way, so I get it if you want to keep things fun. Tickles and/or cuddles all make for great photos.
When it comes to posing for your session, you don't need to worry about a thing! With kids, there is more of a focus on prompts and games to get them to forget about the camera a little. Get goofy. Get serious. Go full model if you want. I'm incredibly patient with kids, and things don't always go as planned. It's ok to drop expectations of perfection. We'll still document your family authentically <3
There is only so much that we can prep for and control with photos, and so retouching is an extra option for those who want their favorite images to be absolutely perfect. Hell, even I retouched most of the photos of myself on my website to remove the bags under my eyes. Retouching can include things like removing stray hairs, blemishes, eye-bags, redness, slightly enhancing the eyes, smoothing out skin and clothing, teeth whitening, and so on. You'll notice a few of these changes by hovering over the before & after image here. Retouching runs $10-$20 an image.
I want you to be comfortable in the outfit(s) you pick, and to feel like *you* with whatever you wear. With that in mind, there are styling choices we can make that work well with both my editing style and your personal style. Neutrals are always an amazing option for any location, and work well with pretty much everyone. Go white or off-white for brighter, elegant look, or darks for a moodier vibe. A common pairing is a neutral shirt with blue, black, white, or tan/brown pants. Some go formal! You'll see some of my favorite outfit choices below.
Going formal is absolutely an option for those wanting sleek, professional, elegant photos. For those wanting to go more masculine, consider a fitted suit and tie. For a feminine look, the favorite go-to are dresses (that you might wear to a wedding or formal dinner). Dressing formal also lends itself best to Black & White edits.
One thing we often forget is the texture of the clothing we wear! This can add a refined or elegant element to your photos that draws the eye in. Texture adds an added layer of contrast to your photos by subtly combing one or two pieces (or more) of clothing with different textures.
If you're not feeling like doing all solid colors, patterns can work great too! If you go this route, remember to have solid color pants to avoid too many distracting elements going on at once. Opt for colors that compliment your eyes, hair, etc.
Neutrals are your best friend, and lend themselves best to my editing style. Black/White are always safe choices, as well as pairing a color with them like brown/tan, dark navy, olive green, or any other muted or darker color. Just think muted colors!
When we first meet up for our shoot, (I'll be so excited to meet you in person if we haven't before!) I'll run you through what I'm thinking for everything. This is also a great time to talk about any ideas, hopes, or questions you might have. I am an open book when it comes to sessions and photography, and no question is off limits. If you want to have music during your session, bring a playlist! If you've brought a pet, we'll decide whether we want to get photos with them at the beginning or end of the session!
After your session I'll sort through all the photos to remove all the shots that are blurry, or where you're blinking, or that just didn't work. During the editing process, I edit each photo individually in my signature moody, warm, earthy style. Once I feel like they're ready, I'll upload them to an online gallery for you that you can share (or not), where you can download your favorites (or everything). I'm hopeful that between my work, my website, and this guide, you'll trust me and my craft.
↠ Up to 30 Minutes
↠ 1 Location
☾ 50+ Images
+ Unlimited Downloads
+ Printing Rights
↠ Up to 1 Hour
↠ 1 Location
☾ 100+ Images
+ Unlimited Downloads
+ Printing Right
↠ Up to 2 Hours
↠ 1-2 Locations
☾ 150+ Images
+ Unlimited Downloads
+ Printing Rights
I'm so glad you want to work together and help pay my bills. When you choose a kick-butt visual storyteller (me), you aren't just choosing someone who will kick butts. That part's important (obviously), but there's also the part where I'lll be the person you'll be hanging out with for a good chunk of time. We're going to rock what we work on together, and I want you to know that you're in good hands. I'll bring the snacks.
I've been shooting more and more sessions where we incorporate lanterns or a drone at the end. If you're not into either, which is totally fine, skip this section. We can break the lanterns out as the sun sets to get that beautiful moody blue haze. Or do sky-down portraits with a drone overhead (where you lie back facing the sky with the ground as your backdrop). Both of these are totally optional. You can opt for one, both, or neither, but I like to offer these as FREE options for unique photos during your session.