Making the most of your photography session
After 10 years in the game…
I have found these details to be helpful.
Photography sessions are supposed to be fun
I emphasize the word supposed because in some cases, things happen that prevent one of the parents from having fun. Sometimes this happens before the session begins. When it comes to planning your session, the details aren’t just within the where, when and who will be in the photos. It also entails the entire day leading up to your appointment.
When getting ready for pictures, be sure to choose a day that is totally free. Make sure that you have enough time to dress each family member (including yourself) and have enough time for travel + traffic or bathroom stops for the little ones (going to the potty before leaving the house is ideal.) Try to make pictures a happy experience from the very beginning of the day. Try to give yourself enough time for unexpected issues to come up, so that you are calm and happy (this radiates from you, and the rest of your family feels the same way)
Try not to yell, or become frustrated. This is the number one mood killer during photography sessions. Even if your child isn’t cooperating, chances are – I’m still documenting who they decided to be on the day of the photos. I have only ever had one child cry during photos and the parent ended up asking for more photos of him crying because that was out of character for him, and she wanted to document the one time that he did that.
We are constantly trying to advise our children of the danger of interacting with certain strangers. If your child is sometimes shy with people that they do not know, I will not be offended, however – it could impact the way the photos turn out. It may be helpful to explain to your little one who I am, and why we are meeting in the days leading up to the photography session. Sometimes explaining my role helps your child to be more comfortable with me, as a stranger.
What to wear
Clothing is what can make or break a session, you can find a full guide on what to wear right here. If you are going shopping for new outfits, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for help. I actually prefer to be a part of the planning process if possible. Below are some examples of do’s and don’ts for outfit choices.
Dress appropriately for the season and the location
If we are taking winter photos and it is actively snowing or there is snow on the ground, consider wearing long sleeves, long pants, gloves, hats, mittens and scarves to really tie in that “baby it’s cold outside” feel.
Shoes: Boots are my favorite for photography session shoes, I do not recommend tennis shoes with neon colors. One rule of thumb would be.. if it has shoe laces, it most likely is not photography session worthy. In the summertime or at home, bare feet gives off a comfortable, care free vibe, but if one person is bare footed, most likely the entire family will need to be as well, for the sake of being cohesive.
Nails – I love taking photos of hands because they symbolize a connection. Not able to get in for a nail appointment? Not to worry! A good tip would be to at least have your nails clean and free of chipped polish if possible.
Makeup – Unless being performed by a professional, trying something new is not advised right before a photo shoot, I advise this way just in case we have a situation where you do not like the outcome of the new look, and that could throw off your entire session.
I absolutely love working with all kinds of pets, I find them to bring a level of warmth to every kind of session. I do also enjoy the challenge that comes along with the unpredictability of working with animals. If you would like to bring your pet, please let me know in advance so that we are considering them when choosing the location.
You don’t have to smile for every photo.
Through the years I have found that the images that tell the story of your life are those that are focused on real emotion. Laughing, playing, smiling at one another or being sad are all ways to help document the life you’re living. With each session I do strive to have a few posed images where everyone is looking and smiling, but for the majority of the images, I prefer to have the clients interacting with one another. If this is not what you are looking for, no big deal – just let me know and we’ll focus more on posing. Family session pose breakdown;
Family together, children together, children separately, each parent with the children & parents together + any other specific breakdowns that you would enjoy having.
After working in California, Maine, Idaho and Arizona, I am fully aware of how weather can impact a photography session. In most cases, weather is not a factor as I have worked with rain, snow, wind and even freezing rain. But in some situations such as those where we are working with small children, it is important to consider the weather, and make changes to either the date or location of a photo shoot to ensure a positive outcome. Your photos are important to me, because I very much enjoy what I do so if you are willing, I prefer to hold the discretion for what to do in incliment weather so that we can reach an agreement on what is best to do in the event we end up with unfavorable conditions.
A collaborative effort
Choosing a location that makes sense
My favorite place to take photos is at home.
Taking photos at home is always just a little bit more intimate than taking photos at a random location. I understand that this is not always an option for some families, so in that case we will come together to think of the different options that are available to us. Some of the best places for photos are places that we love. Where did you and your partner meet? Do you have a favorite place that you go as a family? Or maybe, you’re looking for a location that is beautiful, and that is priority number 1. At any rate, I love to make every single session unique and special to the people in the photos and I want to invite you to have great influence over where we choose to take your photos.
Some of the other factors that help us to determine the perfect location are;
– Who will be attending this session, are we working with elderly family members, pets, small children or those with disabilties?
– The time of year – every location looks different depending upon the season.
– Travel time: I charge $0.50 per mile for locations 50 miles from zip code 83318 unless I am servicing more than one family at that location (to offset the travel time and cost.)