before your session
Your photo session is the perfect intro to your families story. Your photo session should showcase who you are as a family, turned up a notch, so feel free to bring it when it comes to your personal style and your kids. If this is not worth the fight, skip the kids look and focus on you looking fantastic :)
Pick a look that reflects your families personality- if you never get fancy, today is not the day to make everyone wear bow-ties, top hat and fancy dresses. Come in what you and your kids are comfortable wearing, I want everyone’s confidence to shine thru. Add a belt, throw on a hat, throw on some rings and bracelets, style it up!
Sometimes people want to know what color will work best in photos. I don't want to tell you what I think will look best on you because really only you know. I will say that personally, I love to shoot solids + neutrals (black, tan, white, grey) with pops of color or personality in your accessories or makeup (belt, jewelry, shoes, lipstick color, etc). Patterns are fun for those confident enough to rock them! Kids are an exception-they can look amazing in patterns just don’t do TOO many patterns.
The vibe is everything we are planning put into one melting pot of awesome. Your wardrobes, the location, the time of day, and the creative direction. All of this will set the final vibe of your session. So what do you want your session to feel like? Fun? Soft? Relaxed? Light? Dark? Think about your location, did you pick the beach? Would you wear country boots to the beach? Maybe not, but you could if you picked Rancho Sierra or Hill Canyon. It might be windy at the beach, a beautiful dress or skirt could be stunning or would it make you feel uncomfortable? Please feel free to ask questions about your location and weather or even go visit it before your session if you like (if you have time!). Do you want the kids to have fresh cut flowers or be barefoot- these are tiny decisions that can really help with the style of session you are looking for.
BAD WEATHER + RESCHEDULING
Clouds make for amazing light but physical rain, low foggy clouds and high wind is not so awesome. In a case of bad weather on the day of your session, your session will be re-scheduled at a time that is convenient for you. I will be monitoring the weather the day before and call it the day of. If winds are over 14 mph, we will reschedule.
So you want the most out of your session as far as time goes, right? Of course you do! So it should be no surprise that it is highly suggested that you arrive 5 minutes early. Your session starts at the scheduled start time stated on your booking reservation and ends at the scheduled end time. I know it is like herding cats to get yourself ready and your kids, but you got to try your best :)
TIPS TO AVOID SHOWING UP LATE:
Have the outfits picked out the night before
Booking a hair/makeup artist? Their estimated time frame is NEVER, EVER correct. Schedule your appointment minimum 3 hours prior to your shoot.
Have the address ready and consult with WAZE (or your map app of choice) at least an hour prior to your session to see what time you need to realistically hit the road
Give yourself an extra 15 minutes to find parking, get the kids out, calm a tantrum find the snacks or bribery and walk to our meetup spot. It takes longer than you think…
DURING YOUR SESSION
"WHAT DO WE DO WITH OUR HANDS?!"
Number one question I get when we start shooting. Everyone relax! There's nothing to be nervous about. You gotta cute outfit? Favorite lipstick? Great! Put your game face on and let’s do this. Your energy can be read through photos. You don't really want to be there? It will show. Don’t want to come out of your shell? Yep that shows too. Feed off your kids energy, let them run wild for a hot second without thinking they should be like statues, we will get them back, its ok if they do this, let’s use their spontaneity! Show up ready to have fun and your photos will turn out amazing.
FOR ALL THE ADULTS WHO SAY THEY DON’T WANT TO LOOK STIFF:
Well then...don't be stiff! You need to bring your personality to the session. Most of the energy created during your session will actually be your families interaction with me, let’s laugh about tantrums and talk about the latest baseball little league drama. Laugh, smile, dance with your kids, twirl, loosen up and we’ll have fun.
FOR ALL THE FAMILIES WHO SAY THEY DON’T WANT TO 'LOOK' POSED, guess what me neither:
Well then you gotta give me emotion! Grab you partner and act like 2 goofy teenagers in love, have the kids jump on your back, tickle them upside down, throw one on your shoulders. You don't and they don’t need to stare at the camera for every single photo. You also don't have to say cheese for every photo. You don't have to put on a show. Just be be present with your family. Be openminded. Be comfortable. Forget I'm there, bear hug each other, play with the kids, chase them, whisper secrets in each others ears, do their favorite dance- anything to get those genuine candid reactions.
Give me feeling.
Give me emotion.
Show me how much you love each other. Please, just for this day.
The opposite of looking stiff is MOTION. And the more you interact with each other, the less I have to direct you to do something different.
CREATIVE DIRECTION + POSING
So I know you need at least a few posed images that you are all looking at the camera, attempting to all smile at once, and trying to stay still, we will get these too. The entire session will not be all candid’s, so you should be prepared for some of your photos to be the result of creative direction (me telling you what to do!) that will move us from one epic scene to the next. Candid shots are great and I will take more than you will even realize. There is no real prep for candid, because its candid!