First things first, keep it casual and keep it comfortable! And don’t be afraid to show a little personal style. I want the photos to feel natural and like you and that visually that starts with what you’re wearing.
A great place to start is working out what you (mom ;) are going to wear and make sure it’s something you feel great in! From there, you can build everyone else’s outfits around that.
Coordinating colors is great but steer clear of getting too matchy-matchy aka all white shirts and jeans. For colors, the easiest way to go is with a combination of neutral tones... creams, greys, lighter blues as well as some army green and khaki. If you want to add in some color, I love including primary colors... reds, yellows and blues. They look more timeless in photos and look great on camera compared to other colors. Also, patterns and textures (like stripes, some florals, lace and linen) can add great dimension and tone to the photos.
I love to help style clients and so we will likely email and text a bit to work all that out. You are welcome to email or text me photos of options as the session date approaches and I will give you my input. Also, this Pinterest board I’ve got going can be great inspiration:
The best time to start for lighting is about two hours of before sunset, especially for outdoor sessions, but early mornings are also a good option as they are typically a better time for kids. Happy kids are definitely the priority over perfect lighting. We will work together to find the best time when your kids are well rested and fed.
You absolutely don’t need to do a deep clean but it would be great to tidy up a little bit before I get there. Maybe clear off everything on the nightstands and stash the laundry somewhere. ;) It’s totally ok if the kids toys are out and the bed is unmade because that’s real! I would suggest focusing on the spaces I will likely use in the photos including the living room, the kids’ rooms and the master bedroom. Speaking of which, I tend to do a lot of photos on mom and dad’s bed so it’s important that it looks great and works with your outfits too! White sheets and a neutral bedspread are ideal. Fresh flowers and potted plants can be a nice touch! BUT, most importantly, don’t stress about it! I can always move things if needed.
If we are doing our photo session at your home, I will arrive (probably with my camera put away) and spend a few minutes talking with the kids and work on breaking the ice with them. From there, I’ll want to get a tour of the house and will probably go around opening a lot of blinds and curtains and turning off lights to see what the natural light looks like.
If we are doing photos at an outdoor location, I will do a similar thing of getting to know the kids a bit and then we’ll start walking around to the different spots I’ve already picked out.
I typically start each shoot with the more classic family shot of everyone together because kids tend to be the most cooperative at the beginning of the shoot. From there, I will work from a general shot list to make sure we get all the different combinations of people I’d like to get.
Generally, I will follow the lead of the younger kids to keep them engaged. We will play lots of games, there will be a lot of tickling and snuggling involved. I will provide some direction so we get photos in the best light and create an environment where natural, real moments can occur.
Most family sessions take about 1-2 hours, newborn sessions can sometimes take a bit longer.
Once you have booked the session, I will pencil in your due date into my work calendar. Once the baby arrives, simply text or email me (whatever is convenient) and we will find a good time for the shoot. I recommend scheduling the session within the first two weeks if you'd like lots of sleepy, itty-bitty baby photos. If you would like more awake photos with more smiling, personality-shining type of photos, then anytime within the first 3 months will be great.
All of my newborn sessions are done at my clients' homes. They are very relaxed with plenty of time for breaks and feedings. As far as how to dress the baby, I would recommend some basic onesies, a few pretty swaddles and some soft blankets. I prefer to keep things simple with newborn clothing so we can focus more on creating beautiful, timeless images of the baby with mom, dad and any siblings.
Meltdowns are a very real possibility especially with the toddler set but it’s all good! We are after real, natural, candid photos and as much as we want lots of fun, smiley photos, I also want to capture your children's personalities and all that that entails. If your child cries, hides or doesn’t want to cooperate with our game plan, please know that it’s totally ok and please don’t stress about it. As the mother of a toddler, I have been there! I have plenty of tricks up my sleeve and, really, you might love a few photos of your child in his or her non-optimum state down the road.
Depending on my current workload, it typically takes me about 2-3 weeks. Once I am done editing the photos, I will upload them to your online gallery for you to review and choose which package you would like to purchase.
If any of you are sick the day of the shoot, we can absolutely reschedule. It happens and it's much more important that everyone be happy and healthy while we're taking photos, especially for families with young babies. If I get sick, I will reschedule as well. The same goes for bad weather if we're doing an outdoor shoot. Thankfully, it is a rare occassion in sunny La La Land!
I use Canon Mark 3 bodies and shoot with a variety of lenses. My favorite lenses are my Sigma Art 35mm/1.4 and the Canon 50mm/1.4. I shoot strictly with natural, available light for family shoots so I don't use any lighting gear. And, I edit all of my images through a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop.
Yes! I regularly travel up to San Francisco and Portland where I have family clients and would love to come to you, wherever you are! Email me if you're interested and we can discuss.
Due to my current workload, I am not currently offering mini sessions but I sometimes offer them in the Fall before the holidays. The best way to stay informed about this kind of thing is to follow me on Instagram.