Custom lifestyle family photography is unique because it not only captures what you look like at a certain point in time, it captures who you are. I aim to capture honest photos of your family and children. The goal is not to get stiff and posed shots with everyone looking at the camera, but to capture the true essence of your family. I take a documentary approach to photography and use my understanding of my equipment and natural light to create images that will become works of art that you can hang in your home and pass down for generations. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your session with me.
Location: Together, we will decide on the best location for your photos. We can shoot in your home as long as your home has adequate natural light. Many clients prefer their home because of the intimate and personal feel it provides. I have many locations that I love to shoot regularly but I am always open to new locations as well. You should choose a location that fits your style and personality. I can help you along with this decision.
Time: If we are shooting in your home, I prefer late morning, because that is when homes are usually lit up the best. If we are shooting outdoors we will shoot either in the morning or in the evening. The light is typically too harsh midday. If your children are up for it, shooting one to two hours before sunset provides gorgeous light and atmosphere. The images in my portfolio look the way they do largely because of my use of light and the time of day your session takes place has a huge impact. Many families tell me that they simply have the kids take a late nap or have some downtime prior to their evening session.
Length Of Session: The good news is, I am super fast! My family portrait sessions rarely last more than an hour. Don't worry, I can easily get a diverse and adequate gallery in that time.
Props: I generally do not use props during my family sessions, however, if you have something in mind please let me know.
Your Children: Remember that children are not usually fond of being told to pose or smile. It is best if we just give the children time to relax and try to capture their natural self. Don't worry if your child is running about and active, some of the best shots from your session will likely be taken while your child or toddler is busy playing and exploring. To get the family shots, I usually direct the adults to simply "be" with the child or hold the child and we go from there. To get the most out of your session, make sure that your little one has rested and has had adequate snacks and water. We can take breaks for snacks and play, however, I will probably still shoot during the breaks. Bring dry, nonmessy snacks so their little faces stay clean during the session. Prepare the child for the session by letting them know that a friend will be taking some photos of them, it's best not to surprise them.
I offer a complimentary consultation where we can meet in person or over the phone to discuss locations, props, clothing, and more. It is not required but if you would like to book one it should be done a couple of weeks prior to your session. You can book it now by clicking the red book a session button on the home page, just pick an available time to get on my calendar. But to help right now below are a few of the most commonly asked questions and my recommendations.
What To Wear: Wardrobe should be comfortable and reflect who you are. I do not recommend matching but rather coordinating. See my PINTEREST board for somewhat to wear guides that can give you an idea of what I am talking about.
Some things to avoid: shirts with busy patterns or with large logos, you don't want anything to distract from you. Unless it is a part of the look you want. Also, ladies, thin straps, and sleeveless tops tend to make your shoulders look wider then they are, even if they look great in person you may not love the look in your photos. I would suggest not wearing a lot of white, it’s hard to photograph and get the colors to show well. The same goes for neon colors, those as well don’t photograph well and don’t stay true to color in photos.
Select your clothing options and accessories to wear during your photoshoot the day before your session, so you're not stressing to find and assemble them the day of.
If you would love someone on one help with colors, clothing, or accessories, Maria with Draxler Impressions is beyond amazing. She offers personal styling, color consultations, and even personal shopping. She offers my clients a special discount so please reach out to her and learn more about what she can do to help you feel beyond ready for your shoot. Click here to visit her website.
Most importantly ~ If you don’t love it…do not wear it. Let me repeat. If you don’t love it don’t wear it!
If you wear glasses every day you should wear them for your session. With glasses, there are a couple of common problems we need to avoid and that is a transition lens, that does not photograph well and glare. The easiest solution is to remove the lens for your session. You may be able to visit your optician and either borrow a pair of blank frames or get them to remove your lenses for the shoot. As we can have problems with reflection and refraction. Invariably we’ll shoot some shots with and without glasses. You might like to bring along a couple of pairs of frames.
If you can, drink plenty of water in the week prior to your session, as this will keep your skin plump, smooth, and clear. Try to eat healthy foods, as fried and salty foods cause bloating and water retention. Also avoid sun exposure, which can make you look tired and leave your skin irritated. Get plenty of sleep to avoid dark circles under your eyes!
Men: it’s important that you’ve mastered your facial hair look before your session. Whether you’re clean-shaven or prefer to keep your facial hair, it’s necessary that it is well maintained.
Women: go light on the makeup, naturally tends to be best for photos.
I recommend that if you are going to have a haircut for your new headshot, have it a couple of days before as sometimes it takes a couple of days to settle in.
Men: go light on the hair gel.
Women: Clean, well-groomed and neatly styled is perfect. Avoid excessive hair decorations.
I recommend wearing it the way you most often do but you may choose to have it done professionally the day of to be sure it looks just right. If you need recommendations or would like me to arrange this please let me know, given enough notice I am happy to set this up for you.
NAILS (Yes, Nails!):
Your hands may end up in some of our shots, so get a manicure for your nails. For women choose a neutral, skin tone polish, or a clear coat, so as not to distract from your face. For men, a clean trim is enough. Unless of course, you have other color ideas, the main point is to make sure they look good because they will be in many shots.
A good night's sleep will promote healthy skin and eyes, you know you want to look fresh! If you can avoid alcohol the night before that is also helpful!
It is not a bad idea to brush your pearly whites right before your shoot. Try to avoid food and drinks that can stain teeth prior to your shoot, coffee, red wine etc.
Sunburns are nearly impossible to fix or retouch • Suntan lines are also tricky so you should vary your shirt sleeves and bathing suit tops when tanning to avoid lines • Don’t spray tan before a session, it may photograph orange and it could be blotchy, darker in the knees, elbows, hairline, and other dry areas • It’s best not to over tan even if you do your tanning in the sun.
Some extra fun tips:
Practice your awesome smile. Take some time in front of the mirror and practice moving your face around. (You will be surprised how most people forget how to move their face as soon as a camera is looking at them). Watch what your face does have fun with it. Do you have a favorite side (I might ask)?
Above all relax and enjoy. Do not sweat this stuff, as I will be coaching you through so that we can really get you feeling confident in front of the camera.
I can't wait to capture your family! Do not hesitate to ask me any questions you have. See you soon!