I am always so excited when booking new clients, and watching past clients’ families grow and change with reoccurring bookings, but often times I get asked a lot of questions about what to wear, what time of day to book, what to expect. I get it! This is an investment. One that I hope your family will treasure and cherish for years to come. You want it to be perfect. So while I always guide clients beforehand, catering to their personalized photo session, I wanted to share a few general tips for how to get the most out of your photoshoot.
What to Wear…
First and foremost, whatever you decide to dress yourself and your family in, make sure it’s comfortable! Even the most perfectly planned and coordinated outfits can photograph terribly if you’re constantly pulling, tugging, adjusting, and aren’t able to interact naturally with one another.
A good rule of thumb is to stick to everyone in cool colors or everyone in warm colors. Take a look at the color blocks below. Staying within the same family of cools versus warms will help to make everyone cohesive without being too “matchy.”
Try to avoid everyone dressed in the same (i.e. all jeans with white tops) unless that is the look you are trying to achieve. My shooting style is typically light posing and candid interactions which are captured more naturally when the whole family is not dressed identically. Try to also avoid too many patterns. They tend to clash and become distracting. We want the focus to be on your beautiful family!
For footwear, make sure it’s comfortable and easily removable, especially if you have a beach session booked and keep accessories minimal (simple scarves in winter etc.).
What to Bring…
Depending on session location, I always recommend bringing a blanket to sit on. I always try to bring one in a neutral color myself but you know your color scheme better than I, so if you have the perfect color, feel free to bring it along!
If your session includes little ones, bring those favorite books, lovies, toys that may have special meaning to them and make them giggle! It’s not always easy keeping toddlers focused so providing them with a task helps to get them comfortable, capture natural smiles, and keep them interacting with other family members. And if you have a special outfit, or perhaps just want to capture them in their “every day” play clothes, bring those along as well! It’s important that our session will help you to remember them as they are in this moment.
As a mom of two toddlers boys, a history in teaching, and after countless sessions with little ones, my bag of tricks almost always gets smiles, but I am also not against bribes. After just finishing potty training my 3 year old, I am avid fan of mini M&M’s. Bring what works for you and it’s our parenting secret 🙂
What to Expect…
I am a natural light photographer (with the exception of some soft boxes I use in my home studio) so if we are shooting outdoors, my recommendations for location as well as timing are typically based on lighting. If your session is going to be in your home, take a peek around a few days before. Turn off all the lights and notice what rooms are filled with the best diffused sunlight. Don’t worry, I always take a tour when I arrive but having suggestions ready will help.
Do not feel like everyone needs to be looking at the camera all at once! Yes, we will get a few snaps with everyone happy and smiling but some of my favorite session shots have been ones with families looking at each other. In order to capture these candids, I ask lots of fun questions to get your family thinking, talking, and reminiscing! Do you know who your kids thinks is the best cook in the house? Cheese is for crackers (and occasionally wine), so leave the forced smiles at home and give your family a few hours just to be silly and genuinely laugh!
Most importantly, don’t stress behavior from little ones. I have captured a lot of children with a lot of different personalities, and they are all wonderful!
My hope as your photographer is to capture just how special and unique your family and relationship is. I want you to love your photos! Each session is personalized to what makes you special so if you have questions/concerns or just need help deciding between two outfits, please don’t hesitate to ask! Happy planning!