Your Day Of Session Guide
Wondering what to expect at your session and how to help set it up for success? Read on and pass along to anyone else joining the session!
As a storytelling photographer, I am all about capturing the full story of our time together from beginning to end. Don't be surprised if I start photographing you as soon as we leave the parking lot before we get to our first ideal photo spot! And when you try to say thank you and goodbye... I may still have my camera out! ;)
Early on in the session we will try to get one good photo of everyone looking at the camera, but then the focus will shift to me capturing your authentic moments for the rest of the session.
I will direct you into pretty light, and ask you to walk, run, play, and hug together. I love it when families take over after one simple prompt and allow their interactions to unravel honestly. Sitting back and capturing these moments and natural connections that happen in front of my camera is my absolute favorite. While I can guide you, the more you make prompts your own and take them a step further allows me to tell your authentic story, as opposed to a story I have imagined and directed. But rest assured, I also know when to step back into my directorial shoes and provide guidance for posing and interactions.
What I really ask from you is that you allow yourself to be just that -- yourself. And of course, I will photograph you in a flattering way during the session! Please show up open. Don't be afraid to love on your babies or your partner as if no one else was there. I want you to laugh wildly, snuggle tightly, slide your fingers affectionately through their hair, tell them with passion and purpose how much you love them, and to keep connecting with your people each and every moment. Allow yourself to be in the moment as much as possible and enjoy the experience. Silliness and laughter is always welcome, tears of joy and small smiles of love are encouraged.
The best tip I can give you for photos full of emotion and connection is to ABT! Always Be Touching someone. Whether it's a full on tight hug, or just a hand hold, or a pet on the head or brush of a cheek, or reaching out to help your kids as they are playing, your session will look dramatically different when you never have free, dangling hands! I will remind you of this as well.
Don't Stress About How Kids are Behaving
No family session ever goes perfectly. Kids don't always follow directions, they often have their own agenda, and someone gets tired and cranky. This is completely normal. And I expect it!
The main thing is that I don't want you to stress about this during the session and start to either scold them or look worried. I have a way of turning these difficult moments into beautiful photos. But I can only do that if the parents are cooperating! The truth is that it's the parents who make or break the session and how many good images we can create. So just keep smiling and laughing and doing what I direct you to do. When you are frustrated or anxious, JUST BREATHE. Relax your face, shoulders, hands. Your kids feed off the energy you put out. Just try to be present with your family and leave the rest to me!
What you can do ahead of the session is make sure that the kids are well fed, and that they have slept/napped if they are young. You can also bring small snacks that are not sticky or colorful, and extra layers in case it gets chilly that night. Just do NOT bring candy as kids tend to get fixated on that vs. do anything else at the shoot.
Partner Who Doesn't Like Taking Photos
Does your partner complain about taking photos? Just let them know that we won't be standing posed and smiling during the session. We just ask them to show up and pretend like I am not even there...and play and love on the family like they normally would! Skeptical partners often leave my sessions telling me how much fun they had (or at least that it wasn't that painful)!
My maternity sessions are just like family sessions, except that I will also take some photos of you and your bump alone at least a couple of points during the session. Don't worry I will pose you and tell you what to do so that we get some beautiful photos of you!
Throughout the session I will ask you to have one hand below your bump as you walk around or stand. This helps to define the belly in your dress and draw more attention to the story we are capturing of this incredible time in your life. This still gives you one free hand to touch your family members (remember to ABT!), and you definitely don't have to be holding the bump all of the time.