So your photo session has been booked and and now it is time to prepare!
I’m very exited to capture you and your loved ones! I take a lifestyle 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. I believe that what makes your family special is not the perfect posed moments, instead I know a story is better told through authentic connection, sweet little details, and honest love & emotion. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your session with me.
Preparation is the key. I highly recommend we talk over the phone, introduce ourselves and discuss all ideas. It’s very important for me that you have a pleasant experience and we meet each others expectations, both in results and the process itself.
Finding the perfect location is an important part of planning for your photo shoot. I am a photographer based in Roseville, CA. I have my favorite places that I love to shoot at regularly but I always welcome your location ideas. We can also shoot in your home as long as it has adequate natural light. Together we will decide on the best location that fits your style and personality. For newborn sessions we meet in the comfort of your home.
Time of the session
Outdoors: Preferably, the session will take place during the golden hour (2hrs before sunset). The light is typically too harsh mid day. 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.
Indoors: If we are shooting in your home, I prefer late morning (11am - 1pm) because that is when homes are usually lit up the best.
Length of a session
I usually keep my session between 1-1.30 hours. In my opinion this is the most appropriate time for us to know each other, get comfortable during the session and for me to get a diverse and adequate gallery in that time. The length of art and portrait session may vary depends on the projects we choose.
I have many years of experience of photographing people and families. And I used to say that it doesn’t really matter how my clients are dressed up. Yes, my main goal is to capture your individuality, emotions and feelings, not to make a fashion photo shoot :) But on the second hand your appearance on the picture need to be visually pleasant and harmoniously. Of course, your look should be comfortable and reflect who you are!
Pay attention: dress appropriate to the location and occasion, it should be ironed and clean clothes! NO matchy-matchy or identical outfits (Sorry, it’s old fashion and looks sloppy), NO logos, NO heavy patterns or colors, NO glitter, gemstones! For indoor photo sessions I recommend pastel and light colors.
If you are completely lack of ideas I encourage you to shop some of my current in one place! Happy Shopping…
Please read my blog where I share some tips how to choose your wardrobe for your photo session
Again it should be appropriate to the location and occasion. Skip glitter and gloss on your makeup and hair. They are complicated for camera and need special light. A key point is to have a good face foundation, the rest is up to you.
I used to always skip this when discussing an upcoming session with my clients. But per my experience I realize I should mention that now. Yes, I focus mainly on your personalities and emotions. But a good manicure and pedicure is always noticeable on photos. I always recommend pastel colors. Please remember that something that looks trendy now, may look old fashion and funny 5 years later. So DON’T go crazy with nail designs.
I do not use any special props other than blankets during my sessions. But feel free to bring any other prop item that you want to include. (Some ideas: hats, sunglasses, boots, jackets, etc. can be great to show personality and bring out your style)
Get your kids excited for the session and let them know how much fun it will be, but no need to over prepare them or add too much pressure for "best behavior”.
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, most of the images you see of young children on my site were captured while the child or toddler was 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, non messy snacks so their little faces stay clean during the session.
If your kids are too little or you are afraid that they may not cooperate during the shoot I recommend you bring their favorite treat or something you can bribe them with. Also encourage them that they may expect a big reward after the session (ice cream place, restaurant of their choice, movie, toy, etc…) I’m a mother myself :) so I totally understand that. Whatever it takes to make your photographing experience pleasant and memorable.
We will start with a standard pose when everyone is standing and looking into the camera. That’s probably the only time when I will ask you to do so. After that I do not expect you to “stand, look and smile”. I have my work flow and I’ll be guiding you through the whole session. I’ll tell you what to do, how to stand, where to look, what to say. Please, do not worry about the poses. I know very well how awkward it may feel to be in front of camera :)
If you have little kids we will be making shorts breaks just to give the some time to relax.
At the end of the session I usually leave a few minutes and ask my clients if they have any specific images they have in mind or something we forget to capture.
Which photos you should expect for family session
Standard family portrait full body (altogether looking into camera and smiling)
Standard family portrait half body (altogether looking into camera and smiling)
Portrait of each family member
Portrait of each parent with kids
Portrait of kids/siblings together
Majority of pictures will be of your emotions and interactions, probably not looking into camera, kids playing, etc…