Family Session Prep Guide

You’re booked! Now what?

Our photography session will not just document what your family looks like at this moment in time, but also who you are. My goal is to capture honest photos that elicit emotion and serve as evidence of your family’s spririt. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your session with me:

Location: We will work together to choose the location for your session. Your own home is often the best choice because of the intimacy and personal touch that it adds to your images. If you do not wish to photograph your session at home, I have many locations that I love to shoot at and I am always open to new ideas. Ultimately you should choose a setting that fits your family’s style and personality, and I am happy to help with this decision.

Time: The time of day we schedule your session will have a huge impact on your final gallery because of the light that is available.

For in-home sessions, I generally prefer late morning because that is when most homes have the best light, but I encourage you to study the rooms you want to document your family in and let me know if you think a different time would be better.

If we are shooting outdoors we will schedule your session either in the morning or in the evening. Mid-day light is typically too harsh, and so it is best that we avoid the hours when the sun is highest in the sky. Though it can feel difficult to manage with children’s sleeping and eating schedules, shooting an hour or two after sunrise or before sunset provides gorgeous light.

Many families simply choose to have a late nap or downtime prior to an evening session.

Length of session: Most sessions take less than an hour.

What to wear: The most important thing to consider when choosing outfits for your session is to be sure that they are comfortable, make you feel confident, and reflect who you are. I recommend that your family’s outfits coordinate rather than match, and that you consider avoiding shirts with logos or characters that you don’t specifically wish to highlight. I am happy to point you towards some helpful Pinterest boards, consult with you myself, or recommend a personal stylist if you are interested.

Props: I do not use props in my session, but if you have a special item that you would like to include please let me know.

Your children: Prepare your children for our session. You may want to tell them that you are going to dress up and go play while a friend takes your pictures. Make sure it sounds fun! Surprising them can lead to fear and meltdowns. Mom and Dad’s stress can also lead to meltdowns, so try to remember that it’s fun for you, too!

Still, your children will likely be a little uneasy when they first arrive. This is perfectly normal, so try not to panic. It is best if we give them time to relax and be their natural self, and it is ok if they are playing and exploring during our session. This unstructured time often yields the best photographs.

For family images, I will often ask parents to just to be with their children or holding their children and then build the image from there.

To get the most of our session, please be sure that your children have rested and have eaten. We can take breaks for snacks and water during our session, though. (I will often just continue to shoot during breaks, so don’t be surprised.) It is best to bring dry, non-messy snacks and a spill-proof bottle of water so that faces and clothes stay clean.

Please arrive and be ready to begin on time. Sessions are scheduled according to the light, so it’s very important to plan for traffic and parking when considering your travel plans.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions. See you soon!