Q: What should we wear to family portrait sessions?
A: I have a blog post that gives some tips and some advice from one of my clients who does a great job with family portrait wardrobe selection. Here are some tips I give to clients on dressing for a session:
Do pick 2-3 colors & find outfits for those colors.
Do shop your own closet first. What do you love to wear that is your signature style?
Do be yourself. If you are a blue jeans kind of mom, then wear blue jeans. Don't feel like you have to be fancy. Be you.
Do make sure everyone feels comfortable in what they are wearing.
Do make sure everything fits appropriately....this is not the time for squeezing into something, or for buying clothes big so the kids can grow into them.
Do consider scarves, jackets, accessories and other things that add texture & interest to the outfits.
Do avoid graphics and distracting logos. That "Big Brother" shirt is cute, but unless he's standing perfectly still, you won't be able to read it well in photos.
Do expect you child to run, jump and play at the session.
Don't force your kids (or husband) to wear something they hate. We want them to be comfortable at the session.
Don't wear florescent colors. They can reflect onto skin tones. (My favorite colors for sessions are jewel tones...blue, plum, teal, burgandy, mustard yellow, etc)
Don't use giant bows...it distracts from your daughter's beautiful face. Smaller ones are great, BUT only if she wants to wear it. Let's not spend the entire session trying to force her to put her bow back on.
Don't be afraid to incorporate patterns, just don't go overboard.
Don't try to be too matched. Coordinated (but not matched) looks best.
Don't wear a shirt that wrinkles super easily (I see this a lot on men's dress shirts...it's pretty impossible to photo shop out.)
Don't forget about your nails. (I often see chipped nail polish on little girls.)
Don't forget about shoes...especially for the little ones. If the weather is appropriate, barefoot is a good option for the kids.
Don't be afraid to ask me if you are unsure about something.
Q. What if it rains or there is bad weather?
A. There are a number of options we can consider if you happen to get bad weather on your session date.
First of all, if it’s just cold (or even snowy!), I would suggest we go ahead with the session as planned and you make sure you have warm clothes, toboggans, gloves, etc for your family. These can be lovely in photos.
If it’s raining, there are a few options we can consider:
We can reschedule to the closest available session date convenient for both your family and myself. In the fall when it’s busiest, I usually have a few dates designated as rain dates. Other times of year, I can typically fit you in pretty close to your original date.
If it’s not raining horribly, I have been known to shoot in the rain. I have lovely clear umbrellas and this can be a fun, different take on a session.
We can change the location from an outdoor spot, to somewhere indoor. A great option is always your home, as that highlights your families life at this moment in time. Another option is the Factory at Franklin, though they charge a $50 permit fee that you would be responsible for paying.
Q. Can you recreate this pose I saw on Pinterest?
A. I am open to discussing your suggestions and using other photos as INSPIRATION, but not in trying to re-create someone else's work. When hiring a portrait photographer, it is important that you choose someone who's style matches your vision. My style is very candid and natural. Each session is as different and unique as the beautiful families being photographed and I do not aim to copy or recreate Pinterest images. Before booking a session with me, I want to make sure that you are familiar with my style, and that my style is what you are wanting for your images.
Q: When is the best time of day to schedule our family portrait session?
A: The hour before sunset generally offers the most beautiful light for portrait sessions. Most of my sessions are scheduled during that hour, which varies depending on the time of year.
Q: What time of year is the best time for a family portrait session?
A: Any time of year can be beautiful for family portraits. While many clients prefer the milder temperatures of Spring and Fall for outdoor family sessions, any season can be beautiful. I personally love winter outdoor photo sessions - just be sure to bundle up for the cold. Summer light can also be beautiful but if you really can't stand the heat, a home session can be a good backup plan.
Q: I don't think my toddler will sit still or cooperate for a photo session. Or she is super shy. Should I just give up on family photos?
A: Absolutely not! There is no need for your toddler to sit still at a session. We will run, jump, play and interact together. If your little one is shy, we will take the time he or she needs to warm up and feel comfortable. If he wants to be in your arms for the entire session, that's fine too. The goal is to capture who you are as a family right now...that may include a lively little one who doesn't sit still for a second, or it may include a shy toddler who wants to be with mommy. Both are beautiful. Please let me know before the session which category your child falls into so that I may approach him/her appropriately.
Q: Do you photograph weddings?
A: No, I do not. At this point in my life, my family and children are a priority and weddings are extremely time consuming, all day / weekend events. Also, my passion is shooting families and children and I believe it's best for me to focus on being the best I can be at that. If you need help finding a Wedding Photographer, I would be happy to recommend a few.
Q: Why is birth photography so expensive?
A: Imagine you want to hire a wedding photographer, but instead of a date, you tell them that the wedding will be any time within a 4 week period of time. But you won't know until the very last minute so they have to be close by and ready to shoot at any time during that 4 week period, and may miss important events in their own life. Also, it may be in the middle of the night. The wedding might last a couple hours, or it might last 12 hours. Also, the lighting in the church will be awful and you don't want them to use a flash. That's what it's like to photograph a birth, so the time commitment involved costs a lot more than a typical session would cost. Also, a birth photographer has to have other skills like being comfortable being in the delivery room and helping the mother and father to feel at ease during the process. If birth photography is not an investment you can afford, another option is a Fresh 48 newborn session at the hospital. This option lets you capture those first beautiful days with your newborn, sometime during your hospital stay with a 2 hour session.
Q: Do you have a studio? Where do you recommend for indoor sessions?
A: No, I do not have a studio. My passion is capturing candid images of families exploring and interacting with each other and the world around them. For indoor sessions, I love photographing clients in their own home. What is awesome about having pictures made in your home is the ability to capture special things about your family in your own environment. Home sessions offer the benefit of not having to reschedule because of rain. Beautiful light can be found in any room where there are windows. And of course, in home sessions are the easiest way to include family pets in the photos.
Another option for indoor session is the Factory at Franklin. This is a beautiful location with both indoor an outdoor options, but the Factory does charge a $50 permit fee that you will be responsible for in addition to your session fee. You can find more ideas for session locations at my session location guide page.
Q: Do you photograph newborns?
A: Yes. But when choosing a newborn photographer, it is important that you understand that there are different styles of newborn photography and that you choose a photographer who matches the style that you choose. My newborn sessions are what is considered Lifestyle Newborn. This means that I capture photographs of newborns in a natural setting, doing things they normally would be doing in real life. I love images of newborns in the arms of their mom or dad, and in their own environments such as their nursery, parent's bedroom, or the living area of their home. Like my family sessions, my newborn sessions are not terribly posed. I do not not bring a bean bag, or lots of wraps and props, preferring to utilize things that baby already owns and are special to your family. I do bring a few basic blankets, some newborn diapers that do not have print on them, and a handful of simple headbands for baby girls. If you are looking for more of a posed session for your newborn, I can recommend some photographers for you who specialize in that.
Q: Do you photograph seniors?
A: Yes. While my passion is families and younger children, I do occasionally enjoy photographing seniors. I have especially enjoyed photographing prom sessions where I am able to capture the interaction and connections between couples and friends in a group of seniors.
Q: Do you offer gift certificates?
A: Yes! A gift certificate is a great way to give the priceless gift of family memories to someone you love. You can order them here and I can send you a pretty card to give your loved one with instructions on how to book their session.