Through phone conversations and/or emails, we will decide together the best time and place to meet for our photo session. If we are meeting at your home, I ask that you not worry about turning on lights for me, as I prefer working with all natural light. Instead please spend a few minutes before I arrive opening curtains and making the home as naturally bright as possible. I will take a look around – I may even ask your kids for a tour, depending on their age – and will then decide where we will start.
But first, a note...
To start this off right, THANK YOU for giving me the opportunity and honor of photographing your family. I know having your photo taken can be a very venerable and honest experience that can make people uncomfortable. I myself get super awkward in front of the camera, even with all the tricks up my sleeve. My goal is to capture your children’s spirit and individual personality, as well as your family’s true identity as authentically as possible. I focus on the in-between moments that you know and love, but may not think to document. I do this in an unexpected artful way. These photos will be treasures for you to look back on for years to come. For your children, I want to record all their little nuances, their big world, their funny facial expressions, and, of course, their amazing love for you and everyone else in their lives. For your family, I want to photograph who you are as a family, sticky fingers, little spills and all.
Your family's story is so crazy important to me.
Camera Shy? Un-photogenic? NOPE:
If you’re thinking “Okay I hear you, you’re making me feel better, but what if I just absolutely despise being in front of the camera? or My partner would rather DO ANYTHING other than be photographed!” Well here’s my advice: talk to him/her about how important this is for you and for the family, and assure them that we will make it as much fun as is humanly possible. I will guide you into good light and ask you to readjust if something looks awkward, you will not be expected to know what to do. My approach is very easy-going and I assure you it will not feel strange once we start rolling. It is hard to be uncomfortable or nervous when your kids are being themselves – because they don’t know how else to be! They will force you to pay attention to them, and in turn, you will (hopefully) forget I’m even there. I promise to give the grown ups (and kids) breaks throughout the session, as needed, and to make it as painless as possible for everyone involved. If it would ease tensions to crack open a beer before I arrive, or better yet, serve mimosas with breakfast, well then I say go for it!
While we are together, all rules are off the table. I am going to say and do things to make this as enjoyable for your children as possible. If I have to whisper potty words or make monkey sounds to help your children relax, so be it. Please let me do my thing and trust that I will get you what you want. You get a rare hour or so when you can relax, hand the reins over to me, and have FUN. Seriously.
I would really prefer that you not instruct your children to say “cheese” as it tends to transform a child’s naturally lovely face into a strange and strained smile. As needed, I’ll ask questions that evoke natural expressions and actual laughing smiles rather than the contrived photo faces kids learn to put on.
Feed your kids! Please, give them a nice big meal right before our session. Hungry kids are so not interested in cooperating with anything other than eating. Also parents of babies who are on a vaccine schedule, make sure you don’t schedule your baby’s well visit in the two days prior to our session. Let’s get everyone in high and happy spirits and have a great time together!
DO NOT BRIBE YOUR KIDS. I don’t care how amazing the reward is, or how good they will behave. The problem is, that as soon as you set a prize at the end, kids tend to only focus on that. They don’t always factor in the full length of our time together. They think of this as a chore to check off to get their reward, and that is exactly what I don’t want. I want to play with your kids!! Yes, I get down on the floor and play with them. But if all they are worried about is candy or a toy, then playing with me is the last thing on their mind. Think about it this way. By bribing your kids with things before a photo session, you are already admitting it won’t be fun or enjoyable. So no matter what I do, that will be their impression. I have been working with kids specifically for 12 years, as both a photographer, nanny, and oh yes an instructor at The Little Gym. I have seen it all. When kids are told something will be boring or annoying, then of course they will be resistant to love it and have fun. Wouldn’t you? Long story short, PLEASE trust me, and leave the candy, and toys at home. If you are truly worried about your child’s behavior, let me know, and we can come up with a plan that will set them up for success.
What in the world should we wear?
If you have a rad style of your own, the last thing I want to do is alter that, but if you are like 90% of moms out there, you’re wondering what to wear, or second guessing your style. In that situation, these are my key suggestions.
I always suggest dressing yourself first in whatever makes you feel best, then dress the rest of the family. Lay it all out on the bed together and see how it looks together. Better yet, snap a pic of it with your phone and text it to me. I love to help with this process!