Photo Session Prep Info
Make sure both parents read!
What do I wear?
What you wear is important and is a fun thing to think about for your session. Clothing compliments who you are as a family, speaks to the environment in which the session is taking place and will coordinate with your home where the final images will be displayed. I’d say keeping things simple is the way to go. Neutral colors go a long way, and then there’s not much to think about in terms of matching, because it will all just look good together! Layers are great for cooler days. Plaid or patterns is good, but large plaid or large bulky pattern can be too overpowering and distracting. Steer clear of large lettering or characters (no cartoon characters or sports team logos). Pops of color is good. If you go for darker clothing, make sure it's balanced by something light for a little contrast. Bring or have a change of clothes easily available for the kids, ONLY if you want to change up the look a bit. And with kids you can make it fun by bringing or having them wear dress up clothes if they want (think magical fairy or a prince with a crown)! Fun shoes, or if it's warm, no shoes! And don't forget accessories! Jewelry, hair accessories, and then scarves and hats too for colder outdoor sessions! Please text me with any questions or send me pics of what you are thinking of wearing. I'm here to help! 347-420-0368. Pinterest inspo boards here!
What do I want the photos to look like?
Think about what things you and the kids would like to be doing in the photos, what you want to show that reflects your family, or rather what you all do on a daily basis anyway - holding hands, cuddling on the bed, walking together, throwing kid in the air and catching them, having child ride on shoulders, tickling the kids, lying down on the grass or on the floor, making silly faces at each other, anything - think real moments, real life stuff. I will also have suggestions and give some direction and reminding, but it’s always great when you bring your ideas too! Think about what photos you want up on the wall. Or if you are planning on getting an album, let me know of a certain theme or story for the photos, so that I can capture all the elements that will create a full and fun album!
My toddler/kid is totes cray!
Obviously! toddlers and kids are crazy, fun! And we can totally let them be that during our photo session. Let them run, let them explore, let them be kids. I get the best photos when a kid is being a kid. (And I secretly want you grownups to be like them too!) Plus I'm there to help direct their attention and subtly lead them in the right direction. As a parent myself, I know it can be hard for us to let go. But me and my camera, we got this. Whatever happens, we will get some great shots. So don't stress or worry!
As the parents, what should we do during the session?
If you were thinking this would be a session about the kids only, think again! I strongly encourage/want parents to be a part of the photo session. Yes, meaning I want you guys in the photos too! All you have you do is be with your kid(s), play with them, hold their hand, tickle them, throw them in the air, give them a kiss on the nose, dance around, play peek-a-boo - you know, all those things they want us to do 24/7 but we are too tired to do. Trust me, I'm there everyday. But the photo session is the time and place for you to bust out your best moves. These are the things that will make a great photograph, a photograph that you will cherish and your kid(s) will cherish when they are older. Not only am I here to take the pictures and help the kids, but I'm here to help you too. So again, don't worry.
Tips for parents with long hair.
Long hair, don't care! Well, for the photo session let's do care. Hair down is great, I actually love when hair gets all messy and blown by the wind. But remember to try and put your hair behind your ears, especially the ear that's facing the camera (since most of the time I want you engaging with your kiddos, which some of the time is a sideways pose for the grownups). Also that casual act of daintily brushing your hair away from your face - looks so good in photos ;) Maybe even your partner in crime can get in on the hair-out-of-the-face action by helping you out from time to time!
Smile while you do it!
I know there's a giant booger falling out of your kids nose, but replace that concerned furrowed brow while you wipe it away like a pro for a lighter, happier, smily face that's embracing the hilarity of it! I'm taking photos of it all, because there can be gems in the in-between moments, and sometimes the kids look amazing (booger and all - I'll get that later, don't worry), but one or both of the parents are looking a bit too concerned over it making the photo a "meh" photo that doesn’t make the cut, rather than a "wow" photo that stands out from the rest.
What should I bring or have ready for the session?
Basically nothing but yourselves! Feel free to bring along a favorite toy or book, or even go crazy and bring a messy snack if you want it’s demise to be documented! But really, there’s no need to prepare. I don’t encourage bribery, as it always backfires. And if you do want to ‘treat’ them, save the surprise of it or the idea of it for the very end of the session, otherwise that’s ALL they will be thinking about for the whole session. Kids live in the moment, and that’s really the key for a successful session - live in the moment. So just be ready to make those moments special and fun for you and your little human who’s really mostly excited about spending some quality time with their two favorite people.
For indoor sessions you could select a few toys or items that you might like in the photographs with your child. Avoid the large, cheap plastic toys and go for something that might have a more timeless or vintage look that will stand the test of time.
Do try and clear some clutter from a room or two, or even just a corner (by a window preferably), and have your bed ready for some tickles, tumbles and cuddles. White or lighter colored sheets and duvet covers are best as it makes you all brighter and stand out, not to mention it's easier for my camera.
For outdoor sessions at the park, bring a blanket for the ground (though I'm into just hanging out on the grass too). Make sure it's something you would like to have in the photos if we end up using it. I like old or vintage quilts that have nice color and texture. Those nifty waterproofy picnic blankets are great for keeping bums dry, but they are less than flattering in your photos - bring it for the bottom layer if it’s been a rainy week. Keep in mind that we are creating your family photos that will be on your walls or in your album, and what a better time to bring something that has meaning for you, or already holds family memories that you can carry through in your photo.
If you bring snacks, make sure you put them in a container or bag that you wouldn't mind being in the photos (they make some really great looking re-usable snack bags these days) - avoid zip lock bags and plastic snack containers. Bring water, as photo sessions can be tiring work, especially for the kiddos! Please, don't bring a whole suitcase of stuff to drag around. I want us to have the freedom to move around and catch the fleeting moments sans suitcase or large bag.
Most importantly, let’s have fun. Be relaxed and enjoy. If you're relaxed then the kids will be too. We will have a beautiful day of photo making!