Scheduling your shoot:
First and foremost, I’m a mom. There are only so many hours in the day and so many days of my kids being small, and I selfishly want to soak in the magic of their littleness while it lasts. Therefore, I schedule only 1-2 sessions a month on a first come first serve basis. Not only does this give me the time I need for my family, but it helps keep me inspired and put just that much more love into each and every session and photo.
I prefer to hold sessions in “the golden hour,” meaning the hour after sunrise, or the hour just before sunset. The lighting is softer, warmer, more dimensional, and the variation of tones that happen in that hour are incredible. It is definitely a magical time of day and shows in the photos.
I know from experience that it tends to be difficult to get kids going really early in the morning, so most of my shoots happen in the evening. Sometimes clients laugh and say, “Oh you mean during the witching hour?” If you know your kids aren’t at their most cheerful late in the day, we can opt for a morning shoot and even work around a later morning time frame (with the right location) if close to sunrise is out of the question also. However, I will note that just from the excitement of being outdoors and some extra playtime, most kids who might normally be cranky during the evening, actually do great.
The easiest way to contact me with questions and/or to schedule a shoot is through my contact page. I will almost always get back to you within 24 hours.
Once you have scheduled your shoot, we work together to pick a location that is right for your family. I love to hear about any special interests, loves, or upcoming occasions/milestones that can help us find something not only beautiful, but meaningful to you as well.
If you need help finding a cohesive look for your family I can give you my styling suggestions before the shoot as well. In addition, you can refer to my What to Wear post for some tips to help get you started.
Another one of my blogs that I would highly recommend you look over before your session is Child Photography Do’s and Don’ts. This will help you prepare your kids and yourself so you know what to expect.
You’ll find that when looking through my photos, you’ll see mostly photos of the children. I’m captivated by childhood and their innocence. They wear their hearts on their sleeves, and it is so fun for me to capture images of their magical little souls. When you receive your photos and see the session as a whole, it will be easy to tell where my heart lies. That being said, I also know that families are an essential part of childhood and I adore photographing the whole family together as a unit as well.
Each session is different, and the last thing I would ever want to do is make set rules how they should go. That is just not my style. However, generally I have found that if I follow this tentative guideline, things go smoothly, everyone has fun, and we get a slew of great photos to choose from.
1. We’ll start with the more posed family shots of everyone together. The little ones get the security of being with mom and dad from the start and are usually most cooperative in the beginning anyways. Cooperation is an important thing when getting those “look at the camera and smile” type shots. While you’re all together I’ll then encourage you to talk to each other and be yourselves and snap some candid moments as well.
2. We’ll then put the siblings together for some shots of just the kids. In my eyes, these don’t have to be perfectly posed, they are more about the bond between the kids and their playfulness towards each other. This is a great time for mom and dad to stand just behind me (eye level with my camera) and act like goofs to get those kiddos to loosen up and be silly themselves.
3. At this point, I’ve asked the kids for a lot, so we take a break and just let them play. They will most likely be itching to check out their environment and I take this opportunity to observe them and snap some shots while they play.
4. While they are playing, I’ll pull each child one by one away from the action to take their “very own special picture with me.” Mom and Dad are welcome of course, but usually the kids connect better with me (and my camera) if there is a little distance.
5. We play some more, I’ll take some shots of mom and dad together, and play some more while I’m snapping away. If we missed anything this is also a time to get in those last shots before the session is over.
Besides fantastic photos, my goal is to make your session fun, enjoyable, and totally relaxed. The last thing I would want is for you to look at your photos years later (even if they turned out great) and remember how stiff and anxious you felt or how stressful it was taking photos with your kids. The memories matter just as much as the photos. Leave all the worries to me, don’t stress about your kids, and just show up ready to have fun with your family.