Tips for a successful session

Hello everyone! I have put together a quick tip sheet to make your session the most successful as possible. Many times, clients have questions before the shoot so this is a place that hopefully will answer those. As always, if you ever have any other questions that cannot be found here, please do not hesitate to message me or give me a call.



General
1. Clothing Many times I am asked what to wear. The truth is that it is really up to you. Clothing choice can really set the tone for your session. A good rule of thumb is that if you are being photographed as a group, try to make sure that the color scheme matches or is at least in the same color family. For example, blues, turquoises and greens go together and oranges, reds and tans go together well. White clothing tends to be very traditional and can give a more formal appearance, but it can also be the hardest to photograph and possibly wash a person’s color out. Dark colors, such as navy, black, and dark jewel tone colors tend to photograph well, and can make a bold statement. Bright colors, such as pink, turquoise, and yellow, can really add a pop of color and make the feel of the photo more fun and whimsical. Clothing to avoid are those that are heavily patterned, have logos, or words that may be difficult to see. Sit down and think for a moment….what type of photograph are you trying to accomplish? Then make your clothing choice based on that answer.
2.Lighting The correct lighting is everything in photography! I can’t begin to tell you what a dramatic difference the way and object faces light and how light falls on the object can make in a photograph! The best times to photograph outside are at sunrise, for you early birds and at sunset. This is what is called the “golden hour” in photography….the hour surrounding sunrise and sunset. The way the light falls on an object is much softer during this hour, which means less undesired shadows on faces. The only problem is that this lighting is fleeting, so it is imperative that you get to the session on time. Less daylight means less time to photograph your session. If you are more than 15 minutes late to your session I may ask you to reschedule or I may have to cut your session early…I have small children at home that also have a schedule and need their mommy time. J
3.Ideas Have an idea for a session? Speak up! I love to have clients that know what they want! Many times I am inspired by my clients to do a certain shoot simply because they had a particular request. Out of ideas? That’s okay. I have many props that I can bring and will allow for some creativity during a shoot. I want to make your experience and session unique to you.
4.Cancellations Kids get sick. Life happens. You may find yourself needing to cancel an appointment you have already set up. I will try my best to reschedule your session but due to the fact that I already work as a nurse, my photography schedule is very limited and tight. Please let me know as soon as possible if you need to cancel so that I can give your session slot to someone that has been waiting.

Children
1. Naptime is critical to a child’s well being during the shoot. Unfortunately, the “golden hour” may interfere with naptime. Try to plan accordingly and bump up naptime if need be. A snack is a good idea and we can certainly take breaks during the session to assure that your child is happy. If your child has a certain stuffed animal or blanket that they love, bring it. Even if the “lovie” is in the picture, that’s okay. It is sometimes the small things in life that we want to remember and cherish the most.
2.There may be certain times during the session that I ask parents for assistance. I usually try to engage the child in conversation but sometimes seeing and talking with a new person can make the child “clam up”. As a parent, you can help by coming near me and get down on their eye level so that they are not always looking up in the picture.

Newborns
1.A typical newborn session will last around three hours, four hours maximum. It might seem like a long time but when you take into account all the time it takes to feed the baby, change baby, and settle the baby into sleep it really goes by very quickly. Make sure you bring plenty of bottles. Happy baby=beautiful pictures.
2.The best time to photograph newborns is under two weeks. This is because they tend to sleep the most during this time and I am able to get them to do the curled up positions. If you know that you are interested in a newborn session with me, please plan ahead and give me a heads up on your due date. Newborn sessions are scheduled in just like any other session and I feel terrible when I have to turn people away.
3.You may be wondering what to dress the baby in. If you have a special outfit, definitely bring it. I will say, however, my favorite way to photograph a baby is in the nude, because this is how they are in their most natural state. “Oopsies” are gonna happen…don’t worry, I am prepared. Everything is washed after a session and I will have plenty of wipes and blankets on hand.
4.Sometimes a newborn’s skin is a little less than perfect. Not to worry! Baby’s skin can easily be perfected in editing.
5.I know that baby’s have their own schedule but it definitely helps to start out with a well fed baby. They tend to sleep deeper with a full tummy.
6.I always say that if I’m not sweating during a newborn session, I’m not working hard enough, LOL. I generally crank up the heat so that these little people will be warm enough without their clothes on.

Maternity
1.The best time for a maternity session is generally around 30-34 weeks. That is when those precious bellies are beginning to really pop out and yet at the same time it is easier for you to get up and down during a session.
2.I love to have spouses come along during a session and be in the pictures. This will be your last pictures with “just the two of you”. In fact, some people neglect to have pictures taken of them after the children come (*cough, cough, me and my husband*) so it may be a REALLY long time before you have a picture made together. Let’s make it memorable.
3.A maternity session is a great time to bring something sentimental and incorporate it into the shoot. How neat is it when you see a special blanket or booties in a maternity shoot and then see them used on the newborn?!!!

Family
1. A family session is always a fun one and can make for some great gifts for grandparents. Perhaps the biggest issue is clothing choices and making sure that the colors “make sense” together. This will help the overall look of your photos.
2.I generally start out with the younger children first so that they do not tire out.
3.Although groups are great, the bigger the group is, the less time I will have to focus on each individual person. Ask yourself if you are wanting more group shots or are you also wanting some individually made. Let me know your expectations up front so we will be sure to get everyone what they want.

I want to thank you for even taking the time to consider me for you next photo session. I truly enjoy photography and I want to make your session memorable and enjoyable too. Have a wonderful day and God bless!

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