What to Expect ~ Policies & Procedures 

It’s not every day that we plan a portrait session, so I’m sure you have plenty of questions. Feel free to contact me at any time to help plan your custom portrait session – in the meantime, I have gathered some of my most frequently asked questions below.

 

~ "How do I prepare for the session?" ~

We’ll work together to figure out the details of your session - the who, what, when where and why. All sessions are custom designed to fit your needs. Love the sunset look, but your kids are in bed at 6:30pm? Let’s pick an early morning time instead. Need a mid day session but – eek! The sun is so bright overhead! – let’s look for a nice shady location that can still work.

After we’ve worked out the details, an invoice and photography agreement are sent via email. Deposits are required and are the only way to guarantee your selected date and time.

Because most of my sessions are outdoors, we may need to create a back up plan due to weather concerns. As the date approaches, we will be in contact to work out a plan – a different location or a different date all together.

 

~ “What should I wear?” ~

One of the top questions I get asked is what my family should wear to their portrait session. People have heard all sorts of things over the years about what they should or shouldn’t wear to a photo shoot and most of it isn’t accurate information.

As your portrait session approaches, I will send an email with detailed information about how to choose the right clothing. In the meantime, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Family Portraits

·    Be comfortable! Trying to put your kids in dresses, ties & jackets – when you normally wear pjs most days – well, that’s just asking for trouble!

·    Solid color clothing helps direct our eyes to the faces in the images, rather than a distracting pattern of clothing. Solid color clothing is timeless. Muted and subdued tones, will help ensure everyone looks their best in the images. A white top with dark pants will make your top look bigger – same goes with bright colors.

·    Choose 1-3 colors for your group portrait, with similar tones that go nicely together. Ask everyone in the portrait to work within that color palette. This is why wedding group photos look so good – because the subjects are all coordinated and allows their facial expressions to stand out.

·    Take some time to choose dark socks and footwear – dirty, white gym shoes will stick out like a sore thumb! Keep jewelry, hair and makeup as natural as possible. It’s most important to make your portrait timeless and represent who you are, not just what you look like. 

 

~ Preparing for a newborn session .... 

First of all, you just had a baby. Relax and enjoy yourself! I know how crazy busy and stressful those first few weeks are. You’re learning how to keep up to the constant demands of a hungry infant, trying to read his/her signals, learning how your baby likes to be comforted, trying to find time to feed yourself – all while functioning on little to no sleep at all! I remember those days all too well. This is why I come to your home for newborn sessions. The stress of getting everyone cleaned, dressed and fed, only to arrive at your destination and someone is hungry or dirty and to start the process all over again! So give yourself permission to relax and not sweat the small stuff.

Yeah, ok, but for real – what do I wear?!?

That being said, here are some guidelines to help you be most satisfied with your images. First and foremost – wear something that fits! I know, easier said than done (coming from someone who even at 10 months post partum has very little that fits!!). Don’t stress about going out to find something to wear – your body is recovering and changing on a daily basis and now is not the time to be investing in clothing.

Dark pants and a long sleeve solid black shirt are perfectly acceptable at this time. In fact, the long sleeve dark color looks amazing when we convert the images to black and white. Remember, the focus of these images is on the baby. Long sleeve dark colors make our bodies fade into the background, where the contrast of the lighter baby skin is what stands out. Only have a black shirt from pre-baby? Then pick a different color! If you are uncomfortable in your clothing, it’s all you’ll focus on when you look at the images and you won’t be happy. Have a few options ready to go and I can help you choose when it’s time for the pictures.

One thing I do recommend is to make sure nails are clean and well groomed – no chipped nail polish. You’ll be holding the baby and often the images will be close up so your nails will be visible. Feel free to use this as a welcome excuse to get a manicure, if that’s your thing!

Babies are best photographed naked or in blankets. They are typically too small for clothing to fit very well so save that for 6 month or 1 year photo shoots. The focus of these portraits is the baby all natural and soft and squishy – the don’t need much besides accessories at this point in time. Any special baby blankets, hats, bows or stuffed animals would be perfect. I will bring a few blankets and sheets with me as well.

 

~ My house is a mess! Where do you take the pictures? ~

Please don’t feel the need to have a perfectly clean house – although if this is the excuse you need to hire a house cleaner, well I’ll definitely support that decision! But in all honesty – I have two kids and no dedicated play room. My house is wall to wall toys most days, piles of laundry (clean and dirty!) and quite a few dust bunnies in the corner.  But even I can find space to take to photos of my children in my home – I know we can do it in your house, too!

Most often images are taken in the baby’s room. Most parents have taken careful time and consideration in planning the baby’s room so let’s document that! Another option is often the master bedroom, as we take the images on the bed. A solid color sheet is all that’s needed to design clean images. We can also use the sofa or a chair in the living room for some beautiful family portraits.

When taking close up shots of the newborn, I look for a place that has an abundance of natural light. Often these images are taken in front of a large window, wherever that window might be. Bedrooms and dining rooms are most often the perfect spot. But if your house is anything like mine (old, dark and dungeon like) then we can even use the space in front of the open door! I do have a large bean bag that I like to use for posing and a basket that we can place on the floor.

 

~ "What should I bring to the session?" ~

Be sure to bring plenty of bottles, snacks, drinks, etc. for your children - non messy is preferred! Sometimes we may take a break mid session to refresh with a snack and these quiet moments are important to regroup. 

If your child has a favorite toy or lovey that you want captured in the photographs, please bring it! Now is a perfect time to capture those memories. Additional toys are not necessary - I have a few tricks in my bag if needed to help bring out some smiles. 

 

~ "My child has a huge bruise on his forehead!" ~

Don't worry - we can edit that out! All images are professionally retouched. Our children and families are perfect and we want our photos to look that way too!

All photos are retouching to fix scratches, acne, minor bumps and bruises. I can also lighten up wrinkles and eliminate the stray hair out of place. Photos are also corrected for color, exposure, cropped and resized appropriately for your chosen print products. 

 

~ "How soon will I get to see my pictures?" ~

Images are available in about one week after your session – sometimes sooner! I know how excited and anxious you are to see your images so getting them back to you as quickly as possible is my top goal. I will choose the very best images from your portrait session, custom edit and process those 20 images. Images will be shared online in a private gallery.

Images are shared with you first, before any images are shared on social media. This means you will have a chance to share your honest opinions about the photos, and nothing is shared online that you do not like. 

Digital negatives will available for downloading direct from the private online gallery. A print release is provided, as well as suggestions on where and what to print.