7 things you need to know about your upcoming family photo session
Getting to know you
This is the most important part of the whole process! After our phone call, I'll send through a questionnaire to get to know what you and your family like and how to make you all feel comfortable on the day. With my background in Speech Pathology and Psychology, I know that some children can be shy around new people and take some time to open up. I always respect a child’s personal space and gently work on getting them to open up to my camera. First, you’ll see me get down on their level and introduce myself. If they are old enough, I will ask them their name and talk to them about their interests, children love this! I will lead them to interesting locations and watch them explore. Children sometimes have a difficult time opening up, while I cannot guarantee that your child will be smiling in all of the photos I will do my best to make sure they have a good experience and are happy!
The big Kids
For children around three or four and up, I ask for a bit of space while I am taking photographs. Often a child feels the need to perform in front of a parent, and that often leads to an un-natural smile and expression. I want to present to you images of your child that are natural and real. Now, keep in mind I will let your child be our guide. If he or she starts to fuss, you will be quickly asked to come back until they are comfortable. I want you to be comfortable too! When I say “space” I usually mean a meter or two, This is also the perfect time to get some behind-the-scenes footage of the shoot!
Smiles all around
"Say Cheese" are two words you will probably never hear me speak, Here's why - I strive to get honest and natural expressions from your child during our session. When a child is asked to ‘say cheese’, he or she will not give a natural smile, but rather they will be performing, and this will be apparent in the images - we all know those clenched teeth smiles I'm talking about. I can absolutely get gorgeous smiling faces without needing to say 'cheese' and when the focus is put on something that is actually fun we get so many more quirky expressions!
What to wear
Click here to read my photo session style guide if you haven't already explored the blog.
Family photographs are an investment not only in time and money but in your future. I highly suggest clothing for each family member that has the same tone, not necessarily color. Please, be wary of stripes, plaid, words, and logos on your family’s clothing. These things can be a distraction from your beautiful family. Oh, and bare feet are great for family sessions too! You can find more dos and don'ts on the blog post. As always, I'm happy to provide the style consultation in person during the pre-session consultation and I welcome emails with photos/flat lay of outfit choices.
Not feeling well?
If your child or another family member is sick or not feeling well, please call me to reschedule. I completely understand that sometimes children get sick without any notice. I want your child to enjoy the photo session, and a sick child just won’t be up for pictures. I would appreciate it if you could call to reschedule as soon as you know you will be unable to make it.
Getting to know me
I have a relaxed, more candid style of photography. I enjoy capturing the special moments between families, which are most likely the expressions that you see most in one another every day. You will find me talking to you and your family a lot, with special attention in engaging your children in the moment. Please allow me to keep them focused on me, rather than being firm with them; I have a few tricks to help kids forget the camera is even there, thus producing more natural expressions and smiles from them. I know family portrait-time can be thought of as a stressful time, but I want you to enjoy more than your images, the experience of making those images should be equally as enjoyable.
As I mentioned above, I have a Masters in Speech Pathology and a degree in Education and Psychology. The challenges I have faced working with children and adults in the clinical setting have allowed me to have a unique skill set that I lean into in almost all family sessions, whether or not the child or another family member has additional needs. I am passionate about all families having professional photos to commemorate life's milestones and I would hate for families to miss out on this because of fears surrounding the shoot its self or the expectation that their child will not know how to behave or do what is requested of them.
For families with children on the Autism Spectrum, I have a flip booked called "My Photo Story". It is a social story with images and text explaining the process of a photo session with me from start to finish. You may already use social stories in your home for things like teeth brushing, going to the shops, and getting ready for school. 'My Photo Story' is a similar book that can be requested and send in the mail to your family prior to our session so that you can start to prepare your child for the session. All that I ask is that you bring the book back to our session for other children to reuse in the future. Anyone who thinks their family member may benefit from this flipbook is welcome to request it, just send me an email.