what to wear
#1 and most important - wear what you are comfortable in! Wear what makes you feel beautiful. If you are uncomfortable and tugging on something or unsure of yourself it will lessen your experience. "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde
After that my basic tips include:
~ Avoid the matchy-matchy. Pick 3 basic colors you like together and then mix and match patterns, textures, and prints/solids. It will look much more natural and organic. I like life in COLOR so I always chose a pop of color over black or white.
~Keep it simple - Go for the pops of color and the patterns but don't go overboard on accessories and too many patterns and prints or it will look too busy. Go for "statement" pieces rather than big and bold from top to bottom.
~Avoid wording or text on shirts.
~Let your kids show their personalities...maybe it's a gaudy necklace, unicorn earrings, vanity glasses, a batman hat....let them bring it along. Pick your battles. You'll enjoy that little detail later when you are fondly remembering that phase.
~Bring Walking Shoes. If you plan to wear heels, you might bring some easy to slip on flip flops etc that will make walking a little easier.
~Bring healthy happy kiddos! Please, please...if your child is not well or not feeling 100% please let me know and we will reschedule. There's no limited time frame or fee for this. Photographing a teething or ill toddler is just not worth it! I promise we will make it a priority to reschedule you quickly.
If you are unsure or need help please text me some pictures! I'd love to help you finalize your choices so you can have beautiful images that represent the real you!
If you'd like to set up hair and/or make up before the shoot let me know if I can help make your photos special!
sessions with toddlers
I would say that kids under 4 are by far the most challenging to photograph. And as a mom of 3 boys under five I have A LOT of experience in that department. Let me say, I am coming to your session in boots or tennis shoes and yoga pants because honey, we're about to get a work out!
1) Patience is a Virtue. I'm going to start off by just hanging around your kiddo(s) and getting to know them. See if they're slow to warm or ready to go. Am I going to need to coax out their personalities or chase them in action? Either way, I'm a stranger and we have to give them time to adjust to the idea of me and my camera.
2) Cool as a Cucumber. Oh they can smell the desperation on us can't they? I know you've got everyone dressed in their best, out the door on time, here despite traffic, paid your session fee, and just want something you can put on your wall. But if everyone is stressed and not having any fun your toddler knows it. Not to mention that's how you'll remember these photos. So RELAX, breathe, live in this moment and let's roll with it and have fun.
2) Let them go. I'm going to bring my bag of tricks to see if I can get them to pose here/sit here/try this and keep it fun and exciting. But sometimes (#boymom) they just have to go and explore. We're in a new environment with lots to see. So within safety and reason, let's do that. We can get some beautifully candid shots of curiosity and joy this way. We are not going to ever force (can one even?) a toddler to do anything and are better to let them lead us.
3) Prep Ahead. If this is a morning shoot (toddlers often do best early and I'll meet you for sunrise if you're up because I'm up too!) make sure they get to bed early, eat a good breakfast, and are ready to go! The same goes for a sunset session...you might push nap a little bit later than usual and make sure they get a good hearty dinner in their bellies before they come or get a good snack. You can also bring along water (nothing that will stain) and some clean snacks which I'm sure you take everywhere anyway.
4) I'm not above bribery. I always have candy and fruit snacks in my bag for incentives. My own kids have a "modeling fee" of $1. That works for now. Maybe it's ice cream or donuts afterwards, their favorite movie or game. You know what works.
5) Bring THE THING. You know exactly what THE THING is. It's THE THING you take everywhere because #toddlers. And I know you don't want it in your pictures. And I promise we'll do what we can to keep it out of your "framers" but I can also tell you that you'll love the few we do include it in. Because it marks time and it's special to just that child. And one day, they will just stop carrying it everywhere and it will just be a story you tell. So bring THE THING!
Congratulations on your new baby! There is just nothing more exciting than bringing a sweet fresh baby home! It is most ideal to photograph newborns within the first two weeks so please make sure I've got you on my calendar as soon as possible! Most of my sessions are done in your home as this is the least stressful option for you having everything you need, having the time you need to get ready, and to be able to care for your baby in your space . If you feel your home is not suited for this, I do have other options so just let me know! Typically when I arrive you will be feeding or feeding soon. I will unpack my stuff, nose around your home and make a little space for myself probably near a big window. I bring a collection of props baskets and backdrops. If you have any favored colors you use in your home or any special family interests that might make a unique photo let me know. I'll bring a space heater and we might use your dryer to warm up blankets if we need to keep baby warm. Don't worry if your house is a mess or dishes are in the sink. You just had a baby! I expect clutter and baby stuff everywhere! I don't need much space and may move some things aqround but I'll put it all back when I'm done. It helps tremendously to keep the baby awake prior to our session. Usually this means their first feed will be around 6am and keep them awake as much as you can and then you'll feed again right as I arrive. About an hour before keep socks or anything tight fitting off the baby to keep them from having imprints. Loosen the diaper and take any clothes off. Keep the baby warm in a soft and fluffy blanket that you've been using so it will smell familiar. During the shoot, we can stop and break as much as needed to keep baby happy and fed. If you have a bottle (pumped or formula) that helps save time but is not necessary. A pacifier is super helpful too...Even if they typically don't take one it can be just the thing to help them stay or go to asleep. You are welcome to stay with me during the shoot and watch or use this time to shower /dress yourself and the family or just rest. Baby photos usually takes at about an hour depending on how hard they sleep. Family photos follow. I know you may not be feeling back to your old self yet so wear whatever makes you comfortable. I know for me that was still maternity clothes! Keep it simple...color if you like it but this is about the only occasion I think black photographs well…avoid bold patterns, wording, and too much matchy matchy.