Portrait Session Guide
I photograph parents and their newborns with a very unique eye. My photography approach is more lifestyle, so it is less posed or staged. I want to create images that will show the very emotion that was felt at the click of the shutter. Photographing parents holding their newborns is such a beautiful honor, and is one of my favorite sessions to create from. I adore seeing the joy and pride radiate from the new parent’s face as they hold their little one, all while keeping the images photographed in a natural and authentic setting.
My family photography style is set apart from the typical “Say Cheese” picture (don’t worry, I still take a couple shots of everyone looking at the camera). However, it’s my desire and authentic style to create a family heirloom for you, not just a family Holiday card. Whether everyone is looking at the camera, or a special unguarded moment is captured, I want these to be images that you will have forever to tell your family story for generations to come.
I photograph each session using digital photography. Providing each and every client with an incredible experience, from start to finish, is important to me.
This may be your first experience working with me, and perhaps even your first photography experience entirely, so I want to be sure I walk you through what you can expect. Whether you have booked my photography to celebrate expecting, the arrival of your baby, your growing family, or all of the above- the following pages will walk you through the planning, what to wear, session tips, what to bring, and more.
The location of your session is a crucial element of the portrait planning process. I photograph exclusively with natural light, so you have the option of choosing outdoors or indoors providing there is ample window light.
For outdoor sessions, I photograph in the softest light which is following sunrise early in the morning, or the hour leading up to sunset in the evening.
For indoor sessions, I schedule around later morning or midday. A clean window space, with light or neutral colored walls works best for the session.
- Outdoor sessions require a bit more preparation as far as what to bring. The following is a suggested checklist for on location portrait sessions.
- At least one extra outfit. I recommend one dress outfit and one casual option. Consider bringing along a shawl or scarf that can be used as a wrap. This can add variety and texture to your outfit without a full change of clothes.
- A bottle of water, and a “Just in Case” snack.
- An emergency touch up kit. Even if you booked your hair and makeup appointment professionally, plan to bring a small kit that includes lip color, a hair brush, bobby pins, safety pins, etc. It is always better to be prepared, especially if we are photographing on location.
- Comfortable walking shoes. Often on location we need to walk a short distance to where we will actually be photographing. You can always slip on your heels or other shoes of choice when we start taking pictures.
- A tote bag that is easy to carry. We are often far away from the car, and a tote bag with all that you will need for the session will save you a trip!
- When choosing your Portrait Session wardrobe, it is best to stay within a neutral, organic color palette. My favorite colors to photograph are cream, gray, blush, sand, lavender, and navy.
- Try to stay away from brighter colors in the red & orange range as they do not photograph well. Darker colors are encouraged only if they are muted in their brightness, such as a dark emerald, or merlot.
- Choose solid colors that layer together, with details in the texture such as knits, linen, and lace. If you choose white or black, be sure there is texture to the fabric, as that helps preserve the detail in the photographs.
- Any chosen prints or patterns should be minimal and soft. There should be no logos or writing on your clothing, as they become distracting in the photographs.
- Remember that slow is ok. During the session, I often step back and wait, evaluating the light and waiting for the perfect moment to press the shutter. During this time, I urge you to not feel as though you are under pressure to do something, or pose a certain way. Simply take a deep breath and enjoy the one(s) you are with. Those are the authentic moments I am looking for, and it doesn’t happen in a rush.
- Be yourself. I will guide you and suggest different posing when needed. If something doesn’t feel right or you become uncomfortable, please feel as though you can say something. If you are feeling discomfort, it will definitely show in your images.
- Look for the moments to connect. I strive to create a session atmosphere that is very relaxing. If your husband or child is involved in the session, I want you to authentically spend time with them, while making an effort to be extra close. Hold hands, kiss foreheads, nuzzle together, and wrap your arms around each other. Look for those opportunities to be intentionally affectionate with one another.
- If a child is present at the session, please do not encourage them to “Say Cheese”, or anything similar. I want to create authentic moments of happiness, and I am more interested in photographing your connection and real emotion, than I am getting them to look at the camera. Please consider bringing along an extra family member or friend to help. When the child isn’t being photographed, you’ll want someone around to watch over so you can relax during your portion of the session.
Newborns & Babies
- If you are preparing for your newborn session with me, especially as a first time Mom, I just want to encourage you, and remind you that you have absolutely nothing to stress over.
- It’s true, babies run the show. So they may nap perfectly for you before the shoot, or they may not. They may be all for cuddling and sleeping on your chest for the entire session without as much as a peep, or they may demand to stop and eat every 10 minutes. I have seen it all, and nothing discourages me from creating beautiful portraits no matter what.
- You can stop and feed, change, and even breathe as much you need to.
- If possible, plan to feed your baby right before I arrive. But as mentioned, if your baby has a different plan, we just roll with it!
Social media sneak peek with one of our favorite photos
Blog post or email with some highlights of our time together
Online gallery with all of your final, retouched, high-resolution images ready to print & share!
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