THE PORTRAIT GUIDE
Ali Lee Photography Authentic. Heartwarming. Timeless. www.alileephoto.com - firstname.lastname@example.org - 860.830.0943
I am so happy that you hold this portrait session planning guide in your hands. It means the world that you have chosen me to document the most important people in your life. The details in this guide were specifically created to help answer any questions you may have about your custom photography experience, as well as prepare you for our time together.
We are going to get right to what you can expect from your portrait session with me. My experienced suggestions on what to wear, personal recommendations for professional hair & makeup services, and most importantly- how these images can become artwork in your home following your session are all included in this guide.
the INTRODUCTION Local to western Connecticut, I am a
photographer who specializes in motherhood and family photography. I believe that documenting the start of a new family is so incredibly important. As a mother myself, I photograph families with a deep understanding of how quickly time goes by and the importance of documenting your life with your children.
I photograph maternity portraits with the
intent of making those images timeless, not trendy. All you will need to bring is yourself. My goal is to create the iconic images that tell a part of that very story. I photograph maternity portraits, not only for the pregnant mother, but for her children and grandchildren to find one day.
I photograph parents and their newborns
with a very calm and relaxed presence. 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 that moment. Photographing parents holding their newborns is such an honor, and is one of my favorite sessions to do. I just love seeing the pure joy radiate from the new parentâ€™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 also set
apart from the typical posed picture. Itâ€™s my desire to create a family heirloom that is pure and real life. Whether everyone is looking at the camera, or a special unplanned moment is captured on a whim, I believe that your family deserves the images that will tell your familyâ€™s story as authentically as possible.
Providing each and every client with an
incredible experience from start to finish is of the utmost importance to me. Not only will your planning, session, and ordering consultation be as smooth as possible, it will also be done with all of your needs in mind.
I only take on a limited number of sessions per year, so that I may give you my full attention during our time together. I will be there for you every step of the way, from the outfit planning to the album decisions, I am here to make this experience enjoyable and stress free.
While these frequently asked questions
were made available to you prior to booking, they are also included here for your convenience, if you desire to read them again. Please feel free to skip ahead to the actual session planning if you would like.
the ANSWERS Some images in your website portfolio are black
& white and some are color. Will I be receiving color or black & white images? I love both color and black & white images. I believe that a black & white image has a way of showing emotion in a way that a color image cannot. It is important to me that you have both options and so all clients do receive both color and black and white images to choose from.
Will you be able to photograph in my home? After you review this guide we will connect to discuss specific details, and we can then decide if your home is the best fit for your session. I frequently photograph in my clientâ€™s home, providing there is ample window light, and at least one well lit room with light or neutral colored walls. If your home is not an option, we can find an outdoor location or even a friend and family memberâ€™s home that may work better.
Should I use a professional hair & makeup artist for my session?
I always recommend that my clients work
with a professional hair and makeup artist prior to their session. The artists I personally recommend are trained to make you look flawless for the camera. Whether you are desiring a look that is completely natural, or a bit fancier than your usual, these artists know what they are doing. Many of my clients wear minimal makeup in their day to day, and were incredibly pleased with their decision to trust a professional for their session day. It will give you an extra boost of confidence for being in front of the camera, and provide a well deserved feeling of luxury as part of your custom photography experience.
I recommend the following artists: SIMPLY GORGEOUS BY ERIN Southington, CT www.simplygorgeousbyerin.com GIGGAR MAKEUP ARTISTRY Stratford, CT www.giggarmakeupartistry.com
HAIR & MAKEUP TIPS If our session is going to be in a different area, you may be looking for a different hair and makeup artist than the ones suggested. The following are my top things to look for when hiring your artist: 1. Work with someone who offers Airbrush Foundation. This is truly the mark of a professional and your skin will look flawless rather than cakey. 2. Work with someone who offers on-location services. This is most important for newborn sessions. As a new mother, having your hair and makeup done in the comfort of your own home before your session is priceless. 3. Work with someone who offers hair styling as well. 4. If you are unsure, ask to see a portfolio of their work. Professional makeup artists should have a selection of work to show you their style and skill level. Please feel free to ask me to locate a hair and makeup artist in your area if you are feeling hesitant or unsure on what to look for.
Will you use any props for our newborn session like what I see on Pinterest?
I value providing my clients with timeless portraits that can be treasured for generations. I do my best to avoid current trends, and prefer to focus on photographing beautiful and authentic moments.
My newborn session approach is more about capturing the connection between a new baby and parents, and showing every emotion. I respectfully ask that you refrain from bringing any newborn costumes to your session, and props will not be included. Of course, if there is a special blanket that was made for your little one, we will find a way to include it.
REVIEW OF HIGH RESOLUTION DIGITAL FILES
When purchased, High Resolution Digital Files are delivered on a quality USB. These files allow you to print your own photographs as well as share them on social media. I love for my clients to purchase these files so that you may safely archive them for years to come, as well as have the freedom to make your own prints beyond what is professionally ordered from me. As outlined in detail at the time of booking, all prints & products, including Digital Files, may be purchased separately following your session.
The only exception to this policy is with The Motherhood & Heirloom Collections, which all include a specific number of files. Otherwise, Digital Files are available for individual purchase, or as a complete suite. If you have further questions about Digital Files, or the permissions included with their purchase, please donâ€™t hesitate to contact me.
This may be your first experience
working with me, and perhaps even your first custom photography experience entirely, so I want to be sure I walk you through exactly 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 my top session tips, choosing your location, what to wear, what to bring, and more. Iâ€™ve got you covered.
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, we schedule around later morning or midday. A clean window space, with light or neutral colored walls is best.
OUR SESSION CHECKLIST
Outdoor sessions require a bit more preparation as far as what to bring. The following is a suggested checklist for on location portrait sessions. These may be applied to maternity or family sessions. 1. 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. 2. A bottle of water, and a â€œJust in Caseâ€? snack.
3. 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. 4. 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. 5. 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!
OUR SESSION OUTFITS
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. Above all, keep in mind that simplicity is always more.
your MATERNITY SESSION For maternity sessions I recommend wearing an elegant outfit such as a flowy dress, or a long gown. You may wish to include a second casual outfit that includes a slouchy sweater, button up shirt, or blouse.
Whether you are looking for a portrait collection barefoot on the beach in a long romantic dress, an exquisite intimate collection for you and your husband to treasure always, or something in between- the goal is to create maternity images that are classic, iconic, and capture the breathtaking beauty that motherhood brings. Try not to feel limited to “maternity” lines of clothing, and don’t forget that sometimes the best pieces are already in your closet. I am more than happy to help specifically with the styling of your session, so please feel free to email me with any questions. As with all of my work, I believe that timeless should always be chosen over trendy.
your NEWBORN SESSION The most important idea to consider when
planning the outfits for your newborn session, is that less is more, and simplicity is everything. Simple, neutral colored onesies and rompers often suffice. Textured knit or linen blankets are highly recommended. For mothers I recommend wearing what is most comfortable, often a maxi dress that fit during pregnancy works well as your body is in a season of healing. Knit shawls or sweater cardigans that wrap around your shoulders work really well to add texture, and also flatter your upper arm area if desired. For fathers I recommend a solid, neutral colored button up or sweater, with jeans or dress pants. Newborns are almost exclusively held by the mother or father during these sessions. Be mindful of outfits that bunch up easily. Head pieces for baby girls are ok only if they are not too large or distracting. My goal is to provide you with timeless portraits that can be adored for generations.
Y FAVORITE SHOP RESOURCES FOR YOU
MATERNITY ISABELLA OLIVER www.isabellaoliver.com HATCH www.hatchcollection.com ANTHROPOLOGIE www.anthropologie.com BAE THE LABEL www.baethelabel.com
NEWBORN & BABY CARAMEL BABY & CHILD www.caramel-shop.co.uk ZARA www.zara.com BABY GAP www.gap.com SOOR PLOOM www.soorploomclothier.com TORTOISE & THE HARE www.tortoiseandthehare.clothing
your FAMILY SESSION
Family sessions may seem the hardest beacause you have multiple
people to coordinate. The easiest thing to do is to pick one outfit you are sure of first, and then go off of that to determine everyone elseâ€™s. The idea is not to match one another perfectly, it is to stay within a complimentary color palette. For instance, navy, cream, and taupe all go together but everyone can wear them a little differently. Accessories like scarves, necklaces, headbands, etc, are all great ways to incorporate colors and layers/textures to a look.
3. Look for the moments to connect. I strive to create a session atmosphere that is very Y TOP SESSION TIPS 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, 1. Remember that slow is ok. During our nuzzle together, and wrap your arms around session, I often step back and wait, evaluating each other. Look for those opportunities to be the light and waiting for the perfect moment to intentionally affectionate with one another. press the shutter. During this time, I urge you to not feel as though you are under pressure to do 4. If a child is present at the session, please something, or pose a certain way. Simply take a do not encourage them to “Say Cheese”, or deep breath and enjoy the one(s) you are with. anything similar. Remember, we are wanting Those are the authentic moments I am looking to create authentic moments of happiness, and for, and it doesn’t happen in a rush. I am more interested in photographing your connection and real emotion, than I am getting 2. Be yourself. I will guide you and suggest them to look at the camera. different posing when needed. If something doesn’t feel right or you become uncomfortable, 5. If a child will be included in your session, please feel as though you can say something. If please consider bringing along an extra family you are feeling discomfort, it will definitely member or friend to help. When the child isn’t show in your images. being photographed, you want to be able to focus on the camera.
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. Itâ€™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!
This guide is provided before your session, so
you will have ample time to review all of the artwork options. You are strongly encouraged to already be thinking of decisions such as where in your home you wish to display framed portraits, what sizes you think you will want, and the frame color you think best suits your personal decor. It is also helpful to be thinking ahead of time about family gifts, the number of desired birth announcements, or album cover preferences. Following the session, you have the option of choosing individual a la carte items, or starting with one of the three popular Heirloom Collections. Each print and product offered is of the most exquisite, professional quality. Frames arrive ready to hang, albums are crafted by hand to last for generations, and prints are on the highest quality paper in the industry. Trust me in this. Let me take care of everything.
I offer my clients only the most exquisite
matted prints and hand-crafted products to display your portrait collection. I believe in art for your home, and the experience of unwrapping your memories. I believe your portraits deserve to be displayed in your home as timeless, classic heirlooms that last for generations. I also believe that the custom photography experience should go above and beyond, and that you shouldnâ€™t be left to figure it all out on your own. Thatâ€™s why I work one on one with all of my portrait clients to make sure every detail, of every order, is perfect and exactly how each client envisioned it.
DIGITAL FILES Single File $20 | Set of 10 $175 | Entire Gallery $500
High Resolution Digital Files are provided via USB, and include permission for self-printing, sharing, and most importantly the personal archiving of your family images. You may choose to purchase an individual file, set of ten files, or the complete gallery. If you are interested in purchasing your favorite images as both digital files and printed products, you may be interested in one of the three popular Heirloom Collections. Each Heirloom Collection includes a set amount of digital files as well as printed art. This would allow you to have a framed portrait(s) of your favorite image, as well as the digital files to archive for years to come. Digital Files provide you with the opportunity to self-print family gifts, order your own birth announcements or holiday cards online, as well as share your images on social media, beyond what is professionally ordered through me.
Museum Quality Framed Portraits Your images deserve to be seen as you walk through the halls and rooms of your home. They remind you of a moment in time that can never be recreated. An intimate connection between you and your loved ones that it so special, you cannot help but stop as you pass by, maybe just for a second, and smile as you feel that moment again. These museum quality frames come ready to hang with the portrait of your choosing displayed. All frames come matted. If you are choosing one of my hand picked collections, some may come with one or two framed portraits. Otherwise, they are available a la carte. Small Framed Portrait Up to 5x7 print - $90 each Medium Framed Portrait Up to 8x10 print - $110 each Large Framed Portrait Up to 24x36 print - $150 each DIY is also available - I will give you a referral code and you can order for yourself.
Thin antiqued silver frame
Thin antiqued gold frame
Thin natural wood frame
Thin medium wood frame
Classic white distressed frame
Dark brown wood frame
Thin white gallery frame
Thin black gallery frame
D E E P MA T T E P R I N T S Prints matter. Deep matte prints are extremely soft to the touch that are printed on 100% non-reflective matte photo paper. It reproduces beautiful warm tones in bright images and in black and whites. Prints are available in many sizes to suit your needs. The most popular are listed below. 4x4 - $3.50 4x6 - $5.00 5x7 - $8.00 8x10 - $15.00 11x14 - $25.00 12x18 - $35.00 Mallory Bundle - $40 (2) 4x4, (2) 4x6, (2) 5x7, (1) 8x10
Caroline Bundle - $65 (3) 5x7, (2) 8x10, (1) 11x14
FABRIC FOLIOS If you are looking for a great piece for your mantle or accent table, these exquisite fabric folios are just what you are looking for. These perfectly crafted folios are availble in sixteen fabrics that are sure to fit into your home decor. Easily change the prints displayed at anytime. Available in two sizes, they come with two deep matte prints, included in the price. 7x9 folio for 4x6 prints | $130
8x10 folio for 5x7 prints | $150
ALBUMS Hand crafted in Europe, these albums will last generations. Each album comes housed in an engraved wooden box to ensure it stays in immaculate condition for your great grandchildren. With linen or leather cover options, you will find the perfect fit for you and your family. When I think of albums, I imagine families getting together on the couch, leafing through the pages and remembering those moments with laughter and smiles. Available in two sizes, choose an album that fits well with your family and your home.
6x6 Album $550 12x12 Album $975 Each hand crafted album includes 30 pages, an embossed cover, engraved wooden box, and a canvas envelope. You may choose between linen or leather cover options and can expect to have 30-40 images in the 6x6 album and 60-80 in the 12x12 album.
Choose from a variety of linen or leather cover options:
Once ordered, your album will arrive within eight to ten weeks. Your albums are hand made and require attention to detail. It is a process that should not be rushed.
THE HEIRLOOM COLLECTIONS Following each portrait session, you have the choice of building your own print collection by choosing individual a la carte items, or starting with one of the three popular heirloom collections that are offered.
THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION | $300 This Collection includes 20 edited digital files with 5x7 deep matte prints.
THE SIGNATURE COLLECTION | $600 This Collection includes one framed portrait (small or medium), 30 edited digital files, one 7x9 folio (holds (2) 4x6 prints) and 15% off any additional products.
THE LEGACY COLLECTION | $1075 This Collection includes two framed portraits (any size), complete gallery of digital files, a 6x6 album, and 30% off any additional products.
THE MOTHERHOOD COLLECTIONS The milestones involved with having a child are so special and happen so quickly. Starting from your maternity, the story of you and your baby begins so beautifully. Then, your baby is born and you could not be more in love. Holding your tiny miracle will be like nothing you have ever experienced before. Your little one will grow so fast I believe it is incredibly important to document those moments. As a mother myself, it never ceases to amaze me how soon everything is different and you can barely remember a time when your child could fit cradled in your arms. Sessions to choose from: Maternity | Newborn | Six Months | One Year
THE LITTLE LOVE COLLECTION | $850 This Collection includes two sessions, 15 edited digital files (per session) with proof prints, and one framed portrait (small or medium).
THE LULLABY COLLECTION | $1300
This Collection includes three sessions, 15 edited digital files (per session) with proof prints, and one large framed portrait. *The Motherhood Collections include retainer fees for all sessions *Payment plans can be arranged if requested
Thank you so much for trusting me to document the most important people in your life. It is truly an honor.