First things first. You will receive a client questionnaire shortly. It’s a tool I use to get to know my new clients a little better before we meet for your shoot. Just fill it out to the best of your ability. You can be as specific as you’d like! Don’t be afraid that you’re writing too much or too little. Do it when you can, and that will help me decide several factors of customizing your shoot. One of the most important being location. Location: I have several sweet spots around the area to travel but am always open to suggestions. I can give you ideas on where to meet, but first if you can narrow it down by the questionnaire and by telling me if you’d prefer a more outdoorsy or more urban shoot. From there, I can offer several suggestions. Time of shoot: Please keep in mind that I’m very picky about the times of day that I shoot. I prefer shooting early morning or late afternoon only. It’s when light is the best, and I will only shoot during “high noon” in the studio, not outside. Early morning shoots consist of the hour the sun is rising, and evening shoots are typically 1 ½ hours before sunset. Those times change throughout the year, so I may move shoots back or forward a half hour or so to accommodate sunset. Since the times I choose to shoot usually run into meal times, please don’t hesitate to bring snacks, food, drinks, etc. to your shoot. Full bellied kiddos are happy kiddos! And I don’t mind in the least taking a break from yo shooting to please the kiddos. Wardrobe: I’m here and available to help you choose wardrobe. You’re welcome to text or call me while you’re clothes shopping for my opinion if you’d like. I try to be as available as possible (630-816-7960). Wardrobe should also mesh with location, so keep that in mind! Some outfits look out of place in an urban setting, some look out of place in an outdoorsy setting, so keep that in mind too! Tips and tricks: Allow me to work with your children. Don’t feel stressed out trying to get your babies to smile, behave, listen, etc. Remember, I have a little one of my own! I understand the stress that comes along with pictures, so please let me do all the work for you. Usually I get the most genuine smiles when mom and dad are off around the corner, allowing me to work with the kids one on one. No threats or bribery needed! Props: If you want some fun props for your shoot, let me know what you’re thinking, and I’ll do my best to give you the vision you’re hoping for. They’re not always appropriate. I always have a quilt or blanket in my car for shoots, and a box for sitting on and such, but I always try my best to travel lightly, so I mostly use our surroundings as our “props”! If you’re wondering what is appropriate to bring to a shoot, I always say to please bring anything that’s of meaning to your child or family. A quilt that your mom or grandma made, Stuffed animal, favorite blankie or toy. Things that you know your child loves. I don’t care if that stuffed animal is chewed on, trust me. You will want to remember yo that lovie, and how much your child cherished it. It may not be a shot that you would put up, but it’ll always be a memory you’ll want to hold on to. Most of all, this is supposed to be FUN. Fun for you, fun for me, fun for your family. I laugh, joke, tease, tickle, roll around in the grass and smile a lot. I want to be a friend of your family, not just a generic photographer. I want your session to be as custom to you as it possibly can be. I make mom and dad get in ooey gooey poses without kids. I make kids hug and kiss. They pretend they don’t love it, but they do.
Tip 1: Don’t be afraid of color! Loooong gone are the days of white white white and black black black. Bright happy colors make for a bright happy shoot, I’m convinced of that! If you have a child with fair skin or very blond hair, I strongly recommend not putting any white on that child, unless it’s covered with a shirt, jacket, vest, tie, or scarf or other item adding some depth and color. sca It has a tendency to wash out their sweet little faces! Same goes for you, mom and dad! Don’t be afraid to add some fun color to your outfit as well. Tip 2: Coordinating is key. Matching…not so much. Be creative with it! You’ve already put the time and effort into searching for the right photographer for your style and needs, contacting that photographer, paying your deposit and planning around that special day. And, we only photograph ourselves and our families once, maybe twice a year. Have fun with it! Tip 3: Accessorize! Find a cute, one of a kind piece to put in your daughter’s hair. One that she wouldn’t wear every day, but that would make her pictures unique and fun. Tip 4: When trying to be "lazy" when searching for wardrobe for your children (as in, not searching 12 different stores and 10 different online stores to find what you want), stick with the guaranteed cute stuff! Examples, Matilda Jane (www.matildajaneclothing.com), Zara (www.zara.com), Zulily, Old Navy, etc. Tip 5: If you have twins, don’t dress them alike! The “coordinating” rule applies here, too. Tip 6: Another rule of thumb I use when planning out our family picture outfits is this: choose one or two outfits that you are absolutely 100% sure you love and want for your pictures. And then base everyone else’s outfits off of those key items.Another good idea (moms, I’m talking to you!) is finding something YOU as the mother want to wear, look good in, and love. We all have those items. So, you know you’ll look good, and jump from there outfit searching for the other members of your family. Tip 7: Don’t be afraid to go completely out of your regular comfort zone! Choose “costume-like” outfits if it applies to you. Tutus, pettiskirts, crazy hats, mismatched socks, big sunglasses, etc.