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Your photo shoot will be as unique as your family, but one thing I want all my shoots to be is fun! Generally we begin the session with a few traditional posed shots with the group and individuals. Next, the fun begins… I will gently direct you and your children with games and “active posing,” so that I can begin capturing those spontaneous expressions and natural interactions. You will be surprised to find how relaxed and fun your session will be, and as long as everyone is having fun I will keep shooting.

Since your photo shoot is not likely to be the portrait torture sessions you may recall from past studio experiences, please be sure to keep the mood before and during the session light and fun. The morning of your photo shoot is not the time for harsh scolding or threats to smile at the camera “or else.”

If you’re running five minutes late, or if your little one’s cowlick just will not stay smoothed, or if the baby won’t stop crying… take a deep breath and relax. We do not need perfection in order to get perfect photos! If you’re stressed out, you will only distress your family and ruin the joy and spontaneity I am trying to capture. So please, the morning of your shoot and on the way to the location, act silly, joke around, and above all, be happy and excited about your photo shoot.

Best time to schedule a session
For outdoor portraits, very early morning (starting no later than 9:00 a.m.) and late afternoon/early evening (up to an hour before sunset) provide the most flattering light. Midday sun is harsh and produces hard shadows.

For indoor natural light portraits, early morning to mid-afternoon is best.

Finally, let’s choose a time of day when the youngsters in the family are at their peak and will be well rested and fed beforehand.

Length of Session
Plan to allow up to 1 1/2 hours for your session, though it can be shorter.. It’s critical that you allow enough time for your child to relax and move beyond the grin-on-command phase.

The setting for your portraits can be anywhere you choose: your home, back yard, a favorite park, lake, or even a historic site (where permitted). My home studio is always available, though children are generally more at ease in an environment with which they are familiar. Keep in mind that if we schedule an outdoor shoot we will need to choose an inside location as a bad-weather back-up plan.

I shoot using both natural and studio lighting. My preference is to use natural light (e.g., window light), but my studio lighting and backdrops are completely portable and will set up in almost any room in your home.

What to Wear
Your choice of clothing can make or break your portrait! Please take time before the day of your sitting to select clothing with the following guidelines in mind.

General Clothing Tips
For a classic look, simple, timeless clothing in solid, neutral colors photograph best. Denim or khakis with solid shirts work well for a casual look. Clothing with too busy of a pattern or logo is distracting and detracts from essence of the portraits, you and your family. On the other hand, for a modern more "fashion" look, feel free to bring along some trendier outfits with fun and fashionable colors. When in doubt, feel free to have on hand several outfits, and I will help you choose which will photograph the best.

Jewelry should be minimal. Avoid wearing watches. When photographing more than one person please consider their outfits as a whole, including hosiery and shoes, and keep colors uniform.

For family portraits, choose colors in the same tonal range so that no single individual stands out. Even though you would never go out in public as a family wearing matching clothing, trust me… the look works for family portraits! Plan to wear either all dark solid colors if you prefer a more traditional look, or all solid lighter, neutral tones for a more casual look (for example, everyone in white tops and khakis).

Newborns are sweetest photographed in bare skin... either a cloth diaper or their birthday suit. I recommend that the parents wear black so that they blend into the background and let the baby be the focus of the portrait.

What should I have on hand for the shoot?
You are welcome to have on hand a CD or two of your favorite music.

If you plan to be photographed in more than one outfit, bring the alternate outfit(s) for everyone in the portrait as well as appropriate shoes and hosiery.

If you have a baby or toddler, bring along whatever you need to keep your child clean and happy: diapers, wipes, snacks, etc. Please also bring a favorite toy that makes noise, as I may need to use it as an attention-getting tool.

For kids of all ages, feel free to bring a favorite doll, toy, blanket, musical instrument or other hobby item, etc. that you may wish to include in the portrait.