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Capturing special moments should be stress free.
These 5 tips are sure to set your session up for success
#1 - Let your photographer know if you have a theme in mind for your session. During the consultation with your photographer, share your ideas with them. If you have been dreaming of an outcome for your session, the consultation phase is the best time to inform your photographer of them. I love themed sessions and I strive to go all out to create a special look for my clients who share their concept with me.
Over the summer, one of my clients scheduled her adorable twins 2nd birthday session and told me that their birthday theme was going to be based on Nursery Rhymes. At the end of our conversation, we decided to do a Jack and Jill session. I hunted down an adorable little grassy hill and after scouring Kansas City, I found the perfect metal pail and wooden wishing well.
#2 - Start planning out your wardrobe for your session. When taking family photos, think of coordinating outfits instead of wearing exactly matching outfits. A general rule of thumb is to keep your colors in a complementary color scheme. Add color by wearing a beautiful scarf, jewelry, fun shoes (not tennis shoes, unless it is a sports theme and they are clean. No Dirty Tennis Shoes), a jacket or vest in the wintertime.
One thing I have found to be helpful for my clients is a wardrobe consultation. These consultations can be done over the phone or by scheduling an in-home wardrobe consultation. Gone are the days where you have to stress over what to wear. Simply send me a picture of what you have in mind and I will collaborate with you so you can relax and focus on yourself.
#3 - The night before your photography session, make sure you get enough rest, and make sure to put the kids to bed at a decent bedtime. If you are a little anxious in front of the camera, catching an extra hour of shuteye will help you feel more relaxed and confident in being the center of attention.
A benefit of having my own photography studio is being able to offer extended sessions. Having the freedom to take a break from snapping photos gives little ones a chance to get used to the environment before we start our session. I have had several sessions last longer than an hour because little kiddos have decided to have a meltdown during photographing. I'm a mom, I have kids, so I am fully aware that rigid schedules and children do not mix well. Most of the time when parents have heeded my suggestion on getting good rest the night before their session, kids seem happier.
#4 - Put together a bribe bag. After you get your kiddos to bed, pack a goodie bag with some of your child's favorite snacks and their favorite lovey. Keep in mind that your child will likely grasp on to these goodies and not let go, so keep them hidden until they are needed. A good idea is to bring a cute teddy bear or a blanket that grandma made.
I primarily work with families who have younger children and meltdowns are almost inevitable. Most kids have their own agenda and would rather not smile on command. I have created an environment that is conducive for children to get comfortable and relax. I offer snacks and water to rescue the session from a full-blown tantrum, but I can not always be sure to have your child's favorite treat. For children who are persuaded by their Lovey, having that on hand is always helpful. If Lovey is looking a tad ragged, you might want to bring something cute and snuggly that will be a great addition to the photos. Think about what will work for your theme or concept. Is a Woody Doll from Toy Story going to make or break your vision? Some of my favorite sessions have been when kids have snatched on to their teddy bear, it will create a truly memorable moment.
#5 - Let your photographer know how you want to showcase your prints. One of the most important things for photographers to know is how to orientate your photos. If you know you want a 32X45 landscape oriented image of your family above your couch. Your photographer needs to be sure to photograph accordingly.
My favorite part of my job is seeing my work in print. What is the purpose in doing a photo session if no one will ever see your images? Technology is always changing. Only having them on a CD or flash drive is not a guaranteed way to access your images for generations to come. Another thing that has become far too common, is clients never printing images. We take all of this time to prepare for a session, complete the session, pay for the session but we do not print the images to enjoy them. Studies have shown that children who are raised in households that showcase them in photos have higher self-esteem and self-worth. Ordering archival prints from your photographer is a wonderful way to update your living space, create healthy self-esteem within your children and these images will last many generations to come. I always want to make sure my client receives images they are going to be proud to display, knowing how the images will be displayed is a huge part in how will shoot their session.
One of my favorite products to create for my clients are portrait videos. Watch your session come to life with a beautiful customized video that you can share with your friends and family in a unique way. To honor my favorite product, I am sharing my own customized video with you and I would love to hear what you think about it.
Also, what tips do you for preparing for a successful photo session?
I kind of want to cry because winter has truly arrived. I do not like to be cold. I am the person who needs sunshine, who wants to be outside watching my kids play on the swing set, taking walks after dinner. I have found some beautiful spots to photograph and I want spring to come quickly so I can take my clients to these amazing sites and help them create amazing images to keep for a lifetime. That being said. It is winter and Lifestyle photography is the perfect thing to explore during the winter.
What is Lifestyle Photography?
It is photography that is generally captured in the clients home, non posed and with out stress
The house is the backdrop, usually parents bedroom or kids bedroom, living room (get creative with space)
What kind of Pictures do you take in these sessions?
Take pictures of kids reading, parents reading to kids, kids reading to siblings, kids and pets, kids playing with toys,
bath time *with lots of bubbles and nothing exposed, safety first*
These pictures are a snapshot of a day in the client in their home. Ironically the kids tend to mind better and be on their best behavior during these sessions. I had a mom jokingly ask me to stay once because her kiddo was acting so good while I was there.
Benefits of Lifestyle Photography?
Less Stress - No one is running around worried they left something at home for the photo shoot
When the kids get hungry, which is inevitable, you are home and can get them a snack
If they want to get a toy, they can, they are home
If they need a bottle, a diaper change, are being potty trained and you are concerned about the traveling during this time... you are home.
Are all photographers created equal?
Nope, no we aren't. Just like with any trade some specialize in a certain area of the trade than the other. You need to look at their work. Some times you will find that a photographer is new to the world of photography as business and their work is growing. Make sure their work is GROWING, IMPROVING. If they are and you LOVE their work then make sure they understand indoor lighting.
Just because someone charges a lot of money does NOT mean they are the best or are good for that matter, so do your home work.
Same with the opposite. Just because someone isn't expensive doesn't mean they aren't creating lovely works of art.
You need to look at their work and see if you like what they are doing.
Also, message them, call them, or email them and see how they are with communication. If they are easy to talk to then, good. If you feel like they are hard to reach or you difficult to communicate with then maybe they aren't someone you want to do business with.
I would love some feedback, have you done a Lifestyle shoot? What was your experience?