what will my session be like?
My approach is lifestyle in that nothing is forced. Sessions with me are far from “smile at the camera” and “say cheese”. They are so laid back! I focus on connections + authenticity versus posed portraiture. Don’t worry, I’ll get the shot or two of everyone looking – but that’s not my focus. I use no formal props and encourage having activities/ideas for children or a location that spurs creative play. I do minimal posing and provide prompts to enhance interactions between couples + families. Don’t stress – I’ll still guide you the whole time by asking questions, playing games, and getting to know you and your family. Sharing this time with you is special to me and I want it to be a fond memory. ! My sessions are kid-run in that if we need breaks to run, snack, nurse, or just hang out – we do that! I love movement, interaction and beautiful light. I shoot a variety of angles and will guide you on what to do while still being your true self.
Take the time with me to enjoy your family. You’ve already finalized the outfits and the plan now just connect. Kiss, cuddle, laugh. Heck – even enjoy when your kid does the stink eye.
With all sessions I get individuals of children, just children, children with mom, children with dad, and just mom and dad. If it is an important milestone for your kids just let me know and I’ll make sure to capture their current stage!
I love locations that are unique to your family or if you see one i’ve used I’m happy to take you there! So just ask – and I’ll provide ideas to make your session unique to you and yours.
Weather or cancellations
I try to wait to reschedule til the day of as the crazy Mississippi river seems to change our weather on a dime. If you have hair/makeup scheduled we will try to decide the evening before. If anyone for the session is sick we can reschedule! I’m flexible and understand stuff comes up. And heck – I’ve had to reschedule sessions due to me or my kiddos sick. It’s life and I get it!
Length of Sessions
I’m quick! Sessions rarely last more than an hour. I am able to get a diverse gallery in that time frame. But if kids need breaks or we go longer that is no problem as long as we still have light. For newborn sessions I always allow time for nursing/feedings and diaper changes. Let’s keep that bundle of joy comfy. I’m happy to continue the fun!
Find me a kid that will! (especially a 2 or 3 year old). I totally get it. My little guy is either asleep or at top speed (he gets it from my husband). The beauty of lifestyle photography is that it’s so relaxed. I encourage moments for your kids to explore the area (which is typically new to them!) And i’ll get some shots of them playing in the dirt, finding an amazing bug, or running after their sibling. A little dirt on tiny pants and toes is darling and I’m happy to chase after your ever-moving children. Your children being themselves will make your session so special and help you all remember just as things were. Perfectly imperfect. Embrace it.
Anything you would normally bring to the location with your family I welcome! (Guitars, books, favorite teddy bear, picnic basket, coordinating blanket, football, etc). I always bring 2-3 blankets in my vehicle and occasionally some furniture to go with your session. I don’t recommend items that are not natural to the setting – i.e. cake smash not at their actual birthday party – I want your images to reflect emotion + connection – and out of place props take away from that. BUT keep in mind – I LOVE anything unique you think of! Let’s get C R E A T I V E and make your session represent Y O U and yours.
I know picking out outfits can be majorly daunting. BUT it doesn’t have to be – and I’m here to help! Ultimately I want your images to focus on your love and connection between each other – not on what your wearing. I do have some recommendations to help you get there. I am by no means a fashion expert (typically in Birks with socks and a hat) but I love to help you pick out something you feel amazing in! If you plan on ordering some key pieces I recommend ordering a month ahead of time!
start with mom and build from there
Maternal pieces always look the best (dresses, maxi skirts, maxi dresses, flowy tops, etc) If comfortable showing skin (backless, off the shoulder top/dress etc) I can tell a more raw and real story of motherhood – but choosing a dress or top with flowy sleeves or skirt creates beautiful images as well. If you have chosen a dress that is not conducive for a strapless bra, lace bralettes or pasties are best. Here is a link to pasties!
Do not buy clothes for your children or newborn to grow into – fitted clothes look best! We want to see their cute little features and not be hidden behind oversized clothes. Make sure they’re comfortable! If they have suspenders or straps be prepared that they may be loose or falling in some photos – embrace it! They’re kids – and we’re sure to play some games.
Avoid large brand logos, character tops, big patterns, thick or puffy vests, neon color, dry fit material, and cotton polos, stiff or boxy fabric – which can crease and fold in all the wrong places, jersey knit fabrics (can show undergarment lines), avoid wearing watches as it also distracts from detail shots. I also typically advise dads to wear pants verse shorts.
be comfortable – cause we gonna be movin’
During sessions I do a ton of movement as it brings a beautiful energy to images – so avoid any clothing where you are constantly readjusting so it lays correctly. I want you to be comfortable (and confident). If you have a daughter wearing a dress have her wear spandex or matching underwear to her dress as we do a lot of tossing and twirling!
Colors seem to be the trickiest for people to coordinate and I love to help with this! My favorite colors are neautrals (white, cream, tan, browns, khaki) or deep or dusty colors: rust, burnt orange, mustard yellow, camel brown, denim, dusty blue, deep red – any earth tones. I also am a sucker for flannels, chambray, and converse sneakers. Oh and SKIN. If you want to show some – I’m down – backless dresses, shirtless little boys and Dads – I’m in!
the simpler the better! I recommend a plain (no graphics) fitted onesie, just a diaper, and a muslin. This way I’m able to easily get all those sweet details. Save the fancy elaborate outfits for showing them off with relatives and friends! I always love more skin so we can always get them down to a diaper or nakie to see that sweet tush and/or rolls.
SHoes Do Matter
Avoid your work out shoes or general tennis shoes. In the past I have given the option of barefoot – which is fine for kiddos that are held – but most locations require shoes to walk comfortably! AND I’m not outlawing all tennis shoes – converse, vans, and other stylish sneakers are always a win if that’s your jam.
Match your location
Wear what makes sense for our setting. Outdoors anything is game – super dressy to casual. Indoors you want to match the aesthetic of the location. If your home is cozy and casual – you should be too! Coffee shop? How about a cozy sweater. Downtown? Something urban or dressy.
Coordinate – don’t match
Ditch the all wear jeans/khakis and same color top. No two people should be wearing the same thing. Variety is the spice of life! Think coordinating not matching. A variety of color, patterns, materials and styles photographs beautifully. All jeans and the same color top doesn’t let personality shine through! Different types of fabrics are another great way to add variety (denim, twill, chiffon, flannel, etc)
Need more inspo? Here’s my pinterest board of major outfit GOALS – HERE – from dressy to casual.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or advice regarding clothing choices for your session. I would say 95% of my clients e-mail / text / message me their outfits. I am always happy to help and LOVE LOVE love styling! (You’re not bothering me… ever. I’m just probably taking care of tiny humans if i’m slow to respond)
***when sending me your item lay them all out together in natural light! (lights off and near a window so I can see colors and textures as they will photograph***
firstname.lastname@example.org // (641)430-0076
Recommended Places to Shop
You definitely don’t need to go out and get all new clothes – HECK – any new clothes! But these are all great places to find some key pieces!
to do before your session
01 // haircuts a week prior
02 // spray tan 2-3 days prior if wanted
03 // avoid chipped nail polish – freshly painted or none
04 // correct undergarments for chosen attire
05 // pro makeup + hair appts if wanted (whatever makes you feel like Beyonce!)
06 // prepare bribes as necessary – i recommend items that can be eaten quickly and aren’t messy. suckers take too long to enjoy. and i’m not against beers for dad.
07 // leave all handbags, sunglasses, phones etc in your car – if you need a spot for your keys we can put them in my vehicle or bag. I’m often taking photos as we walk and talk so having your hands (and pockets) free is great!