As a Washington, DC newborn and family photographer, I’ve photographed more sessions than I can count. They’re all pretty fantastic – I continue to do this 10 years in, after all! – but what brings a good photo session to great?
As you might imagine, I’ve given this topic a lot of thought. Here are the factors that pretty much guarantee greatness at your next family photo session.
You trusting me, my vision and how I bring that all to life is an essential ingredient in a great photo session. I prep my sessions by doing sketches of “poses” and interactions, and then I utilize a series of games, prompts and encouragements when I’m with families to bring that vision to life. It may not make sense to you, or feel familiar (there will be no saying “cheese” or stiffly staring into my camera), but trust me. I’ve got this, and I’ve got you. If you know and trust that, all will be well, and you’ll love your pictures.
Kids will be kids, babies will be babies and, let’s face it…husbands may also be husbands. You may start to feel like the wheels are coming off during the shoot. But please keep smiling. No matter what is going on. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what will be captured!
Try to lose any behavioral expectations you may have of your kids. They will be excited with a new person in the mix and possibly over-stimulated. No matter what chaos ensues, there is no need to be hard on your kids. It can change the dynamic and make for tension that isn’t necessary on my account. Let me deal with the kids! With all of my experience with children of all ages, nothing surprises me and I can handle almost anything. Promise!
Eat before the session – no matter what time it is, and even if it’s not your typical meal or snack times. Hanger does not equal happiness, but full bellies DO equal full hearts. 🙂
I share a series of What to Wear tips with all of my clients before the session. I strongly encourage you to follow them! After doing this for as long as I have, I have a good handle on what fabrics and shapes flatter, and what shades and tones photograph best. I won’t steer you wrong. I also recommend you take a look at my PINTEREST BOARDS.
All of my clients receive a detailed session prep guide upon booking. Usually it’s us mamas who book the session and read all the materials, but the BEST sessions happen when DAD has read the prep guide, too. Managing his expectations is everything and makes for a much smoother session and happier partner. Happier partners = better pictures. Every. Time.
No need for the house to be quiet and still. I recommend having Alexa start to play your family’s favorite playlist just prior to my arrival. I promise, it will lift everyone’s spirits and get everyone moving and smiling…which is exactly how I want you to be!
I need great light on your session day, and not the artificial kind. While I shoot primarily indoors, I utilize natural light in all of my sessions, which means it still needs to be a bright, clear day outside. I promise to give you plenty of notice if we need to reschedule due to rain or gloom, and that if we do, it will be worth it.
The last, and most important, ingredient in a truly great photo session is YOU.
Do you have questions about my offers, or want to book in a session for you and your family?