family welcome guide

hello!

welcome

I’m delighted to photograph your family and I’m excited to meet you!

 

My sessions are laid back yet orderly, and I come with a flow in mind. I will incorporate games and fun for the kids. My style includes a variety of posed and unposed moments. It is my desire to tell your story full of love, connection, and REAL life. I am definitely the photographer for you if you want to see emotion in your images and candid shots of togetherness. But we will also get the picture of everyone smiling and looking at the camera... you know, the one that grandma is going to want.

 

If you're nervous, I want to put your mind at ease. You don’t need to know anything about the process. That is why I’m here! Before the session I will help you prepare, including what to wear. At the session I’ll direct every moment and soon you’ll forget there’s a camera. Your family will simply be having fun together as we tell your story. I hope that even dad will walk away pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable the entire experience was!

YOUR CHILDREN

One of the secrets to my success with children is their happiness. There are three very important ingredients.

 

First, have children arrive with full tummies, especially babies and toddlers. Empty tummies usually translate into cranky kiddos, no matter their age (even dad)! It's fine to bring a snack along if they need one. But I find the flow is far better when we don't need to pause for a snack and they are full, content, and happy for the duration of our time together.

 

Secondly, dress them according to the weather, especially if it’s cold or windy. In my experience, cold kids can get cranky and uncooperative. I'll give you a few tips in the next section for extra cold weather.

Finally, plan to let your little ones “do their thing” without much direction from mom or dad. If they are being goofy, I will play off of that. If they are being difficult, I will engage them. It is my aim to make our session fun and enjoyable for them, which will ultimately get the results we are both hoping for!

COLD WEATHER

If your session is in the early spring, late fall, or winter, here is my best tip for keeping everyone warm: Layer, layer, layer!!!

 

In cold weather, it's always a little cooler feeling than you think it will be because we primarily stay in the shade and it gets cooler the closer we get to sunset.


Your layering should be under your stylish outfits. Did I mention you should layer? Even when you think your family will be hardy (we're Coloradans after all, right?), still provide them with a bit more warmth than normal to keep their mood happy.

 

Here are some layering ideas:

~Add a t-shirt, tank top, or long sleeve under your shirts

~Double socks

~Long johns (or for kids, PJ bottoms under their pants)

~Tights for girls and shorts under their dresses

~Stylish warm vests

~Stylish warm hats

Rather than bringing coats to stay warm, I find we can move a little quicker and with less effort if you bring blankets to wrap up in between shots. I will have a wagon to help you carry these items.

 

Next, please follow the simple steps below to help both of us prepare for your session.

prepare

in 3 easy steps

Follow the steps below, and don't forget to complete the questionnaire at the end so I can prepare too!

1 WardrobE

2 location

3 questionnaire

01

wardrobe

One of the most important things to consider when making wardrobe selections is your surroundings. Choose colors that will contrast (stand out) in the environment and won’t blend in too much with your backdrop.

For example, in the spring and summer there's a lot of green. Avoid green. Instead choose colors that compliment green and will help you pop. Light and medium tone pinks look amazing any time of year!

In the late fall and winter when it's no longer green, colorful deep hues are nice to help your family stand out among the yellows and browns. Avoid too many tans, grays, and neutrals this time of year. Instead, choose richer versions of your favorite colors.

You may be tempted to dress everyone in the same color. Instead choose a variety of medium color tones that compliment one another. It's wonderful to repeat colors throughout, but do it subtly. Think about a mix of prints and solids. Small prints work well. For example, a small floral, a plaid, and some solids go nicely together. A helpful way to figure out the color scheme for your session is to start with a print you love and select the colors for everyone to wear that are found in the print.

Select about 3-5 complimentary colors for everyone. The less people in your family, the less number of colors needed. As mentioned, repeat those colors subtly through clothing and accessories. If you're an extended family session, keep reading, I will have some recommendations just for you!

 

Consider a variety of fabric types, textures and patterns which will add visual interest. Think furs, laces, cottons, leathers, suedes, etc.

 

Avoid pure white and solid black. Also avoid bright colors (no magenta or red) and large patterns like stripes. If you're a color person, you will be happier with the results if you keep your bold colors to accents. Burgundy can be okay if you coordinate it well and keep it minimal.

I recommend not selecting outfits just for the occasion, like Christmas colors. Consider what you will love hanging on your walls all year long that are complimentary to your home (without being too matchy to your decor). Beginning with the end goal in mind can have big rewards.

FOR YOUR BOY(S)

Consider long sleeve button downs, with the casual look of rolled sleeves. Select accessories that enhance their look, like suspenders for a young boy. Hats with small brims, stylish jackets, and vest are fabulous. Color in the pants is nice, like a forest green. Have a variety among your boys if you have more than one; this means don't dress everyone in the same color jeans, and try to select a variety of different styles and colors in their shirt selections.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR THE GIRL(S)

I invite mamas to consider wearing a floor length dress, gown, or flowy skirt if you'd like. This is trending in the photography world and is stunning. Any outfit that welcomes movement adds a special touch as we tell your story. If you’re not a dress person, this may not be for you, and that’s okay! Most importantly, stay true to yourself! Wear something that makes you feel beautiful, is comfortable, and resembles you.

We will do a considerable amount of walking, even dancing and running in some cases, so girls should choose shoes with this in mind. Often we are off-path in grasses and rocky terrain. Shoe changes between shots (for example, tennis shoes for walking and heels for pictures) are okay, but keep in mind we do move around a lot and my aim is to keep us fast paced so we don’t lose the attention span of family members who may not love to wait. You know your crew best!

 

There are times when a hairbrush is useful. Hairspray can be especially helpful on location for flyaways or wind. I LOVE hair accessories on young girls like bows and flowers. Try to choose hair accessories that stay on well with movement and don’t need constant adjusting. You’ll want them looking good even when they are spinning, jumping, and running.

LARGE GROUP OR EXTENDED FAMILY

Here are some things you need to know if you have a large group or extended family session. Usually this means you've decided to add in grandparents other extended family.

 

Provide everyone three different colors to pick from. It is likely that you may find some color variety within everyone's selections, which is fine. For example, if one of your selected colors is blue, you may get some lighter blues and some darker blues. It all compliments well. If you're worried about everyone coordinating well enough, you can ask your group to text you a picture of what they plan to wear.

Solid colors are fine. A mix of solids and small prints looks nice as long as you keep the prints on the small side so it doesn’t get too busy. It's always great to layer with some neutral colors in clothing like vests and other accessories of any kind.

 

As far as session flow, I will request a list of the group combinations that are important to you so that I can arrive with an order in mind that will help us maximize our time together. Please include your combination requests on the questionnaire below.

 

Here's a sample:

Full family
Individual families
Grandparents with grandkids
Cousins and/or siblings
Individuals of each child

 

I work quickly with large groups so we can accomplish as much as we can. Although I don’t put any limits on the amount of time we shoot, the little ones will reach their limit at some point. Please keep their limitations in mind when considering the amount of groupings you hope to get with them. We will aim to get all the shots with young ones first and wrap up with adult only shots.

02

location

Next, pick your location. Visit the family locations link to see your options. You will indicate the location you've selected on the questionnaire below, so take note of the title once you've found one you love!

03

questionnaire

Finally, below the FAQs section you will find a questionnaire. Please be sure to complete each field. It will help me plan for our time together!

 

 

 

FAQs

how long will the session last?

Family sessions normally take an hour to an hour and a half, but I don't put a time limit on it. It is always my aim to work within your little one’s limited attention span... and dad’s for that matter! There are some locations that require a bit more walking than others, so keep that in mind when making your selections. This could increase the session time. They are noted.

when will you send the location address?

I will check in with you the week of your session and provide an address at that time so that everything is handy in your inbox.

should we bring anything?

If you'd like, you can bring a blanket for the family to sit on. If you have little ones, bring a stroller for the shot we'll want to get with just mom and dad. This will ensure their safety when eyes aren't on them.

can we bring our pet(s)?

You may bring a pet if you'd like. In that event, I will request that a separate pet handler come along to be responsible for your animal when he/she is not in the photographs. Also, with little ones, managing kids and pets adds an element of challenge (and sometimes chaos) so I don't recommend pets with young kids. If you decide to bring your animal, please let me know below, and do bring treats!

what should we do when we arrive?

If you arrive at the location before I do, please keep your children in the car until I am there. This helps establish in their minds that this is my domain. Our first shots will be when they are a little uncertain, or shy, which is perfect to get the family pictures we need at the beginning before we get them running around, playing games, and being kids.

should we wear our glasses?

To prevent glare, if it is an option not to wear them, then don’t. If you are simply not yourself without them, then by all means wear your glasses! However, try taking the lenses out if they are made to do that, especially if you have transition lenses (the kind that darken in the sun).

what if the weather is bad?

In the event of inclement weather (rain, snow, extreme wind) we will either move your session to a different date, or consider an earlier start time. I will be watching the weather closely as your date approaches so we can be as proactive as possible.

how many outfits do we need?

With family sessions, I recommend only one outfit in order to keep the session flowing.

do I need to sign a contract?

Yes! Once I've received your completed questionnaire, I will send you an online contract that can be signed digitally.

when is payment due?

Payment is due at the time of the session. No deposits are due in advance. Please indicate your payment preference on the questionnaire. I will send you the appropriate invoice right before the session.

are the images edited?

Yes! Every single one of your images is professionally edited to brighten and enhance.

how soon will I receive my images?

Your images will be delivered within 2 weeks of your session.

what if I have more questions?

Feel free to include them on the questionnaire, or reach out by email.

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