Whether it’s babies, families, grandparents or high school seniors, my goal is to create heirloom art pieces. It’s a hefty, word, “heirloom”, especially when you’re perhaps just thinking about your holiday gift list. I am, however serious. Heirlooms. This thinking permiates my brain when I am searching for products and fine art papers. It is on my mind from the moment I snap your first photograph, through the culling and editing process up until we meet to view your proofs together. My head and my heart are always thinking at least 20 years ahead. What will be important to you when your kids are grown? What will you love the most? What will your grandkids love to see? Which photographs will get replaced and tucked away and which ones will stand the test of time and remain on the walls? Everybody has their story, their joys, their quirks. Every family has their unique chemistry. My objective is also the best part of my job. Discovering all of the awesomely fabulous, uncommon qualities in you and translating them into photographs that reflect your individual story. Lofty goals, I know, but that’s my story and I’m stick’n to it.
1. The Phone Consultation
When you book your session, I include time for an hour phone consultation. Even if your preferred mode of communication is Email, I find that a conversation prior to us meeting lends a lot to your session. I am available to answer any of your questions concerns. It gives me the opportunity to get to know you and learn a little about your family. I am very laid back and relaxed and I want you to be relaxed too. When we speak prior to your session, it lends a lot to that relaxed atmosphere.
2. The Session
I don’t put any time restrictions on your session. However, I have found that I generally get the best images right out of the gate, before the children are “on to me”, so to speak. With older babies and children, I am usually done in or around an hour. My clients often remark on how quickly I work. Dad’s love me for this because they get back to Football sooner than expected. I do not, however, leave until I know that I captured everything we will need. Newborns can often take longer. New parents are sometimes more nervous at their sessions because of how many breaks are required for feeding, changing or just a little calming and reassuring. I don’t want parents to feel rushed or stressed. I’m actually quite happy to sit down and wait for these moments to pass. Even more, I love to photograph them. You new parents take me back to those fleeting, sleepless days. I relish them.
3. Proof Presentation
About 2 to 3 weeks after your session, we will meet again for your proof presentation. This meeting is the happy day that you get to view your images. I bring the proofs to your home and help you narrow your selections down to your absolute favorites and the absolute best. This meeting generally takes about 2 hours. Along with your proofs, I bring print samples in various sizes and papers along with canvases, my beautiful fine art coffee table albums, and other goodies. Often one partner or the other chooses to take charge of this appointment, however, often both parents would like to be part of the decision. It’s good to decide this ahead of time so that you can schedule this appointment accordingly. Because of the time and individual attention I provide to each of my clients in these meetings, it is my policy that all orders are be taken at this time. If, for any reason, you cannot place your order this time, you may schedule another meeting for an additional consultation fee.
Preparing for your session
For inspiration, I have a Pinterest board titled “What looks good in black and white”. It’s a great place to start to get your brain storming. Remember the focus of my sessions are you and your family. Logos and busy patterns can be distracting, but there are always exceptions to this rule. I quite love small monochromatic patterns and plaids. Colors that match the darkness or lightness of your skin look lovely as well. Although counterintuitive, I don’t much care for black or white clothing in my images as it can often look a little too “inky” or too “hot”. Pastels translate much better to a softer white. Darker colors or charcoal are a better dark than black. Groups should keep tones similar, but no matching please. What do I love most? Texture, texture texture! Thick hand knits, linen, denim and ruffles are good examples of this. So are layers. The possibilities are endless. Bare feet are usually preferred over shoes, but not always. For babies under the age of 18 months, there is often nothing better than their birthday suits, but I love inexpensive, tight fitting onsies just as much. Please refrain from flamboyant bows, ribbons and barrettes. It’s best to remove watches. Comfortable and casual rules. Remember that a relaxed photo shoot is a successful one.
Don’t over-prep your kids.
I find with many of my sessions that parents are nervous a little and trying to make certain that everything is perfect. Professional photographs are an investment, so I understand this. But it often can be counter productive. I actually prefer it if you don’t prep your kids for me. Don’t bribe them and don’t make a fuss over the photographer coming over. If you’re not opposed to a little white lie, I’d prefer it if you told them that your friend was coming over, rather than a photographer. The less prep, the more spontaneous and true to themselves they will be. I often play and get a little hyper with them, try to avoid coaching them to behave. A little misbehavior and spunk, creates a better photograph than perfect compliance. I’d prefer they think of me as a big kid, than an adult.