So you're interested in booking a photo session but maybe are feeling slightly (or very) panicked about what that means, what you'll wear, whether you can bring your dog / in-laws / neighbors cat (maybe?), and what time of day the sun does that magical thing where you look like you're in a fairytale. Sound about right? Don't worry, you're in good hands, and I'll guide you through from start to finish!
Family, maternity and engagement sessions typically last 1-1.5 hours. During the first part of our session, I like to spend some time focusing on the "framer" - i.e. the somewhat-posed-but-not-too-stuffy portrait where everyone looks like they're having an amazing time. Once I feel we've got that in the bag, I like to move on to candids and allow everyone a chance to relax, have a lot of fun, and show their true personalities. I don't mind getting silly to make your kids (and grumpy husbands) laugh. Just promise not to post on Facebook about my stellar dance moves later. And if your session doesn't include kids, consider yourself lucky for being spared from my one-armed version of the hokey pokey.
Newborn sessions typically last 2-3 hours and can either be held in my studio in downtown Lafayette or in the comfort of your home. Studio sessions focus more on baby and posing him/her using various baskets, hats, blankets, headbands, and the like. I include a few family portraits as well (not mandatory). In-home sessions are focused on lifestyle. I take a lot more family portraits and generally aim to capture your new life at home with your new addition. I also take photos of baby only, using natural props from around your home (i.e. his/her crib, snuggled on your giant bed / cozy chair / dog, etc.). In either situation, they're best scheduled between 6-12 days after baby is born. It's not AS critical we hit this time frame for in-home sessions, but it tends to make things run a little smoother since the little ones are usually still oh-so sleepy.
Within 14 days of your session I will post proofs online for you to review and choose from. I will edit your choices, post them online for a final approval and then deliver the goods to you! Print credits can be used directly on the gallery website unless you're interested in albums or specialty items, in which case you just order through me.
What If My Kids Don't Smile?
See above excerpt about the one-armed hokey pokey (you're already smiling a little visualizing it, aren't you?). Don't worry, this ain't my first rodeo, and your kids aren't the first ones I've met who would rather be playing/running/getting dirty/playing video games, than having their picture taken. I aim to make it fun and I encourage you to warm them up to the session by reminding them this is about spending an hour having fun with each other (and oh ya, you're also getting ice cream after!). Time and time again I've heard parents say "I can't believe you captured THAT. I swear I thought it was a lost cause after the first 5 minutes!" Stressed parents tend to = cranky kids. So have fun and I promise you'll be pleased with the results.
Who to Bring
Allowed: kids, young and old; in-laws; dogs; significant others
Not allowed: exotic animals; grumpy people
What to Wear
Glad you asked! Check out my Pinterest board dedicated to giving you ideas here. This is by no means exhaustive, but simply meant to give some ideas on how to coordinate your crew. I tend to encourage people to stay away from being too matchy-matchy, but sticking within a color family, season (pastels for Spring, deep tones for Fall), or just going for it and throwing lots of color and patterns into the mix are all encouraged! When in doubt, start with basics and add pops of color through accessories or removable items like scarves and cardigans.
Time of Day and Locations
I'm happy to provide recommendations on locations. I am based in the East Bay so this is the area I know the best. That said, I'm also open to discovering new locations so if you have something in mind, let me know and I'm happy to try it out! I do have a small travel fee to journey into San Francisco or other places more than 25 miles from my home base.
An hour or so before sunset is usually the best time of day. That will vary a little depending on the location and time of year, but it's generally a good starting point. Early mornings are also lovely (and by early I mean about an hour after sunrise - enough time for coffee and a quick shower).
Have more questions? Feel free to email me or call me (after my morning coffee, preferably).