*If your session will be held in my studio, I’ll provide you with the address and directions via email*
Don’t stress, I’ve gotcha covered friend! I know that preparing for a portrait session can be overwhelming, but my job is to guide you thru some valuable tips and I’m always here for you whenever you need further assistance.
I’m a very visual person, so it’s always helpful if you could text or email me a few days ahead of your session, with pics of the outfits you’ve prepared, as well as any props you might be bringing along. But don’t worry, props aren’t necessary, just personal preference and I do have an extensive collection of items we can use, if needed. By discussing your session in advance, we’ll maximize your photography time and get to having some fun!
Last, but not least….well, that is, before you get to the meat of this information below, if you’d like to incorporate a specific theme into the photos, let me know at least 3-4 weeks ahead of time, just in case a little extra research and preparation is involved. We’ll work together to coordinate gathering or creating necessary props, to make your vision come to life!
You’ve got a bit of reading homework to continue below, so navigate to the appropriate sections for further details.
I’m super excited to photograph for you soon!
**Please note we are an animal friendly home office/studio**
Here’s the order of which you will find the following information…
#1 – General Session Prep (Maternity, Family, Child, etc.)
#2 – Newborn Session Prep
#3 – What to Wear Overview
#4 – Sample Pictures & Color Variations (Variety of Locations and Coordinating Colors)
GENERAL SESSION PREP (Maternity, Family, Kids, etc.)
This section is for all session types except Newborn…Please continue to the next section for Newborn Session Prep.
• Depending on the session you scheduled, we’ll have anywhere from 15-60 minutes to shoot. Often times, I schedule sessions back to back, but want to be sure and maximize my time with you and your lovely people, so arriving a 10-15 minutes early to adjust clothing, hair and makeup is a fabulous idea.
• We will discuss your session goals and create a list of shots, if necessary, to ensure we’re allowing the appropriate amount of session time to accommodate everything.
• Just a reminder; should a conflict arise with your scheduled session, I’ll be sad =( but will gladly reschedule and transfer your non-refundable deposit to a rescheduled date within 30 days of the original session date =)
• For your babies, toddlers and younger children … a good nap and a full meal prior to the session is key. Littles will be much happier campers when they are well rested and have full tummies.
• If you do have little ones coming to the session, please remember to bring them snacks and drinks (especially water when it’s extra hot out!) to keep their tummies happy. Happy tummy = Happy kiddo! Please also bring a favorite toy to gather their attention with.
• Clothing: See additional information below for details and sample images on what to wear!
NEWBORN SESSION PREP
The following information will assist with creating a smooth and successful newborn session!
• If you’re nursing, it’s best to avoid eating anything spicy or anything that can cause stomach discomfort/gas (i.e. pizza, mexican food, hot sauce, brussel sprouts, broccoli, dairy, etc.) within 24 hours prior to your scheduled session. Baby will be difficult to soothe if his/her tummy is not feeling right and we may spend more time comforting, rather than photographing baby.
• Try to keep your baby awake for 1-2 hours, or as much as possible, prior to your session, to ensure baby is good and sleepy while being photographed. Giving baby a bath or keeping them unclothed for a while will help with this.
• Please arrange baby’s feeding time to right before your session. In addition to keeping baby awake, this will also help him/her sleep during their session. If baby is formula fed, please bring extra formula/bottles to your session in case they are needed. We’ll want to be prepared if he/she seems extra hungry that day. It’s hard work being a model!
• Dress baby in loose fitting clothes to avoid any lines on the skin – a simple button up/zippered sleeper is best. If possible, nothing that has to be pulled off over the head.
• Bring a pacifier if he/she takes one and bring extra diapers/wipes, however, if you don’t have a preference, I do also carry some extra supplies on hand!
• The studio will be very warm (approx 80-85 degrees), so that baby is comfortable. I’m used to the heat, but most parents aren’t, so I definitely recommend for mom and dad attending the session, to dress in layers, as it gets toasty! Newborn sessions are not for the dressy photographer, haha! With all the moving around I do to get baby in the perfect positioning and capture various angles, I wear comfortable leggings and a t-shirt.
• If you’ll want to include parent/sibling photos in your session, typically jeans for guys and either jeans or leggings for girls, along with a coordinating top, works great. If you’d like to bring a cozier change of clothes for after photos, please feel free. Moms don’t forget to bring a hair tie in case you want to throw your hair up after pics.
• During the session, mommy’s & daddy’s, take this time to sit back and relax. I won’t need much assistance, but will let you know when I do =)
• When you arrive, please leave baby in their car seat when bringing him/her into the studio.
• Please allow 2-3 hours for your Newborn Session.
• For family photos, I recommend a solid neutral colored shirt for Mom, Dad & Siblings (i.e. heather grey, charcoal, brown, beige, black, navy, white or cream). Please be mindful of the way your skin tones look against the color top you choose. Lighter colors may create a washed out skin tone that you might not care for. My vision for your family photos is to create a soft, neutral look, however, the darker colored tops always look great as well. If you would like to bring a couple options for color, I’m happy to provide my feedback. Try to keep solid tops all in the same color tone, so there isn’t a major distraction of too many colors in the photos.
• Wear long, short or 3/4 sleeved tops and nothing baggy or flowy. Form fitting is best for moms.
• Baby is typically wrapped for family photos, so we’ll find a coordinating or pop of color amongst the wraps in my collection. Family and sibling photos will be photographed first thing, upon arrival. When including older siblings, if possible, please bring two cars so that Dad (or other attendee) can take the older sibling(s) back home after we’re finished with family/sibling photos OR if you can’t bring two cars, have Dad (or other attendee) take the older sibling(s) out for a bite to eat or to the park, while we finish up with baby.
• Although it would be fun to have grandparents, aunties/uncles and cousins over to watch baby’s debut portrait session, unfortunately, my studio seating is limited to 2 people, so we’ll have to plan to include additional family members at a future outdoor session! Thank you for your understanding!
• When siblings aren’t participating in any photos, please try to coordinate someone to take care of them at home, since space is limited and my studio is small. If siblings will stay in attendance during the session, please keep them near you at all times, as there will be props and electrical cords, that can be easily tripped over or broken if one is moving too fast around my studio. I definitely don’t want anyone going home with an ouch-y!
You guys are gonna rock this session, no doubt! If you have any questions on this information, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m happy to help! The studio will be ready for ya, upon arrival, so we can get thru your session as quickly and efficiently as possible. I can’t wait to see you soon <3
WHAT TO WEAR
Here are some helpful tips in preparing what to wear at your upcoming session! Scroll down further to view samples of different color schemes used in a variety of session types, as well as a variety of sceneries.
• Don’t feel like everyone has to wear the same color! (except for with newborn)
• Coordinating colors that are complimentary of each other work great
• Solid colors look best, or combining minimal patterns with other coordinating solids (i.e. plaid or floral can be used with others wearing solids, to break up solids and add some texture) (large stripes aren’t preferable)
• Avoid too many different patterns
• Think layers and textures, such as a top with a casual or dressy sweater or fashionable jacket, scarves, jewelry…add some depth and contrast to your outfit with these items
• Be mindful that certain skin tones look washed out in white, cream and pastels
• Rich, bold colors, jewel tones, earth tone/neutrals and pops of color look amazing in photos
• Avoid baggy clothes
• Avoid combining too many dark or too many light colors = no contrast
• Family Studio Portraits – We suggest coordinating neutrals OR neutrals with a pop of color (see newborn portraits below). A neutral colored wall is used for our family/larger group shots in the studio. However, we do have a large selection of colorful and patterned backdrops for babies & kids!
• Maternity Portraits – Moms please wear very fitted clothing to show off that beautiful belly and avoid loud patterned clothing if possible, however, clothing with texture like lace, knits, etc, is great!
• Newborn Portraits – Mom & Dad (& Siblings) please wear neutral tones in the SAME color or as close as possible. Color suggestions are listed in the newborn prep section above.