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Tips For A Great Photo Session


Lighting and Time of Day

Lighting is the magic ingredient of every great photo, and when lighting is diffused it creates very beautiful photos.  This is why many photographers encourage clients to book in a location with shade or during a time when the sunlight will be at a lower place in the sky; mornings or evenings.  Although several great photos have been taking in the middle of the day, it is best to have options for shade just in case.

Location and Weather

When choosing a location for a photo session, the weather and sun are two large considerations.  My favorite locations are places that offer a variety of scenery, trees for shade and for blocking the wind.  I love beach photos, but certain times of year are not ideal for the beach because of high winds and lately erosion.  I will do my best to advise you on the best locations to get great photos, but if you have your heart set on a place then 


Our kids are full of personality and emotions, which is great and I love to capture each person, including children, in their most natural state. However, it's best to book during a time when your child will be their happiest.  I do not recommend booking close to nap time or meal times if possible.  If booking around a meal time, it might be best to feed your child ahead of time.  If your little one is tired, hungry or not feeling their best they will not participate no matter what we try.  Kids are going to be kids.  You may want to bring tissues for runny noses and any tears that may occur.  Prepare yourself ahead of time that kids don't always give us magic and I will do my best to fill in the gaps with artistic candids.

Ages 1-3

Kids are natural explorers, and once they're mobile they are on the go and want to do what they want to do.  I am happy to follow your kiddo around and capture all of this fun stage they are in.  It might be a good idea to bring treats, rewards or other incentives to get your child to sit for a posed photo.  I will engage with your child, sing songs, clap my hands and make funny noises to get them to look, smile or laugh, but not every child is receptive to this, especially if they have not participated in a photo session before.  I will rely on you to ask your child to sit, pick up your child and place them where you want them to stand or sit, offer treats or stuffed animals or blankets. 

Ages 3-8

Kids have emotions and personalities all their own, and each day can bring a variety to a photo shoot.  If your child is active, you may want to have an incentive planned for after the shoot as a reward for participation such as sitting still and smiling at the camera.  If your child likes to be silly it might be a good idea to practice some smiles in the mirror with your child so they know what kind of smile you expect from them.  I will go with the flow of your child and capture their personality and their mood of that day, including silly smiles, covered faces, running, climbing, laughing and even crying if that is what we are getting from your child that day.  If you want a posed photo with a nice smile, you will want to do some preparation to assure this.

Managing Expectations

If you have specific expectations for your photo shoot please feel free to share those with me and I can work with you to get the shots you are looking for.  Family participation is the linchpin of each great photo shoot.  If they don't give you what you are looking for, I will not be able to either.  Candid shots are my favorite and I offer both color and black and white photos. If you have specific examples of the poses that inspired you to book your photo shoot, you are welcome to send those to me ahead of time or share your Pinterest board with me.  Please keep in mind that those shots likely took more than a few minutes to capture with subjects sitting posed while the photographer took several pictures to get the angle right. I will do my best to give you a great variety of shots.  I truly love what I do, and see beauty and sweetness in all kinds of shots, especially when nobody is looking at the camera.  

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