Session Tips

Gone are the days of stressful family photo shoots with forced poses and behind-the-scenes parental threats to “say cheese!” I believe in capturing real moments by creating a fun, relaxed environment for each of my shoots. Expect to play, laugh, run, cuddle with your loved ones, and maybe even sit in the dirt (don't worry, I have blankets) while I’m around!

Parks, historic/urban areas, and your own backyard are all great locations for photos. If you do not have a location in mind when booking your session, I can recommend a few places and make sure we choose the perfect spot for you.

Your photo session will be relaxed, fun and enjoyable for the whole family. I love to capture how families and couples naturally interact and enjoy each other. During an average session, we spend an hour or two taking photos, and allow breaks for kids to have snacks, rest or whatever it takes. Photo sessions are never rushed.

The best advice I can give you is to make sure you’re well rested on the day of your photo session (that goes for kiddos too!), eat something, and stay well hydrated. Believe it or not, bad moods can show up in pictures! The better you feel, the better you’ll look.

 
 

Couples

Engagement sessions are important for many reasons in the list of things to do before your wedding.

They are a great way to spend some quality time together before the big day; they help you and I get to know each other and talk about your wedding; they allow you to get some stunning images of you both as a couple; but most importantly they allow you to ‘practice’ in front of the camera before your big day, hopefully helping you get rid of any nerves!

Activities are fabulous in engagement shoots, they give you something fun and natural to do while making the shoot individual and interesting. (Is the State Fair coming up?)

Incorporating hobbies is another way to make your shoot personal to you as a couple. And if you have a pet, bringing them along will be sure to make it a fun experience. After all, they're part of the family!!


Families

The best photographs are often the ones where everyone is engaged or interacting with each other.  Not every picture needs to have everyone looking at the camera and smiling at the same time.  If you are engaged as a family and loving on each other, your eyes will be on your family members and your smile with be natural.  These are the photographs that you will cherish most because they depict your family connection and your love for one another. 

Mom and Dad, as you focus on your children, don't forget about yourself! Keep your posture nice as well as ensuring your chin doesn't pull in. (Ask me about "the turtle" move.) These allow for the most flattering images. Something else to keep in mind is to be watchful of your own expression as you're trying to get the kids to smile. Remember you're in the photos as well! I also love to capture some special images of just the two of you, in unposed moments of genuine affection.

Rest assured, I'll be watching all of you and will let you know if I see something out of place or looking off. Sometimes rearranging how you're each standing makes a big difference and can change up a shot for more variety. 


Babies & Kids

Children sessions should be fun! They work best if I take the lead with the kids, but I’ll certainly ask if I need your help. It’s nice if we take a few minutes to warm-up to each other, so I enjoy working at their level, or one-on-one. I'm incredibly patient with kids and have waited almost an entire session to catch that special moment. Don't worry if we don't get smiles right away... we will. :-)

Please, parents… leave the “cheese” at home - cheese is for crackers.  So many times I have found parents who stand behind me and scream, “Say cheese to the lady, kids!” Yelling and demanding young children to look at the camera to smile will only stress your kids out (not to mention me) and will result in strained, unnatural, stiff and often unflattering photographs.  Step back, and allow me to naturally interact and talk with your kids. This will result in natural, gorgeous smiles. Help me capture the true essence of your child’s personality by talking with and coaxing out those smiles naturally and easily. Girls love twirling, dancing, and showing off their nice clothes. Boys love jumping, running, and playing in the dirt (sorry, Mom!). And everyone loves cheesy jokes. If you have any, I'd love to hear them!

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