FAMILY SESSION PREP GUIDE
I'm so happy to be photographing your family!
Here you will find everything you need to know from picking the perfect location to how the session is going to play out! Please read this all through when you first receive it and a day or two before your shoot! The more prepared you are, the better this session is going to be! And prepare to have a lot of fun, and to make fun of my dance moves. I promise I will probably bust a move at least once!
The goal of this session is to capture your family as it is, chaos and all. Whether you have one little baby or five teenagers, we want to make sure that everyone is represented in who they are! Parents, please do not stress out if your baby, child, or teenager is not behaving how you had imagined for the shoot. I have three kids of my own ( 11, 7, and 6) and can handle the tantrums and running around like crazy, in fact, you might see me run around like crazy too! I work around the kids and their temperaments instead of trying to get them to work for me.
So let's get to it!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION...
The first thing to remember when it comes to picking a location for your family session is figuring out the vibe you want. Do you want to go on an adventure, do you want to splash around at the the lake or river or frolic in the fields (wherever we are, I promise there will be frolicking!) When you know the vibe and style you want, that makes it easier to narrow down your location choices.
My advice to you is pick something your kids will enjoy. The more excited they are by their surroundings, the happier they will be. If they don't particularly like getting wet, then maybe the lake isn't the right place for you. If they love throwing rocks into water (what kid doesn't?!) then we can find a cute creek! The key is finding somewhere that is interesting enough to keep them happy!
Light is everything! The best time for outdoor sessions is Golden Hour! That's an hour after sunrise or and hour to hour and a half before sunset. I will not do family sessions during midday. It's too bright so everyone is squinting and there's a lot of blown out highlights and harsh shadows!
Please keep the time in mind as well when thinking about a location, and also if you have very young children, as sessions can be quite late in the evening in the summer months here in Northern Alberta.
WARDROBE: "What will we wear?"
The hardest question everyone asks themselves after booking a photo session is: "What will we wear?". I totally understand! And I'm here to help!
When you start styling your session, I suggest starting with Mom and then working out from there. Whether you want to purchase all new clothes, or you want to use that dress you love, or borrow from my client closet, it's a great place to start. You don't have to start with mom's outfit though. Just pick one item first. Then you can pull your colors and textures and build up from that starter piece. Another good starting point is to think of the colours in your home (these images will be on your walls after all) or maybe your favorite color, then go from there.
Things to keep in mind:
comfort: you want everyone to be comfy at your session. We'll be moving around on our adventure, so make sure you put yourself and the kids in something that moves with you and isn't itchy or too tight. You'll be hearing about it all session, trust me
accessorize it: hats, scarves, jewelry, blankets, headbands, suspenders, etc. All these things are a great way to add another layer of your style into your session.
patterns: I love fun patterns, but my favorite is florals! Mixing patterns is a great way to add interest to your photos.
textures & layers: Layers add texture and textures add interest. Denim, chunky knits, lace, cords, etc. I love the way a chunky cardigan looks. Or a denim shirt tied at the waist. These are all great ways to incorporate your style.
color: make sure the colors you choose compliment each other. Colors that will stand out best are muted, earthy tones. Some examples are: mustard yellow, mauve pink, browns or khaki, dark blue, hunter green, dark reds/ oranges, creams/beiges.
MAKE IT YOUR OWN: this session is about you! And it's so important to make sure that your family's personality shines through in every aspect.
Things to avoid:
giant logos: shirts that have giant logos on them can distract from your beautiful faces. Just say no.
neon colors: just say no to hot pink and lime green.
matchy-matchy: matching outfits are super cute, I know, but they can also seem very redundant and dare I say boring. Having different colors, patterns, textures, etc is super important to create interest and diversity in your family's images.
Places to shop:
Old Navy, Gap, Baltic Born, Reitmans, Nordstrom, Aerie, Ameican Eagle, Oshkosh, Children's Place, H&M ....
What to expect: "What will our session be like?"
The day of your session is here! We've picked out the perfect time and location, and your wardrobe is ready to go. You've spent weeks preparing, and it's finally time. I'm getting just as excited as you are.
My main focus is to capture your family in this season of your lives! I want to capture moments not poses. And I want to embrace all the beautiful imperfections. At our session, we will play, adventure, snuggle, run, jump, and maybe even get a little dirty. We'll start off our session by getting that perfect posed "Christmas Card Photo" out of the way. I usually like to do one standing and one sitting pose. And then we'll start our adventure. Be thinking of things that you like to do together as a family, little games or small things you want to remember. An example would be how my daughter doesn't like to get kisses on the lips, so we kiss on the cheeks and forehead.
Things to remember:
Have fun! It is so important that you and your family enjoy this experience because it will show up in your photos if someone just isn't having it. Relax and love on your family.
This time is about you and what makes your family special. We'll spend the first little bit getting to know each other. We'll knock out the "Christmas Card" photos (ones where everyone is looking and smiling), and then set off!
Moments over poses: after we get the poses out of the way, you don't have to look at the camera anymore. You totally can if you want, but it's not required. I may ask for eye contact occasionally.
Always touching: be sure that your always touching someone. Whether it's a hug or snuggle, or just a tender hand on the shoulder. Make contact with your family. This shows connections and love.
Don't stress: if your kids are nervous or acting a little wild, that's totally ok! I embrace children in every aspect of themselves. We're focusing on moments, so a shy kiddo can get extra snuggles and a wildling can have extra run time. It's all about your family in this season! Remember that.
Come prepared: Bring snacks, water, a blanket, jackets/cardigans (if it's cold), more water and snacks, and extra change of clothes in case someone gets too messy for the car ride home.
Have fun and don't stress! You're going to love your images, I promise! So just enjoy your session!
Northfork Photography is a professional
newborn, maternity and family photography business that has been serving the Peace Region
Hythe, AB T0H 2C0