I'm a firm proponent of no-stress family pictures. I don't care if you have a perfectly curated outfit or if you arrive in sweatpants. Time is precious and moments are fleeting. When you look back at your photos, I want you to be able to recall exactly how you felt that day, snuggling your favorite people and enjoying the day.
What are sessions typically like?
I generally begin each session by greeting the adults first. This helps kids establish trust because they observe the adult's interactions with me in order to decide if they can trust me. After that, I pay attention to who is receptive and who is shy and we work our images accordingly. I typically like to get full family images first as that's when little ones are likely to be the most cooperative, but if we have a slow to warm little one, we switch the order up.
I try to get every combination of people so my inner shot list usually looks like: full family, siblings, each parent with each child, each parent with all the children, each child alone, parents together, parents alone if requested, etc. I ask specifically if there are combinations that you'd like (some families like to get gendered shots like "all the boys" or "just the sisters" etc) or have a special shot in mind like a special object or pet they'd like included.
Can we bring pets?
I mean...probably? I don't mind dogs, I don't think anyone has ever brought a cat, and I've done quite a few photos with horses (I really love horses!). I'm open to most pets, but make no promises to make them cooperate as children are challenging enough. I have no known animal allergies, so pets are welcome as long as they are allowed on whatever property we are on, you clean up after them, and they are people and other animal friendly.
What happens if my kids are grumpy?
Kids are unpredictable for sure. I've found that some kids arrive grumpy and leave in a better mood or they come feeling okay, but getting overstimulated quickly. I encourage parents to try not to get frustrated when possible. It can be hard when kids don't cooperate but I've found that tension doesn't help. I do, however, encourage rewards (read: bribery), lots of encouragement, lots of praise, and doing things that make them laugh or dance (music on your phone can be a great way to get them to perk up. I can sing baby shark by heart now!).
Some children are naturally shy or have special needs and may never feel comfortable being photographed and that's okay with me too. I love capturing families where they are at right now, as perfect or imperfect or anywhere in between that they fall!
who chooses what goes in the gallery?
As a general rule, I do. I edit the best of each series of shots and add that to your gallery. Sometimes, light is funky, people move too fast, camera settings betray me, or something doesn't go as planned and the shot doesn't come out well. If you see something missing from your gallery, just ask! I'm happy to go look and see if it's editable.