A Guide to Your Family Portrait Session

First off, THANK YOU for giving me the opportunity and honor of photographing your family. My goal is to capture your children's spirit and individual personality, as well as your family's magic and bond, authentically. 

While so much of the beauty of your family unfolds naturally throughout the day, it can quickly turn south due to a number of issues. However, many of these scenarios can be avoided if we work together to plan and prepare for the best possible photo session for your family. My hope in making this guide for you is that your family will be the most prepared for our time together, which in turn will help me ensure that you walk away from our time together with beautiful images to enjoy now, as well as an authentic record of your family's story to cherish in the years to come. 


What to Expect

Through our correspondence, we will decide together the best time and place for our photo session. If we are meeting at your home, being that I prefer working with natural light,  I ask that you spend a few minutes before I arrive opening curtains and making your home as naturally bright as possible. 

When I arrive, I like to spend a few minutes chatting with you and letting your children warm up to me. The first 10 to 15 minutes of our time will be very casual, so as to not put too much pressure on your children. I will take a look around- perhaps even asking your kid to give me a tour- and will then decide where we will begin. 

I generally like to begin with the more classic family shot, as kids tend to be more cooperative right when we begin. This may be a slightly more posed family portrait but it will never be stiff or formal: we will play games, laugh, tell stories, and allow for lots of silliness. From here I will allow things to naturally unfold, moving us through other rooms, an activity you may have planned, or to playtime outside. I don't expect you to be models or know what to do. I will guide you into good light or may ask you to readjust if something looks weird but I will not push you around or make you feel staged and awkward. We will just hang out and go from one situation/pose to the next. If all goes to planned, it will feel natural and effortless as we move through our time together. 

Sleep + Food = Happy Kids

This may sound like I am stating the obvious but make sure your kid gets a good night's sleep the night before our session. I know, I know, kids have a way of not sleeping when you need them to most. I have been subject to this predicament more times than I can count. I just ask that you try not to plan anything that may knowingly make for a late bedtime the night before. As much as I love a pouty lip, hopefully we won't have to see one the entire time we are together. 
And my second obvious statement: feed your kids. Give them a nice big meal before our session. It's amazing how wildly uncooperative a hungry kid can be. Hangry is a real thing. 

Just Roll With It

If your child does melt-down, shy away from me, hides, or cries, just know I am a mother too. I understand that when our children are not behaving in an ideal manner at the most un-ideal time it can be uncomfortable. But please, don't stress or feel embarrassed  in front of me. Stay calm and allowing yourself to roll with it. 

What to Wear

Some of you may already know you have a killer style thats all your own, and if thats the case, let it show. The last thing I want is to ask you to alter who you are. But if your like most people out there, wondering what to wear and second guessing yourself, then these are my suggestions:

Always dress yourself first in whatever makes you feel best, then dress the rest of the family. Lay it all out on a bed and see how it looks together. 

:: Babies ::
Soft solids or neutral patterns
Simple style - onesies are always classic
Diaper or birthday suit!
Large cozy swaddler or a meaningful blaket
-Tip: have an extra change of clothes planned for those
 unexpected spit-ups, spills or chills. 
-Avoid: shoes, giant headbands, and other fancy clothes

:: Kiddos ::
Layers and patters or muted colors and fun prints
Outfit changes are fine! If your kid has a favorite costume or
 shirt they insist on wearing, tell them they can change into it
 part way through our session (when I give the OK).
-Avoid: Huge logos that date the image and distract the eye.  

:: Families::
Try to stick to a color palette of three to five complementary colors
 without being matchy match. 
Layers are flattering and a way to show personality. 
Pay attention to your man's shoes and make sure they aren't too 
 dressy or athletic. Leather boots, simple flip flops, converse, or 
 or boat shoes all work great. 
Think timeless!
Comfort. Whatever you decide to wear, make sure its something you
 look AND feel good in. You don't want to be in something you can't
play with your kids in or are going to be readjusting constantly. 
-Tip: Neutrals with a pop of color. Also, lace photographs 
-Avoid: Everyone wearing the same outfit. Mix it up! And watch out 
 for large amounts of neon, kelly green, true red, bright blue and black.
 I am not try to hate on black, just don't all be wearing all black.    

The Day Of 

A full deep clean of the house is not necessary, but please attempt to de-clutter (toss piles of shoes in the closet, lotions and toiletries in drawers, and don't forget the mail pile!) and any standard cleaning around your home. 

Fresh flowers are a lovely touch. 

Locate any special items you would like to include such as a meaningful quilt, or your child's favorite toys, books, or loveys to have documented. 

Tip: If you are feeling tense or anxious about our session, feel free to crack a beer or enjoy a little glass of wine before I arrive. 

After Your Session

2 - 3 weeks after your session I will email your online gallery of edited images that you can download directly to your computer.

When sharing your beautiful new photos on social media, I kindly ask you to not forget to give me a shout out. Tell people how much you loved working with me(in hopes that you did). Sharing your experience with me is what helps keep my business moving forward. You can credit the photos by linking to my Facebook business page or website (laurenlphoto.com) in the caption of your photo. 

About a week after that I will mail you a package containing your proof pints. 

Please email me to let me know you received them! This is an excellent time to provide any feedback you have about working with me.

And Thats a Wrap! 

I am so looking forward to meeting you and your family!

Please feel free to call, text, or email me with any further questions or concerns you may have! 

- Lauren