What are your newborn sessions like?  Do you do posed newborn shots?  After years and various approaches to newborn photography, I’ve decided to take things in a  more casual  and relaxed direction.  While I think posed newborn photography can be beautiful when done right, I finally realized it’s just not for me for a number of reasons.  Instead, I like to capture Mom, Dad and baby in a natural and story-telling way, in the comfort of your own home.  This is a very special and fleeting time for a family, and my intent is to document what that looked like.  I will take many shots of you interacting and holding your baby.  This involves lots of of hugs, kisses, and cuddles. Of course, I will also capture some adorable, individual shots of your baby, but rather than attempting to pose them and mold them into various positions, I like to keep things simple and natural.  If you really want those squishy, naked-baby, ultra-posed newborn portraits…then I’m not your girl…but there are many amazing photographers out there who do that type of work. 

Should I schedule a half-year session on my baby’s 6-month birthday?  I call it a “half-year” session because I don’t want clients to get locked into the idea that it has to be exactly at 6 months.  This is such an adorable time when babies really start to develop their personalities, chubby cheeks and arm/leg rolls are in full effect, and smiles and laughs abound.  But sometimes 6-monthers are not sitting up yet on their own, and I feel that is a really important milestone to capture.  That’s why I typically recommend shooting closer to the 7 month mark, just to make sure they are sitting up without assistance.  However, you’re the boss, and if you would rather document them exactly at 6-months…no problem!  Just realize there may be a lot more shots of them laying down or doing tummy time (and of course in Mom & Dad’s arms!).

What if my kid(s) won’t listen, won’t sit still and won’t smile?  It’s okay.  Really.  No, really.   I try to make my child & family sessions lots of fun for the little ones.  I go to great lengths and do all sorts of silly things to capture your child’s attention.  I am not afraid to act like a complete idiot in hopes of getting even a tiny laugh.  Also, I don’t expect kids to sit still for an hour straight.  All I need is a few seconds here and there.  Then we can take a play break (in which I will continue to snap pictures), then we’ll try for some more pictures, and so on.  All I ask is that you try your hardest to refrain from yelling at your kids.  I know it’s difficult.  I am a mom, and I have been on the other side of the lens with my child.  I realize how stressful and frustrating it is when you are thinking “OMG I paid all this money and my kid refuses to cooperate!”  I have been there!  But nothing kills the photo-moment more than a parent losing their shiz and/or a crying kid.  Just try to let it roll off your back, and keep smiling for the camera, Mom & Dad.  I promise we’ll get some great shots.    

What time of day do you shoot?  I’m a natural light photographer, so it’s all about the light for me.  I like to shoot when the natural light conditions are best.  If we are shooting outdoors, that means one hour before sunset.  If we are shooting in your home, I will ask you to monitor the natural/window light in your house for a couple days and make note of the time when your house is brightest.    

Do you shoot high school seniors?  When should I schedule a senior shoot?  Yes!   Generally, senior sessions take place the summer before senior year (or early fall of senior year).  Book early as this is a very busy time for photography!  My senior sessions include 2 hours of shooting time to allow for up to 3 outfit changes. 

Do you shoot yearbook photos for seniors?  No, I do not.  Many schools have very strict requirements for their yearbook photos and often have an approved list of studios you can use.

Can we shoot at multiple locations?  I prefer not to, as this takes away valuable shooting time (especially when shooting outdoors and trying to maximize the light before sunset).  If we are shooting at your home, we can definitely do some outdoor shots in your yard, or a nearby park or other nature area if it’s within a few minutes walk/drive.    

What should we wear (families)?  I think families look best when they are coordinated but not too "matchy" (i.e. avoid wearing identical outfits).  Pick a couple/few complementary colors and dress everyone in varying versions of those colors.  I also think it’s really fun to mix patterns!  When considering color, think about what you look and feel good in.  Also, if you plan to hang pictures in your home, it’s good to consider what colors would coordinate nicely with your décor.  Consider fit as well.  Choose children’s clothes that fit well right now…not something they are “growing into.”

What should I wear (seniors)?  Consider choosing up to 3 outfits:  something a little dressy, something casual…and something in between.  Most importantly, make sure it is something that fits well (not overly tight and not too baggy/loose) and something you feel confident in.  Accessories like statement necklaces, scarves, stacked bracelets, jackets, etc. look great and add interest in your photos.  Ladies, consider doing your make-up a bit heavier than your every-day look.  If you generally don’t wear make-up, at a minimum, some powder, mascara and bit of color on the lips creates a polished look.