When and where?
I'm exceptionally picky when it comes to my shooting environment. I always start outdoor shoots an hour before sunset at locations I've selected. The reason is simple: good light. I want every family to get beautiful golden hour light and I've curated an extensive list of locations where I know the light will be just right, the textures will be beautiful, and there will be enough parking and space for us to shoot comfortably. When you book I will send you my location guide and help you select a spot that suits your family's vision.
How do I prepare my kids?
Let me make this clear: kids will run the show and my first priority is to keep them happy. If you have small children, resist the urge to pressure them to "perform" for pictures-- they should simply see it as a family outing at the park. I try to make pictures as stress-free as possible so your job is simply to set an example for them by staying relaxed and positive. I will pose and direct your family, but I have a more interactive, lifestyle approach to my images, so you will not be looking at the camera and smiling the whole time-- I like to capture the natural expressions that come out as you spend time with your family. I spend lots of time playing games with the kids. The best thing to do is to trust me and be open-minded! The kids will follow your lead on their attitude towards having pictures taken.
What do we wear?
Clothing should have good color, texture, and movement. This means softer, flowy fabrics instead of starched shirts and stiff dresses. Your clothing should be comfortable enough to move through grass, sit, stand, and chase your kids. When dressing your family try to choose clothes that complement each other instead of matching each other. A good way to add visual interest is with layers, accessories, patterns, and textures. Deep, soft, or neutral colors photograph better than bright or neon ones.
The biggest mistake I see when dressing children is putting them in stiff, restrictive clothing (think: stiff dress shirts for boys, poofy dresses for girls). It tends to visually overwhelm them and it puts them in a bad mood because it's uncomfortable. When dressing my own kids, I always opt for soft fabrics that allow movement.
I have curated a styled wardrobe collection for my clients which anyone can access for free when they book. It has options for moms and kids to borrow that I've personally selected to be flattering and beautiful in your pictures. Just ask and I will gladly help!