Family Session Guide.
The general flow of my family sessions include photographing everyone together at the start to make sure we capture those updated family portraits, then moving on to some play time together. I’d love if you have a favourite game or activity lined up that your kids love. Something like bubbles, playing catch, water play, feeding chickadees. If there are “must capture” shots, or unique things about your family that you’d like documented, let me know ahead of time and I’ll do my best to make it happen!
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, 9, and 3) and can handle the tantrums and running around like crazy! I’m a pediatric nurse in my day job, I’ve won kids over for a lot more difficult activities than photos! I work around the kids and their temperaments instead of trying to get them to work for me. For this shoot, the kids are in charge!
I cannot emphasize enough the lifestyle nature of this session: it is super heavy on the candids and truly just capturing your life together as a family! So the best location is one where you will all feel comfortable being yourselves. That may be at home, your favourite park, a trail or beach you like to visit. Let me know some places you like to visit and we can work together to choose something that will work best
Since we are planning a lifestyle/documentary session, there are no strict rules for what time we take photos. Yes, the sunlight is gorgeous 1-2 hours before sunset, but that’s not helpful if your toddler will be in meltdown mode that late at night! If we are shooting during the day, we will just need to make sure our location has somewhere indoors or shaded to capture some portraits out of the full sun, but the rest we will work with what we have!
Preparation and what to wear
Some tips for in-home sessions: Please don’t feel obligated to clean your whole home in preparation! We can definitely work with a clear area that has some nice wide windows. Usually favourite spots for families include: parents bedroom, and the living room area. But there are no rules! If you are a family of cooks or you want to give baby a bath in the kitchen, let's do it! Your photos will reflect your home’s personality. So if your home is bright and airy your photos will feel the same. If you embrace the shadows and mood at home expect to see that contrasting light in your session photos as well.
We will be embracing your home’s natural light (open up those window blinds!), turning off the overhead lights and taking advantage of the natural brightness as much as possible. I’ll direct you all next to windows as much as possible for — we will take full advantage of the light coming into your house. Even on the cloudiest (and even rainiest too!) days, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how much the outside light comes in to give you the best possible pictures! And I have some supplemental lighting I will bring along if we need to enhance a special area at home that may be darker.
What to wear is totally up to you! It’s super tempting to go out and buy all new outfits, but consider wearing some of your favourite pieces you already own. Feeling comfortable in your clothing is going to make a huge difference to how you act in front of the camera. Especially for kids! Personally, I love colour and love for my own family's photos to reflect that. But if neutrals are your jam, go for it! A few things to keep in mind:
- Coordinating outfits are fine if that’s your family style, but avoid everyone in the same outfit
- Avoid large logos and multiple busy prints as they can steal the show.
- Please be yourself! If you aren’t normally a heels and fancy dress kind of person, don’t feel you need to pull those out for your photos!
After the session
I aim to return galleries to families no later than 3 weeks after our session. The link will be emailed to you and you can download all the full size photos from your gallery. Full session galleries typically include 30+ photos, and half session galleries include at least 15+.
Sharing my work is the best way for other clients to find me. I’ve included a model release on my questionnaire to share some sneak peek photos from our session on my social media pages so you can see some pictures as soon as possible! I also may include some photos from our session on my website to highlight for others what a lifestyle/documentary family session at home looks like. Please let me know if you do not want photos shared online.
I am fully vaccinated against COVID19 as well as up to date on all of my other vaccinations, including (but not limited to) Tdap, varicella, flu, and MMR. I can wear a mask throughout any indoor time during our session and we will reschedule if myself or your household develop any symptoms before our session.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!