More than anything else, people ask me about how to prepare for their session. So I decided to help you out here with some recommendations and details!
A typical photo session lasts 1-2 hours with the exception of newborn shoots which tend to last longer.
Most new models have absolutely no clue when it comes to their first photo shoot. I typically start with a “test shoot” allowing the model to relax and be comfortable under the camera. Please don’t be stressed, I will take care of lightning, poses, smiles, color and much more!
For a typical photo session morning or late afternoon is best for outside sessions to capture nature’s sweet lighting, weather permitting. Please bring snacks, drinks and change of clothes for you or your little one. Solid colors work best, along with layers and accessories. But making sure you and your family are comfortable is what’s most important.
– Newborn sessions MUST be scheduled within the first 14 days of life.
– I’ll be moving them around and scrunching them into those sweet sleepy newborn images, so I want to make sure they’re sleepy enough to allow me to handle them.
– Plus, babies just tend to do a lot better with the session within their first 7 days.
– Please loosen your baby’s diaper and clothing at least 30 minutes before the session. This gives those little imprint marks time to disappear.
– Please feed and burp baby right before our session to ensure a happy, sleepy baby.
– Please be patient and relax. I am pretty comfortable holding and posing newborns. I was working in a hospital for a while and know a lot about babies.
– I have everything for the session but you are very welcome to use any of your props. Look for items with texture and color to help make your images unique. If you have any family heirlooms, toys, hats, props, etc. that you would like me to use in your session, please let me know about them.
– Please discuss any ideas, props or poses you have in mind at least a week prior to your session. I start planning out your session weeks in advance.
I have a photo studio where I photograph all my newborn clients. If the weather is warm enough and you’re comfortable with the idea, I can take the session outdoors.
– Moisturize that belly!
– Gather your props to bring along – ultrasound printout, alphabet blocks that spell your baby’s name, baby shoes, stuffed animals, flowers, whatever you’ve seen in other maternity photos that you like.
– Wear whatever you feel comfortable and pretty in – long, flowy skirts, especially solids are nice, and strapless bras that coordinate with them. Tube dresses are great for showing off your shape. Bring a pair of regular jeans, not the belly panel ones. A button-up shirt also makes it easy to transition into showing your belly.
– If you’re doing semi-nude/implied nude photos, bras and underwear will create noticable lines on your skin, so wear loose-fitting clothing to the shoot. You can add undergarments as necessary for photos later in the shoot.
– Do bring your significant other! They’ll make a great prop for your photos, and greatly expand on the number of different photos you can make during your shoot. They should bring outfits that coordinate with what you’ll be wearing, or a dark long-sleeved shirt or sweater and dark pants. The focus should always be on you, your expressions, your emotions, your personality, your joy and your connection.
– Clean, clean, clean – clean nails, clean hair, wipe away eye boogers, clean feet, wipe snotty noses, fresh-scrub teeth. The cleaner the kid, the better their photos will turn out.
– If your child is still in diapers or pull-ups, tuck’em in or wear bloomers.
– If your child is still of napping age, make sure they nap before the shoot.
– It is perfectly okay to bring bribes to a photo shoot – given a stage and being the center of attention, it’s like our kids know exactly when to act their worst. Some cereal, smarties or other candy that won’t stain teeth can help a short photo shoot go by smoothly.
– Avoid colorful drinks or lollypops within 24 hours of your shoot, don’t let them eat or drink anything that will stain their face, teeth or mouths.
– Wardrobe – For girls, you can’t go wrong with cute dresses, rompers, and dainty hats or headbands. For boys, jeans and polos or a button-up shirt, or a T-shirt with a button-up over it can be very cute, as well as overalls on the right age and personality. For siblings, the children don’t have to match perfectly, just coordinate. You can’t go wrong with dark, rich monotones, which drive the attention in photos to sweet faces and darling expressions instead of loud prints or colors. If nothing else, pick a color that compliments your child’s eye color.
– Dad – Have a fresh shave or trim, and use a new razor with shaving cream and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to limit bumps and redness. Make sure nails are clean and trimmed. Wash your hands. Clean up your shoes. Moisturize and scrub away flaky facial skin. When you wash your face, pay attention to eye boogers and sleep crusties. For wardrobe, go for jeans or pants, tucked polo or dress shirt with a belt, or go casual with just a T-shirt or untucked polo, button-up short sleeve, etc. In general, whatever your wife tells you to wear. Again you don’t have to perfectly match the rest of the family, just wear something that coordinates.
– Mom – Women know what to wear, but in general, unless you are extremely thin you may want to wear something that covers your upper-arms. Long- or 3/4-sleeve tops are very flattering. If you wear jewelry, aim for subtlety, and be aware of it twisting or turning.
– Kids – Same advice as above, but again, everything needn’t match, simply coordinate with the parents’ outfits. If Dad’s in a T-shirt, don’t put the kids in dress shirts – make it make sense.