What will my family session be like?
Your session will be approximately 1-2 hours and will take place at the location of your choice. Photos may be done in your home, your neighborhood, or anywhere your family is comfortable. There are some beautiful parks in this area and I am happy to offer some suggestions that will provide a nice backdrop. Your proofs will be available for viewing in a private password-protected gallery within 14 days of our session.
What can I do to ensure my family session goes well?
Think of your family photo session as an opportunity to have some fun quality time with your family. The most important thing you can do is relax. Children will be anxious if you are stressed (even newborns can sense stress). I have three very spirited little boys so I have a lot of patience and nothing will phase me. ;-) Be prepared to act a little goofy to make your children laugh. These make for the most natural and genuine smiles. My goal is not to capture perfection, but instead, a perfect representation of who your children are at this point in time. To make the most of your session please make sure your child is not hungry or tired when the session begins.
What should I bring to my session?
Feel free to bring snacks for your children and a favorite toy or stuffed animal if you think that would help them be more relaxed. If we are shooting out side I also suggest bringing bug spray as well to ensure everyone is comfortable. If you prefer a stylized session I’m happy to help coordinate ideas or suggest some props you may bring along.
When is the best time of day to schedule my family portrait session?
For the best time to schedule our session I always suggest early evening, or golden hour as photographers like to call it. The light is very soft and beautiful and provides us the most flexibility in locations. Otherwise early morning is also a good option before the sun is too high in the sky. However, I am happy to work around your schedule to find a time that you and your children will be at their best. I will suggest a location to best accommodate the lighting during that time of day.
When is the best time to schedule and photograph my newborn?
Please contact me during your pregnancy to schedule your session and I will add you to my schedule based on your expected due date. I know that babies don’t always arrive as planned so we can move things around when the baby is born. If you have already delivered your baby, that’s okay too. I set aside time for unexpected arrivals and would love to photograph your newborn if I have availability. To get the most out of your newborn session I recommend planning your photo shoot within 5-10 days of your baby’s arrival! The first week works best to get peaceful sleepy and curly poses. After 10 days of age they are more likely to be disturbed while sleeping, and can also become colicky or baby acne can start to flare.
What is the difference between a typical vs. lifestyle newborn session?
Typical newborn sessions are done on a beanbag with blankets as backdrop. A lot of the babies posed in sleeping positions on my website are examples of ‘typical’ newborn photography. These sessions will be held in my home studio where I may best control the environment. You will have full access to all my props, hats, and headbands. I will have both natural and studio lighting (if necessary) to provide optimal results. Lifestyle newborn sessions will take place in your home. I will still photograph your baby sleeping, but will not bring a beanbag, backdrop, or lighting for our portraits. We will use your bed, couch, and other unique items you have to pose your newborn. We will most likely be moving some furniture around so it is helpful to have dad on hand. I will bring a small collection of blankets and headbands/hats but will look for items in your home to make your portraits more personal. I will focus more on mom and dad holding the baby and will take sibling and family shots as well. The nursery as a good location for some personal photos but we can venture outside if the weather permits for some variety.
How can I prepare for your arrival?
For photos that are taken inside your home, please make sure your home is free of clutter and all of the blinds/curtains are open. The first thing I will do once I arrive is survey all of the rooms in your home searching out the best natural light. To have the most perfect setting for your photographs we may move some furniture around. Make sure you put together all of the outfits and props you want to use in your photos ahead of time. I also recommend photos of your child with their favorite toy, blankie, or stuffed animal. These are some of the more personal photos you will have and you will appreciate them later. I will send additional detailed instructions before your shoot with how to prepare for our time together.
What should I wear?
I will provide custom what to wear guides for you once you book your session that will better help you prepare. As a general guide, here are some suggestions.
Newborns & Babies: I like to photograph newborns in their natural state – naked! Hats and blankets with interesting textures and colors make for great portraits. Parents of newborns should wear a solid, neutral colored shirt that will not distract from baby. Etsy.com has a wide variety of cute knit hats, props, and other items that you may like to purchase for the big day. I will have a small collection of hats, headbands, and props as well but feel free to provide your own accessories to make your photos unique and more personal.
Children & Adults: Since these photos will be cherished for many years to come I suggest a neutral palate with coordinating pops of color, patterns/plaids, and accessories that showcase your family’s personality and style. Please avoid logos, text, and busy patterns as these will distract from the beauty of the pictures. Feel free to view my “What to Wear” board on Pinterest for some suggestions.
Maternity: I like to keep the focus on the baby. Tight fitting tops or a black or white bandeau bras are nice. For photos with Dad I prefer to keep him in a more neutral colored t-shirt as we don’t want to take away from Mom! Long flowy dresses or tops can be very nice if they fit your belly and do not have busy patterns. Don’t be shy! I am easy going and will take photos in as little as you feel comfortable. Please avoid anything with elastic on your belly for a few hours before your session if you’d like your bare belly photographed.
What is your cancellation policy?
Your session fee is due at the time of booking to reserve your scheduled photo shoot date. Session fees are non-refundable but may be used for future services if we need to reschedule due to sickness or weather. Please allow 24 hours notice if you need to cancel due to sickness or inclement weather. We will work out a time to reschedule based on availability.
If I purchase digital images will I have usage rights to print on my own?
Yes. When purchasing digital images you will have the rights to print in any size at the lab of your choosing. The copyright will still remain with the photographer. I will provide instructions for printing and will suggest a consumer lab that will provide nice results. I do not recommend one-hour photo labs or online providers such as Shutterfly since they do not produce consistent color and results may vary drastically from the digital format.
Do you accept credit cards?
I accept all major credit cards, personal checks, cash, and Paypal. I also offer payment plans if requested. VA Sales Tax (6%) will be added to all orders and any shipping costs will be covered at my expense.