Before the Session
If you’re looking at this Client Guide, we’ve got a date on the books and you should start getting excited! One way to do this is to read through and complete the digital client questionnaire. The point of this is for us both to get our wheels turning on hopes for the session and to help me get to know who you are as a family right now. We can chat at any point over email or phone about your questions, concerns and ideas about the session. A few days before the session, we’ll have a chat on the phone to go over everything, talk about the weather, and to hammer down the details.
During the Session
When I arrive, I’ll want to look everywhere to find the best light and form a loose game plan for our time together. We’ll be using all natural light, so please open all the shades and curtains before I get there. It is helpful if you tidy up a bit, but the house doesn’t need to be spotless. It’s your home and part of your story. That said, even if your house is immaculate, I’ll probably move some things around while I’m shooting — a tissue box, an alarm clock, a lamp that appears to be growing out of someone’s head as you all sit on the couch together — that kind of thing. Please know that I do this to everyone and I’m not judging your housekeeping skills! Once I leave, if you’re missing something, look behind couches and under beds — those are my go-to stash areas. 😉
Once our session begins, I take what I call a “catch and release” approach. Parts of the session will be almost completely documentary — you doing your thing, me capturing it all. Kids playing. Brothers wrestling. Diaper changes. Breakfast eating. Morning hugs. Your routines (and your kids) lead the way. If it’s happening organically, I don’t mess with it. Occasionally, though — usually when I see an awesome spot or beautiful light or an object that reminds me of something you’ve told me you want to remember or I sense that you’re feeling a little adrift and could use some direction — I’ll boss you around a bit. “Hey, let’s everybody pile on that couch and play a game,” or “Can you show me your favorite thing in your room?” or “Psssst … do you want to jump on the bed? I won’t tell Mom!” That kind of thing. I’m also always looking for the best opportunity to grab those shots I know you want. That one of the kids all in one frame smiling at the camera, for example, and the one of the whole family together. I’m also going to try to remember to give you that shot you don’t even know you want — one of you and your spouse without the kids. You haven’t gotten a good one like that since your wedding, I’ll bet.
Through the questionnaire and the chats mentioned above, we’ll also talk about specific considerations for your family. Newborn sessions obviously have a whole different list of things to think about than sessions with toddlers and little kids, which have an entire different list of factors and concerns than a session with teen and pre-teen kids. The one thing that’s the same for all, though, is that the ultimate goal is to relax. Babies cry, toddlers act up, teenagers grunt and grimace. Let them do what they do during the session and allow me to bring them around to the things we want them to do. I’ll capture them at their real and at their best. You’ll thank me for it.
After the Session
A few days after your session, I’ll try to post a “teaser” on my Facebook and/or Instagram pages (are you following me there?). About three weeks after the session, I’ll send you an email with instructions on how to access a low-res preview of your images. Don’t be overwhelmed by the sheer number of photos — my products and collections are designed to tell your whole story and I’ll help you figure out what the best way to do that is for you.
Once your collection order has been placed, any necessary design work can begin at my end. You’ll also then get access to your gallery of full resolution images for download and your online Gallery Shop! You’ll have 30 days to spend your included Gallery Shop print credits.
Depending on what you order, you should have your finished products within approximately 2-6 weeks.
There’s lots more info about things like the cancellation policy for weather or illness, location fees and copyright ownership in the digital Client Agreement you complete when you book your session. Don’t forget to be sure to review and complete the digital Session Questionnaire by a few weeks before your session date, too — in addition to getting your wheels turning on hopes and ideas for your session, it’s the best way for me to get to know YOU and your family beforehand and to help make your session GREAT!
This is going to be FUN.