Archive for 'Session Prep'

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t have a huge stash of newborn props. Lots of blankets, headbands, hats & a few baskets; but I prefer to keep photo sessions simple, focused on baby and instead incorporate props and items that have sentimental value to each family. This helps tell a story, and create an even stronger connection to your family’s photos. During our pre-session consultation, we’ll chat about some items that you can include and work together to style your session perfectly for your family. Want some inspiration on selecting items to include in your newborn session? And ideas on how to make it personal & unique? Here are 8 options…

1. Recreate a parent or sibling photo: These types of photos are fun to show the same pose with different generations of your family. Show me a photo of you or your spouse when you were a newborn and we can create a similar photo with your child. Or if you have another child and want us to use one of their newborn photos to recreate instead, that would work, too!

Newborn Photo with Family on Bed in Queen Creek AZ

Mom & Dad took a similar photo with big brother when he was a newborn, so we recreated the pose and added in the new family member.

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Your session is right around the corner! We’ve had our consultation, discussed the details, and I may have been introduced to your kiddo(s). Are you ready for your child’s portrait session? We’ve prepared a checklist of things for you to remember in order to help make sure your child is prepared for their moment in the spotlight! read more

 Chandler AZ Newborn Photographer

When it comes to booking your newborn’s photography session, there are a lot of questions about the process. If your new little one isn’t here yet, it’s hard to figure out a schedule. When do you call? How do you know what day to request? Do you wait until the baby has arrived or take care of scheduling before? Hopefully, I can answer some of your questions with this post.

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Dear Clients,

Please don’t feel like you are inconveniencing me by emailing or calling me regarding your past or future session. Yes, I am busy. But I am busy because I am here to help you. My job as your photographer is to get your beautiful memories in your hands. Those special moments of your tiny baby, wild toddler or extra awesome extended family that we capture, print and display are what I love to deliver. You don’t need to apologize when you’ve got a question for me or need some assistance with clothing selection, or want to share an awesome idea that you found on Pinterest. I’ve noticed a trend lately of clients saying “I’m sorry, I know you’re busy, but….” The holidays are my busy season, but I plan my schedule accordingly. I know every year that the fall & winter will be the time that families want their photos for holidays, cards and gifts. My calendar is prepared in advance to accommodate you. All reasonable requests are planned for and you don’t need to apologize for “bugging me” as you say. I love what I do, feel blessed to be as busy as I am, and will do everything in my power to make your photo experience amazing and not rushed or stressed.

My main goal is to help you check things off your ever-growing list and make your life easier in your hectic Holiday season. If that means I come over, measure walls for art, wander in and out of closets to help with your photo-ready wardrobe or we grab coffee and scroll through Pinterest together, I’m in. You need your digital images in advance of your print delivery? Sure. Just let me know in our consult and I will make arrangements for you. You want to make sure your cards are here in time for early mailing? Lets make that happen! I promise to not over-extend my calendar and to give you a pleasant and stress-free photography experience! Lets make some beautiful photos and give you an amazing start to your Holidays!

Much love,

Your Photographer

PS- Want some ideas of what to wear for photos? Check out my huge Pinterest board full of ideas here:

PPS- Because blog posts are always better with a fun family photo… Hannah and her parents’ Holiday photo

Parents are often concerned that their children will “act out” at a photo session, or they tell me that theirs is “spirited” or “a handful”. I say, “Let them be wild!”. I have kids, 3 in fact. And if you’ve met them, you know that they are by no means quiet. Or tame. They are hooligans. In the nicest sense of the word; They have energy and lots of it. Wild kids don’t phase me, and I truly embrace their active, silly, happy side at sessions, it shows off their true personality! But, in order to get great photos, it has to be controlled chaos. Here are 5 tips to how I keep active kids engaged in the session and still get the photos my clients love!

Kristen Carter Photography Tips for Working With Active Kids

Meet my girls. These are the out-takes to their “Sister” session, but this is life with them.


1.) Praise, not criticism- Use positive reinforcement when they are doing the things you ask them to do. Some people call this bribery, I call it magic! LOL. Depending on the age & personality of the child, it might be a verbal reward like “good job”, or “you’re doing awesome”. Others respond better to high-fives and small candies. Soon they realize that by doing the things we are asking (“Sit there for a second,” “Pretend you like your sister,” “Show me your craziest smile!”) they will earn a reward. When they choose not to follow directions, they don’t earn the reward, but we also won’t give negative responses (“Be good or no treat,” “If you don’t do this, then you’ll be in trouble.”) Experience has shown that by threatening a time-out, or criticizing them, they’ll shut down and not want to participate at all in photos. The goal is a happy experience with beautiful photos to remember it by!

Kristen Carter Photography Tips for Working With Active Kids

This sweet 2 year old was asking me, “Please?” because he knew I had candy in my pocket.


2.) Keep their attention- Kids (and some adults) have short attention spans. Keep things moving, always changing and only focus on one set or pose for a short amount of time. During sessions, I’ll often hop from spot to spot to encourage energy and fun. We might start on the steps, snap a few photos, then move to a nearby rock. We can dance, jump, wiggle and play, snap more photos and then move on. It may seem like we are all over and not really getting anything from it, but I promise, experience has taught me how to work quickly. If I didn’t get the photo that I had imagined in my head the first time around, I’ll often take them back to an earlier spot and try again. The younger the children involved, the less time we have to keep their attention and cooperation. I loved the compliment from a dad this week, “Thanks for keeping things short and sweet. We love the photos and appreciate that you didn’t drag out our session for hours just because you can.”

Kristen Carter Photography Tips for Working With Active Kids

Pretend play is a great way to keep their attention.


3.) Take breaks- Letting the kids know our expectations up front and offering them short breaks in between poses/sets is a fabulous way to contain their energy and maintain a semblance of control in a session. I make it a “deal” between us. When we are talking about what we will be doing, I usually give the older kids a heads up like this: “So, here’s the plan guys. We’re gonna sit here for a few minutes, take some great photos with fun smiles, then we can run around the grassy area for a few minutes. Deal?” They’ll usually agree and that gives me the opportunity to tell them while we’re shooting, “Hey, remember our deal! A couple more photos then its play time!” When they feel like there’s an end in sight, its not overwhelming for them to listen and cooperate. If the kids are too little to agree to your deal, they still need breaks. Its a lot of stimulation for them when you’re whistling or shaking a rattle to get their attention. Give snuggle/quiet time breaks. (Those are also my favorite moments for sweet candids with no one looking at the camera)

Kristen Carter Photography Tips for Working With Active Kids

Silly moments like this happen in the breaks between poses/locations.


4.) Embrace their energy- If I could bottle up my 3 year old’s energy and sell it, I’d retire. That boy can run circles for hours without end. We use this to our advantage at photo sessions by keeping our energy exciting and fun. Lots of giggling, playing, and silly songs. Ring-around-the-rosy, leap frog, freeze tag & red light/green light are great tools to keep kids playing but get them to be in the position/area/setup that you want. Plus, the candids of kids falling down and chuckling are seriously adorable! After we’ve finished all the posed set-ups, I’ll bring out the bubble machine, sidewalk chalk, or their favorite toys and then just let them play. No rules, no “hey, look at the camera,” just being kids.

Kristen Carter Photography Tips for Working With Active Kids

Bubbles are an awesome treat after a fun family session!


5.) Don’t stress!- The biggest tip I can give is to go with the flow. As a parent, this is really hard sometimes. You want to control the kids, make sure they’re smiling, and just get the photos done. As a photographer, I want to make sure the photos are fabulous, artistic and fulfill a vision that my client and I have discussed. Putting too much pressure on the kids though will result in a fake smile or worse, sadness. If parents relax, enjoy the time together and just BE in the moment with their family, they cherish the images we create. If, no matter what we do, its just not working, then worst case scenario is that we will reschedule our session. This doesn’t happen often, and if it does, its not because a child is running around and being crazy; its because they are having a bad day. Could be that they are getting sick, didn’t sleep well, or are uncomfortable in their clothes/setting/life in general. Even adults have an “off” day. I would rather pick another day and try again than make a child miserable by forcing them to take photos when they don’t want to. We will try our best to turn their frown upside down, but if its not working, we try again.

Kristen Carter Photography Tips for Working With Active Kids

This little one was not happy when we first started our session. But a snack break and some snuggles turned her mood around!


Keep in mind that these are just general ideas, every child is unique; some kids are really shy & quiet, so I’ll match my energy to theirs by being softer and gentler in my tones and requests. If a boy jumps up, gives me a high five and tells me his name with no prompting, I’m more likely to be louder, & crazier to match his energy. In our pre-session consult, I’ll ask parents about their kids to get an idea of who they are and what their personalities are like before meeting them, adds an extra touch of care to our sessions. That’s when I’m also likely to discover if their kids have any quirks or need special assistance in our sessions. To schedule your own session or ask a question, use the “Contact” button above!

<3 Kristen


I am so excited for the holidays this year and I’m getting a head start on thinking about it! It may not be Thanksgiving yet, but I can’t help but plan ahead to Christmas & New Years. This isn’t the first year of offering Christmas and Holiday cards to my clients, but this is the first year of the Kristen Carter Photography Holiday Card Shoppe!

Here’s how it works: If you’ve had a session with KCP at any time this year, you can select to use any of your images in a Holiday card design. Simply decide which of the beautiful designs you’d like from the selections below and then email me with your card & image choices! (You can also tell me to choose the images that I think fit your favorite card design best and I’ll happily make the selections for you to approve). I’ll include pricing info in my reply, ask a few questions regarding customizing your order (colors, wording & paper type) and then send you a proof & an invoice. Your professionally press-printed cards with envelopes will be shipped directly to your door. Easy peasy! And with many options to customize your cards, you’ll have a unique design, beautiful photos and one less thing to worry about this Holiday season!

Feel free to email me with any questions you may have! Happy Holidays! (And if you haven’t taken photos yet for your cards, use the Contact Me button above to set up a session!)

Cards are 5×7, double-sided and press printed; Paper options include Linen, Pearl or Stock; High quality white envelopes are included at no additional cost; “Pop” Cards are a unique new offering that are pre-punched to “pop” out and become a hanging ornament for friends and family to keep on display for years.

Kristen Carter Photography Children Photography

Happy boy sitting on steps next to his stuffed teddy bear. Copyright 2013 Kristen Carter Photography

I get asked many questions from potential clients, but by far the most common are what I call the “when”, “wear/where” and “what” of a photo session. When should we schedule? What do we wear/bring? Where do we go? So this blog post will try to answer those questions and help you prepare for a photo session with me.

** “Where do we go for photos in Phoenix or Gilbert?” “Do you have a studio?” **
Nope, I don’t have a dedicated studio, I much prefer the great outdoors as my canvas! You have the options of an in-home or on-location photo session in the East Valley area with Kristen Carter Photography. Newborns are always held in your home and family sessions can also be really fun to show off where you live and spend most of your time! (Jumping on the bed photos rock!) My preference is to use natural light for photos so if your home is small or dark please consider an on-location session for kids/family. I have lists of places we can go around the valley depending on your session style. Desert, green landscapes, lakes or water features, urban setting with industrial walls, you think of it, I’ll find it! Your portrait session will last from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to allow for clothing changes or snack breaks for children. There is no rush, no stress and I fully encourage you to have fun and be yourself while I capture your family.

** “When is it best to book a photo session? What do we wear for photos? What do we need to bring?” **
Every session will have different time constraints but generally, sessions are set for early morning or late afternoon for the best natural light. I am no fashionista, most days you’ll find me in a ponytail and flip-flops, but I encourage clients to wear a variety of clothing with color and accessories. I do provide some ideas for clothing inspiration if you so shall choose, just ask. And don’t think this means a trip to the mall (unless it’s a good excuse for you too). I always say to start with yourself, find a color or outfit in your closet that you love (and feel confident in) and build your outfit around it, then coordinate any other members of your photo shoot with you! Layers are always great. Avoid logos or clothing with distracting patterns. Have fun and show personality. Here are a few ideas for specific types of sessions of when to schedule, what to wear and what props or items to bring to your photo shoot.

Belly photo by Kristen Carter Photography

Mama in red white stripes cradling sweet belly bump. Copyright 2013 Kristen Carter Photography


Belly Sessions
When to schedule: Maternity sessions are best scheduled between 32-36 weeks, or when your belly has passed your bust line, but you’re still fairly comfortable. Some moms choose to be photographed earlier (especially if you’ve had a prior preemie), if this is the case, I will work my magic in posing to bump out that belly!

Wardrobe: You can choose to show your belly or not, either way you are a gorgeous mama and we will be capturing the glow and excitement that pregnancy brings. Wear whatever you feel comfortable and pretty in – long, flowy skirts, especially solids are nice, and tight fitting tanks or bandeau tops 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. Accessories are welcome! You are a fashionable mama, growing new life, lets show it off! If you are doing bare belly photos, maternity pants will create noticeable lines on your skin, so wear loose-fitting clothing to the shoot or roll the belly panel of your pants under your belly. Moisturize that belly if you will be showing it off. Avoid shorts or short skirts, so the focus remains on the upper half of your body, with face and belly being most important.

What to bring: Gather your props to bring along – ultrasound printout, alphabet blocks that spell your baby’s name, baby shoes, etc. We will also discuss any other unique items in your pre-session consult, but we’ve done sessions with a specific food mom had been craving, books read in preparation or sentimental items from a family member. Do bring your significant other and older children! They’ll make great “props” for your photos, lol, 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. The focus should always be on you, your expressions, your emotions, your personality, your joy and your connection.

Baby Girl Newborn Photo

Simple newborn setup with sweet baby in knit cap & feathery flower on white backdrop. Copyright 2013 Kristen Carter Photography


When: Babies are best photographed within 4-14 days of being born and because I only schedule a few newborns every month, please call me while you are pregnant (ideally when you are scheduling your belly session). I will write your due date as a tentative session date (we will adjust once baby actually arrives). My calendar remains flexible the weeks that I have babies due so that once everyone is home and settled, I come over for your photos. I know how hard it is to get out of the house as a new parent, so I come to you. All newborn sessions are done as in-home sessions and include parents and siblings. I lug my buckets of props and backdrops, find a cozy spot in your home with great light and settle in for 2-3 hours. We relax, snuggle, laugh and admire how tiny and precious your new family member is while capturing beautiful portraits.

Wardrobe: Baby skin is the best wardrobe for a newborn – no outfit fits a newborn well, and they often look swallowed in clothes. Accessories are good, though – little hats, dainty headbands, boys in crocheted hats, etc. Have sentimental items like the quilt that Grandma made for the baby, a baby blanket from your own childhood – they’re great for the youngster to lay on.

What to bring/How to prep: I have an entire prep guide dedicated to newborn sessions to help take away any stress from parents and allow us to capture those beautiful sleepy squishy newborn photos. Key points include when to feed baby, temperature of the house and what new parents should should wear.

Downtown Family Photo Session

Cute sisters hugging and smiling for the camera in black & white striped shirts. Copyright 2013 Kristen Carter Photography

When to schedule: I like to photograph children doing what they do best… being kids. It’s not necessary to have them be “posed”, I like to set them up in a spot, and get natural expressions and looks. Kids are at their best when they are rested and well fed, so just after a nap can be a good time for photos. Snacks and drinks are essential for keeping little ones motivated and content. I encourage you to allow your children to be themselves and I will capture the moments that make you love them. Having your children enjoy being photographed makes the session more enjoyable for everyone. We will make silly jokes, stupid faces and just generally be goofy! If you are wanting photos/cards back in time for a birthday party, consider scheduling well in advance. It’s not unheard of to photograph a “One Year Cake Smash” at 11 months old. (On the flip side, I’ve also photographed them at 14 months when life got hectic!)

What to bring: As stated above, snacks and drinks are encouraged. Clear, non-staining liquids are preferred and items such as cereal, fruit snacks or sliced fruit make great mid-session snacks. Depending on our session consult, we will determine additional props to fit a theme, but common items include a child’s favorite toy, stuffed animal or book. I also have many child sized chairs and props. For on location shoots with older babies, don’t forget, if your baby takes a pacifier, have it– if they’re bottle fed, bring an extra bottle! Baby wipes are great, and not just for babies! We can smooth hair, wipe away eye boogers, clean feet (sandals on kids = black feet!), wipe snotty noses or dust dirty hands. The cleaner the kid, the better their photos will turn out. Avoid bringing bribes to a photo shoot – it often backfires and causes meltdowns instead of encouraging good behavior. I always have my “magic” orange tic-tacs on hand, and will offer them as rewards when we are shooting and everyone is participating!

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. If your child is still in diapers or pull-ups, tuck’em in or wear bloomers. And one tip I’ve learned from our own photo experience last fall, avoid colorful drinks or lollypops within hours of your shoot, don’t let them eat or drink anything that will stain their face, teeth or mouths.

Family in purple and black with jeans

Love the coordination of this family’s outfits! Purple & black with punches of pattern and texture. Copyright 2013 Kristen Carter Photography


Family Portraits
When to schedule: Family portraits are a mix of posed and candid photos. The images with everyone looking and smiling are great and make perfect gifts for gramma, but my favorites are the ones where everyone is laughing, playing and showing off true personality. (And yes, that might be with the littlest one pouting.) Those are the moments you remember most, and the ones I work to capture. To get everyone at their happiest, think of the grumpiest member of your family and schedule around them! Maybe early morning, maybe after nap… If they don’t like the heat, avoid a late afternoon session in the summer. I am willing to schedule a session for whenever we will have a full happy family (even if it means sunrise!). Seasonally, the fall is when my calendar fills quickly. I often start booking October sessions in July. So, if you know you want to have photos for holiday cards, don’t wait to call. Book early. Conversely, summertime in Gilbert, AZ is often slower. So, if you have a whim for an early morning splash pad session, feel free to email and I can often work it in last minute.

Wardrobe: Women know what to wear, but in general, unless you are extremely thin you may want to wear something that covers your upper-arms. If you wear jewelry, aim for subtlety, and be aware of it twisting or turning. Find an outfit for you first. One that makes you feel comfortable and confident! Coordinate the other family members to you, rather than coordinating everyone else and then throwing something on last minute. Pamper yourself a little, you deserve it! Men, 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/mom tells you to wear. Again you don’t have to perfectly match the rest of the family, just wear something that coordinates. And be sure to clean up your shoes, they will show. 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.

What to bring: Same items as the children’s sessions; family sessions have little to no props as the focus is on your connection, relationships and emotions.


Vintage country Senior girl in boots

Senior girl in cowboy boots & vintage lace sweater. Copyright 2013 Kristen Carter Photography

High school seniors

When to schedule: Most schools have deadlines for yearbook photo submission. so before scheduling a session, find out that deadline. if your school has an in-house studio to take care of the yearbook photo then your only timeframe is for getting announcements out or showing off your memories to your friends! Fall is lovely for the bright colors of AZ trees and landscapes, Winter gives us the cool down and is perfect for sweaters, jeans and more outfit options, Spring is usually when caps & gowns come in, making those formal photos possible. If you any decide, I have options for multiple sessions over the course of Senior year, including Prom Night Paparazzi,
just ask!

What to bring: Bring props that recall your high school years – band instrument, sports gear like a volleyball or baseball bat, your beloved (or cursed) high school car, letter jacket, sunglasses. Most of all, rep your style, whatever that may be. Your senior photo should be unique to your life and personality.

Wardrobe: Bring a variety of outfits – cap and gown, something casual, something stylish, ladies slip a dress in there to throw folks off, fellas try a formal look to impress. Wear what you think you look best in, but take the opportunity to also try a new look, just to surprise folks. Bring more outfits than you think you’ll need and don’t forget the accessories. We will mix, match and play dress up! My biggest tips for seniors are to have an even tan, don’t get sunburned, clean (and/or freshly-paint those nails), and moisturize and scrub away dry skin. Professional hair and makeup is encouraged (plus its fun!)

A few general tips for any portrait session
Hair – If getting a hair cut for your shoot, do so about two weeks beforehand, just in case it goes wrong – you just never know. Bring bobby pins, hair clips, headbands or any other favorite accessories for yourself or the kids. For men, a fresh cut a couple of days before the shoot is perfectly fine.

Glasses – If folks wouldn’t recognize you without glasses, you want to wear glasses in your shoot – however, the glare on glasses can detract from your eyes in photos. You can have your lenses removed from your frames for your shoot (don’t worry, it’s what Hollywood does to avoid glare in movies), ask your eye doctor to loan you a pair of similar frames, or you can also visit an inexpensive company online like Zenni Optical and buy a suitable pair of duplicate frames on the cheap.

Lips – You will probably wipe or lick your lips during your shoot, so bring fresh lip gloss or lipstick to do touch-up. Use lip balm for a few days in advance of your shoot to make your smoochers look their best.

Make-up – A subtle application of make-up can really soften your skin and accent your facial features. But make sure you know what you’re doing, and make sure it matches your skin tone, or your face may look orange compared to the rest of your body. Professional makeup application is always an option, and I have a list of who to call should you decide to go with it.

Facial hair – Men, be freshly shaved with a new razor, shaving cream and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to avoid bumps and redness. Trim up your board, sideburns, moustache or goatee, especially looking for wiry stray hairs.

Nails – A fresh coat of nail polish will make a world of difference in your photo shoot. Pick a neutral color that won’t distract in your shoot or clash with your outfits. Freshen the morning of the shoot, then be careful not to scuff it while prepping. [I see this most often with high school senior girls, to whom half-gone nail polish seems to be a popular fad.] Your photo shoot is a great excuse for a fresh manicure, but if you can’t go to the salon, make sure your nails look tidy and clean.

Undergarments – Bra straps won’t do anything to help your outfit look its best. Be sure you bring a set of bras and strap-adjusting accessories to work with any outfit you want to shoot in to keep those straps well-hidden.

Sun burns and tan lines – If your shoot is booked for Saturday, don’t go to the beach on Friday. An unintentional sunburn can be fixed in post-processing depending on the severity.

Shoes – Ladies, can’t go wrong in heels or wedges. Men, clean’em up! Dress shoes are best, but as with most things, let your momma or your wife decide. Barefoot is usually an option as well depending on location.
Use the contact tab if you have further questions, and I’ll be happy to answer!

There are really only 7 steps to a fun and awesome photo session experience with Kristen Carter Photography. As a professional photographer, my goal is to make your role as easy and as fun as possible! The steps are written as a guide for family photos, but also apply to children’s, maternity or high school senior photography. So grab some popcorn, and have fun learning about the KCP experience.

1. View my portfolio, if you haven’t already. Most people have an idea of what style they like, and whether or not I fit that style is the perfect first step. I tend to shoot for real emotion, capturing the silly candids as often as the posed smiles. My sessions can lean towards vintage in styling and processing, or I can stick to classic colors for a timeless appeal. What you won’t find are boring blank backgrounds, fake forced faces, or “awkward family photos”… You will find fun, lively and high quality photographic art to be cherished for years to come.

2. Contact me! Either via the “contact” button, or by calling me at 209-303-5318. Our first conversation will be about getting to know you! Who’s in your family? What special moment are we photographing? Am I available for the date you are thinking? (Keep in mind, I tend to schedule 1-2 months in advance, so call early to schedule the best dates!) Once we’ve spoken, I will email you with my full session guide that includes all session types and basic pricing information. We will also set up a complimentary pre-session consultation at this time.

3. The pre-session consultation! We will meet up for coffee/tea/cupcakes and go over everything in more detail. (If you are out of state, Skype is a great tool for us, although there’s no cupcakes…) This is the time that I find out exactly what you are looking to get out of your photos. Kids are always welcome at a consult, I’m happy to bring along coloring pages, and meet the littles of your family. We discuss clothing, styling, location (including whether the session will be at your home or on location) wall art, poses, pricing, collections and lots of other details to make each session truly unique and customized. I’ve found that these consults really put us on the same page to create beautiful art that you will love looking at day after day. I ask lots of questions about your family’s likes and hobbies, places you go, things that make your kids laugh, or any limitations/differences that a family member may have that we need to accommodate. It is also your chance to get to know me and ask any questions that you have.

4. Reserve your date. Once the consult is complete and we have selected a date/time/location, all clients fill out the portrait agreement form and pay the session fee. A date/time is not reserved without these 2 items. As I am a boutique photographer, I do not have a high volume of sessions and I focus my energy on each family’s session by only scheduling 2-3 sessions per week. By promptly remitting your session fee and agreement, you are reserving that specific date/time in my calendar.

5. The big day! On the date of your session/event, I will arrive 15-20 minutes early to your home or our location; setup any props or equipment, adjust lighting and prep for your arrival. Plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early so that the kids can settle in, meet me (if they haven’t yet) and get some of the sillies started! Depending on the mood when they hop out of the car, we will either jump right into photos if they are cheesy and yelling, “hey take my picture!” or warm up a little more if they’re shy and hiding behind your leg. I always follow the kids’ lead. My biggest advice for the day of the photos is to just relax and have fun. If you stress, they will stress. If you sit back, relax and just go with the flow, the kids will follow. Plus, the more fun we have, the better your photos will be. There’s always a mix of posed and candid shots in a session, and I WILL make a giant fool of myself if it means getting a real smile from a client. These are not school photos! We aim for real life! Approximately 45 min-1.5 hrs of shooting, we are wrapped; kids (and husbands) don’t often last much longer than that, lol.

6. Photo Premiere… Viewing and ordering your photos. At the end of your photo session, we will set a day for your big premiere! Your homework will be to go home, and think about which wall we are going to turn into your gallery, measure it and send me a photo (cell phone is ok). Usually 7-10 days after your session depending on your schedule, I will arrive at your home, bearing snacks and treats, plus my samples to show you what your art can look like. We will get comfy somewhere in your home, and I will show you a slideshow of your beautiful family. Then we will go through the images individually selecting your favorites and putting together a wall display or album to really show off your photos. I will have samples of professional prints, canvases, books and boutique items on hand for you to see/feel. To make things flexible, my portrait collections do not have set products, and instead offer you savings based on the size of your wall gallery or album purchase. I offer the awesome ability to take a photo of your walls and input various size prints/canvases to show you exactly what it will look like, taking away any guess work or apprehension you may have. All orders are finalized at this time, with full payment or payment plan arrangements being made before I leave your home.

7. Order & Delivery. I am hands on in every step of the process, including delivery of your purchased wall art. I will personally wrap and deliver your package to you within the timeframe discussed at your premiere, usually with a couple extra treats in the packaging. If there are products being shipped to out of town family, simply let me know and I will wrap them separately for easy shipping. My goal in this process is to make it as easy as possible for you!

Please feel free to email me with any additional questions that you may have about a session, or contact me today to schedule your consultation!