Photos are an amazing way to celebrate what makes you so unique and capture happy memories. But for some people, the thought of taking photos can sound more stressful than enjoyable. With a bit of preparation, your day can be as casual as a picnic, and a rewarding experience.
With a skilled, knowledgable photographer behind the lens, a photogenic location, and a bit of thoughtful preparation, it can be a great experience that rewards you with gorgeous photos. As your photographer, I’ll provide you with beautiful portraits that capture all of the friendship, fun, and love. (And I’ll help you have fun while doing it!)
My outdoor setting is great for making your portrait session an adventure, splashing through a creek or sailing through the air on a rope swing are awesome ways to get real smiles. Or maybe just wandering down a dusty road and smelling wildflowers is more your speed?
As any person knows, taking hours at a time to pose for photos is no easy task! Photo sessions can seem a bit daunting. But with some preparation and a lot of patience, your photo session can be an enjoyable experience for everyone. Here’s how you can make sure your photo session is stress-free. If you are having multiple people come to your photo session, please consider their needs before the session.
Prep in advance
Tell your guests about the photoshoot well ahead of time. Tell them what to expect. Let them know how much you’re looking forward to it and why you’re doing it. If you’re excited, they’ll definitely catch your enthusiasm! This is especially important for kids.
Let them be involved
Include your guests in the planning process. Ask them what colors they think they should wear. Help them pick out an outfit, either from their closet or at the store. When people feel involved, they’re much more willing to participate.
Make sure you’re well prepared for photoshoot day. Bring along a change of clothes, comfortable shoes, plenty of snacks, something to drink, insect repellant, sunscreen, towels, makeup, etc. That way, even if the unexpected happens, you’ll be ready for it!
Make it fun
Make photoshoot day a special occasion! Bring along snacks to keep their energy up. Plan on doing something fun after the session so you and your guests look forward to the outing all day. A stop at Apple Hill is always a nice option!
The Best Times for your photo session
Timing is always important to consider when it comes to photography. Timing can be the difference between a frustrating session and an enjoyable, memorable photoshoot. So when is the best time to have your family photo session?
During nice weather
If you’re planning on having an outdoor photoshoot, try to schedule it during pleasant weather. If it’s too hot outside, you might all feel sweaty and uncomfortable. If it’s too cold, you will be anxious and your guests might complain — and their irritation will likely show through in photos. No matter the season, just be sure to plan accordingly. Bring plenty of layers if it’s cold outside, and wear breathable fabrics if it’s warm. Luckily during warm days splashing around in the creek is a very fun activity!
Snack before your session
Make sure you and your guests are well-fed before the photoshoot. If they’re hungry, they might start to get a little hangry. If you’re planning on going to dinner after the photoshoot, have a healthy snack before the session and pack along a few extra snacks just in case.
Nothing makes people grouchy and uncooperative like being tired. Be sure you and your guests get plenty of rest before your photo session. If you or the kids are feeling a bit mediocre, we can take your session more casually and a relaxing stroll is always a good way to get everyone in a better mood.
During the Golden Hour
The best time for natural lighting is either two hours before sunset or after sunrise. However, if neither of those times is ideal for you, let us know. As an experienced photographer I can shoot beautiful photos at any time of day with proper planning.
When it comes to couples or family portraits, one of the most common questions I get is, “What should we wear?” It’s a tricky decision! Since these photos will last a lifetime, you want to make sure everyone looks as good as possible. But at the same time, you also want them to look like yourselves — not wearing stuffy clothes that make you feel uncomfortable. If you can rock formal clothes, great! If formal dress isn’t for you, there’s lots of casual options. I always recommend wearing clothing that makes you feel and look your best, which can be different for every person. Here are a few other wardrobe suggestions that photograph beautifully.
Coordinating is great, matching is dated
Make sure your outfits coordinate well with one another. Stick to a color palette of one or two colors. Matching outfits can look a little dated — coordinated outfits look harmonious and pretty. To make sure all of your outfits go well together, try laying out everyone’s photoshoot outfits together the day before.
Let your guests feel involved
Ask your guests what they’d like to wear. Asking their opinions will help to make sure they feel comfortable and involved. (Just make sure they know their picks are subject to your final approval — otherwise, you might have sweatpants in your family portraits!)
Dress for the season
Keep an eye on the weather forecast and make sure you dress accordingly. Choose colors that are appropriate for the season. And if it’ll be chilly during your photoshoot, be sure to bundle up a bit! Great portraits can be captured even on rainy days, with proper planning.
Things to avoid
While what you decide to wear is ultimately up to you and your guests, there are a few things that tend not to photograph well.
• Patterns: one or two people wearing a pattern is okay, but too many patterns tend to clash and draw too much attention.
• White: wearing all white tends to wash people out. It also gets dirty easy in the forest.
• Large logos: graphic tees tend to distract from the most important part of the photo — your beautiful faces! Logos will often date photos later, so stick to things that are timeless if possible.
Although many places in the forest necessitate having reasonable mobility, that doesn't mean you are excluded if you have a mobility issue. Please let me know your specific abilities and I'll tailor a photo session to fit. People on the autism spectrum or other neurodivergence are always welcome, however advanced discusssion is always appreciated so I may make sure your sessions is the best I can be. My goal is to make everyone feel included and they remember their session as a great experience. Whenever possible, I will make reasonable accommodations; discussing your needs ahead of your session allows me to make those accommodations.