Rooting Out the Story
Don’t worry, there isn’t a quiz – this is for you to consider on your own when planning your session. What story is it that you want to tell? Who are you – and what about that wonderful person do you want to reflect in the images we create together? Taking a few minutes to go deeper than, “I want updated family photos” and to bring true intention into your session can make a powerful difference in the outcome. Remember this is not about setting expectations of yourself or your family, it’s not about getting the perfect shot (more on that later) or creating an illusion – it’s about tapping into the feelings of love, connection, sometimes even struggles and triumph, that make us unique.
Finding the Light
As an experienced photographer, I can shoot in most lighting situations. However, we can make more magical results when we plan around the light. For outdoor sessions, this is fairly straight forward, shooting as close to sunset as possible is ideal. If you are planning a session in your home or at another indoor location, I encourage you to spend some time observing the light in different spaces, and what times light comes through most clearly.
Also, never fear a cloudy or gloomy day. We call this diffused light, and it makes for stunning results.
Get the Shot
I mention all over this site that I do not enjoy over-directing sessions, or aiming for perfection. That does not mean I don’t love working with you to create the shots you envision – I just don’t want to break your family to achieve it. If you want to put together a pinterest board of pose ideas that you would love to try, absolutely go for it and share it with me before your session so I can come prepared! What I ask is that you consider it a guide, play with the ideas, and laugh through it.
Props are bad. Yep. Props imply items that are included as disconnected things, not a part of the story. Instead of props, I encourage you to plan activities. If you love to make art, don’t bring a easel and a paintbrush that you will awkwardly hold to approximate what an artist looks like. Make the art, get messy.
This does not apply to Magic & Muse sessions, which are often concepts developed around a cool prop. Some types of props that I celebrate and love, however, are sentimental & heirloom items that you want incorporated intentionally – and things like hats, toys, blankets – that can help add visual interest without feeling out of place.
Additionally, animals are not props. If you have animals in your life, big or small (I’ve worked with everything from rats & snakes to cows & horses!) that you want to include in your session, let’s work around their comfort and safety – but absolutely, 100%, yes we can include them if they are yours, and loved, and worth remembering. If you want to bring your dog (or other pet) to an on-location shoot, I recommend having someone else bring either be there to bring your animal home after we do some shots with them, or to bring them towards the end of your session.