Do you have a studio location?
No. I only shoot on-location. I can come to your home or any location you choose (indoor or outdoor). This saves you the hassle of waiting at a studio and forcing your child to sit in front of a backdrop and in uncomfortable surroundings.
What if I don’t have anywhere in my house that you could shoot the session?
Typically I will find places for pictures that you wouldn’t even consider. I have so many clients that ask this question, then end up being very surprised once they see their proofs. The mainthing to remember is that we want the focus on the people rather than the surroundings, so the background is often irrelevant. I take a lot of close up shots, and often use settings that blur the background (allowing the subject to stand out more). People also worry that their house is too small – that is not an issue. We don’t need much room. If you really have a genuine concern, please address it specifically with me, and we will work through it. Weather permitting, we can always shoot outdoors – even in the snow!
So I have to hire a cleaning crew before you arrive at my home?
Haha. NO. Please remember, I’m a parent, too. I know the reality of life. I’ve had sessions in the middle of remodeling, piles of laundry, and toys. I’m so laid back that none of that bothers me, so don’t drive yourself crazy getting your house ready before I come over.
What does it mean to be a natural light photographer?
I do not use flash or studio lighting. I use whatever light source is available in your home or from outdoor light coming in. This is just one other way to allow your photographs to really look natural. We can work with anything from morning sun through evening light.When I come to your home, I find places that use the natural light well and go from there.
What will our session be like?
Before our session, we will have a consultation either by email or by phone to discuss where you’d like your session to take place. For most clients this will be their home, But there are many other choices as well. On the day of our session, that’s when the fun begins! You can consider me to be your “mommy’s helper” for our time together. I want your session to feel like a playdate! Since I use only beautiful, natural light, I will most likely take a few minutes when I arrive to scope out where the “sweet light” falls in your home. Don’t be surprised if it’s in an unlikely spot. Then it will be time to get down to business—and that means play time! To elicit those genuine expressions that you know and love, your child needs to be engaged in something genuinely interesting. Sitting still and “cheesing” for the camera does not fall into that category. We might pull out a favorite toy or book, or chat about their favorite movie. From my own experience as a mother, I know many children behave much differently when parents are not in the room (this usually applies to kids over 2). When mom or dad is there, some children feel they have to perform for the camera, or do just the opposite by not cooperating to show you who’s in charge. If this sounds like your child, feel free to step outside of the room and fold some laundry, or just have a cup of tea or make some phone calls. Like I mentioned before, I’m there to play with your child, so enjoy the break!
What about newborns?
Newborn sessions are intimate and quiet by their very nature. This is not the time to invite extended relatives over, nor is it the time to get “just one shot with Aunt Pat.” Your newborn session will be focused solely on your new baby and maybe a few shots with mommy and daddy. Newborn sessions can last 4-5 hours. I allow plenty of time for nursing, changing diapers and putting your sweet one to sleep. Newborns grow and change at a phenomenal rate. Because of this, the critical time period to photograph your newborn is within the first 2 weeks of life, preferably before day 7. After this time period, it becomes much more difficult to create those womb-like, sleeping shots that we all love.
What about families?
As you may have noticed, I have a very casual style of family photography. I often tell clients “Go have fun and pretend I’m not even here!” I’m not looking for you to sit smiling, legs crossed, head tilted, poised for camera. I’m looking to capture those intimate moments you experience every day as a family. I often ask the dads to give piggy-back rides, or have siblings play ring-around-the-rosey. Again, its all about having fun and enjoying yourself. Notice a trend?
How can I help my child cooperate?
I really do like the kids to be themselves. It shows their true spirit in the pictures. That said, we would all like some nice pictures of our children being happy and not throwing a fit! Here’s the thing…kids listen to other adults better than they do their own parents. Who knows why, but they do. When a toddler or child is having a rough time, I often encourage the parents to step away a bit. We just talk and play and I keep them at ease. I can sneak in some great pictures this way.
What clothing is best?
Bottom line, what you wear is up to you, but here are a few pointers. White tends to wash out light colored skin, and can add too much contrast against dark colored skin. Bare feet look more natural and relaxed in general. Long sleeves are typically more flattering for adults, while kids look great with bare arms. Groups look best in similar styles or colors. Most of my clients choose
casual everyday clothes over dressing up so that the photographs truly reflect who they are. Please refer to my what to wear guide for some great ideas and tons of my favorite online shops.
What if we are looking for formal portraits?
I encourage you to take a look at my website galleries and blog before scheduling a session. You will see that I maintain a casual style. My goal is to capture natural expressions, not forced smiles. If you are looking for studio portraits or backdrops, I can recommend a few studios.