You've booked in and paid your session fee to lock in your date now it's time to make sure we capture exactly what you are wanting.
Take a look below to show you what decisions are best to make asap allowing you time to ask me any questions you may have and then you can let me know about what will make this session meaningful for you when you fill out your agreement form.
Who do you want to be photographed with?
Celebrate yourself and show the power of you.
Or have you just had a baby and you want to capture those first few days when they are all snuggly and sleepy having cuddles with mum and dad.
Or involve the whole family
Even invite the grandparents
Or discuss with the photographer to have an extended whanau session with all your brothers and sisters kids too
Where do you want to be photographed?
I choose to photograph my clients on location because our landscape is absolutely stunning and is very much a part of us as New Zealanders so why not celebrate that! When you look at your photos I want you to see your grandmas seat in the backyard, hear the sounds of your flowing river, feel the same love you felt when your husband proposed in your first home, so I encourage you include one of these places of importance in your session as they are a significant part of your special story. It’s a good idea to have a wet weather shelter option at the location or nearby just in case. Take the time to discuss different location options so we can find the perfect one for you.
What style of Session suits your whanau?
Not any one family is the same so I always discuss what style of session you would all feel most comfortable with Relaxed Lifestyle, Classic Traditional or real life Storyteller portraits.
Relaxed Lifestyle Portraits
This style is the most popular. I give you a little direction but then I let you interact together and do things you normally do to play and show love to eachother then I show you what I see. Less looking at the camera photography more looking at eachother. These sessions tend to show out a lot more amusement, engagement, bond and feelings.
Traditional Classic Portraits
These portraits are timeless. These are slightly more posed and more direction is given this tends to produce more clean cut studio style photographs. These include the most looking at the camera photos, which all depends on whether or not the models want to look.
This is real life as it’s happening. This style is undirected, I follow you doing something you love in your everyday life. It is taken to help you always be able to remember those people and those things you love doing together.
What to wear?
- Be comfy! Not trackies or puffer jacket comfortable, but a family photo shoot should be a relaxed and happy event.
- Think about what works best for you and your surroundings at your chosen location. Beaches aren’t great for stilettos.
- Coordinate, but don’t match – it’s not a rule to all wear the same white top in fact white and black are pretty boring in print and can sometimes over power a photo! Keeping all in light or all in dark tones is a great way to coordinate without it looking like a uniform. One pro-tip is to start with mum – if she wants to wear her favourite floral dress pull the different colours from it and build the rest of the family’s outfits from there.
- Fluros and Greens – Try avoid fluro colours they tend to cast a colour onto the skin, and try steer away from too much green if you are being photographed in green grassy or wooded areas.
- Layer, layer layer! Layers add dimension and depth. In the summer? Layer your dress with a cute belt and pendant necklace. In the fall and winter? cardigans, belts, statement necklaces, scarves, hats, blazers look much better than puffers.
- When it’s cold – I recommend wearing thermals under clothing especially for kids in the winter.
- Your faces are more important than the labels you are wearing, so avoid logos or too many heavy patterns.
- Make time to get yourself beautiful. The memories your photos record will be very special to your children so making sure you feel your best is important. Getting your hair and makeup done professionally or making sure you give yourself the time to do it means you won’t have to regret that wet mum bun later.
- Remember to take off any hairties jewellery you don’t want on yourself or the kids
- Bruises, scratches, and pimples will be retouched but chipped nail polish will not so clean it off or it’s an excuse for a fresh set.
- If you need some visuals just google family photography clothing and see what worked for others
What to bring along?
Be YOU! Capture yourself and your relationships as they are today. Wear and bring items that make you and your family feel good and those happy feelings will show in your photos. Your baby boy’s security teddy that he never parts with? Bring it. Grandma loves calla lilies? Pick some up on the way to the session. Your 2 year old girl that loves wearing tutus with dirt bike boots? Let her wear them. This is what makes your family one-of-a-kind!
- If you are bringing a pet please warn me so I know to include them for one or two shots and it’s best to have someone on hand to occupy them for the rest of the session.
- Water to keep you all hydrated.
- Easily cleaned snacks that won’t stain your clothes (a bib never goes a miss for the little ones), this can include your bribe food you may need to give the kids to participate.
- Baby wipes if you have any kids or husbands like mine.
Newborn extra tips
My style is relaxed lifestyle newborn portraits using your home as the backdrop, these are a little directed to get the best version of you all but they are not super posed like generic studio sessions. Let’s document you guys reading a book (and know it’s never to early to start reading to baby), or giving baby their first bath in the kitchen sink, breastfeeding in the rocker or just singing them lullaby’s on your bed. Let’s catch real memories!
- Have clean hands and nails as they feature a lot in close-ups holding baby.
- Keep the clothing plain and simple, no big logos or patterns and coordinate outfits of everyone but you don’t need to all be in the same colour just similar tones I find neutral colour tones work best at newborn sessions.
- If baby is going to be naked or just in a wrap make sure the room is very warm for them around 28 degrees is good you should feel sweaty in clothing.
- Have a heater for the room.
- Before the session feed baby half an hour before, undress and wrap loosely in blankets so we don’t have to undress baby when asleep and risk awaking them.
- As long as you are not opposed to dummies have one available to comfort baby in between feeds.
- White noise can help settle bubs you can download on your phone or play the static over the radio.
- If any other family wants to be involved in the shoot arrange with me before the shoot day for a good time for them to arrive (most likely after the first hour).
- We will photograph in the room with the best light at the time of the session so check in the days before at that time to pick a room or a good time.
- Your blankies can be used or tell me to bring a plain wrap if you don’t have one.
- 6-10 days is best for super curly sleepy photos and a little later within the first month is absolutely fine for them to be more awake and engaging with you.
- The nursery you have taken time to setup or the bassinet handed down through generations are examples of cool things we can include in a session, up to 3 prop/backdrop ideas is enough and I will use what goes best together on the day.
- I take a few standard everyone smile and look at me shots, but my portarits are more about your relationships with eachother, the love between you and the emotions in the room so there will be far more with you looking at eachother and baby.
- Rooms can be cleared of clutter or you can wait till I arrive
- We can photograph in one or more rooms so its a good idea to check the best time of day to get light in those rooms and book your session then two ends of the house may not work if they don’t get light at same time. If you need help figuring this out just ask as its quite important for natural light photography.
Maternity extra tips
- Mama dress in clingy or floaty dresses, if you want to expose baby’s bump then talk to me about what material you can buy to expose your puku if you don’t have a suitable outfit. Check my past clients in my pregnancy gallery and pinterest for inspiration .
- If you are wanting any photos in wraps, or partially nude wear loose or no underwear before so theres no marks and have nice underwear or skin coloured for the session.
- Make sure you bring water and snacks we will stop to let you rest because I remember how everything is more of an effort in that last trimester.
- Best time to book is usually 32-36 weeks but if you need sooner due to carrying larger or multi-baby births just let me know.
What if the kids play up?
DON’T PANIC, IT’S FINE!
Sometimes there’s just no way of avoiding it, and unless you are after old school every one has to look and smile at the camera the entire time then it really is no problem.
Hopefully we’ll be having fun, feeling relaxed and enjoying the time together, but if we need to have a little break or stop for a drink and a snack we can do.
There’s no pressure to rush it. The loud, moody, messy photos are often the most memorable and show just as much, if not more, character than the happy, smiley ones.
This is also a great reason most whanau tend to enjoy the lifestyle and Storyteller sessions a lot more because you are all just having fun doing something your family enjoys instead of being made to sit still for the strange lady with the big black camera.
How will you display your artwork?
Professional portraits deserve pride of place in your home, and I have unique tailored products for every taste, lifestyle and budget.
If you would like to see what certain photo sizes will look like on your walls I can show you! Take a photo looking straight on with an A4 piece of paper stuck the spot you would like a print, make sure to include the entire wall floor to ceiling if possible is best, sofas, tables etc… are fine left in it will show what the room will look like with your new art pieces.
You can choose from digitals, prints, canvas, frames, and albums. Make sure you look through and discuss pricing so you can start planning what may suit your budget and we can tailor the session depending on it’s more important to photograph a series for a book or single standout images to fill a frame alone. Custom products are available just get in touch if there is a look you have envisioned. See Pricing
If you have read through and have some answers now you are ready to fill in your Agreement Form and let me know how to start planning for your day
CLICK HERE to go to the Agreement Form now or just come back later, the sooner you get it in the better!