now that you're booked in, you're probably asking yourself, "now what?"
I've created this guide to give you some tips and tricks to help you prepare. But don't worry, I'm with you every step of the way!
preparing for the shoot
The day of the shoot, we want everyone to be as stress-free as possible! Make sure you have all of your outfits prepared and ready the day before. If you're wearing something from my Client Closet, I suggest wearing something easy to get in an out of as you will be changing on site. Don't worry I have a pop-up changing tent for privacy! If the kiddos have already been a handful that day, don't worry! Children pick up on our vibes, so try your best not to scold them for anything on the way to the shoot.
Let's be real, it's almost ALWAYS the Mama that books the sessions and the ones that I have all the communication with prior to the shoot. So, often Dads can get what I call the "grumpy Dad syndrome " haha, where they kind of feel like they're being dragged to the shoot and are just "showing up". This can bring down the whole vibe of your session. Try to have your spouse involved in the process(whatever gender they are), so whether that's helping with outfits or just getting the kids jazzed up! It also helps to remind that this is supposed to be fun! Have funs with the kids, love on each other like you would if I wasn't there!
On the drive to the shoot, keep it nice and light! Tell jokes, have fun. I advise against saying things like "you better behave" or "no iPad/toys if you don't smile", or anything of the sort. This can really bring children down and we just want them to be their happy selves.
If you've got little ones, its always a good idea to bring mess free snacks to eat on the way or even during the shoot. Goldfish crackers are usually a hit with most kids! If possible, for babies we can plan your shoot according to nap times to prevent crankiness. It always good to bring wipes along with you as well for messy faces and boogies! And of course don't forget the diapers!
For the older kids, if they have a tablet/gameboy or phone, please make sure they leave it in the car. It will almost always be a distraction, especially if it's in their pocket. Older kids can sometimes have a hard time "loosening up", so it's a great idea to involve them when picking their outfit if you can to make them feel included and looking amazing. If they're not wearing something from my Client Closet, have them try their outfit on ahead of time and tell them how great they look! Try to make them laugh, be silly! Older kids can still be tickled and loved on!
during the shoot
I know I keep saying don't worry haha, but I really mean it! Just focus on LOVING each other. Have fun, be silly, be INTIMATE. With little ones especially it's easy to fall into parent mode and start stressing because you know you only have so much time, plus you're investing your hard earned money after all! So while it is hard, I really encourage parents not to say things like this to the kids "don't do that!" "sit still" "smile" "say cheese" "don't hit your brother", things like that, because in my experience it ALWAYS has adverse affects. While we definitely don't want the kids running around like chickens with their heads cut off, it will be okay! I will do all of the directing. My prompts and directions will mostly be aimed at the kids as they will need the most direction. If I'm having a hard time getting their attention, I will ask for help from you parents! Some of the shots I do will be posed, and others will be just prompted. I do a unique combination! I'm all about hugs and kisses, you do not need to wait for me to say "give so and so a kiss", if you're feeling it, do it! Parents especially! A lot of times we can stiffen up being in front of a camera, but I beg you to trust me! A lot of times when I'm doing the more lifestyle shots, I will say "okay now just interact with each other", this means exactly how it sounds! Do your normal stuff, talk to each other, brush the hair out of your daughters face, give your son a tickle, do a big bear hug, run and play, all the things! If I need you to move or adjust you, I'll let ya know!
In the event that the kids are absolutely miserable, kicking and screaming and just NOT having it, we can discuss rescheduling for a different day, all of which is laid out in your contract. We want your photos to turn out the absolute best!