WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR family LIFESTYLE SESSION at home
You have booked your family session! When people ask me what they need to do to prepare, my answer is always, "Nothing!"
But I know you may have a few questions so here is some information to help you feel prepared and at ease.
When I first arrive: I will be checking out various rooms in your home to see which ones are the best for shooting lifestyle images. The rooms I generally focus on for lifestyle photos are the master bedroom, children's bedrooms and the living room/family room, but I have shot in kitchens, dining rooms, and even bathrooms! Any room with good light is a candidate, by which I mean rooms with good natural light. If the weather is in our favour, we may go into the garden or outdoor space for some shots. I will not use any artificial lighting other than my flash (very rare), so there is no need to turn on any lamps or overhead lights.
Moving Furniture/Other Items: Depending on the layout of your home and the location of the windows, I may need to move some furniture around to achieve appropriate lighting for your family’s images. I might also move some other things around while shooting (e.g. opening curtains and raising blinds, moving books and clocks off a nightstand, or moving nappies and wipes off the top of the changing table). I promise I will put everything back as it was before I leave! Don’t feel obligated to deep clean your home before I come over. You might want to take a few moments to tidy up the rooms where you think we are most likely to be shooting, putting away items that you don’t want to see in your images (e.g. boxes of nappies, baby gear and gifts that are not being used, etc.). Beyond that, I love to capture your home and your family just as you are!
Parents’/Siblings’ Clothes: Neutrals such as cream, taupe, gray, black, etc. generally photograph best, so I recommend simple, classic outfits for your family that complement each other. Go with a style you are comfortable with and that is “you”, but also keep in mind not wanting to overshadow the baby with too many prints and bright colors. (Bright colors also cause color casts that are sometimes difficult to remove during editing). Logos, characters, slogans, pictures, etc. on clothing should be avoided because they distract from your family’s beautiful faces. For men (and often for women too), long trousers generally photograph better than shorts. Try to choose clothes that flatter your body type for the best results. Clothes should also be comfortable and easy to move around in so that your lifestyle images will look natural and reflect your true personalities.
BITS AND BOBS
Props: My style is very simple and classic so I do not generally use many props. However, I love to use items that have special significance to my clients, so if you have a particular item that you’d like to use (e.g. knitted hat or blanket, family quilt, stuffed toy with sentimental value), please feel free to bring it out so we can incorporate it during the shoot.
Length of Session: A family lifestyle session usually takes 1-2 hours. Please don’t worry if it goes longer — our goal is to get the best possible photos, and I will stay as long as it takes to get a nice variety of shots.
Posing/Directing by Photographer: I will do some directing in order to ensure that the light is flattering but I also like to capture some unscripted moments, so don’t be surprised when I am clicking away during an improptu moment. Those images are often my favorites!
What if my children are fussy?
Please don’t worry – we can stop for snacks or breaks as often as needed. Try not to get flustered or anxious if the kids become fussy at some point during the shoot. As a mum/step-mum of three, I’m very familiar with babies, children and how they operate!
After the Session: My turnaround time is about two weeks. I carefully select and hand edit each image in your gallery so that they look their best. When editing is completed, I will send you a link to an online gallery where you can download the high resolution files and share them with family and friends and on social media if you choose. I will also blog your session on my photography blog website and share a few of my favorites from our session on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/essensphotography). If we are FB friends I will tag you, if not please feel free to tag yourself. I also really appreciate it when clients share my posts on their Facebook pages.
I’m looking forward to a meeting you and your little one!