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capturing your everday moments
what to expect
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frequently asked questions
quick and easy answers to questions I often get
if you have a question not on this list, please feel free to contact me
My style of photography can be described as somewhere between documentary and “lifestyle.” After discussing your family's unique personality and how you want to spend quality time together, I will come and photograph life as it unfolds. No stress. No worries. If I show up and your son is in his Superman jammies and his sister is refusing to eat her pb&j, perfect!
Often, I start each Photo Experience with 15-20 minutes of more structured posing but encourage you to relax and make it authentic to you. For example, everyone will pile up on the couch and we’ll play some games to get everyone to interact.
I encourage you to think about this time as quality time with your family. How do you want to spend time with them? What special date or outing would you like to plan? Or would like to just go about your regular day and routine?
I understand that it can feel a bit awkward and intimidating to be “normal” when you have your own personal paparazzi nearby, so it may be best to have a few general activities in mind. I encourage you to think about the things you do now that makes your family feel like yours.
• Cook or bake together?
• Play family board games? Nerf gun battles?
• Put your game colors on and watch football together?
• Enjoy time at the park or playing in the backyard?
• Cannonballs in the pool?
• Read books together?
• Are there certain meals or restaurants that hold a lot of meaning for your family?
Or is the beauty of your day found in the simple moments of caring for children? Changing diapers, putting on shoes (again!), brushing hair and teeth, or taking a bath?
Sounds kinda fancy and intimidating right?! For me, the term ‘documentary’ used to always conjure up images of war hospitals or starving children. Definitely not warm-and-fuzzy family photos.
But in its most basic definition, documentary work is created without any interaction with or intervention by the photographer. The photographer is there to purely observe and document moments as they naturally unfold. Stepping into your world and quietly becoming part of your day.
This doesn’t mean your session has to be completely unplanned. For example, if reading to your children is something you value and do with them every day, you could plan to read to them at some point during our time together.
These are similar styles. They both produce candid, un-posed images, but lifestyle photography is a bit more orchestrated and planned. A photographer selects a beautiful location with great light and has the couple/family interact with each other in front of the camera.
Continuing with the example of reading to your child, with lifestyle photography you may hear something along the lines of “Read Goodbye Moon to your daughter in that big chair over by the window.” Documentary family photography allows moments to unfold naturally, without direction, suggestion, or interference.
It isn’t about one being “better” than the other. It’s all about what you like and what you’re goals are for the pictures. There is a wide range of photographic shooting styles and editing preferences; from traditional, posed, look-at-the-camera-images to lifestyle to documentary and everything in between.
During a session, I will switch back and forth between quiet observer, energetic cheerleader, and posing guide with the ultimate goal being authentic portraits of you and your family.
A portion of our time together at the beginning of your session will be more strategically organized and directed. For example, everyone sits on the couch together laughing and/or looking at the camera. Or you gather together as a family under a large tree in your yard. These "camera aware" photos will not be the focus of the session, however.
Documentary-Lifestyle family photography can take place any time of year! If you’re interested in something with a holiday theme, you could plan a specific activity such as egg dying, pumpkin carving, Christmas tree decorating, etc.
I have found that to capture true, authentic moments it takes time, so longer sessions are key to everyone relaxing and being themselves. Typical family sessions take 2 hours. But again, this is quality time with your family. Not just a photo shoot.
Don’t panic! You probably all have something in your closets right now that would be great! Here are a few suggestions though:
1. Wear what makes you feel comfortable. You don’t want to be pulling and tugging on a skirt or having your kids/hubby miserable in slacks and a button up shirt if it isn’t their thing.
2. Choose outfits that reflect everyone’s personality. Or let your kids choose. If you’re a jeans-and-t-shirt kinda girl, go with that. If you prefer sundresses, rock it. My kids currently live in their “fast clothes,” aka non-matching neon-colored athletic wear. I kinda cringe, but this is how I will remember this phase of their life.
3. There is no need to match or coordinate outfits between family members. If this is your style, then, by all means, go for it!
4. In fact, I would avoid having everyone dress alike! For example, everyone in white shirts and jeans. This was a super popular style decades ago, and will make your photos look dated.
5. If possible, would avoid shirts or clothing with logos or large graphics.
6. Neutral colors are more timeless. Grays, browns, beige, white, black, etc.
It might make you feel a bit rattled, but it won’t bother me at all! This, to me, is one of the biggest benefits of documentary family photography. In a traditional, posed photo shoot, this would be a BIG problem. But when you are capturing what this stage of your life actually looks and feels like, meltdowns are a part of that. So, yes, I will pick up my camera and shoot through those tears. Often, these pictures are favorites!
I do have Collection options that include high-resolution digital files of the Full Gallery. So, yes, you can have all the digitals!
I also believe that your life and memories should exist in print! Who knows if, in 20 years, those jpgs will be lost to the digital world forever! For this reason, I highly encourage all my clients to print your pictures in one way or another. You are preserving your family’s history!
As a mom, I know how nutso life is Every. Single. Day. I want to make it easy for you to make sure your pictures are printed so that they can be physically seen and enjoyed for generations to come. Let me handle the print, canvas, album, and holiday card orders for you. You just tell me what you need, and I’ll make it happen. I can even handle the custom framing and installation!
Your memories deserve to be in print, preserved for future generations. Not lost on a hard drive!
I work with a professional print lab to ensure that your images are printed true-to-color on quality, archival materials. You won’t get this same quality from drug-store printing. Let me help you print your images so that they will hold up for generations to come!
I also work with you to help you decide what size and type of product works best to showcase your family images. Maybe a Fine Art Metal grouping or custom album is just what you need!