Session Prep Guide​

Your session is coming up so I wanted to give you a few important tips so you’ll be all ready!
this entire page, bookmark it, and read it again if needed 🙂 Please share this with all adults who will be at the session.

Give Yourself Time!
Leave plenty of time to get ready! Have outfits steamed/ironed and laid out the day before or that morning and add on an extra 30-60 minutes to however long you think getting ready will take. Plan to show up early to the location to ensure you aren’t rushing. If everyone is relaxed and happy, that’s how the session will be! Keep calm and try not to get annoyed with anyone for going slow, remember the point of this day is to enjoy your family!

Be Well-Rested and Fed
Don’t have a super active day on the day of your session. You don’t want your little ones to be all worn out by the time we even start. We are likely meeting in the afternoon and closer to dinner time, and you don’t want tired and cranky kids. I also suggest making sure you eat with enough time to get dressed and ready, it is extra important that no one is hangry! And don’t forget to brush teeth and wipe faces!

A Note on Snacks
If you think you will need some snacks for the little ones at some point during the session, then definitely bring some! Just make sure it’s a non-messy snack that won’t get stuck in their teeth (bad idea=goldfish crackers). Mini marshmallows are great because they dissolve easily. Fruit snacks are also gone quickly. Apple slices & grapes are some great non-messy and healthy snacks. Just make sure to hide them and not bring them out unless needed. Also bringing water, especially on a hot day or a location that involves some walking, is a super smart idea. And please do not bring lollipops along or anything that takes a long time to eat unless you want your kids to be holding/ eating it in all your photos 😂.  Also, please no gum or anything that takes a
while to chew!

Let The Kids Be Kids
A photo session is not time to enforce rules.

family of 5 is smiling and looking at each other during a family photo session in Loudoun County, VA
sister is hugging her brother on a couch with a dog during in home family session in loudoun county va

For our time together, try not to tell your kid “no” unless it’s a safety issue. If they don’t want to do something, we’ll try something else. If they forget to use their manners, let it go. Just for this one day! We are trying to get happy, natural smiles and fun interaction between you as a family. If one child is sad because he got yelled at by his parents, the session isn’t going to go well. You get to be the cool parents today. Go with it!

During Your Session Remember that the best photos come from interacting authentically with your family.
I will gently guide you when needed, but I want you to just be together as you would be at home snuggling on the couch or playing together at the park.If your kids are calmer and shyer, then let them be that. Snuggle them, stroke their faces, sway together. If they are more energetic then throw them in the air, go exploring together, play tag, tickle.Whatever is authentic to your family! Don’t be afraid to snuggle and dote on your child. Give someone a sweet kiss on the cheek. Look for rocks, flowers, or leaves together. Laugh. Giggle. Joke. Embrace. Smooch. Snuggle. Play. Doing these things will allow me to capture the emotion and true beauty of your family. If you ever aren’t sure what to do, just get close to someone and snuggle them.

Clothing -Things to avoid
Avoid anything neon, bright white (but off-white and cream are great), bright red, blue, or purple, and black as they don’t go very well with my editing style. No clothing with big logos
. Please don’t wear hoodies or turtlenecks.

The Little Details
Don’t forget to plan the outfits completely: the shoes, jewelry, undergarments, hats, etc. so you’re prepared on the day of the session. If it could potentially be cold, be sure to plan layers that will go well with your outfits. Consider getting a manicure the day before. Put on hand lotion before the session to avoid dry skin. Be conscious of glasses glare. If anyone wants to wear their glasses and they don’t have an antiglare coating (or if they are blue light blocking or bifocals) then it will definitely show up on camera. Set an appointment to get the lenses taken out for the day of your session (most places will do this for free) or grab some cheap readers that look similar to your glasses and pop the lenses out. If anyone wears a digital watch, please switch it out for a more timeless piece. Or for women, a bracelet that covers your tan line works, too. Digital watches really date your photos so please don’t wear them.