Hi, I'm Laura! I want your portrait experience to be one you enjoy. From planning your wardrobe to receiving your gallery I will guide you every step of the way.
family portrait session Experience
After you inquire about a session I will contact you to set up a time to chat about your wants and needs for your session.
After we have you scheduled we will start planning your wardrobe. A variety dresses for mom's and girls are available for use during all sessions. Please contact me to view specific sizes for girls. Styling appointments are available for you to try on dresses before your session.
I am available throughout the entire process to help you shop online or choose items from your closet that will compliment each other.
When choosing colors for your outfits selecting lighter, neutral tones and more muted shades will work better with my light and airy editing. Bright, bold, dark or neon colors are distracting and take the focus away from where it should be: YOU! These colors also tend to look washed out with my editing style and can bounce color back up in to your face causing unwanted color casts.
Shades of soft pinks and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light-colored neutrals like cream, taupe, camel or light gray fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments and especially compliments my shooting and editing style.
Choosing Patterns and Prints
Solids and dainty, floral prints are best. Plaids, stripes and polka and large polka dots are busy patterns and tend to pull the viewers attention to what you're wearing. I suggest avoiding any kind of plaid (small or large stripes) due to the Moire effect that can happen in pictures. This effect can make the pattern look distorted and cannot always be removed. Avoid mixing patterns. 1 pattern per family is usually the perfect amount of pattern to add some dimension to your images. Textures are a great way to add more dimension without adding distracting elements.
How to Mix Colors and Prints
The goal for coordinating a family’s outfits is to visually break up the colors and shades so that you’re not all wearing the same color on top and bottom (like everyone in blue jeans with white shirts). The more you can mix it up, the better! I encourage you to think about planning each outfit with “dominant colors” and “accent colors” in mind. A dominant color is the color that you see the most in an outfit, while an accent has a smaller piece of visual real estate. Don't be afraid to add in a small print, some ruffles and items with texture. When you’re planning each family member’s outfit, if you can aim for each person to have a different dominant color, and then tie in and vary the accent colors, it’ll look great all together.
STYLE TIPS FOR HER
You can't bee "too dressed up" for your portrait session. I recommend avoiding shorts and jeans and choosing long, flowy dresses or skirts because they’re flattering on all body types, look amazing on camera and bring extra movement and dimension to your photos. Cute, shorter cocktail-length dresses or midi skirts photograph beautifully as well.
Expectant mom's should consider how well your choice of wardrobe shows off your belly. If you like a more flowy look consider choosing something that hugs you under your chest to provide extra shape. We will use a variety of poses to give you shape under your belly if a flowy dress is chosen.
In my experience, every woman (regardless of her size or shape) has an area of her body that she’s self conscious about. Recognizing the areas you’re self conscious about when selecting your outfits is key.
Choosing flattering silhouettes and colors that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure you’ll love the way you look in your photos. If you want to accentuate your waist choose clothing that is tapered at the waist. If you don't want your arms to show choose a dress or top with sleeves.
Also, consider how your clothing lays. Does it bunch up in areas, pull too tight when you move a certain way or become revealing in certain positions. Choosing wardrobe options that you don't have to pull and tug at during your session will ensure you don't receive images that aren't flattering.
For shoes, keep in mind that heels elongate women’s legs and force constant tension in the calves –– which makes them look more toned. Closed-toed heels, in particular, look great on camera because they carry out the line of your leg all the way down to your toe. If your shoes don’t show at all in the dress you’ve selected, you could always choose neutral ballet flats to make your session more comfortable. Lastly, make sure to bring a pair of flats/flip flops to wear when moving from place to place. Your feet will thank you later!
Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can really help bring some extra dimension to your images. Whether it’s a necklace, belt, bracelet, earrings, hat, or scarf, bringing an accessory or two can bring great visual interest to your photos. Choose one or two that don’t compete for attention when paired together. For example, if you go with bolder earnings, you might want to choose a more humble necklace, or maybe even no necklace at all.
Professional hair and makeup looks amazing on camera and removes the stress of getting ready on your own. You’ll have these photos forever, so this is the time to pamper yourself! If your do your own makeup don't skip lip and cheek color as these are important to keep you from looking washed out. I like to suggest going a shade darker or just wearing a bit more than you normally do.
ALWAYS SKIP THE SPRAY TAN! Spray tans tend to look really orange on camera. Your natural skin tone is best for portrait sessions.
Long pants with closed-toed shoes is the most sophisticated and masculine look for a man so as not to draw attention to your legs and feet. Dress pant or colored pants work best. Brown leather dress shoes complement almost every look, whether you’re wearing dress pants or colored pants.
A blazer, sport coat or jacket or adding layers has a flattering effect for men. Long sleeves are, also, more flattering than short sleeves on men, so I recommend steering clear of t-shirts or polos, and instead opting for a long-sleeve button-down. For a slightly, more casual look choose a button down that can be worn un-tucked.
Adding extra layers will bring additional dimension and visual interest to your photos. If the temperature permits, you could even consider adding a v-neck sweater with a pop of color from a long-sleeved collared shirt and tie underneath, or bringing a leather or denim jacket with you.
If business casual isn't your thing that's ok. You can dress comfortably and more true to your style while still complimenting all the ladies/girls in your party if they want to wear dresses.
Use the color tips above while choosing a light wash jean or neutral/colored jean/khakis. Pair that with a simple pocketed t-shirt, long sleeve henley or untucked button up and layer with a fun jacket or sweater if you like.
Even with a more casual wardrobe I suggest avoiding traditional tennis shoes and choosing a loafer, boat shoe or casual looking sneaker.
STYLE TIPS FOR MEN
Dresses and rompers are perfect options for girls. Keep them comfortable, though, and don't forget the undershorts. Don't be afraid to add layers and dainty jewelry.
Tie hair back with dainty bows or hair ties so it's not in their face. Say no to big, bulky bows.
Sandals or barefoot is great for summer. Boots and ballet flats are perfect for cooler months.
Boys can choose their outfits similarly to dad while keeping comfort in mind. I do not recommend shirts that need to be tucked in unless they can be secured. These come untucked often and we'll spend precious time tucking them back in. 1 piece rompers and overalls are also great options.
Don't be afraid of cute accessories like bow ties and suspenders.
Leave the tennis shoes at home and opt for cute sandals (if they're wearing a short romper) and close toed loafers or dress shoes, instead. Bare feet are great for the warmer months.
Preparing your family for a photo session can be tough. What you want to happen and what actually happens when young children are involved are often different things. That's why I suggest....
1. Set expectations but be ready to go with the flow and relax
Set reasonable expectations ahead of time with children who can take direction but be willing to go with the flow and let them be themselves. My sessions work best when children can play and have fun. Don't worry! That offers plenty of opportunities for me to capture them looking and smiling.
I don't suggest bribes. They often leave children expecting more and more of whatever treat you've offered with no real time for portraits in between treat demands.
We will try different, fun things to keep them entertained so bribes aren't necessary. If something doesn't work we'll simply move on to something more interesting to them at the moment.
2. Make a game out of taking pictures of each other in the weeks before your session so they understand what's going on.
They'll likely think the session is more fun since you've already made a game out of it.
3. Get involved and leave the CHEESE at home
The more interaction your children have with you the more natural smiles we will get. Tell them jokes. Make faces. Tickle and hug them but try not to ask them to smile. That often forces smiles that look fake. The natural moments when everybody may no be looking at the camera but are obviously having a good time will likely be the ones you'll look back on most often.
A hairbrush and lip color are always handy. If it's humid smoothing cream or hairspray can be helpful, too.
Most of my sessions will require a little bit of walking. Consider bringing comfortable walking shoes and changing when we arrive at the photo spot.
Dry snacks and water are great to have for young children and babies. If you must bring a candy bribe choose things like smarties over chocolate or candies that can stain.
I will let you know if a stroller is a good idea.
Young children are unpredictable and, as much as I would like to stick to a schedule, it's not always possible. When it is possible I like to start with group portraits. Then, as the kids are starting to get antsy we'll let them interact with each parent and save individual/couples portraits for the end.
I aim for at least 1 good "everybody looking at the camera shot" first and foremost. Then we'll relax and do more interactive portraits. Shoulder rides, tickles, snuggles and swinging through the air are always popular with the littles.
When it's time for individual children's portraits I will often hand your child something in nature to hold and have parents make faces at them from behind me to get natural smiles. If they want to roam I will simply follow them around and capture them doing all kinds of cute things.
I deliver all of my galleries 2 weeks or less unless you have been informed otherwise before booking your session. Once you have received and approved your gallery or chosen additional images I will send your download instructions or make additional edits per your request. Edit requests take up to 3 days (not including weekends.)