The photos I am spotlighting in this article are of one of my favorite families! They are one of my regular "annual" family photo shoots! Oh the stories I could tell on this family alone! LOL Great memories taking their photos! They definitely know the 10 steps well and are a true joy to work with and their photos speak for themselves. It says something when the children have so much fun on the photo shoot that they actually tell their Mom that they can't wait for next year for their photo shoot!!! Yes, that really happened.
- Hopefully you chose me to be your photographer because you LOVE my images. When you try to micromanage the shoot by telling me how to pose you or continuously ask to see the pictures in my camera, it stifles my creativity and delays our time together. I took ALL the pictures you've seen that convinced you to choose me to be your photographer in the first place. I know what a real smile looks like, I know where the light is best, and I know that you don’t want that passing car to show up in the background of your picture. I’m good at this. Trust me.
9 All kids are crazy.
- I hear more and more from the ladies on my photo shoots to JUST "photoshop" them to make them look thinner and perfect from their head to their toenails! Well let me tell you a little secret, it takes time and skill to do cosmetic editing on images. It's not a quick touch of a magic button, and it's not included in the price of your photo shoot. It is sometimes a very tedious endeavor. You do your part by wearing clothing that is flattering to your figure, having your hair nicely styled and having your nails nicely groomed and I will do my part by capturing your true beauty :) A good photographer knows how to position her subjects to capture the most flattering pictures. If she tells you to put your chin down, for heaven’s sake, DO IT. She knows how to pose you so that you look as photogenic as possible. It's all able angels, attitude, perspective and light :)
- It’s one of the most common circumstances during a family photo shoot: fussy, grumpy, impatient dads. So let me give it to you straight: Dad, I already know that this is not on your Top Ten List of Favorite Things To Do on a Saturday Morning. I’ve realized that the dad’s attitude can make or break the shoot… if he’s low-key and showing a little love, Mom inevitably relaxes and the photos reflect a genuine family connection. If he’s uptight, cranky, and critical, Mom is stressed and the tension trickles down to every last child. No one wants to look back at their family photos and remembers it to be a horrible experience. I truly believe that the process taking the photos should be a joyful family experience and a positive family memory. Your attitude and your body language will show up in the photos! Dad's, I promise to make the shoot as painless as possible… relax, I’ve got your back.
6 It's a BIG DEAL!
5 I will spend hours reliving your shoot, image-by-image.
- Bet you didn’t know that, did you? I’m nervous before every. single. shoot… it’s not just you! It's true... as many photo shoots as I have had, I still get butterflies before each and every one! Not nervous because I don't know what to do but from the excitement of what I am going to do and the wonderful photo opportunities that await me :)
- When people imply that my prices are too high or they can't afford me, it makes me feel bad. I really try hard to be affordable but at the same time have the deserved value on my work, talent, time and experience. One of the hardest things for me as a business owner has been setting my price lists! I’m quite sensitive about my pricing and it feels incredibly vulnerable to have to put a price on my passion and art. There are so many parts of running a business that I can’t expect you to know about: taxes, a studio, equipment, website fees, a photo assistant, etc.… these are just a few! The 1 to 2 hours I spend with you on your photoshoot is not all you are paying for when you hire me as your photographer. There is scheduling, the preparation for your shoot, traveling time, culling your images, editing your images, uploading your images, burning your images, printing your images, mailing your images, etc... There is much value and love that goes into my services to you as a professional photographer. Not to mention, I am very fun and nice to work with :)
- I may arrive at your session five minutes late because I’ve lost my keys, phone, or left shoe. I may have no idea where my camera is when it’s hanging around my neck. I may have your pictures finished and in your gallery a few days after their due date. I’m painfully embarrassed about this part of myself and have been working for 40 something years to correct it, to no (or very little) avail. On the bright side, the creativity that keeps me from excelling in organization is the same trait that is able to see and capture beautiful, heartwarming images of your family. Please be patient and gentle with me!
- By the time I’ve visited with you about your session, spent an hours with you, loving on your kids and capturing your family, and relived the shoot through culling and editing, I’m invested. I keep your specific hopes and dreams in mind through the entire process, and I am literally DYING to know if you’re happy with the finished photos. A short little email saying, “We got them and we love them!” or “These are beautiful” or even “I love most of them… just wish we had gotten the three kids walking away!”… it fills in the silence in my head that wants to jump to conclusions about your reaction to the pictures. Just drop me a sweet little note, because I do care and it does matter :) Your satisfaction is very important to me! Plus I want you to join in my excitement and pride in the finished product, because we did, after all, do it together :).
Just a few tips for a successful family photo shoot!
- Bring snacks and drinks for the kids
- Have a good nights rest or kids naps before the shoot
- Wet wipes, comb and brush
- Extra change of clothes, just in case
- Any photo props you want in photos
- No phones in pockets or ponytail holders on wrist during shoot
- Bring a smile and a positive attitude
- Make sure fingernails are well groomed
- Keep those little noses clean