Welcome to the Client Information Page

If you are viewing this page, it is because you have booked me for a session and for that I am thankful.  I am looking forward to working with you and getting to know you and your family.  To help ensure that we have a great session, I have prepared the following welcome guide.   This guide covers what to wear, how to prepare for sessions, and also includes my complete pricing guide.   If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or message me.

The Experience

My approach to photography is to make your session an experience that is memorable, personal, and fun.  Prior to the session I make time to get to know you and your family and I also want you to get to know me and my personality too.    I find that this makes the session comfortable for everyone and helps me to capture those warm, connected and authentic images that make your heart flutter.  Here is a little overview of what you can expect during the process.

1.  Pre-Consultation You will complete a questionnaire with a series of questions about you and your family.  This helps me to learn about your personalities, what you are looking for in the session, and often helps me to determine the best location for you and your family.  It also helps me to get shy children to warm up to me during the session so their true personalities can shine through in the images.  I also schedule a phone meeting with you to discuss the details of the session, address your questions or concerns, and for us to get to know each other a little better.  A phone conversation is more personal than an email, so I find it helps make everyone feel more at ease on the day of the session.  You are also able to contact me at any time during your session via text, phone, or email with any questions you may have, even if that means texting me from the Gap with pictures of two shirts you can't choose between.  

2.  The Session Let's have some fun and take some photos.    My approach to sessions is lifestyle inspired, meaning that I am going to capture you and your family organically interacting with one another.  Yes there will be some directing, but you don't have to stress out about getting your toddler to look at the camera the whole time because I want your toddler looking at you.  I do get a few of the traditional pictures of your family, but the bulk of my images will be of you and your family loving each other, connecting, and just being yourselves.  Expect to do a lot of hugging, cuddling, kissing and laughing during the session.  I talk to you a lot during the session...like a lot..I try to make you laugh and may say silly things.  You will hear me gush over the light, your expressions, or a moment.  I am a complete photography geek and I am not ashamed to show it.  lol

3.  After the Session I will post a sneak peek on social media within 48 hours of our session.  Around 7-10 days after the session, you will receive an online viewing gallery of your roughly edited images.  Once you have had an opportunity to view the photos, you will then choose the package that works best for your family's needs.  You will be invoiced and then 14 days after payment is received, you will receive your collection of fully edited and enhanced images.  You will be able to download the images via full resolution download, order prints through your gallery, and even share with friends and family.  

4.  Optional In Home Design Appointment Interested in decorating your home with images from your session, but not sure how to do so?  No problem.  I can come to your home and help you to choose the products that will work best for your home and help you with the layout.  

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How to Prepare for a Family Lifestyle Session

1.  What should you wear? Clothing choices are totally based upon your families style. If you love simple, go for simple. Want fun? Grab some fun color! What I do NOT recommend is changing outfits too many times, if any.  Changing outfits tends to stress kids out and can disrupt the flow of the session.  You want to avoid matching your outfits.  Of course, feel free to coordinate, but unless you match your outfits on a day to day basis, you want to avoid doing matching.   Instead of choosing the same color for the whole family, choose a color palette and work from that palette. Make sure you wear something you can move well in and in which you are comfortable.  For more info, please see the detailed wardrobe section at the end of this article.  

2. What do you need in your home? I like to have families buy fresh flowers to have in the home, but it's not required for you to do so, of course. They add some flare to master bedrooms as well as kitchens. If you have lots of "clutter" out, make sure to put as much away as you can that is not your REAL life type of clutter. We need to have your kids toys out, blankets on couches, kids shoes by the door etc.; however, if you can put away things like grocery bags, breast pumps, etc, that will help. Only have out what you want in your photographs and if you are unsure, leave it out.  When I arrive if I feel like something is distracting, we can always hide the items from view.  Make sure you have out anything your children love. Do they have a stuffed animal they can't live without? Make sure it's handy! 

3.  What can you expect once I arrive? When I first get to your home, I will take a look around to check out all of the rooms we plan on shooting in and I will check to see if we need to move any furniture around.  During our session, don't worry about looking at the camera. I will always instruct you when you need to look at me. I will typically take the children into another room to let them get to know me a bit and I will let them just play, etc. After we do the child photos, we will move onto family shots, typically in your bedroom or family room. All of this will depend on which locations we have chosen to shoot in and what activity we are going to engage in.   Expect me to ask you to do a lot of cuddling, snuggling, kissing, and tickling. We want to get images that display your bond, not images in which everyone is forced to look at the camera and say "cheese."   

4.  What if my family does not cooperate? Kids will be kids. This is why I start with them to set a fun playful tone of our session. This also helps you as parents relax, knowing that your children will have a fun time. If we have a young child that can possibly cry, etc., don't worry! Snuggles make for some of the best photos. Often times, if they see an older sibling having fun they will join. I have lots of tricks up my sleeve to engage your children so don't worry. Kids pick up on parents anxiety. Letting go will lead to the best types of sessions. The beauty of these sessions is that it documents the reality of your life right now and sometimes that includes an uncooperative child.  

How to Prepare for A Newborn Studio Session

In the weeks before the session, I schedule a phone consultation to get to know you and so you can get to know me too.  We discuss any ideas you have for the session and this helps me to add a personal touch to your session.  

On the day of the session, you can plan to be at the studio anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on the type of session you choose and your baby's disposition.  Feel free to relax while you are here in the studio.  Have some coffee, or watch some TV.  Having a warm place to shoot is important to a successful session. I love to get shots of baby’s hands, feet, belly button, etc., and we don’t want baby to get too cold, so I keep the studio temperature being around 78 to 80 degrees,  I know this is difficult for a new mom, who often feels overheated, but we need to keep baby comfortable to get the best images possible.  

Before you leave for the session, feed baby and dress him in outfit that is easy to remove without disturbing him; a loose onesie works perfectly. Baby is photographed in a diaper and swaddled loosely for some of these shots.  If the baby is sleeping when you arrive, I typically like to start with those shots first.  If the baby doesn't fall asleep and is content, we will take images of the baby alert and watching the world.  These shots are just as great as sleeping images.  If baby doesn't fall asleep right away, I typically will ask you to feed baby again and then I try a series of soothing techniques to get her to fall asleep. 

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 (ex. 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.

If you booked a studio family newborn session, I photograph you in a lifestyle approach, so it is ok if the baby is awake during the session.  If he is awake when you get here, we will start with images of you as a family.  Typically, I like to start with images of you on the bed cuddling and looking at the baby.  Afterwards, if baby is asleep,  photograph him alone and with siblings. I then move on to images of each parent with the baby. The sequencing all depends on the baby's mood. I use a few things for the set and I move furniture around to create the different loos to the set.  Lifestyle images are supposed to be natural images.  So, don't worry about getting glamorous for the images.  You should choose outfits in which you are comfortable and that represent your style.  Neutrals such as cream, taupe, gray, black, etc. generally photograph best, so I recommend simple, classic outfits for your family that complement each other. Try to avoid outfits with too  many prints and bright colors.  This is because bright colors can 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 pants 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.  For more info, please see the detailed wardrobe section at the end of this article.  

For lifestyle newborn images, there are a couple of options that work well for a baby.   A simple white or small print onesie sized for a newborn is a good choice, as is a simple well-fitting footed sleeper (solid color or small print are great choices). Just a diaper and a receiving blanket (the Aden + Anais muslin swaddling blankets are my personal favorite) is also a great way to capture newborn lifestyle shots.

Lastly, please don't stress out about anything.  If the baby cries and is fussy, don't worry.  We can stop for a feeding whenever necessary.   As a mom of two, I’m very familiar with babies and how they operate. Crying is totally normal and temporary. I am not bothered in the least by a fussy newborn, so don’t feel like it is an imposition on me.  

My turnaround time is about three 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 choose your images and download the high resolution files. You will be able to 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.   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.

 Mother and child in white with white background
 Baby in fall floral wreath
 family on bed with newborn
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How to Prepare for A Newborn Lifestyle Session

To photograph your new baby, I will come to your home and stay approximately 1-2 hours.    I love the natural setting of a family's home and photos showing the perspective of those first few days of REAL LIFE with your new bundle of joy.  

In the weeks leading up to the session, I will try to get to know you and your family.  I will ask to see photos of your home, to gauge the light in your home and determine the best place to photograph.  

On the day of the session, I will take a moment to explore your house and determine which rooms will be best for shooting lifestyle images. The rooms I generally focus on for lifestyle newborn photos are the master bedroom, the nursery, 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. I will not use any artificial lighting, so there is no need to turn on any lamps or overhead lights.

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 need to adjust or move some other things around while shooting.  For example,  I might open curtains and raise blinds, move books and clocks off a nightstand, or move diapers and wipes off the top of the changing table. Don't worry about the clean up, I will put everything back as it was before I leave. Don’t feel obligated to 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, by putting away items that you don’t want to see in your images, but beyond that, I love to capture your home and your family just as you are!  Plus, you are a new mom, you don't need to stress about cleaning.  

Lifestyle images are supposed to be natural images.  So, don't worry about getting glamorous for the images.  You should choose outfits in which you are comfortable and that represent your style.  Neutrals such as cream, taupe, gray, black, etc. generally photograph best, so I recommend simple, classic outfits for your family that complement each other. Try to avoid outfits with too  many prints and bright colors.  This is because bright colors can 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 pants 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.  For more info, please see the detailed wardrobe section at the end of this article.  

For lifestyle newborn images, there are a couple of options that work well for a baby.   A simple white or small print onesie sized for a newborn is a good choice, as is a simple well-fitting footed sleeper (solid color or small print are great choices). Just a diaper and a receiving blanket (the Aden + Anais muslin swaddling blankets are my personal favorite) is also a great way to capture newborn lifestyle shots.

Having a warm place to shoot is important to a successful session. If you could raise the thermostat a bit before I arrive (or turn off the A/C in summer), that would be great. I love to get shots of baby’s hands, feet, belly button, etc., and we don’t want her to get too cold.  I suggest the temperature being around 78 to 80 degrees,  I know this is difficult for a new mom, who often feels overheated, but we need to keep baby comfortable to get the best images possible.  

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 (ex. 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.

 I will do some directing in order to ensure that the light is flattering to you and baby, but I also like to capture some unscripted moments, so don’t be surprised when I am clicking away during a feeding or diaper change or while you are comforting a fussy baby. Those images are often my favorites! 

Lastly, please don't stress out about anything.  If the baby cries and is fussy, don't worry.  We can stop for a feeding whenever necessary.   As a mom of two, I’m very familiar with babies and how they operate. Crying is totally normal and temporary. I am not bothered in the least by a fussy newborn, so don’t feel like it is an imposition on me.  

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 choose your images and download the high resolution files. You will be able to 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.   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.

How to Prepare Children for Photo Sessions

1. If you have small children, make sure they’ve napped and are well fed. I know this seems like common sense, but it is the most important tip I can offer.  Try to feed your child a meal or a hearty snack right before the session. They will be more likely to cooperate if their bellies are full and they are well rested. If we are doing a sunset or golden hour session, try to nap your child later on in the day so he is well rested for the session.  

2. Hype up the shoot to your children. The days prior to the shoot start gushing about the photo session and how much fun they are going to have. Tell them they are going to be models, make them feel important. This approach tends to work better then threatening them to behave, as this tends to make the photoshoot seem more like work as opposed to fun. 

3. A little bribery never hurts. Yes, I know...according to parenting books, bribery is a sin; but, if a piece of candy or chocolate is going to get your little one to smile for the camera, what is the harm? Another option is to promise them a special treat at the end of the session like a visit to an ice cream shop. 


4. Parents, remain calm during the session. Now, this is the hardest tip to follow, I know. I know how badly you want those perfect photos, but kids will respond to that stress. Even if your child is having a tantrum or meltdown, try to remain calm. I promise I will do my best to get your child to cooperate. I am a parent too, so I am no stranger to meltdowns and tantrums, so don't feel embarrassed or like you need to apologize. Most of the time, we can still get beautiful images of your child.  


5. Candid Photos are the Best Photos. No need to stress that your child is not looking at the camera. I know that the posed photos are necessary sometimes and I always try to get at least one for you, but the candid photos, the ones that capture your child's true persona are the ones that you are more likely to display in your home. So, if your child isn't looking at the camera the whole time, it is totally OK.

What Should I Wear?

This is the most common question I hear from clients and the one that causes the most anxiety for some.  Here are some helpful tips:

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1.  Just be yourself.  Your wardrobe should be reflective of who you are as a family.  You want to wear something in which you are comfortable and confident.  You will see a lot of trends on Pinterest, but don't feel pressured to dress towards the trend, unless that is who you are. 

2.  Don't match , but coordinate.  Try your best to avoid matching everyone's outfits.  Instead, coordinate outfits by choosing a color palette.  You can choose one person in the family and use them as your anchor.  You can use that person to wear a bright color from your palette and then coordinate the rest of the wardrobe based on that particular outfit.  

3.  Add Texture.  I love layers and texture in a photo, especially for Fall photos.  Vests, denim jackets, and scarves all add great flair to your wardrobe and they can be removed to give your gallery more variety.  Another way to add texture is to choose wardrobe pieces that already has texture.  For example, a dress with lots of layered ruffles, a sweater wth an interesting texture, lace tops, etc.  

4.  Classic Never Goes out of Style.  A classic wardrobe and palette will be timeless and the photos will look great on your walls forever.  A classic color palette is one that is muted and soft.  

5.  Where Will you Display your Photos?  When choosing your wardrobe, you want to choose a palette and style that matches the decor of the room in which the photos will be displayed.  My home is filled with lots of pops of color, so when we take family photos, I tend to dress my girls in brighter colors to match the decor of my home.  If your home has a traditional or classic look, choose a palette that works with that decor.  

6.  Clothing Can Sometimes Influence a Child's Mood.  When choosing outfits for your children, choose materials and styles in which they will be comfortable.  For little girls, I love free flowing dresses.  Matilda Jane is my favorite brand for girls clothing.  The fabric is soft and comfortable and the patterns and colors photograph beautifully.  I also love Zulily for beautiful vintage style lace and crochet dresses for little girls.  Boys can be  bit more difficult, choose something that makes them comfortable and playful.  Shorts and a dress top...bring along a favorite superhero accessory.  I really love Old Navy and Gap for boys clothing.  Hanna Andersson has great outfits for both boys and girls.

7.  Mixing Patterns. I love patterns and they can look great in photos, when used properly.  Try to use patterns on only one to two people in the photo.    If you do use patterns on more than one person, make sure that patterns are complimentary to one another.  Dressing one person in a pattern is a great way to pull the color palette together.  

8.  Keep the Location of the Photo Shoot in Mind.   Try to choose outfits that coordinate with the location of the shoot.  Is it a rustic location, a field, the ocean, or urban?  Choose outfits that are complimentary to those locations.

9.  Avoid Casual Attire.  You want to be comfortable, but not too casual.  Clothing with logos,  pictures, labels, and words on it are too casual and can be distracting to the image.  Similarly, avoid wearing sneakers to a session, unless, they are cute converse or something that matches the overall look of your wardrobe.  

10.  Helpful Links

 Photo from the Matilda Jane website

Photo from the Matilda Jane website

My Pinterest Family Session Board

Matilda Jane Clothing

Zulily

I am happy to help you in any way that I can.  Don't be afraid to reach out to me and ask for advice and guidance.

Warmly,

Teresa

Contact Me if you have any questions!