Children, Pet and Family Portraits FAQ
How can I prepare my children / family for the session?
Basically, try to be prepared for every contingency. I won’t laugh if you bring a suitcase with you. At minimum though, bring makeup and hair accessories for quick touch-ups. If you’re session is for child photography, it can’t hurt to bring an extra outfit or two, in addition to the planned outfits. Favorite toys and snacks from home are encouraged.
Check everyone before the session e.g., temporary tattoos (or other “marker artwork”), etc. Make sure your outfits are clean and ironed. Check all accessories, such as socks, shoes, belts, ties, and jewelery, making sure that everything coordinates appropriately. You may bring your outfits to the consultation if you have questions.
What type of clothing should we wear?
We’ll talk about clothing in your before-session consultation. Items to avoid are bold prints and patterns (which can distract the eye when viewing photography). Also, If you are having baby portraits done consider doing some of them with no clothing or just bottoms on. Tastefully done “birthday suit” baby photography emphasizes the simple beauty of your child with minimal visual distraction.
I’ll work with you and your family so you’ll be comfortable in front of the camera. With adults a relaxed, natural pose is crucial to getting the best expressions. In child photography, creating an environment that gives children the freedom to be spontaneous makes for the best child portrait and is one of the most important goals of the child photographer. Capturing a child’s unique expressions while they are caught up in the moment with themselves or with a parent or sibling makes for the most expressive child portrait. In a family portrait, closeness expressed among family members is the key – having fun playing, hugging, and holding hands are all things I will encourage during your session.
Time of Day
Outdoor sessions are usually scheduled late afternoon/evening or early morning in order take advantage of the best natural light. We’ll need to pick a time when your children are at their best. Having already napped and eaten beforehand makes babies especially agreeable during photo sessions.
We’ll confirm your location during our session discussion. Choice of location for an outdoor session is crucial for a successful family portrait. The best outdoor environments offer ample shade from direct sunlight with no “man-made” objects in the background (unless we specifically design them in, e.g. a playground or the family home). As an example, I’ve often photographed in Richmond’s Byrd Park since it is quite large with lots of big, stately trees, green grass and many different natural background choices within a short distance of each other.