This is so exciting, you have taken the first step and booked a photo session with Memories By Design and we now have the opportunity to spend a little time together, have fun and capture some wonderful memories. With the photo session booked, I am often asked, “What do I need to do to prepare for the photo shoot?” I am not kidding, I am asked this question a lot, so I thought it would be a good idea to put some of my recommendations down on paper for everyone to utilize. I have narrowed it down to 4 simple easy to remember steps. I hope this article has everything you need to feel comfortable and prepared for our super fun day. If not, I am happy to help where I can, just shoot me a message and I will do my best to answer any questions you have.
TIP 1 – Look Good / Feel Good / Do Good
Matchy Matchy Yes or No? In my opinion, the rule is….. there is no rule. If you feel good, then you will look great. The smile on your face and confidence in your outfit will show in the photos. That being said, I would keep in mind the fashion police may see your photos during a family reunion or dinner party at your house. So it is a good idea to keep in mind the basic rules of thumb when thinking of the patterns and colours you are coordinating. If possible, try to avoid high contract clothing (bright white pants and black top) and try to coordinate colours and patterns based on like colours with others in your group – i.e. warm tones may consist of oranges, reds and browns and a summer palate may have pinks, yellows and blue. In addition to colour, textures are also something to consider – my recommendation would be to try and avoid paisley and pokadots.
I have family portraits where everyone is in white or blue and the results can be beautiful. I do believe the outfit is based on personal choice, but accessories are wonderful in both the photo and on the subject. If you have jackets, vests, hats, bow ties, jewelry or scarfs, these little details can add interest in the photo.
The other thing to remember is comfort – it is the key to happiness for everyone! If your daughter’s hat keeps falling off or your boy’s tie is bugging him or even your feet are soar from a new pair of high heels, the expression may show in your photo. Try to find outfits that everyone can move freely and express their individuality!
Tip 2 – Eat, Sleep, Drink and be Merry!
Let’s face it, if the kids are not happy… momma and dada are not having fun either. Pick a time where your children have woken from their naps, had a chance to get some food in their belly and are ready to have fun. I always recommend packing something to drink and a special treat for the little ones to have after the shoot. Also, I hate to sterotype, but based on my household and my experience… Momma, you may want to think of preparing a special treat for dad as well – maybe prepare that special dinner for him or allow him some TV time when it is all done J. A little goal setting and motivational influences is something everyone from the young to the old can appreciate.
In addition to packing a drink and treat, I also encourage you recruit your children (and husband) to be a part of the process. Ask them to pick their favorite toy (or location) and ask them what kind of picture they would like to have with their special toy and what ideas they have for this year’s family photo.
I always find that preparation, mentally and physically are the key to a successful day. If you start engaging your family in advance of the session, then when the day comes there are little surprises and everyone knows what is expected and what role they will play. If you wait till the day of, then your may have some convincing to do during the session.
IMPORTANT / WARNING! Even with all the planning and preparation in the world, there is still a 50/50 chance that your child (or husband) will have a meltdown. And all I have to say is Hakuna matata – No Worries; children will want to run and play and may not want to sit and smile on command. This is not a problem, not at all. Photographers can move around, chase and engage with your children to get some wonderful shots and capture the beautiful memories of the day. My goal in every photo session is to have FUN, you don’t all need to sit like statues on command… let’s have fun, play games and see what moments we can capture and if your little one (or husband) needs a break to regroup, we will have time for that too.
Tip 3 – Location, Location, Location!
If you are looking for indoor studio portraits, we have some wonderful backdrops to choose from and we can provide you with a variety of shots based on your style and need.
However, if you are booking a location photographic session, then there are many many nature backdrops in our wonderful province to utilize. I suggest you select a place that holds special meaning to you, or a place where the kids can have fun. When you are booking an outdoor session, the most important thing to keep in mind is weather and lighting! Also, never fear, if you do not have a special place in mind, I have a few locations that I am happy to recommend and we can collaborate together to find the best place to capture the effect you are looking for. Also, don’t forget about our in Studio sessions, we have some pretty neat backdrops.
I always try to book my sessions early morning or late afternoon, that way we can avoid the harsh light that comes from direct sunlight. A space that has shade and shelter from wind, is always great to have access to if the weather starts to not be our friend. My favorite time to shoot is 1 to 2 hours before sunset, the light at that time of the day produces some of the most interesting photos.
Tip 4 – What to pack
- Drink / Snacks – sometimes a quick drink after a lot of running and playing or small snack can help increase positive energy levels – taking their minds off of food and back onto big smiles.
- Toy – a special toy for your little one to spend the day with will help them feel comfortable and provide you with some special memories of their little friend that needed to come everywhere with them.
- Lint Roller / Baby Wipes / Tissue – sometimes accidents happen – I often will have these items with me, one never knows when a sneeze is coming on or lint/pollen will fly through the air.
- Change of clothes if desired – if you would like to do a costume change mid-way through the photo shoot, please feel free to pack a second set of clothing, all we ask is you inform us when you are booking so we can allow you enough time to make the switch.
- Brush or Comb / Hair Ties – wind can pick up at any time, if you wanted to do a touch up mid-way through… we can always take a quick break so you can ensure you look and feel your best.
- Accessories – if you bring hats, scarfs and other accessories we can always work them in to shots along the way (or you can wear a single accessory the entire time, the choice is completely up to you)
- Props – I have photo props that I like to bring with me and we can discuss what I will bring during our consult, but if you wanted to bring props of your own, I welcome the opportunity to capture something new.
- Babies – fully stocked diaper bag, extra formula, and swaddle cloth – bring all the supplies you need for baby. Keeping babies comfortable is very important. If baby is teething or Colicky … having the tools to help sooth is wonderful.
So there it is, nothing to it. But if you still wanted a little more help, I have created a cheat sheet for you to download and print. This cheat sheet has a condensed version of my tips and packing list.
Memories By Design photo sessions are fun, engaging and collaborative. If you don’t read this article and simply show up to the session with a smile on your face, we can get fantastic photos and memories that last a lifetime.
Book online today! www.memoriesbydesign.ca/booking
Written by Patricia Manuell – Principal Photographer /Owner
Memories By Design