Family/Lifestyle Session Guide
When you book a lifestyle session, you’re in for a treat: lots of laughing, fun, and snuggles. Family photos aren’t what they used to be and my approach is to keep things fun, laid back, and light-hearted. My goal is to document moments you’ll want to hold onto for years to come. Whether we’re documenting the anticipation of pregnancy, your baby’s first week, the toddler years, or photos with the big kids (aka teenagers), my goal is to make the whole experience as easy, chill, and fun as possible so you can relaxed, natural looking photos. Many people put off family photos because they can be stressful experiences, but I’m committed to banish the stress and make family photos something you’ll look forward to.
HOW THIS WORKS
Inquire about my open availability. I often book months in advance, especially for the busy summer and fall seasons. Weekend availability always goes first, so contact me early to lock in your session!
Fill out the newborn session planner so I can prepare for your session and bring the appropriate props with me.
Fill out the quick questionnaire to help me learn more abou tyour family and anything special you want to include in your session. You’ll hear from me two weeks before to finalize the location and time.
BEFORE YOUR SESSION
- It usually works best if baby has some awake time right before our session. Before I arrive, feed baby so they have a full belly. Most likely they’ll fall asleep and not have to be fed until after the session concludes. We will have plenty of time to capture everything, even if baby needs to be fed or is crying during the session. No reason to stress!
- If you have an older sibling(s), maybe have a special treat in mind in case they are uncooperative. It’s a last resort, but we all want the session to run smoothly!
- Turn up the heat if necessary…babies love warmth (even if the rest of us don’t)!
- If there is clutter in the rooms we are going to use, it’s best to remove it before I arrive. Think about nightstands, counters, dressers, etc. You don’t have to have perfectly clear spaces, but if there are things that normally don’t reside in these spaces, remove them if you can!
- Have a pacifier ready to go – I promise it won’t ruin your breastfeeding relationship to use a paci for an hour! We don’t want tears, we want a sleepy, happy baby to make sure your session runs smoothly.
Michigan State University
Did you meet at Michigan State University? It’s a beautiful setting for an engagement session. Take me to your favorite spots or we can visit some of the more popular locations including Beaumont Tower, the horiculture gardens Spartan Stadium, or the riverfront.
Frequently asked questions
WHEN WILL THE SESSION TAKE PLACE?
Newborn sessions should take place within the first four weeks following birth. I like to schedule a date on the calendar when you book just to hold a time. You’ll contact me after your baby is born to confirm the original session or find another time that works for both of us! I only take on a limited number of newborn sessions to accommodate rescheduling.
We all want the BEST light possible for your session, so it’s best for your session to start at 10a (or soon thereafter!).
WHERE WILL THE SESSION TAKE PLACE?
Lifestyle newborn sessions take place in your home. Usually we use the nursery, master bedroom, and the living room. Don’t worry if your house isn’t “Pinterest-worthy.” I don’t think that matters so much. I like documenting your family in the home where the kids are growing up, where you actually live and make memories. Those photos will matter so much more in the future, whereas having the perfect home won’t matter.
When I arrive, I always ask for a quick tour of your home. Rooms that have a lot of natural light usually work best, but you’d be surprised with what we can do! I will select the best spots for the session. Usually I use the nursery, main bedroom, and the living room.
WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR?
Neutrals usually rule when it comes to newborn sessions. Cremes, whites, greys, light blues, navy, olive green, pinks all work well. My biggest tip is to where something comfortable. It’s okay to wear jeans or leggings. You’re in your home after all! The biggest question I get is whether you should wear socks or not! Most women and kids tend to go barefoot, and most men prefer to wear socks, but comfort is the way to go. These sessions are more documentary in nature so it’s okay not to look perfectly put together!
For baby, I prefer neutral, simple outfits. They just lend better to keeping the emphasis on the family and connection. Newborns also get cold easily so the outfits where they’re half naked usually backfire unless you have a warm home! Headbands or hats work well if you’d like to get creative, as well as pretty swaddles. You don’t need anything special for the session, I promise!
I do bring along some wraps we can use for your baby, as well as a few posing props to get solo shots of the baby.
How about props?
Because my newborn lifestyle sessions center on the connection and interaction of your family members. For that reason, I like to keep props to a minimum. I bring what I feel I need – so you don’t have to buy anything! All we really need is your family and the baby. If you have special heirlooms or other things you want to include in the session, we will work them in. If you have any questions, please let me know, but there’s truly no need to buy anything special!
Will you pose us?
I always try to get a few photos of you both looking at the camera and smiling, but my hope is to capture genuine interactions between you both. I’ll direct you through what to do, not to worry, but the important thing to remember is that you can be yourselves, talk, play, giggle, make jokes, whatever you’d like!
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