How far should I book in advance?  1 month or more (Potentially sooner for weekdays)

How much does the time of day matter?  On a sunny day the best times to shoot are closer to sunrise or sunset.  On an overcast or cloudy day late morning or midday often have the brightest skies.  (We can’t control the weather or light, but we can do our best to monitor the forecast and take advantage of the light based on the season and conditions).

How to choose a location?  Do you have a preference for a type of scenery (beach, field, city, in-home, studio)?  The location is something we can select together based on your scenery preference, the number of subjects and the logistics.

What to wear?

  1. Choose a color palette: I recommend choosing 3 colors. 2 neutrals and 1 accent color.
    • Neutral colors are timeless and help the subject(s) stand out.  Most often I recommend neutral colors because the true point of the shoot is to showcase the subject.
    • Bright colors have a lot of visual power which can be distracting and cast colors onto other people in the images.  If bright colors are a part of your style or your traditional clothing than absolutely wear them, but it helps to pair them with neutral colors so that there is not too much going on in the images.
  2. Choose an accessory:
    • Accessories stand out and can be fun props that add a point of interest to your photos
    • Examples: a blanket, hat, scarf, umbrella, picnic basket etc.

Things to avoid:

  • Avoid large logos and neon colors.
  • Avoid having everyone wear the same color shirt.

I’m happy to chat more in-depth about any of this on the phone or look at photos of outfits you have planned! 


How to prepare for your family photoshoot with small children (ages 1-5)?

  1. Bring back-up clothes
    • (especially if kids are wearing white or light colors)
  2. Bring activities or bribery materials if needed (specifically toddlers) 
    • (bubbles, special toys, snacks etc)
  3. Think of things that make your child smile or laugh
    • (distraction helps take the focus off the camera and allows me to take candid shots).
  4. Expect that your child won’t be on their best behavior
    • (think of the best ways to distract your child instead of disciplining them).  
  • Avoid building up the photoshoot to your children so they do not feel pressured to act a certain way. Tell your children you are going to play with them and “Shauna is going to take our picture”.  Avoid telling them to smile or behave (this often results in the opposite behavior).


What to expect during the shoot?

Often during formal portraits, kids will pull out their "cheese smiles" or look very unhappy, and even many adults feel apprehensive in front of a camera and can look uncomfortable.  This is why I encourage you to interact with one another (it's not to put you on the spot or make you feel silly).  The point of movement and interaction is to get natural body language and genuine smiles (closer to a candid moment but with my direction to get the moments captured properly).  If you have more than 1 small child, we may or may not get everyone smiling at the camera.

I encourage affectionate and playful actions (kisses/hugs/going upside down/swinging your children etc) to create moments that have emotion.  If some of my directions don’t work for you or your child, speak up or improvise with something you know your child particularly enjoys.  If your children are very playful it might feel a little chaotic and like you are sweating from holding your kids and throwing them around… and that’s a good thing!  

Please do not discipline during the photoshoot.  If you are angry with your child, wait until after the session to discipline.  (It ruins the mood for all of the subjects being photographed and then I don’t have anything to take photos of. It also takes away from the time we have to take photos together).