Hey there mama!
Yay! I'm so glad your here! I cannot wait to work with you!
I'm so excited to be hosting this first ever free motherhood event, and I'm thrilled you get to participate! Ill jump right in to allllll the tips for getting you ready for your free motherhood mini!
Here are some general guidelines/advice to help you style you and your little ones!
#1. Everyone should coordinate, NOT match. You want your color choices to mesh well with one another. Coordinating colors add so much more dimension to an image, as opposed to everyone being dressed in matching colors where the individual person gets lost. No one should be wearing the exact same colors or outfits. An example of coordinating colors are olive, brown, and cream.
#2. Stick to neutral or earthy tones. Colors that photograph well and coordinate with my editing style are creams/beiges/taupes in all shades, browns, and earthy colors like olive, mustard, and rust, and the muted version of most other bright colors. For example, instead of royal blue, choose a denim blue. Instead of bright white, choose ivory or cream (but white also works). Instead of canary yellow, choose mustard. Instead of bright green, choose olive or moss. Instead of bright pink or coral, choose blush pink or mauve. Colors to avoid are black, neon or bright colors, and anything with a loud or distracting pattern or logo. If anyone wears a pattern, it should be minimal, like a dainty repeating floral design on yours or your little girls dress.
#3. Add different textures! Coordinating interesting textures can really help make your images pop. For example, throw a knitted pullover under your toddler boy's corduroy overalls, or pair a lace kimono over your dress.
#4. Movement is SO important! This tip is mainly for mom. One of the ways I add movement and interest in my images is by having mom wear a dress. It adds beautiful flow, and just brings out something romantic in your images. I know wearing a long flowy dress may not be someone's usual cup of tea, but TRUST me. You'll feel like the queen you are during your session, and you will love your images! Avoid very tight fitting and short dresses and skirts, and instead opt for a longer flowy dress.
#5. Details. Mom, this is the time to spoil yourself! Its not often that your celebrating a new baby or getting family photos taken. Use this as an opportunity to spoil yourself. Have your hair/nails/makeup done! You will feel and look amazing. Wear accessories that make you feel beautiful, and do something a little different like wear a brimmed hat, or gold bangles. Bring along a flowy knitted cardigan to pair with your off-shoulder dress. These things add just a little more something that can truly make your images stand out more. For your kiddos, you can add in flower crowns or dainty bows (avoid large cheerleader-type bows) for girls, and perhaps a beanie or suspenders for your little men.
#6. Footwear. This part is easy. NONE. Bare feet in the studio adds a level of sweet intimacy to your images! If someone must wear shoes, always go neutral and non-distracting. Stick with brown sandals, flats, boots, or loafers. Always avoid sneakers, black or white shiny mary-jane type shoes for little girls, and anything in bright colors or sneakers with characters.
Below are some amazon links to dress ideas for mom:
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BELOW ARE SOME AMAZON LINKS TO outfit IDEAS FOR babies and toddlers:
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BELOW ARE SOME AMAZON LINKS TO OUTFIT IDEAS FOR kids 5-10:
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#2: What to expect and how I work
WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SO MUCH FUN!
No matter what type of session you've booked with me, they pretty much roll all the same way, ESPECIALLY if there are kiddos involved. My style is a bit of a hybrid of different things. I consider my self a lifestyle photographer. That doesn't mean I expect you to show up with your adorable baby and family knowing exactly what to do and how to look adorable while doing it! I'll always be there to tell you exactly where to be, and what to do while your there. I'll be "setting the stage" so to speak, then I'll prompt you to interact with one another in a way that brings out your own special connections with one another! Prepare to interact, play, cuddle, and oddly enough-NOT look at the camera very much. I want to show you how gorgeous you look while being a mom and that requires letting your guard down and just being in the moment with your children. Don't worry, I will get at least 1 "smile and look at the camera" shot of you all, but what I mainly want to capture are your unique and precious relationships with one another!
Next up, let the kids be kids!
Getting kids on board can feel overwhelming and a little bit tricky so here are some tips from a photographer and mama who has been getting cranky kids to relax for years- Biggest tip I can offer is to let them be. Kids are not going to be able to sit and smile for long and thats the beauty of my photography style- THEY DONT NEED TO! The best photos I capture are when you are playing with your kids and just letting them be themselves. Try to avoid punishing them or threatening them with discipline during the shoot, it almost always doesn't work out the way you had hoped! Also - I know its hard - trust me I do- but don't constantly instruct them to smile or smile better or to look at me. I will let them know what I want & sometimes that includes not looking at me at all! And if I pause at any time from giving instructions and clicking away, its because I love what they are doing! I always tells parents - "You can't hear photos" and that is something to remember at your shoot. You can see faces and tension very well in photos but that sound of your toddler screaming? No one will know! I will pose them away if this happens and you can snuggle them close and smile through the chaos and a beautiful raw moment can be captured. Remember to smile and relax. If your child needs a break- that is okay too. Anything extra I need to know about your kiddos and what they love (certain songs or shows etc) is very helpful and should be mentioned in your questionnaire answers or in an email.
*Sugary foods and snacks 12-24 hours before your session.
*Bringing a device or toy to "bribe" your child.
*Phrases during the session like, "If you do X, mommy will give you X".
*Messy snacks for during the session. If a snack is needed, I recommend cheerios or puffs.
**Let your child be who they are! Them being excited/curious or shy/nervous is totally normal.
I will "read the room" and guide you to a pose that meets your young ones wherever they are at.
**Trust me! I've worked with hundreds of babies and toddlers, and have been around the block. I know a
thing or two about kids and totally expect them to be who they are, and we will lean in to that.
Lastly, let it be!
As much as we want everything to be perfect- try not to stress small things like adjusting your hair or stepping in front of a shot to fix your kiddos hair/outfit. Sometimes we have to move fast and only have one chance at the shot when a toddler is "cooperating" and you don't want your hand up fixing your hair in that moment. I will fix anything that needs to be fixed, just enjoy the moment and let go of those worries.
A FINAL CHECKLIST BEFORE YOUR SESSION:
-Avoid daily jewelry like apple watches or rugged watches.
-Check wrists for hair ties.
-Remove phones/keys/wallets from pockets.
-Wear a bra that won't show or need adjusting. I always recommend a nude bra just in case it peeks out.
-If you cannot part your baby/toddler from their pacifier, be sure to bring one that coordinates well with your colors if possible (I know that many little ones are attached to a particular paci, and that's fine!). A couple of my favorite brands are Bibs and Natursutten.
P.S. Now I know I called these "rules," but these are just my strong suggestions. If you truly can't stand the way you look in a dress, wear what makes you most comfortable and whatever makes you feel beautiful! This is your day. I never want anyone to feel like I'm forcing them to wear what they don't want to wear. These are just my tips and advice based off of my experience ;)