I’m Emily, your photographer! First of all, I am so excited about our session - meeting families and getting to capture their relationship is kinda my thing - I love it!
This guide is to help you get the absolute most out of your session with me. It’s super important to read it over, reference it, and take some notes from it. Keep in mind this is a guide and not a rule book, so it’s totally OK if everything doesn’t go to plan - thats the beauty of family, we roll with the punches.
I can’t wait to start our session and get some gorgeous images, and thank you so much for trusting me with such an important task - we forget how fleeting time is, and I hope these images are ones that you will treasure for a lifetime.
Tips for your session
get the kids excited!
Little ones really thrive on new and exciting things - be sure and start hyping up the session the day of the session. Give yourself plenty of time to get dressed and ready so there isn’t any tension surrounding the shoot, and if you have any expectations of perfection, let those go for the evening. Kids definitely pick up on tension, and we want them to be relaxed and happy! Tell them that they get to go play outside with their family for a few hours, and that its going to be such a fun time. Make sure to tell them a lady with a camera will be there, but its not scary, and Mrs. Emily is super nice! You can let them bring a favorite toy, snack or anything else that may make them happy, but not be a distraction. You can also promise to go get ice cream or a special treat after, but be careful with this as that is all some kiddos will think about after its mentioned - you know your kids best!
make sure everyone is rested & full
As a mom of two I know this is easier said than done, right? But, we want to try our best to make sure kiddos aren’t hungry or sleepy! Taking longer or earlier naps, or even having a little extra “rest” time before the session helps! Feel free to bring snacks or drinks as long as they aren’t too messy.
bring a change of clothes
If you chose a location with water, such as a creek, lake or sandbar, be sure to bring an extra change of clothes in case we get wet or sandy - just a heads up, we usually do!
If dad is feeling a little nervous or annoyed at the though of spending an hour taking family photos instead of doing his “man things” be sure and tell him that the session will go by quickly, and will be a great time to play and connect with the kids - the more interactive, happy, and smiley the family is (including dad) the sooner we will get through the shots we need for your session. So, cooperation = less time being tortured, dad!
Compliment and coordinate, without being matchy-matchy. We don’t want everyone in jeans and white shirts - find a color palette that you love and choose outfits and accessories based on that palette. We want everyone to look unique, and have their own sense of style! Neutrals with a few pops of color are always great, as well as a softer palette that has different ranges in tones of the same shade (such as a deep mauve pink, blush pink, cream, and a grey-pink).
for mom and girls
For mom, I love dresses or gowns with lots of movement or swing! It’s ok to go over the top for photos! Neutral colors or deep, rich colors or classic patterns are always a go-to. Think maroons, mustard, olive, navy, blushes, mauves, deep teals, and greys. Another awesome thing for the entire family is texture - a dress with some lace detail or some other type of texture photographs beautifully. If lace and texture isn’t your thing, I have found that very plain, classic but WELL made pieces photograph well - look for deep, rich, color. Also, LAYERS are a great way to add some dimension into your outfits. Mainly, be sure and pick something you are 100% confident in! If you find something that isn’t incredibly comfortable but you LOVE IT and it makes you feel good, I always encourage clients to grin and bear it for an hour, it will be worth it!
If you are self-conscious, avoid horizontal stripes!
Some other things to avoid are solid black, crazy patterns, ill-fitting clothing, or t-shirts.
Jewelry, bracelets and necklaces are always a plus!
I highly recommend opting for professional makeup (makeup needs to be a bit heavier for photos, and makeup artists have products that photograph well) and wearing your hair down!
The same rules apply to little girls, with the addition of bows and flower crowns!
for dad & boys
For dad (and boys) nice v-neck t-shirts, solid neutral button ups, or sweaters with some textures . White, blue, tan or grey fitted shorts or pants. Suspenders, fedoras, and sports coats also look awesome if you are going for a dressier look.
no jeans challenge
This is a fun little challenge I like to throw out to my family session clients - if NOBODY in your family wears jeans for your session ,you get three extra images for free! This only counts for regular jean pants, so wearing a blue jean shirt or vest won’t disqualify you. This can be a good way to get your family out of the box fashion-wise! I know this is particularly hard for the guys, so if dad is a jeans guy through and through, don’t sweat it! There is nothing wrong with wearing jeans in your photos, but I have found giving families a wardrobe challenge can really break everyone out of their bubble and put together some really amazing outfits.
Session timeline/what to expect
01: We will meet at a central location and you will follow me to where we are going to shoot, or we will meet on location, depending on which spot we choose. Be sure to have everyone dressed and ready upon arrival as we will start shooting pretty quickly after we get to the location!
02: Once we get to the location there will usually be a short walk to where we will be shooting. Once we get there, we will start with posed “Christmas card” traditional type of shots with everyone looking and smiling. This gives me time to learn about your family, and a little about your kids personalities!
03: As we move through the shoot, we will do less and less posing and more activities, such as walking, playing with kids, cuddling and talking. Come to the session with a few things in mind to talk to your kiddos about during these parts of your session. It can be about school, a recent fun event, an upcoming an event, something that happened earlier that day, or whatever you know will get some sweet reactions from your kids - somethinWg they are excited and passionate about.
04: At the end of the shoot, we will just let you guys play! We will let the kids walk around and explore and I encourage parents to take this time to put their phones away and enjoy their babies, while I capture your real, true connection with them.
05: After your session, I will usually have sneak peaks posted within 1-3 days and full galleries edited and returned at around the 2 week mark.
06: After you download your images, I encourage you to PRINT and display your images instead of just leaving them on your computer!
frequently asked questions
What if it rains on our session date?
A little rain can make for some GORGEOUS images, but if we think its too much for the kids we will reschedule to the next available date!
what if my kids don’t cooperate?
Don’t stress! If you hype the kids up before the session and come to the session with an upbeat, positive attitude, they’ll be fine. Some kids don’t like sitting still and smiling at the camera and thats fine - thats not what we do! I want to capture a few of those images but my heart lies in capturing your family being YOU. All the hugs, tears, laughs, yells, falls, all of it!
Can you please help me with outfits?
Of course! I will say I am NOT very stylish and will probably shoot your session in some form of t-shirt and workout pants, but I do know what colors/styles photograph well. If you need help the best thing to do is either Snapchat or text me some photos! I SERIOUSLY don’t mind! My Snap is “emilywaldrep” and my cell is 409-429-0947! Just let me know who you are if you’ve never texted me before!
Do you have any shops you recommend for clothing?
Yes! You can click on any of these to do some online shopping. I also may have some specific suggestions for current photo-session trends, so message me if you are wanting something super styled! You do not HAVE to purchase clothes from these places, these are just some suggestions to get you started!
do you have any props? Can we bring props?
I’m not huge on props, and besides a couch, chair, quilt and some throw pillows on occasion I dob’t use any props. If you have a chair or quilt you love, feel free to bring it to your session! I am more worried about capturing your families true connection with fussing with a bunch of props, so I try to keep them limited!