Brenda Anderson Photography | Family Session Prep

I am so excited that you chose me to photograph your family! I am humbled and thrilled to capture these precious memories for you. Please know that my approach is very unscripted, sometimes a bit of high energy, and usually a tad goofy. I am not a huge fan of too posed images. Yes, I will try to get a few good smiling at the camera shots, but I love to also capture emotion, laughter, details, snuggling, and playing.

Let's talk about location: I have several spots that I love to shoot at. First we need to narrow it down by the look you like. When you look through my images, is there something that stands out? Mossy trees with mowed, lush grass? Tall, weedy field? Beach? Manicured landscape? City/urban/downtown? Flower garden? Let me know what you like, or if a particular image in my portfolio stands out to you. Then we will pick our spot that is perfect for you! Click here to see some location ideas.

Time is of the essence: I am so very picky about the time of my sessions. I only shoot outdoor sessions at sunrise, and about 1 hour prior to sunset. This can change a tad, depending on the location we use, but this is the ballpark. Spring and Summer sessions can start as late as 7-7:30 p.m. Fall and Winter sessions can sometimes be as early as 4:00-4:30 p.m.

What to wear: Wardrobe can be so fun, and it can be so stressful. Please ask me any and all questions about wardrobe. Truly, what you wear can make a huge impact on the look of your images. If we are in a field with tall weeds, soft colors are perfect (white, cream, neutrals). Soft colors and pastels are great at the beach. For flower gardens, neutrals, navy, blues, blush are great. Please avoid anything fluorescent or super bright. These colors can cause color casts on the skin and are pretty impossible to edit to bring the skin back to a normal color. Also, please, please, please do not wear all white matching polos, or all black matching polos with jeans. That used to be very popular, but I like to create timeless images, so let's stray from old fads. Are jeans okay? Yes. Do I love colored pants even more? Yes. Is it good to mix and match? Yes! Are suspender pants from H&M the cutest thing on little boys? Heck yes! Okay, I am going off course a bit. Anywho, what I am getting at .... Neutrals are perfect for just about anywhere. Timeless and classic. Anything with texture (lace especially) is perfect. Layering pieces are great. Rolled jeans/pants, bow ties, hats, vests really play up the cuteness of a little boy. A jacket with a dress, dainty headband, cute shoes or boots are really cute for girls. Shoes are also important. Bold and bright colors can be distracting. Please stay away from words on clothes. Please stay away from mesh headbands with flowers bigger than your baby's head. Small, timeless, non distracting headbands are the way to go... And the main thing, be comfortable. These are all my styling opinions. Of course, you don't have to follow any of them, because these are your images and I want you to love them, so please dress comfortably, but please also keep in mind that wardrobe can greatly affect the look of your images. Coordinating is good, matching not so much. Mom, start with your outfit. Wear something that you feel like a million bucks in. Then build the family's wardrobe around that. Imagine your family being a complete piece of artwork. Each person and outfit will bring together a feeling of formality and coordination. Click here to see a Pinterest board that I have pinned with wardrobe ideas.

Tips and tricks: Let your kids know that a session with me will be fun. And, if your kid doesn't care and decides to have the meltdown of 2018, I am totally cool with that. I have 4 kids, and I have meltdowns myself, so don't worry. If I can't distract them, I will shoot someone different, or even just hang out and chat for a bit. I have yet to have a session where I couldn't get a full gallery due to a child's behavior. And yes, there have been plenty of meltdowns. Don't feel stressed about getting your kids (or husband) to smile. I want you to relax, and let me do my thing. By the way, a serious face in a photo is much more beautiful than a forced smile. I usually get the most genuine smiles when I fake toot, so if I completely mortify myself, it's all for the sake of your pictures. I take my time and do my best to allow your kids to feel comfortable with me, so I won't just snap pictures back to back throughout the whole session, I might talk to them, play with them, or even talk to you. If they see mom talking happily, they usually feel more relaxed. Also, as you focus on your children during the session, please keep in mind that I will take semi guided images, where you are loving and snuggling on your littles, so keep good posture, and try to keep your chin out a bit. These allow for the most flattering images.

Props: I am not a proppy person. I usually don't even bring a blanket/quilt unless requested by my client. So if you want me to bring something, please let me know. And, if you are bringing anything, please let me know as well.

Lovey dovey: Yes, I make mom and dad take lovey dovey images, but only if you want to. Please let me know if you don't want to. I can take just the "normal" look at me and smile pose.

Dads: Dads don't have to look at me unless I tell him to. There's nothing sweeter than a dad looking at his wife or child in a photo. I leave dads alone for the most part, so tell hubby to relax and go with the flow.

If you would like to see sample images of families, children, and couples, here links to some images on my site:

http://www.brendaandersonphotography.com/family

http://www.brendaandersonphotography.com/children

http://www.brendaandersonphotography.com/couples

Please feel free to email me with any questions you have. I look forward to working with you and creating timeless images for you to proudly display.

Warmly,

Brenda