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Where should we go for our shoot?

That really depends on the mood you want for your pictures.  Do you want the pictures to be casual in your home, capturing how you and your family interact on a day to day basis?  Is there a place you go for fun~cafe, weekend fun spot, park, etc?  Do you want an urban feel or more of a park feel with trees, fields, or the beach?  I try to do location scouting when I have time, so you can always check them out here.

What time of day is the best for the shoot?

A lot of this depends on if you are including children.  It is always best to work around their nap/feeding schedule, since a happy child=happy parents=good shoot  🙂  All that aside, the most ideal time for a shoot is early morning or an hour or two before sunset.  The sun is at it’s best and you avoid the harsh glare of the midday sun as well as the harsh shadows.  If it’s very sunny, and we are shooting during the middle of the day, the best plan is to find places with shade.

What do we do if it rains?

We can always reschedule, but being that we are in the Northwest…sometimes you just have to go with it.  I did a blog post here with options.

What should we wear?

People often ask what to wear.  I think the easiest answer is wear something you feel comfortable and good in, and to make it something you want to look back at over the years.  Your clothing choices can be a big factor in the final outcome of your portraits.  If you feel confident in what you are wearing, that will absolutely show in your pictures.  Feel free to bring a few wardrobe changes (I encourage it!).  Not only will it give variety to the photos, but you will have last minute options.  Try to stay away from big prints and large logos.  They tend to draw the focus away from the most important thing…  YOU! 🙂

If you are having multiple people in the session, it’s good to go with similar or complimentary colors, but not completely matchy matchy.  If you have a child or a partner with a cute printed top or dress, you can pick colors out of that top/dress for the parents/kids.  The only thing to really stay away from is the exact same color top on multiple people (mainly black, navy, or dark browns).  Unfortunately, you will tend to all blend together in the group shots..

A scarf, colorful shoes, bright jewelry that pops, and hats (especially on children) are a fun addition.  It’s amazing what a fun accessory can do to basic outfit… 🙂

Is there anything I should know before doing my newborn shoot?

Newborn shots are best done between the ages of 6-14 days (earlier the better :)).  At that age, they are still sleepy and easily molded into poses.  After 2 weeks the startle reflex kicks in, and they are more into stretching and moving around (which is still ok!).  It’s best to schedule the session time right after a full feeding.  While, I anticipate taking breaks for diaper changes, feedings, and soothing time, babies are usually at their most content right after feeding.  This allows for nice happy alert shots, and then also sweet sleepy posed shots.  I do have a few props (bowls, baskets, mini wooden beds), so if you are wanting more posed shots, please let me know.  I love the simple look of a naked baby!  However, outfit changes are always great!  Little hats, headbands, or diaper covers are also fun additions.

We had our shoot…now what?

I will send you a link to a password protected gallery within 1 week (regular shoot) or 2 weeks (for weddings).  Usually even before these timelines 🙂  The images in this gallery will all be lightly edited and retouched.  You are able to mark your favorites from the gallery by clicking on the little heart below the picture.  Those will then get copied into a separate gallery that only you and I can see.  Black and whites don’t count as extras 🙂  After you have picked your favorites, I will go over those and make sure they all look the best that they can.  You will get those high res favorites on a disc to keep or I can upload them to Dropbox for easy sharing.  You can also order professional prints, greeting cards/announcements, and canvases etc from the gallery.  Prices for prints start at $.30 for a 4×6, $1.50 for a 5×7, and $3.00 for an 8×10.  You also get sent a “guest” link that you can forward on to family and friends.  They are also able to buy prints and digital negatives for themselves.   I don’t remove the galleries after a certain time, so you are more than welcome to come back to it and order more prints if you didn’t at first.  Unfortunately, I have to watermark the gallery to protect them, but the prints do not have the watermark on them when they are ordered.


  • Why do you include an engagement session with every package? I can’t stress enough the importance of an engagement session.  First of all~it’s FUN!!!  It’s a time for us to get to know each other, so that we are all comfortable on the biggest day of your life.  It also allows for you to get to know my photography style and get used to being in front of the camera.  Unless you’re a model, most people are not totally comfortable in front of the camera and dread getting their picture taken.  Ideally, the engagement session will show you that it can be fun to be in front of the camera!  We will hopefully just spend the hour with you laughing, kissing, and loving on each other.  What’s scary about that?  🙂
  • What’s a first look? A first look is a time before the ceremony where the bride and groom get to see each other for the first time away from family and friends.  It is beneficial for so many reasons.  It allows you to have a private moment to see each other, embrace the moment, and get it all captured!  It also then allows you to have some time to get some great portraits without feeling rushed to get back to your loved ones and missing your cocktail hour.  It also ensures that we have enough time to get all the family shots you want.  Lastly, if your portraits are important to you, we can choose a location to do the first look that might be more picturesque and have more portrait locations than the ceremony site might have, which gives you variety!  Some great examples can be seen here.
  • How much time should we allow for portraits? That absolutely depends on how important they are to you, and how much variety/spontaneity you want in the images.  A standard portrait sessions is 60-90 minutes, but you may not have time for that.  I like to have at minimum 30 minutes with just the bride and groom.  Anything over that is just icing on the cake  🙂  It really is best to try and have this 30 minutes away from family, friends, and bridal party, so that there is less distractions and you can concentrate on each other!  After the 30+ minutes we can have the bridal party meet us at either the location of the first look or back at the ceremony site.  The time for bridal shots completely depends on the bridal party size.  Please take into account if you have a large bridal party and allow for more time to capture each special person you have chosen to be part of your day.   Lastly, are the family shots.  Again, only you know how large your family is and how many different people you want.  I will be taking candid portraits of you and your loved ones throughout the reception as well!
kt - August 10, 2012 - 1:03 pm

Your photos are beautiful! What kind of camera do you use?

Lauren - August 10, 2012 - 1:41 pm

Thank you! I use a Canon 1ds Mark II, but I have a Canon 7D too.

Lauren - September 20, 2013 - 12:39 pm

*Edited to add- I upgraded my main camera to the Canon 1DX and now use the Canon 1ds Mark II as my back up/2nd camera. Thanks!

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