Planning your session

Let's Start Planning!

Thanks so much for allowing me the honor of creating beautiful photos for your family. It is my hope that together we craft not only awesome memories, but gorgeous, timeless images as well.

My style is photojournalistic; I love capturing families playing, snuggling, being goofy, and just loving on each other. I will always do my best to get that one desired shot of everyone looking and smiling at me, but will, for the most part, be watching for those moments in between the posed shots where your guard is down and honest, authentic moments happen.

Most sessions are shot in the evening for optimal lighting – the time frame of this will depend on the season and the sun. I take limited morning sessions. We will discuss this more in detail if we haven’t already.

Please take some time to read through the following information as you prepare yourself and your family!

Looking forward to meeting with you!

Photography Price Los Angeles California

Styling Your Session

Use Style & Select’s interactive styling tool to view photo-approved outfit choices for everyone in your session.

How should I prepare my kids for the session ?

Preparing your kids for our session as much as possible often takes the timidness out of the evening. Please make sure kids know that this is FUN! No threats, as they usually bring about tears and added stress. Don’t even bother telling them to be sure to smile or “be good”. My goal isn’t to get a picture of your child “being good” or just “smiling” but having fun and interacting. Some kids who have been coached to smile for the photographer get so nervous that they are fighting laughing and relaxing because they are so worried about having their picture taken or making their parents happy!

Instead, I’m a huge fan of bribery — (how about ice cream after your session?) it’s always a great idea for the ones who need a little extra encouragement. However, please don’t bring sweets for bribing during the shoot. They tend to end up being a distraction and can get their clothing dirty.

How should I prepare my husband for the session ?

Moms, I’m speaking to you. Is your husband feeling less than thrilled about your upcoming photo shoot? A little bribery seems to work well here (though maybe something better than ice cream!) as well!

But seriously, let your husband know that the shoot will be relatively painless and to try to focus on having an hour to play with the kids, hold your hand and just savor the moment!

How should I prepare my kids on the day of the session ?

Just a few thoughts on your kids + the big day! I mentioned bribery. Love it! Keep in mind that most bribery snacks make messes and have dye in them to change your kids’ mouths. Usually, this backfires and all they want to do is eat instead of paying attention to me. I suggest keeping the goodies in your bag or car until after we’ve finished.

Please make sure your children go to the bathroom before leaving, as some of my locations do not have a bathroom.

Sessions are typically about an hour, maybe longer depending on the location and whether or not we are shooting for an album. If your little one isn’t accustomed to staying up until sunset,
please adjust their naps as best you can, and rest assured that one night of staying up past their bedtime will be just fine as we will actually be having fun (I promise!)

With your older child, please don’t say, “That’s not your REAL smile”. I know what a real smile looks like, so even if I’m snapping away, I’m just trying to loosen up your son/daughter! I promise I won’t be giving you cheesy smiles for your finished order!

As with any age, I take my time and do my best to allow your kids to feel comfortable around me and know we are going to have a blast!

Any tips for mom & dad during the session ?

During the shoot, if you are not in the picture, please let me just interact with your child, unless I ask for help! Many parents will stand behind me trying to get their babies’ attention and all it does is distract baby from me!

I like to give the little ones a chance to just play with me, so it’s okay if they aren’t giving big smiles right off the bat. Trust me and trust the process.

Mom and dad, as you focus on your children, don’t forget about yourself! Keep your posture good as well as ensuring your chin doesn’t pull in. These allow for the most flattering images.

Something else to keep in mind is to be watchful of your own expression as you’re trying to get baby to smile. Remember you are in the photos as well!

Rest assured I’ll be watching all of you and will definitely let you know if I see something out of place or looking off.

What should we wear ?

Ah, the age-old question always associated with photo shoots. Styling is one thing I try not to have too much of a hand in since I want you guys to still be you and not Amy Salessi’s idea of fashion. But here is my 2 cents: Think layers. Probably the biggest difference between sessions that look great and sessions that look wow: adding texture and layers. Different colors that accent, a fun hat added for some shots. I know I have several clients that are amazing at pulling outfits together. I love that! Others ask me for help, and I am not always available right away, so I do encourage you to utilize Style & Select as a resource. This is such a great tool- it is basically like having a personal shopper at your fingertips!  You can access the Style & Select website here. If you do not find what you are looking for there, here are some of my other tips.

Should we coordinate our outfits ?

Yes, the trick is to coordinate – but don’t match exactly. I encourage moms to dress themselves first, because we know how hard it is to find something for every member of the family and then leave ours until last- the one that we are most often the pickiest about – and then find that perfect dress that doesn’t go with the rest of the family. So, start with yours. I really urge you to dress up! That doesn’t have to mean “fancy” but fancy compared to your normal look. If you usually wear jeans, take it up a notch and find that long flowy dress. I want you to feel good about yourself and what you are wearing, because that confidence comes across in your images. On the other hand, Be aware of things that might distract at our session- straps that won’t stay up, V-necks that plunge so low you are constantly pulling your shirt up, etc.

Please don’t dress your family to all match. Gone are the days of all white shirts and jeans on a beach. Instead, pick a palette and dress everyone to fit into that palette somehow. I also suggest picking colors that match the area in your house you will be displaying your images.

Is there anything we should not wear ?

Please stay away from bright colors. Anything magenta, bright yellow, bright green, etc. can create a color cast back on your face. Neutral colors, rich tones, and jeweled tones work really well. Also, keep in mind that cream or off white photographs better than stark white. White can also throw a lot of light back in your face, so try to avoid all white shirts.

What about the weather ?

Make sure to keep an eye on the weather in order to dress accordingly, and if it turns out warmer/cooler than you anticipated when putting together outfits, please adjust what everyone is wearing. Doing a session when it’s sweltering and kids are overdressed is never fun. Likewise, if a cold front comes through unexpectedly, please put sweaters on your children. They are happier when they are comfortable. I have had to cut sessions short when the kids are too cold. Feel free to bring a nice warm blanket to cuddle under, too.

If it rains, we will definitely reschedule.

What if my kids are sick the day of the session ?

Just as important as the weather is that everyone being photographed is feeling 100%. There isn’t anything worse than an unhappy and sick feeling child — they especially do not want to be in front of a camera. At the first sign that your kids aren’t well, please send me a message or give me a call.

How can we help you capture the most authentic images of our family ?

Easy! Just relax and be yourselves. Cuddle your little ones. Pull their hair away from their eyes and kiss their sweet foreheads. Hold their hands while you dance. Think of this hour with me as a chance to just be with your family. To remember everything you love about being a parent to your incredible children. I get it, the stress, the anticipation of the day- it can all be a lot to pull together. Sometimes it feels like it isn’t going the way you dreamed, but trust the process. I am snapping away grabbing the moments you will want to remember.

Thank you so much for taking the time to prepare for your session. It will be amazing. I promise.

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