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Family Prep Guide

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Thank you so much for choosing me as your family photographer!


By taking this first step, you have invested in your family legacy by creating memories that will be cherished for generations to come.


This guide will address everything you need to know to make this family session a low-stress and enjoyable experience for you and your whole family. Because making memories shouldn't produce frown-lines!


I can't wait to showcase the unique story of your family.

What to Wear

This can be a fun but sometimes challenging thing to organize before the shoot. Instead of matching outfits, choose a palette of about 4 coordinating colors that are represented across all of the family's outfits. Check out Pinterest for some amazing ideas! 


Your photos should look timeless and classic, so start with one or two neutral shades (think white, cream, gray, beige), and then add some pops of color. Consider:

  • the session location - you don't want to blend into the background

  • the season - deeper hues for fall/winter, lighter colours for spring/summer

  • your decor - your wall art should fit the room where it is displayed

Start your planning process with an outfit that Mom feels fabulous in, and then build the outfits of the rest of the family around that. Above all, choose outfits that are comfortable and will allow you the freedom to move and play.

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It's All in the Details

  • Shoes: Don't forget that shoes are part of your outfit! Forego the runners and heels, and choose boots, sandals, and sneakers that are both practical and match the setting.

  • Layers and Textures: Layers like jackets, cardigans, and vests provide depth. Textures like knits, lace, denim, and cords add interest.

  • Accessories: Complete your look by adding hats, beanies, headbands, jewellery, scarves, belts, etc. It's a great way to show off your personality, without taking over the focus.

  • Hair and Makeup: Get haircuts at least a week before, and keep makeup natural.

  • Hands and Nails: Your hands will be visible in many of your photos, so make sure everyone has clean and trimmed nails with no chipped nail polish.


Say Yes:

  • Earthy, muted colors

  • Solid colors

  • One outfit with a pattern

  • Boots, sandals and sneakers

  • Comfortable fits

Say No:

  • Neon colors

  • Logos, words or characters on shirts

  • More than 1 busy pattern

  • Athletic runners and ballcaps

  • Too tight or too baggy fits

Get Ready!

What to do: 

  • Leave enough time to get ready, and navigate traffic, without rushing and stressing.

  • Try to make sure everyone is rested - an extra nap (for adults too!) can go a long way.

  • Come with full bellies - hungry kids are unhappy kids. But don't leave dinner for the car ride over and have to clean up kids in the parking lot.

  • Plan a special treat for sometime after the session - ice cream, a toy, or a special outing can keep everyone motivated to keep going!

What to Bring: 

  • Lots of mess-free snacks that won't stain mouths or spill on clothes

  • Water for everyone

  • A brush, hairspray, and/or gel

  • Makeup for touch-ups

  • A change of clothing, especially for kids

  • Jackets/sweaters for when temperatures drop later on

  • Bug spray

  • A relaxed, playful, and come-what-may attitude. It will show in your photos!​​


What if it rains? 

We can usually work around a light sprinkle, but if it is really pouring down, we will reschedule. Please keep the week after our scheduled date open and flexible in case we need to reschedule for the weather.


What about bedtimes?

The most flattering light for photos happens during the hour before sunset, or the hour after sunrise, when the sun is low enough in the sky to not cause harsh shadows on your faces, and you are bathed in soft, warm, golden light.


In the summer, this means that our session will probably start close or even after your children's bedtimes. In order to accommodate the late start, most of my clients adjust the day's schedule a bit to include an extra late-afternoon nap. 


If you can't extend their bedtimes for this one day, please consider booking a sunrise session, or a late fall or spring session when the sun sets a bit earlier.

What if my child is shy?

It is perfectly normal for children to feel a bit apprehensive when meeting a stranger. Reframing the photo session as a fun adventure along with a friend who will be taking photos will go a long way in easing anxious feelings.


At the session, there is no expectation for children to "perform". They can take their time warming up, and if they want to be in your arms all the time, that is fine too! I will be extra silly all along and chances are they will be relaxed and smiling in no time!

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