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What to expect

 

The first thing we’ll do when you book your session is decide where we’ll do your shoot. I work on location, and it’s entirely up to you! We just need plenty of natural light, an uncluttered background, and room to play to make it all come together. Sometimes it’s a park, a playground, your home, an open field, wherever.  We want the location to serve simply as a backdrop and keep the emotions and interactions shared in your family the primary focus. If you’re having trouble deciding on where to do your shoot, I’d be happy to offer some local suggestions. The session fee covers locations within San Diego County. Other locations are available with an additional $50 per hour travel fee.

At the session, we will play and have fun! I strive to capture the moments that define you as a family. I will be chasing your kids all around the park to capture them in their natural behaviors, and then I’ll be snapping pictures as you tickle, hug, and toss them in the air. We want to have fun and capture the genuine joy and love you have for each other. We have plenty of time in our session, so relax, get comfortable and have fun! If your little one needs a break for snacks, diaper change, or even just a moment to calm down we can do so at any time! This is their session and we can work on their time. We want to capture your child’s natural expressions and genuine emotions, which means letting them do their own thing as much as possible. Please do not give them too many instructions, as this will just make them nervous and uncomfortable. Also, do not tell them to smile or say cheese. Let’s get them laughing instead! I generally start out the shoot with the more formal posed images where everyone is positioned together and looking at the camera. After the more formal shots, we will start to move around in our location for more candid photos. At times, I may take your child/children aside so that I can interact more one on one with them. We won’t go far, I just find that some kids are more cooperative when they don’t have an audience.

We can discuss any props you would like to bring to your session. Maybe a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, extra clothing or accessories, etc. In addition, you should bring non-messy snacks and beverages for the kids, a change of clothing, a comb or brush, sun block, bug spray and anything else you typically might need for a few hours at the park. Please do not bring your own camera, as this can be extremely distracting to both me and those being photographed.

Only those being photographed should come to the session. Grandmas and aunts are wonderful, but are often distracting for the child during the session. In order to get the best images of your child I need to interact with them one on one, and having too many family members around makes that difficult.

Basic retouching is included with your session, and minor scratches, bruises and bumps can be corrected. However, if your child (or you) is feeling sick or suffering from any kind of rash or fever, we will have to reschedule. I have little ones at home and work with many other children including newborns. We will do anything and everything to get another session scheduled for you.

Within 2 weeks of your session, I will have the images processed, edited and ready for preview. I will post your online password protected gallery on my website for 7 days, at the end of which your order will be due. There will be a $50 fee to re-post your gallery. I am happy to help you select images and sizes for a display wall either over email/phone or in your home. Typically your prints will be available within two weeks of your order. Some items such as photobooks may take longer, and you will receive an estimated completion date when you place your order. Orders of $700 and less are payable in full at the time the order is placed. For orders over $700, you have the option of paying 50% at the time of order and 50% at the time of delivery. Your order will be beautifully packaged and delivered to your home. Gift wrapping of individual prints is also available.

 

Specific information for newborn/maternity sessions:

Maternity sessions are typically done at 30-36 weeks. That way you have a nice round tummy, but are not yet super uncomfortable. Please keep in mind when scheduling that I am often booked weeks and sometimes months out. So try to schedule your appointment well before your desired date.

Newborn portraits must be done when baby is less than 2 weeks old, with about 1 week old being the best. The earlier the better to get a super sleepy, easy to pose baby. Also, baby acne commonly starts at around 2 weeks old, so it’s important to get them in before that. If you would like to schedule a newborn session, I strongly advise that you book your session while you are still pregnant. We will work on changing the session date if it is needed (if baby comes early or late), but by reserving your spot before baby arrives, it ensures that I don’t fill my calendar and can fit baby’s session in as soon as possible! It is VERY rare that I am able to get a newborn in last minute as my schedule books up weeks and sometimes months in advance, so please do not delay in scheduling this important session.

If at all possible, have baby finish up a feeding just before or at the beginning of our shoot. This will make for a happy and very sleepy baby.

Newborn sessions are generally done with minimal clothing, so be sure to have your home very warm. I also recommend having a white or neutral duvet on your bed, as we will do some shots there.

Remove clothing and socks with any elastic at least an hour before I arrive. I also recommend keeping baby in cloth diapers for an hour before I arrive. This ensures there are no red marks on baby’s skin that can be very hard to remove in post-processing.

It’s best if you and hubby wear neutral clothing (see Pinterest board above for examples), and be sure to have a change of clothing in case of any accidents.

Please be prepared for your session to take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours to make time for feedings, diaper changes, soothing, and getting baby to sleep. Be patient and calm if baby gets cranky or is not cooperating. It happens with all babies, and that’s why we have plenty of time built into the session.

Expect your baby to pee on everything. That’s what they do. I’ll bring cloth diapers to use for our sets, but accidents happen and it’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. Just be sure to have a change of clothing available.