When planning a lifestyle portrait session, here are ways to plan and be prepared, and important policies you need to be aware of.
1. Cancelling or rescheduling
I completely understand if there is an emergency or a sick child, or if your scheduled date is just not going to work. You can absolutely cancel, and reschedule. During busy portrait season, just be aware that I may not have a lot of availability but I will do my best to accommodate, always. If cancelling less than 12 hours before your session, there is a $50 cancellation fee.
2. Arriving late to your session
Also something I understand. But It is very important that you are on time. It can be challenging to get out of the house on time when there are four kids to get ready, but please understand that I schedule other sessions before and after yours, and I also contract for childcare for my own kiddos. My sessions take place all over the valley, and I have to be on time for the other families. What this means is if you are a half hour late to your one hour session, we can only shoot for a half hour.
3. Adding additional time to a session
If I have nothing booked immediately after your session, we can definitely add additional time. One half hour is billed at $50.
4. Rainy Day Policy
If it is raining, if rain is in the forecast, or it has rained before your session, assume that we will be cancelling and rescheduling.
What to Wear for Family Portraits
Combining colors and patterns is lovely for creating a striking color palette for your family portraits. The focus is on all of you, as a unit. Like colors are ideal.Darker colors work better than lighter colors to contrast backgrounds, and these do not reflect or bounce light onto skin. However, pastels and bright colors do photograph beautifully and add fun and whimsy to the shots. Try different colors such as greens or blues. Reds, greeens, teals, and blues photograph beautifully! Long sleeves are best, you would be surprised how many women do not like their arms in photographs. In that same token, avoid shorts and flip flops, as well as shirts where a bra strap can easily show. Think about comfort, the ability to sit or climb without worrying how your clothing will hamper your movements.
Taking a look at the images to the right will give you a good sense of how different colors and textures work. And especially how they influence the backgrounds I select.
What to Wear for Business/Modeling/Acting Headshots
For black and white shots, dark solids photograph best. If your skin is fair, darker tones are best. Lighter tones for darker skin on the flip side. Darker clothes attract less attention and put the focus on your face and eyes. Greens, blues, and reds photograph beautifully. Avoid busy patterns, lines, stripes, or plaids.
For modeling portfolios, the clothing should reflect the type of work you are interested in getting, and practicing facial expressions for acting jobs is also essential. Depending on the types of roles you are looking for (comical, dramatic, etc) facial expressions should reflect that. It really helps casting agents.
Suits or jackets are great for a more professional look, but it really depends on your goals and what you want the headshot to say about you as a professional.
Furthermore, it is good to bring a variety of options so I can help you in finding the perfect "fit".
Last but not least, avoid wearing anything with logos.
Who are are you? what defines you as an individual, family, a couple? Do you enjoy the outdoors together? Do one of you have an interesting hobby? All of the elements that define you as a person and/or a family can be incorporated into your photo session.
The perfect shot does not necessarily mean all eyes on the camera and the perfect "cheese". Candid shots are the best! Let your kids play, run around, make them laugh, give them tickles. Do what makes you happy, laugh, and enjoy yourselves. Picture day should not be a stressful occasion. When shooting with toddlers, bring along the favorite toy or blankie. Bribes are also highly recommended. Older kiddos can bring along a costume, a hat, accessories...anything that will help them search their imagination and have fun being photographed.
The most important thing about a lifestyle session is COMFORT.
Chosing the right place can make oR break a session.
I have posted a gallery of locations, which you can access on the home page under "location galleries". This will give you a wide variety of spots to choose from, but you are also welcome to select a place of your own. Keeping in mind a few things: lighting is important, hotel properties generally require that you are a guest, or you pay a fee to shoot on property, pretty much any location you choose that is outdoors does not work when it is in direct sunlight...i.e. an open field.
If you have young kiddos, the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza is great. Grass, trees, flowers, public sculpture, and fountains provide many great back-drops. The Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix are also beautiful and perfect for individuals, couples, or families. Market Street at Gainey Ranch is also excellent with its many textured walls, varying couches and benches, park, waterscapes, sculptures, and walking paths. For more colorful pictures, the Mesa Arts Center boasts mullticolored walls in a contemporary space. Sahurao Ranch Park in Glendale has historic buildings and barns, as well as orchards, grapevines, and cornfields. Furthermore, we do live in a city. Downtown Phoenix or the Arts District, or even Old Town Scottsdale are dynamic and modern places to shoot. Last but not least, any one of the local resorts make for gorgeous destinations for portrait photography. However, not all resorts will allow professional portraits on the property, so you may also want to inquire ahead of time. Chances of having permission for photos on the property are greatly increased if you are a guest or planning a future event there.