Let’s get started on the planning for your upcoming session!
First of all, we must decide when and where your session will take place. I always encourage my clients to chose a location that is meaningful to them: a special place they often visit, their favorite spot in town, or even, and I must admit this is my favorite, their home together.
Keep in mind: every place is a good place, trust me! So, if there's any location where you’d like to be photographed, please let me know and, if possible, we'll start to make the arrangements, such as securing a photography permit. Of course, there is always the possibility some of these places might charge a location fee or not allow photography at all. If that is the case I will let you know and we’ll proceed from there.
If you don’t feel like thinking too much about where to have the session, I will gladly make some suggestions.
This, however, is paramount: the BEST times to photograph outdoors are really early at sunrise or the last 2 hours before sunset. At any other time the harsh sunlight will create a very hard contrast in the images and you might be squinting a lot, or feeling uncomfortably hot. Make sure whichever option you chose, you are on time for the session so that we don’t lose any precious light.
The exception to sunrise/sunset: I love photographing at my clients’ home. It can be the most meaningful place and relaxed environment. If you chose home as the backdrop, all we need to do is make sure the house is VERY BRIGHT and as organized as you can make it. I photograph these types of sessions in natural light, so it’s important to have tons of it! Therefore, whichever time all that bright yummy light comes through your windows, that's our shoot time!
Don’t know where to start? Here’s my location guide: FAVORITE LOCATIONS IN AND AROUND WASHINGTON DC
Wardrobe advising is included in your package, and I make it a point to discuss with you potential clothing options that you might like to wear to the shoot.
I consider this to be an important part of the custom portrait process because a good photo is all about the right combination of color, texture, shape, and light! In order to get the most optimal shots, I like to plan each outfit in a particular order and setting.
As broad recommendations, I suggest solid colors in neutrals, pastels or warm earth tones. Patterns are okay, but keep them simple and subtle.
All I need from you are 3-4 different outfit options.
It’s best if you can send some pictures with you wearing them so that I get an idea of how everything falls on you, but laying them out is fine, too. I recommend texting me the photos, my number is 240-614-3835. Please send them as soon as you start planning this out.
Oh! And don’t forget about accessories! A cool hat goes a long way!
Make-up & Hair
Let me tell you something from the start, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Photographing and highlighting my subjects' true natural beauty will always be my main goal as a photographer. However, I also know how important it is to feel your best when you have a camera pointed at you. Confidence translates like magic into pictures.
For that I advise my clients to get ready for their shoots as if they were getting ready for a first date . You want to look your best, and I want you to feel like the most gorgeous couple/family in the world.
You can certainly do that at your own discretion. If you have perfected your hair and make-up technique, that is wonderful! If you already know a hair & make-up artist, great! If you are a clean face, top-bun wearing, boyfriend jeans type of gal, that’s who I want to photograph! The goal here is to feel like you can take over the world on your own terms.
I do know someone who can help you out if you would like, though, and this lady is the most badass make-up artist I know.
Valerie Hammer is an expert in creating looks that will bring out your best features. Please, let me know if you'd like me to contact them for you, or just go ahead and give them a call or email them directly. She’s often booked solid during wedding season, so do this as soon as you can.
What about props?
Props can create great moments, but long are the days when chalk boards and hobby lobby signs were the choice du jour. We want to create something new and exciting, and those… well… those have been so overdone. If you decide you want props in your photos, make sure they have meaning to you as a couple and/or they agree with the environment we are photographing in. Props can be anything you heart desires: doughnuts, cupcakes, cheesy pizza slices, your badass motorcycle, a picnic spread, blankets to snuggle in, flowers, et al.
OH! Pets are welcome too!
I love animals, so if you want to bring your pupper to your session, I'm all for it! Like ALL FOR IT! The only request I have in this case is that you bring someone to handle your pet when the focus of the shoot shifts to just the people in it. It gets very hard to focus and balance getting photographed and caring for your pet at the same time.
If you can’t find anyone to help you with that, let me know! I’ll find an animal-lover friend to do that for you.
OH! ONE MORE THING! LET'S TALK ABOUT PINTEREST
Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration. I love using it for gathering images that inspire me and lead me in the direction of what I'm trying to achieve as a photographer. For clients, the best thing about it is that it allows me to get a good idea of what they like and what their style might be.
However, Pinterest has a major downfall. A lot of clients approach photographers expecting to get specific images taken. Images they saw and liked on Pinterest. That is ok, as long as clients understand that copying someone else's work will hardly ever yield the same results. Every photograph turns out the way they do due to a number and variety of factors: lighting quality, specific time of day, specific location, specific light to a specific latitude (no joke!), weather, and so on... but most importantly, the person being photographed! A photo captures everything! It captures exactly what someone was feeling at the very moment the shutter was released. And it goes without saying that each person is unique and no two images will ever be alike.
I guess I'm writing all of this just to bring to light some things that most people don't really think of when they look for their portraits to be taken. You are you and your portraits will be unique to you. So, with that said, know that I will do my very best to create images that you will love. Images that bring out the best in you. However, if you would like a specific photo to be taken because you are so in love with what you saw, I will try my best to bring elements of it to your image while creating our a version of our own.