Does the thought of planning a photo session and everything that goes with it drive you into panic? Relax, I’ve got you! Last month, I was chatting with a fellow mom at a social event. I told her what I did and she responded by telling me that she’s never had a professional photo shoot with her family, that everyone online just looks so perfect, and the process seemed too overwhelming. Let me be the first (of I’m sure many) to tell you, what appears online is not real life. Instagram is a highlight reel; even when I share a tough parenting moment in my captions, it’s always paired with a beautiful photo.
Below, are some tips that I give my clients to help alleviate some stress when it comes to planning their photo sessions. Leave your thoughts in the comments and let me know if you’ve done anything that’s not on the list!
When you book a signature session with The Framed Narrative, all clients receive a full guide on what to expect and how to prepare for their session.
A newborn lifestyle session is completely different than at the studio. First of all, it is done in the comfort of your own home. Secondly, there is very little posing or props involved. Moments happen organically, as they do in real life, and I’m there to document them so that you can look back 6 months, 12 months, 10 years from now and remember those early days of when your baby fit into the nook of your arm or slept for hours on end on your chest.
I’ve heard some hesitation with lifestyle shoots like, “The lighting isn’t good enough” or “Our home isn’t decorated” but all of that is workable and sometimes even welcome. I’m there to document your life in real time. Below, I’ve included some tips on how to help you prepare for your lifestyle newborn shoot. I also send out a questionnaire and correspond with all of my clients so that we both know what to expect come session day. That also gives us another opportunity to address any concerns that you might have.
Find the light. Watch the light in your home, specifically in areas where we plan to shoot the most (typically this includes the living room/family room, nursery, and master bedroom). Shut the lights off in your home and see when you have the most natural light in each of these rooms. That will help us determine what time of day will be best to photograph in.
Let go of imperfect. Let go of the idea of having a “picture perfect” house (you just had a baby or you’re about to) and picture perfect siblings. I’m there to capture your life in real time. I don’t want your child looking at the camera. Babies cry and kids run around. That is life and that is your life right now. Embrace the chaos and don’t stress out about it. There’s beauty in every moment.
Pick your outfits carefully. There are some instances where wording on a t-shirt works. But trying to get a toddler to sit still so that we can see his “big brother” t-shirt may be an impossible feat. Neutrals tend to photograph best in home. Pair simple basics with texture and overlays. I typically tell moms to plan their outfits first and then coordinate the family’s outfit around that. If you want to infuse bold colors into your session, kids and accessories are where it’s done best. Another thing to think about is nail polish. While I love a fun and bold manicure, it can be distracting when it comes to newborn photographs, so try to keep the nails as natural as possible.
Relax and have fun! This is your family so relax! The camera knows when you’re tense, so just relax and pretend like there’s no one else there. I will let you know if I need you to look at the camera.
Want some tips on how to take your own newborn photos at the hospital? Click HERE to download my free guide!
Back in September, I hosted an open house and officially opened up my studio for business! Thank you so much to all of those who came out to support me. I had so much fun going through the cards and little messages you all wrote.
A special thank you goes out to my mom and my sister for helping me (but actually doing it!) with the charcuterie cups and the photo stand. And a big thanks goes out to my significant other for helping me hang all the shelves and photos. You guys are truly amazing and I most definitely couldn’t have done it without you.
Now let’s chat about the studio! The build out was a whole process and I learned so much along the way. Pulling permits, scheduling city inspections and finding contractors were all things that were new to me. The space had been vacant for 3 years before I came along and it was a massage area off of a spa which used to be next door. Carpet was replaced with LVP flooring, walls were torn down and painted and drop ceiling tiles were brought down to really open the space up. Although there were some tears to be had, I couldn’t be more happy with how it turned out!
A lot of people have asked me, “What will you be using the studio for?” I will be using the studio for maternity, family and newborn sessions, senior portraits, and branding and headshot sessions. It will also be nice to have an alternate indoor spot just in case weather is inclement. For the past 5 years I’ve gotten by with renting space from other photographers as needed, but a few times space has been double booked, therefore causing me to have to reschedule with clients. Because of how my business is transitioning out of weddings and leaning into motherhood and family portraits, I felt it was time to have a studio to call my own.
In celebration of Mother’s Day this month (May 13th to be exact!) I wanted to highlight 4 moms that I think are doing an AMAZING job! Each Monday this month, I will be interviewing a mom who I feel has a unique story that I want to share with the world. Each post will feature an interview, along with some cute pictures of her with the kiddos.
To start things off, I interviewed my own mom! This woman right here is so amazing, I don’t think the Internet has the capacity to hold everything that I could say about her. She’s an incredible mom (and Grandma) to my two girls, along with my niece. She raised two girls on her own and has accomplished so much and has shown me first hand that anything you put your mind to is possible. I’m so proud of her and I love seeing my girls with her. I had so much fun sitting at my kitchen table, sipping wine and interviewing her. Scroll down to read it and stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for more tributes to awesome moms!
Me: As a mom (and grandma) what has been your biggest accomplishment?
Mom: My biggest accomplishment has been raising you two girls and watching you two grow up and become the women that you are. But not only that, watching you become moms yourself has been so incredible to watch. It’s truly been a blessing.
Me: If you could go back now and tell your young mom self something about parenting, what would it be?
Mom: Hmm. I think I would tell myself not to sweat the small stuff and that time goes by so fast so just to enjoy every moment and to cherish the time and phase of life that you girls were in.
Me: What are some challenges that you see moms today facing that you didn’t have to think about when we were growing up? Mom: The need to be, or appear to be the “perfect mom”. You know, people want everything to appear to be perfect on Facebook or social media and that’s just not the case. Society puts a lot of pressure on moms nowadays to be perfect and there’s no such thing. To have the pressure of the perfect birthdays, and dinners while working and still taking care of your house. It sounds exhausting!
Me: What was your mom right about?
Mom: OooO….she thinks…can we come back to this question? haha! She always told me to spend more time with you kids and that you will grow up in the blink of an eye and I will have wished I had this time back.
Me: What advice would you give younger/newer moms today?
Mom: Don’t sweat the small stuff. That whatever you’re going through right now is just a phase and won’t last forever. To spend time with them whenever you can but also to remember it’s not about the quantity of time, but rather the quality.
To the many, many families I was able to serve over the course of the year. THANK YOU! Thank you for trusting me with your families’ most cherished memories and for giving me the opportunity to laugh, play and run around with your little ones.
To all of the lovely married couples and engaged couples…THANK YOU!!! Taylor and Kyle, you will forever hold a special place in my heart as being my first ever wedding. Thank you to all of this year’s couples who trusted me with documenting their most important day. For booking me and putting your faith in me when I had yet to shoot a single wedding.
If I had to choose one word to describe 2017, it would be incredible. Never did I think a long time hobby could turn into something like this. I’m so excited for 2018 and can’t wait to work with more wonderful families and couples. Thank you to all of my clients, my family and other seasoned photographers for all of your love, support and advice! 2017 wouldn’t have been this amazing without all of you!
Kurt reached out to me a few months back and asked if I’d be available to take pictures of his kids for his wife’s birthday as a surprise. Kurt’s son is getting ready to leave for basic training, so he knew that this would be a gift that should would love.
Photography sessions make great, one of a kind gifts for moms. Whether it be a seasoned mom who wishes she had more professional pictures of her children, or an expecting mom (maternity & newborn sessions) photography sessions are a wonderful gift to give. They also make great anniversary gifts to couples, because every year deserves to be celebrated.
Nothing says, “Summer” like an American themed family photo shoot. Check out these pictures from the Burns’ family. Rachel did an excellent job coordinating colors for her family’s summer session.
The rain didn’t keep us from having a fun family session at Boerner Botanical Gardens. The trees provided a lot of coverage and the girls had an umbrella to keep dry. Todd and Liz, your girls are adorable!
I’ve had the joy of knowing little Preston’s mom (Jen) since middle school. We worked with each other through various restaurant jobs in our younger days but drifted our separate ways shortly before college started. Thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook, we were able to stay connected.
I was thrilled when Jen reached out to me asking me to capture Preston’s 1 year. It’s such a change of pace for me when I get to photograph a family that has little boys. I have two girls, my sister is about to have a baby girl and my female cousin has a daughter. So you can kind of get what I mean when I say it’s a welcomed change of pace.
I have to say Preston did very well in front of the camera. There were no meltdowns and we had fun exploring the park! He can hang out with me any day!