Family Portrait Sessions

Preparing for your session


Booking Your Session

Our success comes from a timeless concept. We take the time to get to know our clients, starting with our first meeting and continuing through to the delivery of your finished portrait creations. The design consultation is to communicate about what styles, subjects, and ideas a client has. Our web site has allowed potential clients to see what we have done in the past and the variety of art we offer.

Communication is very important. We need to be on the same page with each client. For example, if a client wants a contemporary images of their family and we dress their 3 year old daughter in a Victorian dress and have a tea party in the garden, then never include the parents in any images, we have failed that client. Communication is the foundation from which we work.


Our policy is to focus on one client at a time. Our portrait sessions normally last about one hour. Sometimes it will be less, sometimes slightly longer, particularly with large family groups. Our portrait sessions will include a variety of looks which may be indoors and out doors. They may be formal or informal. These decisions are made during the design consultation. Please contact our studio should you have any last minute questions or concerns. We take 16–60 images during a normal session. However, during editing we narrow that down to 12–40 of the best for you to view.

We never overlap or double book a photo session. The hour you have scheduled is exclusively yours. If you arrive 5 to 10 minutes early we can get acquainted with your children, and help you get ready for the session. If you are 15 minutes late, your session will only be 45 minutes. Make the most of this time you have. Our job is not only to photograph you and your child but to provide a private, relaxed, and fun atmosphere which allows the wonderful relationship you have to express itself.

For Your Session

Memorable portraits take careful planning, and the clothing you choose is very important to your portrait’s success. These guidelines will help you to make important decisions about your portrait. 


Your Style and Typical Styles

The goal of any fine portrait is to direct the viewer’s attention to the face or faces in the portrait. Simple long–sleeved garments in medium to dark tones of brown rust, burgundy, green, or blue are pleasing choices when photographed against a dark background.

 Proper clothing allows the face to dominate the portrait. All other elements should be secondary.

 Bold stripes, plaids, checks, and prints are confusing, and do not photograph well.

 Especially bright colors, such as red and orange, will completely overpower the face and ruin a portrait.

 Light–colored clothing calls attention to itself, and away from the face. Avoid light colors that approximate flesh tones such as beige, tan, peach, pink, white, and yellow. Darker shades are more flattering and slimming.

 Light colors are appropriate against a white or pastel background, or with a dark background, when an interpretive “pictorial” study is planned.

Clothing for Families

In a family group, proper clothing coordination is critical. When decorating a home, a major concern is to coordinate the colors and tones of the walls, carpets, draperies, and furniture. This kinds of coordination also is necessary when selecting clothing for a group portrait. Choose clothing in the same tonal ranges so that no single member of the family stands out because the clothing is too light or bright, as compared to the rest of the group.

 Clothing that blends harmoniously creates timeless portraiture because the viewer’s eye goes directly to the faces.

 Clothing in medium shades complement portraits made in outdoor environments.

Tips on clothing style and accessories!

 Very simple garments always photograph best.

 Turtle necks or v–necks are flattering, provided that neither is exaggerated in style. Avoid very wide or particularly deep v–neck garments as well as bulky cowl neck sweaters that completely hide the neck.

 Long sleeves are essential for teens and adults, as bare arms call attention to themselves and will overpower the face.

 Women being photographed in full length should wear long skirts, pants, or dark stockings in order to keep the eye from being directed toward the legs and away from the face.

 If feet are to show in the portrait, make certain shoes and stockings are in keeping with the visual intent of the portrait.

 Men should have their hair cut about one week before the portrait session. Women should be photographed whenever they are happiest with their hair in relation to the time it is styled.

Children : 

Delicate prints allow the face to dominate the portrait, but it is harder to focus on the child when clothing is too busy.

 White clothing and a white background are a perfect combination.

 Pajamas are great for “bedtime” portraits for little boys or girls.

 The simplicity of a slip for little girls is always a nice choice.

 Clothing coordination is very important when more than one child appears in the portrait.

Adults :

Sleeveless tops and tight short skirts are not great.. but we do not frown on your style. It is up to you how you want to look in your finished portraits. Do not overdo your makeup. If you are still not sure about what to bring, bring it all and we can pick together.

Our policy is to focus on one client session at a time. We never overlap or double book a photo session. The hour you have scheduled is exclusively yours. If you arrive 5 to 10 minutes early, I can get acquainted with your children, and help you get ready for the session. If you are 15 minutes late, your session will only be 45 minutes. Make the most of the time you have. In some cases I may not have a session booked after you. (that is a tad rare but a benefit to you if this is the case).




Preparing for your Maternity Session



First, congratulations!  It’s such an honor for me to take part in documenting such a special time in your life.

           Maternity portraits usually should be taken around the 7th and 8th month depending on how big you’ve gotten and your condition during your last trimester. The Pregnancy belly is the optimum size during the 7th or 8th months for portraits.

Earlier than that, your belly may be too small unless your carrying multiples. If you’re gaining a lot of weight or carrying more than one baby, you will most likely want to do your portrait session sooner rather than later. Many women retain water and look puffy during the last month of their pregnancy. 

  1. At least several hours prior to photo shoot, you should take off anything that has tight elastic like slacks with tight waistbands and undergarments or bras, or even socks in order to make sure you do not have elastic or strap marks on your skin. Do not use lotion on your belly, especially the kind to help reduce stretch marks, as it tends to be shiny and it affects the image the camera catches. Shine does not look great in these pictures. If you wish to use it, know the end result.
  2. Tops should be form fitting, especially around the bust-line. Over-sized shirts,  (for example your husbands white shirt), wont show your shape and showing the shape of your belly is the whole point.. I have gowns you can use if you choose. There are poses we can hit with that type of shirt on which we can poke the belly through the bottom of the shirt and only button over the bust-line. I will be using fabric to cover personal parts, but choosing a pretty bra and panties is a great idea, just in case. Bringing a robe with you is a good idea to throw on between poses. If you have large breasts, make sure you bring a skin colored bra, (nude or peach or coca depending) that is either strapless or has removable straps, or just taking the straps off the shoulders and tucking them in the cups can work. You will be wearing the bra under the fabric and may be a bit see-through (thus the need for the bra to be skin colored). And the bra is going to help give the best and most shapely silhouette in your pregnancy pictures.
  3. Your hands will show, so do not forget the manicure would be helpful, and a pedicure. Face powder is always a good idea, to eliminate shiny spots due to the flash. Moisturize your knees and elbows, otherwise, they tend to show a lighter tone and usually show rough or dry flaky skin. Do not use glittery lotion as it does not photograph well. Make-up containing spf will add shine and is discouraged from use as well prior to your session.
  4. It’s a good idea to eat a light snack before your session. I usually bring out a small type of finger snack food of sorts. If you have a preference, you may bring it along. 
  5. Limit jewelry to essential pieces. While its nice to include special or important jewelry, too much can be distracting and may dominate the portrait. I may want to add beads, depending on the style of your session. If you have a set of long beads, a photograph of an U/S or a favorite bootie sock (color of the sex is good), then bring that too. Even a sign with the baby’s name is a great idea. I do have chalk boards and signs too.
  6. It’s a good idea to bring along several shots you have seen in magazines or internet that you are interested in at your consult with me, so I have a good idea of your style and type of look and mood you want for your portraits. Don’t expect your photographer to know all you expect as you need to put forth a good bit of effort and planning to gain the poses you desire by showing examples...      
  7. Try to be on time for your appointment and do not schedule any appointments or activities after your session. Quality portraiture requires a good amount of time, you won’t want to rush your session and be dissatisfied with the results.
  8. If you are planning on including your husband in your images, make sure you discuss it with your photographer at your consult so a clothing guideline  such as colors and matching you is essential. Black slacks, and if you are wearing Jeans, he should bring a pair as well.
  9. PROPS – Please bring items of personal importance with you to add interest to your portraits.
  10. Family Maternity poses. Portrait sessions last only a moment and as soon as your family session is done, the moment is over. Please be sure you coordinate colors. The choice is yours and should reflect your lifestyle and keeping all outfits in the same tone color is best. For instant, do not have one wearing black slacks with orange plaid shirt and another baby blue jeans and a white shirt. Just wouldn’t look as good. Simple is classic, Classic is the best. If you do not have a choice, it is ok, as long as you know what the end result could look like. 


Preparing for your Newborn session


Precious Gifts Require Their own Special Time

This is most important to capture as these little ones change daily and are most precious gifts! I mention to all of my clients to schedule your newborn’s session beforehand.  Around your due date. We can tweak your date when we get closer if we need to change it. Doing this leaves less pressure to find the right photographer quick or at the last minute and you will have enough to do when waiting for that bundle of joy to arrive! During our consult we will discuss whether you would like an in-home lifestyle session, or a session at my Durham, CT studio.  I have your due date on my calendar, and when you give birth, you can easily email, text or call me, and we can schedule your session and again discuss location based on you and baby.

The best time frame for your newborn session is between 1-2 weeks after birth. This helps to avoid the peak point of jaundice, but still gets them at their ‘newest’ when they are the most sleepy and form-able to get them into those adorable positions.  After that, your newborn becomes more alert and reaches the most common time period for being awake and oh that "infant acne".

BUT, if those chances are gone, I STILL wouldn't pass up a chance to capture your new bundle of joy while they are still a newborn.  I consider this limit to be at 6 weeks old, and suggest waiting until your baby is 3 months if you have passed that milestone. Booking a milestone session is the best option for this. Your newborn session does take about 2-3 hours.  This leaves time for nursing/feeding sessions and of course diaper changes and any clean-ups.

For Your Session & During Your Session

    ♥ 1  Feed your baby approximately half hour before your session is scheduled to begin.

    ♥ 2  Remove all clothes that can leave creases or marks on the baby before feeding, take off sicks and loosen up diaper. You can lightly wrap baby in a receiving blanket for comfort. 

    ♥ 3  Try to bring at least one other person with you to the session other than the daddy to help you out if you need it. Especially if you have sibling.

    ♥ 4  You and baby's Daddy will most likely be in some photos too, so be sure you dress for the occasion. (optional)

    ♥ 5  Have ideas at hand that you wish to try to capture certain poses prior to the shoot. We will work carefully and gently to achieve the maximum choices before your baby decides they had enough. ( our goal is to keep baby comfy and less fussy- besides its their debut, and they are on their own schedule too)

    ♥ 6  Wear light comfortable clothes to the session. Most cases the room is quite warm for baby. The baby will be undressed during most of the shoot and we like to keep the studio toasty and warm. Do not forget baby might be posing without a diaper at times, (optional) you may want to bring extra set of clothes for you and baby just in case baby decides to soil. ( this happens very often.)

    ♥ 7  Don't forget to bring accessories you would like to use in the shoot, such as a favorite toy that replicates their nursery or special gift from someone dear. Something sentimental. Or ask for props I typically have many options to make this session most memorable.

    ♥ 8  Bring enough formula, or baby food to the session and keep in mind that you will probably have to feed your baby more often than usual during the session. Bring a snack for yourself as well, since you will be here for 2-3 hours.