Wedding & Portrait Session Tips and Information

So you’ve booked your wedding and/or portrait session with me and you’re thinking now what? Below is a collection of my tips and suggestions to make your wedding or session the best it can be!!

Wedding Portrait Information 

Create your Thank You sign prior to the wedding day and have it available on the wedding day so that we can take a photo with it and then create a custom Thank You card.

Plan for at least an hour of getting ready time as you will need it.

It’s always better to be early than late so I always try to build a bit of extra time into the day so you are never late.

I recommend only including immediate family during the family formal portraits as that is the least time consuming and most necessary. We can certainly do aunts, cousins ect anytime throughout the day and I will get candids as well.

Relax and enjoy your day no matter what! You will have things that don’t go exactly as planned and the trick is to embrace the change and just go with it. 🙂

Make sure to discuss your reception timeline with me ahead of time to make sure I will be there for all of the main reception events. The last thing you want happening is my time to be up and you haven’t even done your first dance yet. If that were to happen you can request that I stay in half hour increments but I am not always able to. Especially now that I have a daughter and have to provide child care, that is always prearranged ahead of time and can’t always be adjusted. Your best option is to have enough of my time initially.

I require 1.5 hours for formal portrait time. It doesn’t always take this long but again having more time than not enough is always best. If you’ve decided to do a first look then we will use all allotted time prior to the ceremony. If you’ve decided not to do a first look then we will use 30 minutes prior to the ceremony for your separates and 1 hour after the ceremony for your togethers.

Details are a very important part of your day and your wedding as a whole. Any little detail you can add is great!!

When I first arrive at your wedding I will begin with capturing your getting ready details so you will want to have those gathered and ready for me. These items can include your dress, shoes, jewelry, veil, garter, gloves, special gifts, vows, flowers, something borrowed, blue, old and new, and anything else you may have. You will want to be finishing up with your hair and make up so that I can get a few shots of that following the details. Then I will join the men and cover their getting ready for a short time. Following that I will return to you and we will then put your dress and details on. If you have both myself and my 2nd photographer Mindy for the whole day (which I strongly recommend) then we will just trade for the time I would be with the men.

Engagement Session Information 

It is ideal to complete your session at least two months prior to your wedding. That way I have enough time to edit and design and you have enough time to incorporate your images into your wedding décor if desired. If you’ll be wanting Save the Date’s or images for your invitations you may want to do this session much earlier.

I recommend 2 outfits for your session. One a bit casual and one a bit more dressy. I suggest staying away from polka dots and busy patterns as you don’t want your clothes to take attention away from you. For colors you can do anything you want with the following suggestions: stay away from solid white, coordinate together rather than match exactly, and don’t forget to accessorize!! Scarfs, jewelry, hats and so on. If you are selecting say black as your base color make sure to pop it with another color in a layer or accessory.

Bring personal items with you to your session. These items can be anything! Think about your hobbies and interests and go from there. The purpose of this is to make your session unique to you and more fun. If you have any questions or need help with ideas please let me know. 🙂

Keep your makeup simple and close to your everyday style.

Drink plenty of water the day before and day of your session.

If you have pets and want to bring them along please do so!! Please communicate this ahead of time so we can make sure we are using a location that is pet friendly. Also it’s a good idea to have a kennel/tie out or someone to man them for the majority of the session as you will want them in a few shots but not all of them.

If you have specific desires please share them with me so that we can make sure to cover them.

Think about your Save the Dates and what you plan on doing ahead of time and we can take relevant photos during your session. Save the Dates are certainly not required but are becoming more popular every year.

We can use any location you like within 30 miles of Loveland free of travel charge. I will certainly go farther than that there is simply a one time $40 travel charge. I like to use locations that are special to you but if you don’t have a place in mind that is totally ok. I can give you many suggestions if needed.

Maternity Session Information 

The best time for this session is when you are about 7 months along. You want to be big enough but not to the point of being done and uncomfortable.

Feel free to bring along any items to your session that you wish. These can be anything some examples are: baby booties, balloons in baby’s gender colors, baby’s first outfit, numbers/letters to show due date, ultrasounds photos and so on.

Try to get a good night sleep prior to your session and drink plenty of fluids as well as eat well the day of your session. You want to feel as good as possible.

I suggest 1-2 outfits which can be anything you like. Keep it simple and I always say coordinate rather than match.

Don’t forget to accessorize! That favorite scarf, some cute earings, a hat and so on.

Prior to your session you will need to decide if you want lifestyle portraits as well as partial nudes or just lifestyle. If you desire both then 2 locations will be needed. For the partial nudes I typically do those in my clients homes.

You can of course include your pets in fact I recommend it! They are a part of the family as well!

 

Newborn Session Information 

It is ideal to photograph newborns with 7-14 days of life.

Make sure to feed your baby fully prior to your session. The fuller the belly the more likely they are to sleep through posing which is ideal.

When you arrive to your session I will for the most part take over with baby. Baby can smell and sense mommy and that can prevent him/her from fully relaxing so I may ask both mommy and daddy to stand/sit aside during posed portraits. I am very good with newborns and I have had one myself so feel free to just relax, enjoy your break and let me get my baby fix and work my magic. 🙂

Plan on feeding at least once during your session. If you bottle feed I can do that or we can break for you to nurse either is fine.

If you pacify your baby please bring one along for soothing.

Your session will take approximately 2-3 hours in full. If dad is not that patient have him arrive half way through, nothing wrong with that! 😉 We will begin with baby’s posed shots then do some lifestyle family. 

For the most part your baby will be in his/her birthday suit for the majority of the session. Please don’t fret about him/her peeing/pooing on me or backdrops ect as it is going to happen. 🙂

Feel free to bring along any items you wish to have included in your session. These can be anything, think about your hobbies, work, interests ect. Please let me know if you have questions on this or need ideas. I will also have many different backdrops to choose from. I don’t currently have headbands, hats or many accessories so if you want those you will have to bring them.

I offer in studio, in home and on location newborn sessions. If you elect to do your session in your home I will need a 6×6 space for my posing setup ideally near a large window or sliding glass door. We can then use your nursery, bedroom and any other areas for lifestyle shots.

Don’t forget to bring your diaper bag! I did that once and it was no fun!

Family Session Information 

Matching clothes is fun but make sure not to match exactly rather coordinate. I suggest selecting a base color and building off of that. For example say you have a family of 4 with 2 girls and you select your base color as black with jeans. Mom would wear a cute black top as would dad, although mom would accessorize with an accent color, can be a scarf, jewelry or layers. Then the girls would wear items in the accent color with touches of black. For planning I suggest starting with mom and working your way through the rest of the family. The most important thing is to feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, if you don’t it will show. I am happy to help you with your specific needs just contact me. 🙂

Don’t forget about your spouse. It was just the two of you originally and I’m sure you don’t have many photos of just you two! It only takes a second and I highly recommend at least one shot!

There is no need to spend a fortune on all new outfits!! Instead select a few items from your own wardrobes that are fresh and fit well and then you can pick up a few items to finish the look if needed. Save your funds to invest in a talented and well qualified photographer like myself. 🙂

Relax and enjoy your family!! It is not necessary to look and smile for every image and most people, especially children, will get overwhelmed with a lot of direction coming from a lot of different places. I am very good with people and coaxing out the reactions I desire, so just relax and let me do my thing. You will most likely love the in the moment shots over the posed smiley ones anyway!

It is best to plan your session around the best time for light and then the best time for your family.  Make sure you all are well fed, rested and have had plenty of water. I know when I get hungry or tired I get grouchy as do children! Feel free to bring along snacks and water to your session as well. 🙂

The location of your session is important to the result of your image. If you want something modern or edgy an urban downtown setting would suit you, for something scenic and natural I would suggest a mountain location or a park. There is no wrong location it can be anything!! Some unique ideas too are your local library, an ice cream shop or a coffee shop. I suggest thinking about your hobbies, likes and interests when selecting a location. I am of course here to help you make this decision just contact me.

Please bring special sentimental items with you! Your families picnic blanket, your daughter’s favorite toy, your son’s favorite hat, a football, your pets, anything goes!! Again think about your hobbies, likes and interests. These items will make your session more fun and unique to you!

The most important thing is to have fun with your family!! You are not only preserving moments you are creating memories! 🙂

 

Boudoir Session Information

Please bring as many outfits, accessories, shoes and the like to your session. These items can be anything, some suggestions are: matching bra and panty sets, several styles of panties, a must is black boy shorts, any gowns, negligees or corsets, garter sets (my favorite!! J ), hats, thigh highs, heels, jewelry, scarves, boas and so on. I also suggest bringing a few of your significant others items such as: button up shirts, ties, sports jerseys, and a favorite old t-shirt, really anything goes! Think of what you think he would like. It is always better to have more than not enough! When we arrive for your session we will begin by going through your items and making a game plan together. 🙂

Please refrain from wearing bras, tight panties and restricting clothing at least 1 hour prior to your session. This will help prevent clothing lines.

Make sure to eat and drink water the day of your shoot so that you feel your very best. You are welcome to bring some wine or champagne to your session if you like but certainly not a necessity. You’re also welcome to bring along your own music/mp3 player if you desire.

Your session will take approximately 2 hours including handling business and outfit changes.

Please feel free to bring along any inspiration you may have or if there are any specific shots that you are wanting let me know and we can work together to recreate. I do have an arsenal of ideas though so don’t feel like you have to bring anything, either way we will be just fine. 🙂

If you would like to get your hair and make-up done professionally for your session please make sure to plan accordingly time wise. My best recommendation for that is Cassandra Garza at www.pinklashesmua.com. Now you certainly don’t have to get it done professionally I am also quite fond of DIY also! Keep in mind when DIY to go a tad darker than normal and false eyelashes are a very nice dramatic add. Make sure to practice those! J You’ll also want to have some movement in your hair not too stiff.

I recommend a fresh shave and pluck so you don’t have any stubble or strays.

Practice any outfits you are not accustomed to wearing, this will make your feel more relaxed and comfortable resulting in better images. I will be there to help you and coach you so don’t be nervous.

Don’t do anything drastic to your body such as get a haircut and/or color, facial treatment, tan or wax. Do these items several days prior to your session so that your body has time to recover and adjust.

Should you want to shop for outfits I recommend Victoria Secret and Charlotte Rouse.

Most important of all: Relax we’re going to have a blast!! 🙂

Feel free to contact me with any questions or your specific needs! 🙂

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