Now that the weather is warm and beautiful and the trees are full with new green leaves I wanted to invite you to book your family portrait session. This is my favorite time of the year to take family portraits because the humidity is lower, the sky is bluer (no haze yet), and the trees and flowers are fresh in their colors. Many people think about their family sessions in the fall partly because Christmas is around the corner and the fall leaves can be beautiful, but I encourage you to think about it in the spring and early summer. In the fall the leaves here in South Carolina have a relatively short life cycle (maybe two weeks of real color) which makes for crunch time when scheduling sometimes. Early fall can be beautiful, but the humidity can be high which we all know here is in the south is murder on our hair and makeup.
Late spring is “wind down” time for little ones, and early summer is a great time for older kids to have free schedules. The location options are more plentiful as parks are beautiful and backyards are fresh with flowering shrubs or annuals. I also love to catch the light in the spring and summer as it is a brighter light with illuminating qualities on the skin.
Now that I’ve convinced you to call and schedule your family portrait right away :), I thought I’d go over some questions that many people have about scheduling or preparing for a family session.
FAQ’s of Family Sessions:
How early should I call to schedule a family session? This definitely varies with the season. Most all portrait photographers are busy in the fall with senior portraits and fall family sessions so I suggest scheduling in the summer to get a good date and possibly a backup date that works for you. If you choose a studio session in the winter, you may be able to wait until the first of the year as that is typically a slower time. Summer sessions are best booked in Spring and the beginning of summer. Spring sessions can typically be booked as late as early March because I will want to be outside working as much as possible in the spring!
Do I have to pay anything when scheduling a session? I do require a session fee deposit for my sessions. This is around $150.00 for a single family session. This secures your date in my software and calendar. It pays for the session itself, the pre-session consultations, and the time to prepare the images for your selection of poses.
What if we need to reschedule? If we need to reschedule because of sickness or weather or some unforeseen circumstance I will always try to work that out with our schedules as painlessly as possible. I always try to reschedule close to the session date because I want to be sure to give you my best. I have spaced my sessions apart to allow for the very best customer service.
What if I am overwhelmed at the idea of coordinating colors in clothing? I can help you with this! Once I give you some of the basics, it won’t be difficult. The easiest idea is to stick with solids and don’t have everyone wear the same thing. The background will also determine some clothing colors so we’ll work through all that in the pre-session discussions.
Should I wear more makeup than usual? I suggest wearing a little more eye color and lip color because those are focal points and I want to be sure the camera catches those, but natural foundation is best.
What if my husband hates having his picture taken? I’m only including this one because it comes up a fair number of times. Of course, girls and women are usually more comfortable in front of the camera than men and boys. I consider this totally normal, and I try to roll with this. I will do my best to make everyone comfortable and take breaks if necessary. One thing about men I love is that they are wonderfully visual (I get that one). If time allows I promise to show them some pictures right after so they can see how much they will love the portraits. This usually helps them to understand the value of their sacrifice of time and effort. I also try to get the shots including Dad first if possible.
What if my toddler has a meltdown? Well, first of all, I expect this. Sometimes the situation just lends itself to the perfect meltdown climate (new itchy clothes, they can’t get dirty, they need to stand/sit still, etc). I adore children, and all my own children were crazy with tantrums when they were toddlers. I usually try to take a break, take another family grouping without the toddler/s or even get them to help me. I don’t expect sessions with toddlers or young children to be quick and seamless, and I allow time for that. If we try all that and it’s not going to happen, we can always reschedule!
About how long does it take? I like to start and finish within an hour, but I never push that. Children don’t want to go longer than that of course, and parents are done too. The only ones that don’t mind going long are teenage girls :). If we need to take breaks we might go longer, but I try to allow time for that. Families with older children are finished in 45 minutes if we don’t have to do a lot of walking.
Below are a few portraits from family sessions. All my family sessions are wonderful to me because I get to see the connection in your family from a documentary point of view. It is such an HONOR and a privilege to be able to help a family get a visual record of the most important relationships in their lives.