Okay, so your photo session is booked and it's just a few days away... Now what?

I wanted to give you a few important tips so you'll be all ready for your upcoming photo session with me! PLEASE read this entire post and share it (yes, copy & paste the URL now and email/text it to your significant other right now!) with all adults who will be at the session. Save it and read it again if needed :)

Give Yourself Time!

Leave plenty of time to get ready! Have outfits steamed/ironed and laid out the day before or that morning and add on an extra 30-60 minutes to however long you think getting ready will take. Plan to show up early to the location to ensure you aren't rushing. If everyone is relaxed and happy, that's how the session will be! Keep calm and try not to get annoyed with anyone for going slow, remember the point of this day is to enjoy your family! (I put that part in here because I've totally made this mistake. Lol.)

Be Well-Rested & Fed

Don’t have a super active day on the day of your session. You don't want your little ones to be all worn out by the time we even start. We are likely meeting at the end of the day, and you don't want tired and cranky kids. I also suggest making sure you eat with enough time to get dressed and ready, it is extra important that no one is hangry! And don’t forget to brush teeth and wipe faces!

During Your Session

Remember that the best photos come from interacting authentically with your family. I will gently guide you when needed, but I want you to just be together as you would be at home snuggling on the couch, or playing together at the park. If your kids are more calm and shy, then let them be that. Snuggle them, stroke their faces, sway together. If they are more energetic then throw them in the air, go exploring together, play tag, tickle. Whatever is authentic to your family! Don’t be afraid to snuggle and dote on your child. Give someone a sweet kiss on the cheek. Look for rocks, flowers, or leaves together. Laugh. Giggle. Joke. Embrace. Smooch. Snuggle. Play. Doing these things will allow me to capture the emotion and true beauty of your family. If you ever aren't sure what to do, just get close to someone and snuggle them.

Let The Kids Be Kids <----- most important section!!!!!

A photo session is not time to enforce rules. For our time together, try not to tell your kid "no" unless it's a safety issue. If they don't want to do something, we'll try something else. If they forget to use their manners, let it go. Just for this one day! We are trying to get happy, natural smiles and fun interaction between you as a family. If one child is sad because he got yelled at by his parents, the session isn't going to go well. You get to be the cool parents today. Go with it!

A Note on Snacks

If you think you will need some snacks for the little ones at some point during the session, then definitely bring some! Just make sure it's a non-messy snack that won't get stuck in their teeth (bad idea= goldfish crackers). Mini marshmallows are great because they dissolve easily. Fruit snacks are also gone quickly. Apple slices & grapes are some great non-messy and healthy snacks. Just make sure to hide them and not bring them out unless needed. Also bringing water, especially on a hot day or a location that involves some walking, is a super smart idea. And please do not bring lollipops along or anything that takes a long time to eat unless you want your kids to be holding/ eating it in all your photos. Also, please no gum or anything that takes a while to chew!


Only bring toys if you are okay with them being in the photos. Most of the time, I would advise against it. We want them playing with you and not a toy but if you think one is needed as a backup emergency option, make sure it is well hidden (click here to see my favorite). If you want a super special stuffed animal or toy in some photos with your child, that's totally fine with me! Just keep it hidden and we will do that last.

Makeup and Hair

For females, I love when hair is left mostly or completely down with waves. This is great for if the location is windy, and also just looks amazing. Loose braids also look nice, or a small braid to keep hair out of the face with the rest left down and wavy, or just a simple bobby pin or clip to keep it out of the face if that's a concern. Half up with a top knot for little girls looks adorable, too. Check Pinterest if you need some inspiration. For makeup, matte colors photograph best in natural light. If you're going to wear lipstick, make sure it won't come off easily (click here and here to find my two favorites) because I'm going to have you kissing lots of faces!! I love liquid lipsticks because they dry and then don't come off. For the guys, just do what they normally do :)

Outfit Check

Set out all the outfits on your bed RIGHT NOW, snap a pic, and send it to me if you haven't already: 805-450-4522. What you wear can greatly impact how your images turn out and we still have time to trade some things out if something isn't working. Be sure to leave any digital watches at home, and opt for a more timeless piece instead. And don't forget to plan shoes and socks!!! Socks will most likely show at some point so please keep this in mind.

Sorry this was so long, but all these things will help your session to go well. I'm so excited to photograph you and your loved ones!