Prepping for a Family Session | Helpful Tips | Indianapolis Family Photographer

Preparation is key in having a successful photo session.  It doesn't have to be complicated - you don't have to spend hours shopping for new outfits, practicing poses, or training your children to smile.  I always want my clients to come relaxed - ready to be yourselves.  The tips below are helpful tools to assist us in capturing the best photos we possibly can that portray the reality of your family. 


- Coordinate without completely matching.  Hey, it is your session, and if you are dead set on everyone wearing white shirts, then by all means, go for it.  BUT - I highly discourage it.   (:  Variety is definitely more interesting.  I tell my clients to pick a couple coordinating colors and dress the family in a mix of solids and patterns of these colors.  Then maybe add a splash of color (if needed) in a scarf or accessories.

- Wear what you are comfortable in!  If you are not comfortable or confident in the clothes are you are wearing - it will show in the photos!  Many of my sessions also happen at parks and I will not make anyone do anything they don't want to do, but I love to have my clients sit in tall grass or even take their shoes off and stand in a creek.  (: 

- Dress for the weather.  I know it may not be ideal and you may have had a special summer outfit picked out and it's 50 degrees, but you want to be comfortable. 

- Bright fluorescent colors are a NO NO!  Whether you realize it or not, bright colors will reflect off of skin and clothing, so anyone standing next to that person wearing the hot pink shirt will have hot pink skin.  I can't edit that out. 

- If you have glasses that don't have the non-glare lenses, you might consider taking them off for the photos. 

- Women - don't over-accessorize.  We want the focus to be on the beautiful faces of your family, not on the big hoop earrings you are wearing. 

- Children -

  • Make sure the clothes on your little ones fit and they are comfortable in the clothes. If you go out and buy something new, I know it's hard to buy clothes that aren't one size up, because you know they grow so quickly. But baggy clothes will swallow up little ones, especially if they are sitting down.

  • Shoes matter - The rugged sneakers or Spiderman boots with the nice khaki pants might not be the look you are going for. I will say with that, please make sure they are comfortable - I have seen way too many times that parents go buy new shoes and they don't fit properly or they are not comfortable and that makes for unhappy kids.

  • Vests and coats - I have a love/hate relationship with vests and coats - they can be great for photos but so often they ride up and cover the kids faces. If you do want them wearing a vest or coat, please make sure it properly fits.



- If you have an evening session, I recommend keeping the kids on a normal schedule for the day.  Taking them out all afternoon and missing naptime will prove disastrous for the photo session. 

- Make sure kids (and you) are fed before the session or at least have had a heavy snack.  We all get cranky when we are hungry! 

- Plan ahead, set clothes out, check timing/directions, and save my cell number in your phone (765-749-4388).  It's hard when clients show up and they are frazzled because they were in such a hurry and the kids are all crazy, etc.  I know things come up, but if at all possible, leave plenty of time to get ready, get dressed, and drive to our location.  If you are running a little late - DON'T FRET - it's not going to be detrimental to your session.  Just text me to let me know.  I would rather you be 10 minutes late and show up relaxed than show up on time with screaming kids. EXCEPTION: If you are participating in a fall or spring mini and have a session after you, then showing up late will probably greatly reduce the number of photos we capture. 

- Please fill out the questionnaire if possible, to help me plan the best session possible. Click HERE and it will take you to the questionnaire. 

- Ask yourself, did I submit my contract and pay my invoice?  (: 

RESCHEDULING POLICY: If you have a conflict come up, please let me know ASAP. I normally am fine with rescheduling and transferring your deposit to another session. But please know that if it’s during my peak fall season (Sept, Oct, Nov), I have likely turned down business to hold your spot and I will have to charge a reschedule fee of $100, per our contract.

Rescheduling based on weather will always be a day-of decision and we will try to work that decision out as soon as possible in the day so that we both aren’t spending time prepping for a session that won’t happen. I will be in touch via text the day of to discuss the weather and gather both opinions. If you have a morning session, I will be in touch the evening prior to that to discuss weather. During my peak fall season (Sept, Oct. Nov.) I will be less lenient about rescheduling. Rain, thunderstorms, strong winds, temperatures under 40 degrees will qualify for rescheduled sessions. Misty weather, cloudiness, only a potential for severe weather, and unseasonal (warm in fall, cool in summer/spring) temperatures will not qualify for a reschedule unless mutually agreed by me. And just to make it clear, if fall doesn’t feel like “fall” or the colors are not peaking at the time you thought they would - that is not an acceptable reason to reschedule and I will not agree reschedule based on those reasons. This girl cannot control the weather or the pretty fall colors. (:


- If possible, place your PHONE, wallet, bulky keys, etc. in a bag to carry around or hand them to me to put with my stuff.  These things bulge in pockets and peak out of pockets and they just look funny in pictures.  I usually am carrying around a bag and I can store your stuff.  Please don’t leave valuables in the car - there have been reported car break-ins for photographers and clients at parks. People are unfortunately preying on us since they know we’ll be gone from the parking lot for period of time and possibly are leaving belongings in the car.

- If you have young children - try to make sure their faces are clean before getting out of the car.  I don't know about you, but my kids always seem to have bits of food, yogurt stains, and/or snot on their face.  Yes, I can edit this out but it's much less time-consuming if I don't have to.

- Please do not take photos with your cell phones during sessions.  (Unless you want to take a picture of me taking pictures and post on FB about what an awesome photographer I am).  (: 

- If you have promised your kids a special treat after the session - please let me know so I can have it in my back pocket just in case.  I also carry Smarties candy with me - FYI - I will always ask before giving to your child.  I use Smarties because they are clean and small.  Please don't bring chocolate, sticky, messy treats for obvious reasons.

- If you choose a nature outdoor location in the spring, summer, or early fall, please check yourselves for ticks after the session and before getting in the car.  And again when you get home.  It's just a precaution; I actually have yet to see a tick on myself or a client after a session, but we know they are out there. 

- Most importantly - RELAX, have FUN and be yourselves!  I love capturing candid moments so if you feel inclined to pick up your kids and swing them around, please do so.  Yes, I will help pose, but especially with young children, we will also follow their lead.  I want this to be a positive and fun experience - I'm not just selling you photos - I truly want you to enjoy the entire session experience. 



- Your work is done!  You did it!  I will ask permission to post a few sneak peek photos on Facebook within a couple days.  Perfectly fine if you don't want this.  I will finish editing and send you an online gallery within 14 days (21 days max during my busy fall season). 

If any questions arise at any point in the process, please don't hesitate to contact me. or 765-749-4388.