Gone are the days of cringing at the idea of getting your family photos taken.
When I started out in photography, the annual Family Photo consisted of dressing up in either awkward matching uniform style clothing like the traditional white button down and jeans, (mom,dad, kids… Unisex outfits for all) or the Canadian Tuxedo, i.e. Denim pants and matching denim jacket. Then, mom would mark the date on the calendar in red, force everyone to get haircuts the week before, plead, bargain, cajole and yell until everyone piled into the mini van headed for the studio. Someone would inevitably cry, someone would get in trouble for the grimacing fake smile and someone would get jelly wiped from their face with moms finger after she licked it.
But now, it’s been reinvented into something totally different. Something fun. Family Photo Sessions are considered an Adventure. A time to be together and play. A time to hang out, enjoy your family and have the experience documented. My families look forward to our sessions and the planning that goes into them is thought provoking and reminds us of what we love about our family. It’s an opportunity to express how you feel about these people we spend our lives with everyday, but who we can lose sight of in the business that is life.
First, we pick where and what setting your family feels most comfortable and natural in. Are you wanting to have a Fall Picnic in the park or hike in the woods? Do you love to explore the city together? Want to make a whole day of it at the beach? Or are your Weeekends at Home filled with love, kids in pajamas, pancakes and quiet moments reading together? I call you or you can meet up with me in person so we can brainstorm together and I can help you figure out the best way to document your little clan.
Once we pick the place and time and book you in, then we style it. Cozy layers, different textures like denim, flannel, suade and cottons that coordinate but aren’t too matchy-matching are really photogenic. You can either shop your closets or splurge on outfits that your family can wear for upcoming events that you’ll want anyway! I can help style your shoot and even send cool inspiration for color combos depending on what the location is. Mom should be queen for the day and pick her outfit and color scheme first, then coordinate everyone around that. Too often we dodge the camera and fade from our family photos, but I totally believe your children want to see you with them. Buy something that makes you feel AMAZING… spend the time to have your hair done or splurge on a bright lipstick and new mascara. I want mom to feel beautiful and confident and see herself as the beautiful woman she is to her children.
Some families love the totally laid back documentary style of Lifestyle Photography. I come to your home, rain or shine and you just have to be yourselves. Don’t w0rry about cleaning or even having the kids dressed up at all, they can start out in pajamas. I just pretend to be a fly on the wall and create beautiful art out of your everyday rituals.
Plan on playing with your family for an hour or two at our shoot. I’ll gently direct the kids, give you ideas for little games or have you pose every once in a while to catch slightly more formal images of everyone looking at the camera too. In the end, the kids have fun, the photos are happy and natural and we’ve captured your family in the best way possible – exactly as they are.
After our shoot, I take your photos home with me to edit. I choose the best to represent our day together and the ones that really capture the heart and soul of your family. Then, once I’ve curated and lightly retouched them, you come back to my studio to view them. I usually have a slideshow and beautifully matted prints for you to see how they look in ‘real life’. Too many people forget how breathtaking an actual photograph is that you can hold in your hands or put on the wall to see everyday. Our kids need to have tangible memories, not just iPhone galleries or lifeless little USB drives and disks filled with forgotten memories. My clients usually buy prints. And with each wall print you buy from me, you get the full size file so you can also store it that way!
This year, my full Family Sessions that are on location outside of the immediate Portland area are $290 and include up to 2 hours of shooting. We can meet at the beach, or someplace breathtaking like the Columbia River Gorge! Local sessions in your home or downtown Portland or at the park are just $190 for the session. If mom wants to add hair and makeup to her session, I can help arrange that too. Think about how you want to use your images too! Do you want wall art? I have a special app on my iPad and can help you actually see how your images will look on your wall in all different sizes, with frames even! Or do you want gifts for grandparents? Holiday cards? We can go over packages and plan out how you want to keep your photos in the world and off your computer ;). There’s no hard sell process, you can just buy one kickass photo for your wall or go for a portfolio box with all of them, including the files. My wall portrait prices start at $70 and go up from there, so you can buy as many or as few as you like.
Your family memories are important. These memories will be all we have left someday, and photographs are our ticket to A world gone by. Capture them and treasure them, because they are gold ❤️