I want to thank you again for giving me the opportunity to capture gorgeous photographs of you and your loved ones. It’s heartwarming to know that individuals like yourself relate to my style and see something special in it.
I might not be able to stop time but I am able to capture who you are in this present moment. Each photograph will be unique to your family as it will embody the love you share.
My aim is to capture every honest, organic moment, leaving you with images that will become works of art you’ll proudly display in your home. I want you to look back at these photographs in the future and really feel what it was like at that precise moment in your lives – every touch, smile, laugh, embrace… feel it in every sense of the word.
You have invested in creating works of art that are one-of-a-kind. Art that is truly you.
So you're probably asking yourself, 'What now?' Let me answer that with a bunch of information that will hopefully answer any questions you may have about your upcoming photoshoot.
You have accessed this link through an email confirming your booking date. This means that your booking deposit has been received and that you've signed my contract. Boring stuff is out of the way! Let's focus on you!
In your client portal you would have seen a short questionnaire with some discussion questions. If you haven't had the chance already, please fill this in as soon as you can.
A few weeks before your session, I'll give your a call at a time that suits you to have a chat, answer any questions you may have and assist you in preparing for your photoshoot. What we discuss will help me understand what you truly value so I'm able to create the most meaningful and emotive images possible.
In the last few days leading up to your session, you'll receive a final reminder email. This is also an opportunity for me to check everyone is in good health and that the weather is behaving for our session (if it's outdoors of course).
An important factor in preparing for your session is deciding on the location - either in your home or at an outdoor location. I have provided some information below on both settings to help you make an informed decision.
IN-HOME SESSION INFO AND PREPARATION
Having your family photos in the comfort of your own home is such a terrific experience. It shows a personal side to your photographs as it's a space where you often feel most like yourself. You have the opportunity to capture many of the everyday moments that we can so easily forget. Jumping on the bed, sharing a book, little moments in your daily routine, playing in the cubby, cooking - these are just an example of what can be photographed during our session. These sessions are held mid morning, starting around 10am.
Before I arrive, there are a few things you can do to make session run smoothly and also help me capture the best images possible:
- Give the house a quick spruce - vacuum, mop and hide any clutter that you'd rather not be in the background of your photos (eg. paperwork, washing, dishes etc.)
- If you have some neutral coloured bed linen, chuck that on the beds (particularly the master). Really bold patterns can be distracting and don't allow you to be the main focus on the photograph.
- Have anything you needed/wanted for the session at hand and ready to go. Eg. a book to share, a change of clothes, ingredients for making biscuits, etc.
- Open all the blinks and curtains.
- Turn off any overhead lights or lamps. We will be using natural light (or my flash if I REALLY need it... but haven't needed to yet).
- If you want to use your backyard, just check and spruce if needed.
- When I arrive, I like to do a little tour of your home to check for the best light. Your little ones are welcome to be my tour guides so put the idea in their heads if this is something they'd like to do.
- Chuck on your favourite tunes. Nothing better than a bit of music throughout the session.
Also, homes can be a little dark (I know mine is) so please be prepared for me to get creative. I may ask to move some furniture around or for you to stand a lot closer to a window that you normally would.
OUTDOOR SESSION INFO AND PREPARATION
I hold my outdoor sessions just after sunrise or just before sunset. It's what we photographers call Golden Hour. The light is magical at this time of day and provides a gorgeous glow. If your session is during Summer, sunset shoots do require your kids to be awake a bit later. However, I don't want you to stress about this - professional photography sessions aren't something you do every day. It's special and the kids are often really excited to be a part of it.
If your not sure where you'd like your session to take place, that's absolutely fine. I want you to first think about places that mean the most to you. Also consider the environment and what look you'd like. There's so much variety in landscapes out there.
To prepare for your outdoor shoot, here's what I recommend:
- For sunset sessions, consider when dinner will be for your family. If you have little ones, you know that they are used to routine and an early dinner might be best for them. If not, maybe make a night out of it and treat yourselves to a nice meal after the session.
- Keep a few tissues in your pocket as snotty noses are bound to happen.
- A mid arvo nap or a bit of downtime to relax for little ones before the session.
- Have a spare outfit in the car, particularly for little ones... just in case.
- If we're going to the beach or near any water, definitely have those spare clothes for everyone... along with a towel. This goes for any session where it may have been raining earlier that day. You just never know what can happen.
- Keep your extra bits and pieces that you may want to wear/use (eg. hats, blanket, gloves, scarves, layers of clothing, ball, picnic rug, etc.) in one bag or in the car. If we're a distance from where we've parked, I'll be carrying all those things for you.
THE SESSION ITSELF
We'll start the session with a quick chat to make sure you're feeling comfortable and ready to go. I'll also be chatting with your kids, explaining that the session isn't like school or kinder photos - that they won't be looking at me the whole time. I'll be encouraging you all to interact with one another and to just enjoy yourselves. You've gifted yourself this opportunity to be totally present for the session so make the most of it! You don't need to worry about a thing - just be yourselves, relax and you can pretend I'm not even there for the most part!
There will be times throughout the shoot I won't need to say a word and I'll just leave you to bond and do your thing. There are other times I may give you some cues or a bit of direction to ensure that your photos are the best they can be eg. move over into this light, turn your head this way, maybe move your hand here... that kind of thing. Everything will feel very organic and comfortable.
We will reschedule if it's outdoors otherwise it will go ahead as usual.
Someone is ill?
We will reschedule (this includes myself). Just give me a heads up as soon as possible.
AFTER YOUR SHOOT
I'll have your photos ready for you to view in a private online gallery within two weeks after your shoot. However, I like to give you a little sneak peek before then so keep an eye on your inbox.
Once you have access to your gallery, you can select the photos you love as part of your collection. You will also have the option of upgrading your collection at this time. These photos can then be downloaded in high-res straight to your computer or device. Please be aware that your gallery is only open for a few days (not ongoing) so I highly recommend downloading your images ASAP.
Currently, I'm only providing digital images but I plan providing an online store for purchasing items including prints and USBs in the near future. In the meantime, please consider your photos as an investment into your family's history. They’re telling your story. Photography is just like any other form of art. These images are meant to be shared and proudly displayed in your home. When printing your images, please consider the quality of your prints and select a printing provider wisely – it makes a huge difference to the colours and longevity of your photographs.
WHAT TO WEAR
There are a number of things to consider when putting together your outfit and it actually goes beyond your wardrobe! Have a read of these tips and we can chat about it further over the phone.
The most important factor of all. You need to wear something comfortable and that you're able to move in freely. But it also has to be something you FEEL comfortable in. As a mum, I know how much our bodies change during pregnancy and after childbirth. The last thing I want is for you to feel uncomfortable or conscious of your movements or appearance. Selecting an outfit that makes you feel AMAZING makes all the difference.
You need to be yourself. Please don't try to dress like someone you're not or how you think you need to look for the session. I want your personality to shine through above all else and your outfit should reflect who you are.
There is no need to go out and get a new wardrobe either. I know it's tempting but I have a feeling the pieces you love to wear are already in your wardrobe. Start there first. Select what you're going to wear and then begin to work in your family's outfits around it. The next few tips will help you do that.
There's a reason why many of us love earthy tones like brown, beige, burnt orange, deep purple, mustard, and navy - they work well together! It's all about balancing the colours and tones. If you like a pop of colour, that's absolutely fine but just make sure it feels balanced amongst everyone's outfits.
4. PATTERNS AND TEXTURES
Layering patterns and textures in the way you dress can really bring everything together. Consider repetition and using similar materials and fabrics. Eg. If someone is wearing a denim jacket, consider another person wearing denim jeans or shorts. Personally, I love chunky knits, subtle florals, denim and light linens.
Less is more. Just keep it simple. Lots of jewellery (including watches) reflect light and can be a distraction in your images. Consider the material and how it complements your outfit. A nice pair of earrings or a necklace is all you need. If outdoors, maybe consider a scarf, hat or beanie to wear for some of the images.
We're talking about all the other elements that can be added to enhance the look of your session - baby wraps, blankets, bed sheets, throws, picnic rugs... the list goes on. It's important to consider colour, pattern and texture for these items too. Are there elements you can pick up on and enhance in the way you dress? Colours that complement one another? Textures that you can layer? Think about these factors to create a complete, cohesive look for your session.
Where is your session taking place? Think about the environment and the elements you can pick up on to enhance your clothing choices. The beach lends itself beautifully to the golden tones of the sun and sand, a native bush landscape highlights muted tones and green, lush meadows can make florals really pop. If we are in your home, think about your furnishing and wall art. There are so many elements in this space that can bring the look together.
If you're still a little uncertain on what to wear, please feel free to send me a few photos of your outfits side by side and I can give provide you with some feedback. You can also take a look at my Pinterest boards for a bit of inspiration.
You may have noticed when looking through my gallery that I encourage people to be physically close. I'll be asking you to play, tickle, kiss, cuddle and hold hands. I also want you to do the things that you love to do as this is your life I'm photographing! It is important for you to know that I am not into things being overly posed and I rarely will ask you to look at the camera - I'd much rather you be engaging with one another.
I understand selecting a photographer is a very personal process and you and your family want to feel comfortable with me behind the camera. The more we get to know each other, the more comfortable you will feel. So please feel free to ask any questions or to give me a call/send an email any time. Our planning call will also help me learn about you to assure that I will deliver you a gallery that is personal, meaningful and unique.
One big concern many parents have prior to their session is how their kids are going to behave. I'm here to assure you that everything is going to be fine.
I get kids and I love communicating with them. Not only am I a mum of two little munchkins, children have been a part of my professional career for over 10 years so you're in safe hands.
If you think about it in their shoes, they're about to have their photos taken by someone they don't know, it's a completely different experience and they're bound to be a little nervous. On the other hand, your child could be bouncing with excitement as they love having their photo taken.
Every child is different and this is what makes them AMAZING! Your having this session to capture what life is like for you right now so all I ask is your let your little ones be themselves and their personalities will shine through. Stay positive, have fun and don't sweat the small stuff.
I don't bring any props with me to in-home family sessions as it's all about you in your own environment. Depending on some of the moments you'd like captured will depend if you'll need any items at the ready. Once we have had a chat, you'll have a better understanding of what I mean.
If we're outdoors, I often bring a blanket for you to sit but I can't assure it will complement your outfits so if you have one of your own that works, I'd bring it along.
If our session is at your home and you would like your pet to be in some of the images, I'm more than happy to accommodate them. They are part of the family too.
HOW DO YOU SELECT WHAT IMAGES GO IN THE GALLERY?
There are lots of factors in selecting the right images for your online gallery. In short, I select the images that best represent you as a family and me as an artist. You will have a lot of variety to choose from.
RETOUCHING - DO YOU DO IT?
If I see something that really shouldn't be in the shot, like a fly on your face, I'll edit it out. Unfortunately, things like little scratches, bra straps or runny noses can take an extremely long time to edit, particularly when they have the potential of being in every shot. For editing such as this, additional fees do apply so I encourage you to keep an eye on these things throughout the shoot (and I will do the same).
If you're wondering whether I'll do a little chin or tummy tuck.... NOPE! You are beautiful just the way you are. Don't try to convince yourself otherwise! We can all be a little self conscious at times. But trust me, when you look back at your photos over the many years to come, you won't be focusing on how you looked. You'll just remember how that moment with the ones you loved made you feel.
WAIT! I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS!
No problem. Just send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can't wait to meet you and your family! This is going to be such an amazing experience that I know you'll remember through the heartfelt photographs you'll receive.
Megan Browne is family and newborn lifestyle photographer, celebrating love and life through authentic, heartfelt photographs that capture genuine connection. Based in Doreen, Megan provides her services across Melbourne and throughout Victoria.
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