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family prep guide

If you're reading this, that means you've officially booked a family session with me!!! Family sessions are my jam, my bread and butter, and my passion! Thank you so much for trusting me. From scouting the perfect location to helping you know what to wear, I strive to ensure that our session is a memorable, one of a kind experience that is as stress-free as possible!!

Let me start out by saying, first of all, that you shoot is going to be awesome. 99% of the time, the first 10 minutes of any photoshoot can feel a lil' awkward until you and your fam can relax into it and feel confident in front of the camera. I will help y'all do this! Trust me, I do it almost every day :)

My family sessions typically last between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. These sessions are designed to capture you and your family as you are! I'll always prompt and direct you and never ask you to do something that feels wrong or uncomfortably weird or leave you hanging with no idea what you should be doing next. We'll cycle through a few different prompts, but there will be lots of room for you to express yourselves too. It'll feel like play - the perfect way to reconnect with each other in a time when most of us lead such busy lives. My objective isn't just to take pretty pictures, but to capture this beautiful stage in your lives, exactly as it is now.

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outfit prep

Find the outfits you want everyone to wear 2-4 weeks in advance and set them aside somewhere safe. Then try them on a week ahead of time to ensure everything still fits comfortably and that you didn’t miss any stains or holes that you couldn’t see until they were being worn.

As soon as your family changes out of their photo attire, make sure it is clean and pressed to be ready for the big day. Set the clothes together (sorted by person) and place them somewhere free from harm and dirt. Be sure to tell everyone that these are picture clothes and not to be worn until picture day. This will help to be sure that no articles of clothing go missing. Don’t forget about shoes, jewelry, belts, and other accessories, too!

About three to four days prior to the session, start talking to your crew about what will happen and your expectations. If you plan to use a bribe (no shame!) now is a good time to set that plan in place! If you have younger kids, it's usually a good idea to continue to talk to your children daily to prepare them for the session.

A day or two prior to the session, pack a bag of everything you will need on picture day – snacks, props, bribery, etc. and put it somewhere you can grab it and go. Be sure to include wipes in case things get messy, an extra hairbrush, and other “emergency” items, such as bobby pins and a backup lipstick.

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what to wear

for a spring session

The birds are chirping, the buds are blooming, and the snow has officially melted. That means it’s time for your spring family session. Here are a few wardrobe tips to ensure the whole gang looks smashing:

Play up the fact that it’s spring. Have a necklace with a butterfly pendant? Perfect! An insect-printed tee? Yes, please.

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The birds are chirping, the buds are blooming, and the snow has officially melted. That means it’s time for your spring family session. Here are a few wardrobe tips to ensure the whole gang looks smashing:

Play up the fact that it’s spring. Have a necklace with a butterfly pendant? Perfect! An insect-printed tee? Yes, please.

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for a summer session

It’s hot outside, but fear not. Here are some cool wardrobe tips to make sure your summer family photo session is a hit:

Wear light fabrics that let you breath, but still look polished. It’s OK to show some skin, too. Shorts are good, as are tank tops.

Really play up the summer accessory factor. I’m talking sun hats for the ladies and big sunglasses for all.

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You can even bring summer-appropriate props that complement your outfits. Maybe it’s a beach ball, balloons, giant lollipop or messy ice cream cone.

Choose shoes that are comfortable and summery. Flip flops, loafers, open-toed pumps, even sweet sneakers on your kiddos.

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for a fall session

Fall is all about bundling up in lots of layers, enjoying the shift from hot to cool, and soaking up the sun and autumn foliage. Here are a few tips for choosing outfits for your fall family session:

Choose colors that won’t clash too much with the fall leaves. Instead, stick with a neutral palette with colors that blend seamlessly into autumn’s spectrum: earthy reds, burnt oranges, creamy nude, etc.

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Layer up! Don’t hesitate to throw on those scarves, cardigans, blazers or hats.

Wear shoes that fit the season. Think riding boots or comfy, fur-lined boots. Loafers and flats can also work perfectly.

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for a winter session

Winter’s cold, sure, but it makes for some seriously stunning photographs. Snowflakes, snowmen, white canvases, glittering icy trees? It’s a photographer’s veritable wonderland! Here’s how to dress to take advantage of that winter wonderland.

There’s bound to be lots of white, so really punch things up with splashy colors. Think bright red, navy, yellow, green. Any color that really pops against white is a go.

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On that same note, don’t hesitate to play with prints. We love seeing gingham, polka dots, stripes, etc.

Really bundle up and play up the winter factor. We love seeing fur-lined boots or hats, oversized chunky scarves, adorable gloves, etc.

Do wear a couple layers underneath to ensure you stay warm. Double up on those socks and throw on some long johns, if you must!

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for an in-home session

From candid moments around the kitchen table, to rolling around in tickle fights on the bed, home sessions are a beautiful way to authentically capture a snippet of your family reality. Home is where everyone is comfortable, snacks are on-hand, and the weather simply isn't a concern. But what to wear? Try these tips:

Consider which colors will complement the decor of your home best. If your home is decorated in a soft, neutral palette then soft, neutral colored clothing will probably complement it very well. On the other hand, if your home is decorated with bright, bold colors then soft, neutral colored clothing could well look out of place, and you may find that more brightly colored clothes work better.

Choose a small color palette to base everyone’s outfits around. Since homes can sometimes be a little busier than an outdoor background, keeping the colors simple with your outfits can bring the focus back to the most important thing - YOU!

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Choose clothes from your everyday wardrobe, especially clothing with simple patterns and rich textures!

Don’t wear shoes! Having a photo shoot can feel like quite a formal occasion. But, when you’re being photographed at home the goal is to look relaxed and natural. Unless you usually wear shoes when you’re at home I recommend leaving them off. You may also like to consider having everyone in bare feet, which can look lovely and natural. If you’d prefer to wear socks, try to avoid bold patterns and colors, so that they don’t stand out.

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wardrobe wrap up

I totally get that choosing what to wear, even with the tips and information above is given, so most importantly: WEAR WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD! If you feel good in what you're wearing, you will shine in all the best ways.

Some quick suggestions as you're choosing:

  • Add dimension and interest by mixing up the texture of the clothing material and accents.

  • Be intentional by staying within a color palette!

  • Deciding on soft neutrals, earth tones, or vibrant colors is a good place to start.

 

Try to Avoid:

  • Large logos

  • Large text

I always try and be intentional when matching your clothing selections with our locations, so I would love to be as involved as you'd like me to be! Feel free to send me pictures of your final selections, or if you need help choosing! My phone number is 402.340.7811

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session tips

On the day of the session, make sure everyone is well fed, but not overfed. We don’t want sick little tummies from overeating, but we don’t want anyone getting “hangry” (angry because they are so hungry) either. Do not get your family dressed in their photo clothes until after they have eaten and brushed their teeth. This will prevent spills and other messy accidents.

If you have young children, avoid any colored drinks the day of the session until after we are finished. Also, get them to wear a bib or drop cloth if they drink anything on the way to the session to save their shirts from wet spots or stains.

Once you get to the session, try to relax. If you have set a bribe, please let me know so I, too, can use that throughout the session if your kiddos get restless! Trust me :) - know that I will take care of things and will deliver amazing photos of your family!

timing

The time of your session is strategic - I love to get that glowy evening light when your session is outdoors, and bright natural light when they're indoors. As a mom, I know how wild wrangling the kids can be, so give yourself lots of time to get to the location on time. This was you won't feel as frazzled and rushed on arrival! When a family shows up to a shoot having had to drive illegal speeds to get there, it tends to set the tone for a rushed and disorganized session. Give yourself the gift of a relaxed session, allow plenty of time for showers, baths, grooming, and forgetting things.

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family constellations

I'll be sure to take some photos of you all as a family as well as different combinations to capture all angles of the family dynamic.

Let me know if there are specific combinations that you'd like to see captured and I'll make sure to prioritize based on what's most important to you guys. I've got tons of poses and prompts up my sleeve for any scenario, so all you have to do is relax and go with it!

so you want to bring your pup?

They are part of the family, after all! If you're arriving with your four-legged friend in tow, here are some things to consider first:

  • Make sure the location that we've chosen is dog-friendly.

  • Brush up on some commands and tricks to make sure they're not taking a bathroom break on someone's leg or muddying anyone's pants.

  • Get the zoomies out! Make sure they have had lots of outdoor exercise beforehand so that they're calm and attentive when it's go-time.

  • Pack treats, toys, and a lint roller. Also consider where you'll put your furry friend when they're not in the photos, and bring anything that may be necessary for that!

  • Give 'em a good brush beforehand.

  • Know that I'm a BIG dog lover, so any rowdiness and pup kisses will be adored by me.

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kids will be kids

If you walk away after reading this and only remember one thing, let it be this: have zero expectations.

Embrace what comes - the wind, the rain, the laughter, the eye rolls, whatever unfolds. Every shoot is unique, and we have no set shot list to tick off on the day. It's all about YOU and capturing your life as it is. We're not here to mimic the shiny perfect families on your Instagram feed, or even the images I've selected to put in this guide! We're going to tell YOUR story as it shows up on the day of the shoot - wrinkles, tears, joyous abandon, and all.

Throw your checklist out the window and know that magic will naturally unfold. When it does, I'll be there to capture it.

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thank you!!!

I truly appreciate you for booking a session with and for taking the time to go through this guide. If you have any questions at all, I'm always happy to answer. You can send them via e-mail to bekahscout@gmail.com

I can't wait to work with you!!!

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