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choosing the perfect time, location, outfit & More!
A NOTE ABOUT THIS GUIDE
I am so excited to be working with you and I can’t wait for our time together during your portrait session! It’s normal to be a little nervous about your session, don't worry, it's common! I strive to keep my sessions light and fun for all. We will spend our time laughing, sharing stories, having fun and getting some photos in between! I would definitely venture to say there isn't anything stuffy about my sessions!
There is a lot to think about when planning your session, so I have put together a helpful guide for my clients to walk you through the process of my sessions and fill you in on everything you need to know!!
I’ll cover what to wear, locations, inclement weather, bringing pets & how to manage them, what time is best for the session and when & how you'll receive your photos.
Please feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions you may have regarding our session! I am only an email, text or phone call away!
I hope you find this guide helpful outlining what to expect! Thank you again for choosing me as your photographer!
I TOTALLY get it. Having your picture taken probably isn't your idea of fun. I always joke that it's in the male DNA to NOT like photos! And personally, I feel super awkward getting my photo taken too. But I think you’ll find that by the end of the session, it’s a lot easier than you thought, and you even had a little fun. And hey, if you need a drink or two before your session to loosen up, I say drink up!
A NOTE TO
As a general rule of thumb, I typically like to schedule my sessions 1 hour prior to sunset. This is when the light is typically the best during day and we can get that dreamy look to our photos! I prefer to shoot when the sun is lower in the sky to avoid harsh shadows and bright sun patches. In the winter, sunset runs close to 5:30PM and in the summer it can be close to 8:30PM before the sun sets so my session start times will vary based on the time of year. We will work together to determine what the best start time is for our session!
I schedule sessions during what I believe will be the best light of the day - which means that it’s super important to be on time. A few minutes late is totally ok, but if you’re more than a few minutes late we could run out of light before we’ve finished shooting.
Whether it's an engagement session, family session, maternity or high school senior session - here are a few suggestions.
a chance to connect and get comfortable
Engagement sessions are so much fun! It allows you a chance to get comfortable in front of the camera before the big day. I always recommend a few outfit changes (flowy dresses are AMAZING on the beach!), perhaps professional hair and makeup and wearing a bathing suit underneath to make outfit changes more time efficient.
capture today because they grow so fast
Family sessions are always filled with chaos and energy! Don't stress mama if your kids are wild! They're kids after all! We'll let things unfold, get some good photos and let the kids personalities shine through! I am sure to give kids lots of breaks and let them run their energy out and then I'll reign them back in for more photos. I always recommend bringing some snacks (to bribe!) and maybe a toy to two to use to help get kids to look the direction we want.
documenting this magical time
Maternity sessions are so magical! There is always so much excitement and anticipation surrounding the arrival of a new baby. I recommend to all of my mamas to bring plenty of water and we will allow time for breaks. Also, flowy dresses are breathtaking and feminine and if possible, professional hair and makeup is worth the expense! If you're interested in renting maternity dresses, I would be happy to recommend a few websites.
TIPS FOR LOOKING YOUR BEST
When picking outfits I recommend keeping in mind the word “complement” rather than “match.” For example, if the groom-to-be is wearing a blue and pink pastel plaid shirt, the bride-to-be may want to choose a long, soft blue dress. For families, I recommend mixing it up with wardrobe to add interest to the photos - mom might wear a long flowy dress, dad could wear long pants, girls look great in rompers or knee length dresses and boys are perfect in shorts!
I also suggest picking outfits in the same “color-families,” such as pastels or jewel tones.
Generally clients pick two outfits for an engagement session, one outfit for family sessions and three outfits for senior sessions. I recommend saving your favorite outfit for later in the session, when people usually feel more comfortable in front of the camera. And don’t forget to bring a few accessories! Statement necklaces, floppy beach hats and even a bottle of champagne are great ways to add interest to the photos.
Where to shop
so you can look and feel your best!
Rent the Runway
One Loved Babe
Virginia Dare Dress Co.
Hazel & Olive
You're planning the perfect proposal and you want it discreetly documented! There is a bit more planning that goes into these sessions, but I will be with you every step of the way. Usually we set up a phone call to nail down the details to a T and then check in the day before as well as the day of. I am mindful to discuss which method of communication you prefer so we don't blow the surprise for your future fiance seeing our conversations.
Also, if you would like to celebrate the event with some celebratory champagne, I would be happy to help coordinate that request!
Marathon and Key West LOCATIONS
Most of my clients are not local to the Keys are often ask for suggestions regarding locations. Listed below are two lists I have complied based on what part of the Keys you are visiting and the public access locations available. However, if you are a guest at a resort we do have the option to shoot at your hotel.
If after researching these spots and none of them are exactly what you had in mind, please communicate with me your desires and we can brainstorm on locations!
Oh, and also if you have your own boat, I am totally down for a boat session! Don't be afraid to think outside the box!
Ft. Zachary State Park
Bahia Honda State Park
Sunset Park, Key Colony Beach
The above locations are all beautiful but I also love exploring new locations with my clients - untraditional spots are always welcomed!
Pets are such a big part of families, which is why I love when clients choose to incorporate pets into their session. Keep in mind that bringing a pet along often means that we’ll need to choose a pet friendly location.
I recommend planning for your pet to be at the first part of your session and then either dropping them off or having a friend take them home. We won’t use the pet in every single photo so it’s also nice to have a friend available to hold him or her in between shots.
If you’re going to bring a pet, I recommend exercising your pet before the session and bringing your pets favorite toy or treats! Depending on your pet’s fur type, it might also be a good idea to groom them before the shoot.
what to do if it rains
It’s typical for the weather forecast to show rain everyday in the Florida Keys. And sometimes it actually DOES rain everyday! But typically the storms are short lived and pass through quickly and sunny skies can open up within minutes of the rain stopping. Very rarely have I had to cancel a session due to weather - if you can believe that!!
However, I do know that vacation schedules are tight and sometimes coordinating hair and makeup can be stressful if you're not sure what the weather is doing. I always ultimately leave the decision to cancel or postpone up to the client, and if we do have to adjust plans I will bend over backwards to coordinate a new session time. If all else fails I do refund deposits at 100% if the cancellation is due to weather.
I will be in contact a day or two before our session to confirm times and account for weather and make any adjustments to times if needed.
When it comes to posing for your photo session, you don’t need to worry about a thing! I’ll guide you through the entire process beginning with “poses” that are super easy and natural. If I do tell you to do something that feels a little funny, it’s probably because I know it’s going to make you laugh - and that’s the photo I'm actually looking for. There is a method to my madness!
Throughout your session, I’ll keep an eye on your hair, makeup and outfits to make sure things stay in place. I want you to feel as relaxed as possible and enjoy our time together!
You will receive a few sneak peek photos within 24 hours of our session! I get too excited about the photos to not go home and get straight to work!! I will email over a link to an online gallery where you will be able to download the images as high resolution digital files. The printing rights are included with my sessions so you are free to print the images at any print lab you choose!
It will take me 3-4 weeks to complete your gallery.
I know that this guide is long and hopefully it covers everything you need to know to prep for your photo session! However if there is something I missed, or you need a recommendation feel free to email