M i n i    S e s s i o n   G u i d e 

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What should we wear?!

Choosing the outfits for a photo session can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be! Check out my Pinterest board for some help choosing your color scheme. Remember that layers add interesting textures to your photos. Scarves, pullover sweaters or vests, hats are all great and basic options that you probably have already in your closet. Add complementary jewelry to enhance the dynamic in your photos; a necklace and some earrings can go a long way! A headband for your daughter is an easy way to add dimension to a child without adding jewelry or uncomfortable extras.  

Keep things organic to your family. Are you a formal family and want to show off your new cocktail attire? By all means, dress to the nines! Glamorous family photos are amazing, but they only come out that way when the family dresses this way regularly. Avoid super casual or really worn out clothing, but shop in your closet first and add on "new" extras if you can't afford a new outfit for everyone. Don't stress about that. I like to tell clients to think "business casual" as the most casual they should go. And if you ever need help, send me a message! I'll gladly help you coordinate outfits.

Make it a fun day!

Family portraits are all about capturing your family's unique dynamics and bond. Every family is different and will represent themselves different from the last. I love to encourage my clients to use their family session day as a happy excuse for a total family day. Try to stay away from topics of conversation that cause you, your spouse or kiddo's stress. Coming to a session after a heated discussion is not going to end well and you're not going to like your photos if you're coming there after an argument. Plan some fun activities for your family to look forward to after the session. This can also be used as a reward for well behaved kids ;) Be sure that any kiddo's who require naps or snacks to be happy have been taken care of before you arrive for your session. 

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I don't know how to pose...

You do not need to study posing or be well versed in how to model! In fact, as a documentary photographer, I capture the natural dynamic and engagement between your family members. While I am well versed in the art of posing, that is not what we're aiming for in a family session. We do get beautiful posed family shots as well, but you've likely booked me after seeing my specialty is capturing those unstaged moments. My entire process is set to keep you all at ease as I guide you to areas of flattering light, and give you loose instructions on fun things to do together, as I capture your reactions to one another. We're going to keep it fun, light and real.

For the mom's + daughters...

You want to look your best and in that pursuit you might try a few new beauty trends a few nights before your family session. You're advised to stay away from any new skin care regimens until after your session. This goes for trying out a new haircut or style's too. Keep to what you know! While we don't all usually walk around with full make up on and our hair perfectly coiffed, these are memories we are capturing to be remembered and look back upon for many ages. Take some time and care into everyone's general appearance so that you feel and look your best for now and for those who'll look back at these pictures many years from now. 

If you need recommendations for hair and make-up artists in your area, I'd be happy to refer to you some of the great HMUA's I work with often.


Where will our session be?

I like to keep things ever evolving, so more likely than not your session won't take place as an identical session from a previous year. Even so, during the fall season when mini sessions are prevalent because everyone wants that beautiful foliage represented in their photos, the timing of each location will differ year to year. I closely watch the prediction of peak fall foliage in northern Virginia to be sure that our mini sessions are scheduled during the peak color changes. Of course, mother nature can be fickle so there's not ever an guarantee, but I do my absolute best to make sure you fall photos look... well, like fall photos!

For spring and summer our options for locations open up, as the need for trees and foliage can sometimes limit us to specific locations. When families opt for a spring or summer mini session, they're either themed with a special I'm currently running, or we plan a fun full family session based around a hobby or activity you all love to do. Locations are limitless really.

Due to seasonality and maintaining exclusivity, locations aren't revealed until the week of your mini session date. 

Virginia is home to many insects and bugs, namely ticks that carry Lyme disease. It is highly advised that you use a tick and mosquito deterring bug spray or wipe on you and your loved ones for your session. I will always have on hand a bug spray with DEET in case you forgot to apply beforehand. Please take the precaution to check you and your family immediately after any outdoor activity, even such as a mini session. Should you find a tick, follow these precautions


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Not always, but often, I'll have some candy/treats in my bag in case children get bored and need some motivation. Please let me know if you'd prefer for me to forego this for your family or if there are any allergies. My treats never consist of nuts, but I'm happy to customize my treats based on their needs.

Typically I post a sneak peek on the blog day of the session and will also post the link on my Facebook page. Head on over now and "like" my Facebook page to see your sneak peek, receive updates, check out my latest work and get a heads up on upcoming sessions and deals. Sometimes I put out model calls for cool projects and would love to work with you again! 

After the sneak peek, you'll receive your gallery where you'll choose your images that came in your package. You're free to order more digital copies, professional prints, or the best-selling canvases right from your gallery! Should you decide you'd like to have a wall of your photos in your home, I can also come by for in-home presentations where we discuss your vision for displaying your family's newest heirlooms. This luxury service comes with installation for your wall art. No fuss, no worries!

I'm so excited to meet you and your precious family! See you soon!