© 2019 BY TANYA RUMFORD. 

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Thank

you!

(Seriously!)

Out of all the photography companies out there, you chose US, and that's an honor we don't take lightly! Whether you've booked us for your Engagement Photos, a Family Session, a Newborn Shoot, or something in between, please know that we are so excited to work with you and to deliver phenomenal memories for you in the process!

Please feel free to scroll on down and check out some awesome tips and tricks to help you in preparing for your upcoming session with us!

We'll be seeing you soon!

What To Expect During Your Session

I aim to make every single session a fun and easy experience for everyone involved! You don't need to be comfortable in front of the camera, you only need to be comfortable with the person/people you came there with! I'll handle the rest!

My goal is to showcase crazy personalities, honest emotions, and natural interactions. To achieve that, you can expect my sessions to have lots of movement and direction. (For example, I may ask you embarrassing/funny questions about each other, or have you role play a scenario for me, or even something as simple as just walking around together and pretending I'm not there.) I treat every session differently and never know exactly how I'm going to handle each one until I get there, but expect to keep pretty busy!

Generally speaking, I love to walk around each location, chat you guys up a bit, see what really inspires us, and go from there! I don't want it to feel like a photo shoot, per say, I want you to feel as if you are just out enjoying a nice evening together...and it just so happens to be very heavily documented. Lol!

While my sessions are fun and definitely more along the lines of "anything goes," that doesn't mean that your session will be a complete free-for-all. I'm deliberate in where I place you, as it usually plays a pretty big role in the photographs. I use the location and the available light to create interesting compositions and to allow me to shoot from creative angles. I love experimenting with new and different things and I love being able to give you images that are truly unique!

Remain Calm

Stressing out before your session and showing up flustered or (yikes!) in the middle of an argument is the quickest way to end up with photos that you probably won't like very much. Trust me, I get it, trying to get everyone ready for a photo session and out the door on time can be incredibly frustrating, but if you spend the first half of our time together feeling anxious, looking back on your photos will likely give you a similar feeling. 

My suggestion? Try doing a nice, relaxing activity prior to your shoot and make sure you give yourself/your family plenty of time to get ready. Avoid stressors, such as social media or work prior to your session as well. Listening to calming music in the car on the way there is also a great way to relax.

No Need To Match!

The idea behind my photo sessions is that you were just out enjoying your day together....and there happened to be a camera there documenting the whole thing. Lol! 

So, for that reason, I often advise my clients not to match each other exactly, but instead, opt for outfits and colors that complement each other. It's much more pleasing to the eye and gives the photos a much more natural appearance (which is what we're going for)! 

That being said, solid neutrals often photograph really well (although I will never tell you to avoid bold colors, because I LOVE color)! Generally speaking, you should try to avoid neons of any kind or solid, SUPER BRIGHT reds, as they are not especially "photo friendly." Keep clothing free of words, logos, or distracting patterns, if possible! Flannels, stripes, polka-dots, florals and the like are all TOTALLY okay when paired with other neutrals and solids! 

TIP: Avoid wrist jewelry if possible. Dainty bracelets are okay, but watches, hair-ties, and anything too "chunky" can appear quite distracting in a photo.

Comfort is Key!

Sessions often include a bit of walking in between locations. Make sure the shoes you choose to wear are comfortable for you! Ladies, if you plan to wear heels, it may be a good idea to bring a pair of sandals to slip on in between locations!

Dressing for the weather is also important. Jackets in the middle of summer may not work out to your advantage (unless you're a fan of being super sweaty) and cute little dresses in January may not be a great choice either! 

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you pick out an outfit that fits you well, is easy to move in, and makes you feel fantastic. If you feel beautiful in it, the confidence you feel will most definitely show in your final images!

TIP: Photos will often show your fingers/hands close up, so ladies, feel free to paint those nails beforehand if that's something that concerns you!

Ditch Those Props for an "Activity" Instead!

As a lifestyle photographer, my goal for every session is to deliver photos that show your real personalities and feature you in natural, true-to-life situations and poses. Therefore, I am not a huge fan of featuring props during a session. (Note: When I say props, I mean things such as homemade signs, picture frames, out of place luggage or crates, and basically any random items that just don't feel natural in a scene). 

 

However, incorporating some kind of activity can be a lot of fun (i.e. something you could really be using/doing/eating/etc.. at that moment in time). Some examples are: Eating/Drinking- Wine/Champagne, ice cream or pop-sickles, Beer, Coffee, etc... Activities- Flying Kites, Fishing, Riding Bikes, Walking Your Dogs (yes, even your precious pooches can make great additions to your photos!), Blowing Bubbles, Shopping, Painting, etc...

Incorporating things you guys enjoy together is a wonderful way to showcase your vibrant and unique personalities! This is especially true in Family Photography! Planning an activity to do together at your session is an excellent way to keep your little ones happy and engaged! When done the right way, this can really help to enhance the overall story, and can give any session a fun, one-of-a-kind flair! 

Talk to me about any ideas you may have!!!

What to Bring

The only thing you ever really need to bring is yourselves!

However, feel free to bring along any items/activities you'd like to incorporate into your session. (I always love a "heads-up" when you plan to bring an item/items, or have a plan for a certain activity, so that I can start brainstorming ideas about how to best integrate them into your shoot beforehand).

Bringing along some water is a great idea, regardless of the time of year (and water for your dogs, too, if you bring them along)!

If it's summer or especially warm, bringing a small towel to dab sweat or some loose powder for your face is never a bad plan, either.

As I mentioned above, if you plan to wear heels or a pair of really uncomfortable shoes, bringing an extra pair of flip-flops to throw on in between locations can save you a lot of pain later on!

Arrive on Time

As a photographer who uses natural light (for both indoor and outdoor sessions) I can't stress this enough. I carefully select my time slots to reflect the best possible lighting situation for your session. Arriving late will directly impact the time/locations that I'm able to shoot. I realize that sometimes things happen (hey, that's life!), but just try your best to arrive at our designated meeting time!

Stay Open-Minded

Because I aim to showcase honest interactions and emotions in my photographs, expect my sessions to be a little bit different. Instead of putting you in stiff poses and tweaking each pose until it's perfect (and perfectly uncomfortable for you and everyone involved) I choose to use a lot of movement and direction instead! This eases the tension of having your photo taken and, as a result, makes your photos appear much more relaxed and natural! I may ask you questions, or ask you to move or interact in some way--we may even play a game or two! 

Some things I ask you to do may seem strange or goofy, but just know that everything I ask of you is meant to elicit an emotion or response and, in turn, will provide you with really beautiful, authentic images. So try your best to stay positive, open minded, and completely in the moment!

Plan For The Worst - Hope For The Best (Child/Family Photography Only)

No session is more unpredictable than one involving young kids. For best results, make sure your little one is fed and well rested before the shoot (HAHAHA! I know, I know. But try your best!)  Bringing a change of clothes for them (possibly several!) wouldn't be a bad idea. Bringing a favorite toy or a bag of "bribe treats" can work wonders as well. As a parent, be prepared to move! Younger children are usually pretty put-off by a stranger following them around with a camera, so I often ask parents to run around behind me and to help me get those adorable little laughs and giggles! 

Like I mentioned earlier, doing an activity during your family session can really help with keeping smaller children engaged and excited to be there! They forget that they're even doing a photo shoot in the first place; they just think they're out having fun with their family! So that's definitely something to consider if your kids are at the "squirmy" age (2-8)! The Family in the photo above chose to do a bonfire with smores and hot chocolate for their holiday photos, and it kept their daughter happy the entire time (not to mention, it was adorable!)

Even if you do everything right, sometimes a session turns ugly. If that happens, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm. It is absolutely normal and, trust me when I say, it is not only your kid that gets uncooperative. I'm a mom, too, so I'm definitely not judging you. Just stay positive! My best suggestion is to NEVER FORCE YOUR LITTLE ONES TO SMILE AT THE CAMERA. If they don't want to sit still and cooperate, trying to force it will only result in temper-tantrums. Instead, play into whatever your child is doing! Let them lead YOU! The photos will be authentic, the smiles will be real, and you'll be much happier with the results!

How to Prepare Your Home (Newborn Photography Only)

So you've booked us for a Newborn Shoot! What now?!

As we've probably already discussed, our newborn sessions are done in home, and they are shot in a Lifestyle fashion, meaning we are showcasing your new little one in their natural habitat, just as they are!

Even though this is a Lifestyle session and we aren't going to be focused on doing "fancy" wraps and poses, new babies are very temperamental and there are a few steps you can take to prepare your sweet angel and your home.

- Make sure the house is as warm as you can stand it. We don't want the baby to be chilly, especially if we are going to try for some "nekkie" photos (hehe!) or photos in just a diaper ruffle. It may be miserable for us, but the baby will love it!

- Have any outfits, hair bows, blankets (the more texture the better!), swaddles, stuffed animals, etc that you'd like to use out and at the ready! We can go through them when I get there to see what will work best! Some suggestions: Solid onesies are WONDERFUL. Colorful, pattered blankets are great for variety and interest in a photo! Cozy and warm neutrals almost always photograph beautifully. 

- Make sure your baby is full (don't feed them immediately before the session, or there could be issues with gas/reflux, but don't have them start the session on an empty stomach, either. 20 minutes prior is probably good).

- Once they are fed, have your little one either stripped down to their diaper or dressed in their first outfit. After that, wrap your baby in a nice, warm blanket and rock them softly. The idea is to get them as cozy and calm as possible before I arrive. 

- If you are planning on multiple outfit changes for your little one, my advice is to limit this to a MAXIMUM of three changes. Each time a new baby is switched into another outfit, the fussier they tend to get, and the less cooperative they are. I recommend picking one or two favorite outfits and stopping there.

These tips are definitely a "try your best" type of thing, as babies rarely do exactly what we want them to. In the event that they cry and fuss throughout the session, please don't worry. It happens all the time and we will work through it! Don't be upset if your baby doesn't sleep for the entire session. It happens a lot. And that's the best part about Lifestyle photography--we don't really need them to sleep, because we're going to get great shots of them regardless!

We love including shots of the nursery and other scenery shots that help tell the story of your new addition! And we also LOVE to incorporate Mom and Dad into the photos and also older siblings! So please let us know if that's something you'd like to do! Moms--I completely understand not wanting to be photographed in the weeks after giving birth, but years down the line, you will be glad you did! I am very sensitive to the body issues you may be having, as I am a mom myself, and promise to shoot you in a way that flatters! So please, please consider it!

If Mom and Dad are having trouble deciding what to wear for the session, here's my advice: Dress comfortable and relaxed! These images are designed to imitate a day in your normal lives, showing how you both are doting on your new little one during their first month of life and how your bond as a family is growing stronger. Because I wouldn't want clothing to distract from this simple and beautiful message, I usually recommend wearing solid neutral colors. Because these photos are taken indoors in often-times challenging lighting conditions, I also recommend wearing lighter colors (White, tan, or pastels) that reflect more sunlight onto your faces, as opposed to dark colors (black and dark blue/purple) that tend to absorb light. 

 

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