Before our session, we will have a phone call, Facetime/Skype call, or an in-home visit so that we can get to know each other a bit and discuss the details for the session. We’ll talk about your goals for the shoot, my approach, where and when to shoot, etc. I shoot in natural light, so outdoor locations or interiors with bright window light are ideal. Don’t be afraid to have me shoot in your own home–often there is great light and it’s where children are most comfortable. We can also shoot at multiple locations within the session time frame. One exception–I only shoot newborns in their homes. This makes it easier for both mom and baby and allows for a meaningful, authentic capture of the baby’s arrival to his/her family.
When I show up to the session, if it’s at your home, the first thing I do after introductions is to take a look at the spaces and find where the best light is. Then I’ll come up with a tentative game plan for the overall flow of the session, for example, “We’ll start in the bedroom with some cuddle time on the bed, then move to the living room to take advantage of the light from that big front window, and finish up in the yard for some more action shots.” When I’m shooting I do a mix of candid and directed shots. I’ll do a couple “everyone look at the camera and smile” set-ups, but that’s not the focus. The images that are more dynamic tend to involve an interaction, and that’s what I help facilitate for you. I basically set up little scenes and let the magic happen! I’m always watching for those interactions/gestures that often happen naturally, but sometimes I nudge them along.
For newborn sessions, I don’t bring props, wraps, or anything of the sort. My “props” tend to be the parents themselves, and the background is your home. I usually use a blanket or two that you already have and that’s about it! Again, my focus is telling the story of your baby joining your family and the change that occurs when a woman becomes a mother and a man becomes a dad.
A few tips:
- RELAX! I know you want your pictures to look great, but it’s best not to pressure your family members to perform. Perhaps don’t tell your kids you’re going to get your pictures taken, or at least don’t frame it that way. Instead, tell them you’re going to PLAY together and Jen is going to have her camera ready to capture it. As a lifestyle photographer I capture emotion and document relationships. This is probably what drew you to my work in the first place–you don’t just want to see what your family looks like. You want to see what your love looks like.
- When considering your shoot, think about what is authentic to your family and what you want to remember ten and twenty years from now. Do you like playing baseball in the backyard? Do you like baking together? Skateboarding? Going to the beach? Going out for ice cream? Let’s plan something that everyone will enjoy!
“Jen is a finisher and cares about the end product. We didn’t just sit down a computer and tick boxes for prints and sizes. She wanted to know how we would be displaying our photos. She came to our home and helped us design a beautiful gallery wall. Her design brought me to tears. Our family photos are a focal point in our home and we are complimented regularly on the photos as well as the display.”
I shoot both film and digital. The images take time to process, usually about 3 weeks. You will receive an email with a link to your images online that will be available for downloading and sharing with friends and family. I also offer prints from my professional lab, and a selection of frames and albums. If you’re local and would like to have an in-home ordering session, I can come over and show you frame and album samples. Taking your style and space into consideration, I’ll even help you decide how to display your gorgeous images. I have specialized software that will allow me to show you a preview of what your images will look like arranged and framed on your wall!