Are you like most and wonder what to expect during your photography session? I never hesitate to inform my clients on how to prepare for their photo session. I feel it’s time to add it to my website as great tool for all to refer to. Take some time and read the information that applies to you. A little help from me will give you time to make your photos unique and give me some inspiration during your session.





Style, Clothing, Color, Tone...

What do you want your family portrait to say about you and your family? When thinking about the style of portrait you would like, consider the personalities of your family members, what you enjoy doing together and where you are going to display it in your home. If you are a casual family, a very formal traditional portrait may not be your style. Remember, you want this to be a memory of your family as it is today.

When creating a portrait you want the viewer's attention drawn to your family's faces and their expressions. To do this effectively you want to contrast the skin tone with the other colors and tones in the image. When a medium to dark background is preferred, most people photograph best in medium to dark toned clothing, whatever their skin tone.

Clothing for your family should be simple and in the same tonal ranges. When subjects' clothing is a mixture of light and dark tones it decreases the visual harmony - the light tone will dominate. It may also make the person dressed in the lighter tone appear heavier.

For family portraits it is very important to coordinate clothing. Tonal harmony is the most important goal. In a portrait, no one person should stand out visually. Proper clothing selection can make the difference between a portrait that appears to be a group of unrelated people and one in which every member of the family appears to belong together.

To help you decide what clothing color to wear, first decide where you will hang your portrait. Look at the accent colors in the room. Do you like the way you look in one of those colors? If so consider wearing clothing in that color. The harmony between the colors of the portrait and the room will look pleasing and enhance the decor of your home.

Preparing For Your Portrait

Turtle necks or v-necks are flattering provided that neither is exaggerated in style. Avoid very wide or particularly deep v-neck garments or bulky cowl neck sweaters that completely hide the neck.

For close-up portraits, long sleeves are essential, as bare arms call attention to themselves and will overpower the face. Remember, no matter how slim your arms are, they may appear heavier in your portrait.

Women being photographed in full length should wear longer skirts, pants, or dark nylons in order to keep the eye from being directed toward the legs and away from the face.

Feet may show in the portrait, so be sure to wear socks and shoes that compliment the outfit you are wearing.

Men should be clean-shaven or facial hair should be carefully groomed.

Men should have their hair cut about one week before the portrait session. Women should be photographed whenever they are happiest with their hair in relation to the time it is styled or cut.

Items to think about bringing:
Think about any props you would like to include: Blanket, Balloons, Pinwheels, Bubbles, etc.
Think about adding something fun and interesting to your photographs, it will make the natural surrounds more interesting.

Suggestions for all types of Portraitures:

Think about color/texture/layers in all clothing and props you plan to wear or bring along with you. Life and interest comes from these items and will help your image stand out.

Here are a few ideas for clothing and props. The following items are only suggestions, so please feel free bring along any new ideas as well. It is better to bring along too much and not use something than to be at the studio and wish you had packed a specific item.

I would like to stress that this is your special photo session and you are in control of what we shoot. I want the session to be a fun experience and would never push someone outside of their personal comfort zone. If some items in the list below do not appeal to you, no problem! Please don’t hesitate to call me to talk things thru.

• Try to avoid wearing anything too tight or restrictive to avoid creating dents or marks on your skin for a couple of hours prior to your session.

•Panel-free pants or jeans.

•Black pants. Many of the darker poses that fade into shadows work best with black pants.

•A fitted non-maternity top. The goal is to have something that hugs your shoulders and breasts, but is a little bit too short to actually cover your belly.

•Your pre-pregnancy jeans, unbuttoned and unzipped. If you can fit into your pre- pregnancy jeans at all while pregnant, they will most likely have to be totally unzipped, so a word of caution prior to your shoot is to do a “bikini check” to see if there are any stray hairs visible.•Lacy or sheer lightweight robe.

• long pretty silk scarf that can be draped over your breasts and behind your back.

•A button down shirt (your own or one of your husband’s shirts). You can button the top part over your breasts and leave the bottom part unbuttoned over your belly. Or you can leave the whole thing unbuttoned, revealing the curve of your breasts. This can be done either braless or with a sexy bra.

•Other tops that can either be unbuttoned to reveal your belly, are short enough to reveal your belly, or fitted enough to showcase the shape of your belly.

•Black. If you are self conscious about excess weight and would like to do shadowy pose where it is difficult to tell where your body ends and the shadows begin, definitely bring black clothing. This can include black panel-free pants, a black tank top, a black button-down shirt, etc.

•Sports bra or tank top (we can clip the tank top up in the back to expose your belly).

•A hairclip. If you have long hair, you might opt to do some poses with your hair down and some with it piled loosely on your head.

•Keep in mind that your hands may be prominent in some of these poses. Therefore make sure to groom your nails. Natural looking nails, pale colors, or a french manicure photograph much better than dark nail polish colors.


•Flesh toned strapless bra and panties to use with sheer fabrics. This will give the effect of "implied nudity" but will allow you to feel more comfortable during the


•Black panties, because a little sliver of them may be visible with unzipped pre-pregnancy jeans.

•A smooth bra and panties without bows or lace details. These items can be useful for silhouetted images (where the background is very bright, but the subject is a dark outline). A silhouette does not provide any detail or definition, just shape. Many women choose to do a nude silhouette to truly showcase their beautiful shape without revealing any detail (it’s kind of like being a naked shadow).

•Any other pretty lingerie you specifically want to be photographed in. The earlier suggestions are for discreet lingerie to blend in, but if we are going to showcase the lingerie in the portrait then lacy or patterned stuff is great!


•Special sentimental jewelry. (example – a necklace or earrings from your husband)

•Jewelry with a statement. A white button down shirt with a colorful statement necklace adds more interest and variety.

•Baby booties, or a stuffed toy you have purchased for the baby.

•A print of your ultrasound.

Including Family

Your children or husband (is he a prop? Ha, ha.). Unless you are doing the portraits as a surprise for your husband, you might want to consider including him or his hands in a few poses. Plan to coordinate your clothing with your husband’s or child’s clothing.

One note on including older children in maternity portraits – I will do all of the poses involving the children first. Please plan to bring along another adult (grandparent, friend, or babysitter) who could take the kids somewhere for the remainder of the session. Kids do not have the patience to sit through a maternity session, and a photo studio is not a safe environment for a child to be totally unattended. And lastly, you will be much more relaxed if you do not have to worry about keeping an eye on your children while you are posing. When you are relaxed and enjoying your photo session, that feeling will come through in the final portraits.

It’s best to photograph your newborn around one to two weeks after birth. This is when they sleep longer making it easier to photograph them. Even though you may not know the exact day the baby will arrive, just give us an estimate of your due date so we can reserve time on my calendar. Remember to let me know when your baby is scheduled for vaccines. They are usually cranky that day and it won’t be the ideal moment to photograph them.

I schedule about 2 hours for newborn sessions. I understand that babies need to be fed and there’s also diaper changing. My home is open to you and your little one. I attempt to make my home as comfortable for you and your little one.

I recommend parents to bring an extra outfit just in case one gets dirty. If you would like to bring a special blanket or prop for your baby to be photographed with you are more than welcome to do so.

Try to apply lotion to the baby’s skin to reduce the appearance of dry skin. Newborns tend to shed their skin but don't worry. I use exclusive retouching and image softening software that will manage most skin imperfections and will result in a model looking smoother in his/her portrait.

For some poses, I like to use the mom’s or dad’s hands for those special photographs holding the baby’s feet or head. Therefore we recommend having groomed hands so you feel even more comfortable.

My studio is very new, but always on the lookout for beautiful hats props and other simple accessories to enhance the session, however, I highly encourage parents to make the session personal by bringing something of your own. I welcome it all. If there is something in particular that you would like for me to use in your photography session, please let me know.

Examples of past client props:

  1. Blocks that spell out babies name

  2. Wedding Rings

  3. Heirloom Blanket/Rattle

  4. Antique Chair, etc.