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A few tips before your family life session

  1. Share your Vision- Fill out the questionnaire so we can work together to create a great session!  It will help me get to knwo you better (I LOVE getting to know the amazing people who invite me to capture them!) and it will help you think through what is most important to your family as well as plan for what you need to bring (or communicate to me what I need to prepare).  If you are like me I need help to think ahead and this will help in that!
  2. Color/Outfit Choice-It’s a good idea to pick 3 colors to work with as your main colors, then consider grays, whites, blacks, demin, or browns as freebie’s or neutrals. Not necessarily all of them together, but one or two that work with the 3 colors you chose. This will give your photo more visual interest than a simple 2 color theme. If you want to include any props or important family keepsakes or objects think about those in relation to your colors as well. (tip: I make a big pile and start tossing and adding as needed before the shoot- this will enable you to see how everything looks together). Also, if we are doing an outdoor session find or borrow a blanket that you can all sit on (I find this is helpful for younger kids or anyone with sensory sensitivity to grass & can keep your lovely outfits clean and dry).
  3. Visual Interest-Think variety!  Cardigan, sweater, V-neck with another color underneath, necklace, scarf, button up shirt, undershirt, headband, tights, hats, fun shoes, ties, earrings, vest, boots. Layers & accessories add dimension and texture and therefore richness to the overall look. I always say add 1-2 extra thing(s) then you would wear on a normal day! Try not to be too matchy-matchy.  For example: If I have 2 girls, they don’t both get yellow headbands, but one yellow and one green to spread out the colors. Boys have fewer options when it comes to layers but we can be creative. Maybe try to put my 2 boys in two types of shirts and layer them differently. One a button up with t-shirt underneath, the other a polo type with T-shirt underneath and maybe sleeves rolled up into each other.
  4. Take Care of Mama- Mama’s always get the leftovers right? Don’t pick everyone else’s out, then just grab something from your closet that only looks “ok” on you, but matches the color scheme. You need to feel great because I want you to love these images! If anything, I’d pick something that you think looks fabulous on YOU, then plan around THAT! (Mama 1st for a change :) It’s tough enough to get mamas IN pictures, so when you are in them, you want to feel and look good so that these images will be special to you.I love seeing my clients adore their images, not only because their kids look adorable (bc they are :), but because they see themselves as strong, amazing, & resilient women! I want to celebrate you Mama because I know just how important that is to the work we do every day!
  5. Prepare but let it go- All of us who have children know that we can plan and prepare but we never know exactly what will happen the day of our session and it is better to be ready for craziness! When we were living in Africa we learned a great phrase “inshallah” (or God willing) meaning that we will plan but in the end it is out of our control and it is in God's control. If your daughter wrinkles her dress or your son jumps in the mud puddle we will make it work! Don’t stress and have fun! Also, I always find it helpful to bring a “reward” (a toy or a favorite non-staining snack: gummy bears or fruit snacks are my faves) to help motivate (ahem bribe) kids to cooperate. I usually have a sweet treat in my camera bag to reward the kids after as well!
  6. Have Fun- Remember that this messy, crazy, beautiful family of yours is a blessing! Have fun and don’t worry about getting everything perfect- I will work hard to give you beautiful images and I just want you to enjoy your time together because that will be the story your images tell.  I will be able to capture more of the spirit of your family if you are able to relax, laugh (I have been known to make fart noises- no judgement ok?), play, and just be together.  Usually these unexpected shots can be our favorites. Over and over again my clients tell me that they thought their kids acted so crazy but when they see their images they are so thrilled with just how many beautiful images we created together! I got you! Just create memories and have a blast!

Thank you for inviting me to help capture your story,

  Roxanne Engstrom