Hiring the right photographer is important. Before deciding on a photographer to do your session, it’s always a good idea to do a little research to see if you’re a good fit. Check out their portfolio, their social media, and read their website and blogs. Not every photographer and client will fit well together, so it’s important to find someone to capture your family that you trust and feel is a good fit for you. If you agree with the following statements then I think we might be a good fit!
1. You like my photos.
If you like the photos on my website, chances are you will like your photos…because they will be very similar. My style of photography may not be for everyone. It tends to be a little moody, contrasty, sometimes dramatic, and a little more saturated in color than some other styles. I love that style of photography…and as far as my work goes, I feel like it helps convey the raw, authentic feeling that I’m trying to capture in my photos. If you love that style too, then we may be a good fit. However, if you are looking for photos that are “bright and airy,” we may not be. “Bright and airy” photos tend to be over-exposed, bright, soft, and desaturated in color. If that is the type of photography you are after then we probably won’t be a good fit… and that’s ok!
2. You and your family are affectionate and also a little silly.
During our session I may ask you to look at the camera a couple of times, but the majority of photos will be taken with you looking at your beautiful family. There will be tickling, hugging, kissing, running, jumping, and maybe even dancing to capture real emotions. Movement usually gets natural smiles, laughter, and organic poses, which result in great photos. And there will definitely be some cuddling. Cuddling creates feeling in a photograph…love, connection, and warmth. Years after our session you will look at your photos and feel those emotions.
3. You value photography and see it as art.
Some people don’t see the value in professional photography. Those people are happy with their IPhone photos….and that’s ok! But you know what? Those photos are probably going to live in their phone forever. If you value professional photography, you understand that having beautiful photos that capture the growth of your family is priceless. You also value the artistic aspect of photography. I am an artist…while I am taking photographs of your family, I’m thinking about composition, light, and emotion. I’m creating art in each and every one of my photos. When you invest in professional photography of your family, you will have artwork that not only captures the growth of your family, but brings you back to those moments in time when your kids were growing up. Photos that can remind you of how it felt to be close to your family, and the love that you all shared. These are memories that will last for generations and will absolutely be worth the money you spent on them.
4. You value connection over perfection.
My goal when I take family photos is to create connection and emotion in the images. I want to show the love you guys share, the fun you have, and showcase your individual personalities. When you look at a photo of a family dressed in fancy clothes, stiffly posed with forced smiles, you don’t really feel much emotion. Not like you do when you see a photo of a family cuddling together and looking at each other with love, or tickling each other with genuine smiles on their faces. My photos are authentic and natural, not posed and boring.
5. You want the process to be easy, from booking to getting your digital images.
Booking is super easy…you can email me or send a message through my website (click here), and I will send some session info and a link to book. I use an online booking system where you can choose the date and time. After that, you will sign a contract and get an invoice for your booking fee, which you can pay through my site. We will go over the session details and location when it gets close to the date by email. I will send another invoice for the balance the day before your session, which will also be paid online. After the session, the digital images can be downloaded as soon as they’re available, within a week of the session. The album will be designed and put together by me, and will be delivered to your doorstep within 4 weeks of our session. Easy!
6. You want a fun, laid back, and stress-free session.
Our session will be fun! I promise. And there’s no need to stress about clothing, smiling, how your kids will behave, or if you will look tired in the photos (you won’t). Forget about all of that! First off, I’m not a fancy person…I’m super laid back and casual, and I don’t prefer fancy clothing. I want to capture YOU. Wear clothes that you feel confident in, don’t try to look like someone you’re not. When you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, your confidence will come across in the photos. And there’s no need to practice smiling, as I said before…a genuine expression is what creates emotion and feeling. I will guide you and your family into poses, and give you prompts to get those authentic emotions to come out. And your kids? A shoot usually goes best if kids have napped and eaten…but don’t stress about it! Bring some dry, clean snacks just in case, and if they haven’t napped, so be it. I can almost always get beautiful shots of kids, even when they’re upset or unruly. I’ve actually been told that it’s my super power.
7. You want to document your family as you all grow, and you want a session every year.
I LOVE documenting families over time. I have some that I have been shooting for years… starting with their newborn photos, and some that even started with their wedding photos! I love sticking with families and getting to capture their growth and changes every year. Family photography shouldn’t be a one and done experience…it should happen every year, or every couple of years if you really want to document your family. I can capture all the special moments from your kids newborn photos, to first steps, to teenage years (although let’s be honest, not all teens will be thrilled about doing family photos!).
8. You are concerned about safety with your kids or newborn.
I have been photographing newborns for 11 years. Since 2010 I have worked for a photography company doing Fresh 48 newborn sessions in a hospital. I usually shoot around 6-8 a day, and I have photographed over 7000 newborns with them to date! I know how to handle newborns, pose them safely, swaddle them tightly, and I can even share some tips with you on how to calm down a newborn that won’t stop crying…trust me, I have lots of tricks (in addition to the super power I mentioned earlier, I’ve also been called a baby whisperer more times than I count!). Not only that, but I grew up helping to care for my younger siblings, all 5-9 years younger, and I was an infant/toddler teacher at a daycare for 5 years after high school.
9. You want me to control the session.
I will be directing the session and controlling the post-production editing. I’m more than happy to take input on a location, and even specific poses you’d like to try. That’s no problem at all. But if you or your partner work as an art director and want control over everything from the spots we take photos, to posing, and editing…then we may not be a good fit. Trust me to handle everything, and I promise you will be happy with your photos and your overall experience.
10. You don’t want to travel far.
I’m in Chicago, but I’m happy to drive out to the suburbs for a session. There are some beautiful parks and forest preserves in the suburbs that I’m happy to recommend. Or if you have a newborn or just want to do a home session, I will come to you! There may be travel fees depending on how far you are, but no need to worry about going far from home.