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Monday, October 1, 2012

Make a List Monday * Timing Your Photo Session

I l-o-v-e lists.  I have a list for everything, have entire notebooks dedicated to lists, and make lists of lists.  This comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me well.  Since I am a Gold, INTJ, firstborn child with a terrible short-term memory, lists keep me from going insane.

We will be starting a new series of lists today!!!  Every Monday, I will post a list that in some way relates to photography.  Upcoming subjects include Apparel Mistakes, What Doesn't Matter (In a Photo Shoot), Pictures You Shouldn't Miss, Unexpected Locations and many others.  I have learned so much from my clients since we began this business, and I am hoping to share it with you all.

Today I would like to share some ideas that might help when planning the time for your photo session.  Since you don't do this every day, there are a lot of little details that are easy to overlook.  Here are some thoughts:

1.  If you have a child (or children) used to taking naps, be sure to plan around that time.  I always ask this question [now], and it makes a world of difference.  While we're talking naps, make sure your child doesn't miss his or her nap the day of the shoot- it's sure to cause everyone extra challenges!

2.  Try timing your photo sessions in different seasons, especially if you live in a region where seasons have distinct differences.  Living in Wisconsin, we shoot the majority of our sessions when the weather is warmer. However, don't be afraid to try a nice winter day!  See this session and this one for inspiration.  Your photographer is more likely to be able to accommodate your scheduling preferences during this "off season."

3.  Speaking of which, if your photographer also shoots weddings, don't expect to have your family or engagement session on a Saturday in the summer- it is highly unlikely they won't be booked.

4.  My favorite time of day to shoot is golden hour- one hour before sunset or one hour after sunrise.  This is the best lighting of the day, especially if it's been a sunny day.  Try to schedule your session around these times.

5.  Consider your family's schedule.  If your husband's job is super-busy at Christmas time, schedule your photo session well in advance.  If your 4 kids are all in summer sports, maybe spring is a better time for you. If you farm, consider a winter session- figure out what works for you!

6.  This may sound silly, but consider timing how you look as well.  If your son plays tackle football, he is more likely to have bruises or black eyes during the season.  Perhaps there are certain times of year you seem to gain weight, or times of the month that your skin breaks out.  Make it easy on yourself- schedule your photo session for the time you will look and feel the best!  However...

7.  Don't wait for perfection.  Don't keep putting off this opportunity to have you and your loved ones captured just because you want to lose weight or change your appearance.  I can't tell you the number of people who avoid pictures for this reason.  As someone who has lost a significant amount of weight (10 years ago)- I get it.  However, when I here that someone hasn't had a family picture in 7 years, and they have 3 kids under the age of 5, I wonder if it's worth it.  You never know what might happen, and it is so important to capture those memories with our loved ones.

8.  If you have little ones, be sure to consider mini-sessions.  You will want pictures of them at various stages of their development, but you may not want to pay for 4 full sessions per year.  Mini-sessions will capture those memories without draining your bank account.

That's all I have for now.  Be sure to check back next week for another installment of Make a List Monday!


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Follower of Christ. Wife. Orphan Carer. Midwesterner. Adoption supporter. Marriage and Family Therapist. Researcher. Photographer. Recovering perfectionist. Lover of Summer, Travel, Vintage, Sunshine, Crafts, Peace, and Simplicity.

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