What to Wear to Back to School Photos

It’s true, what you wear can affect the way a photo looks and feels, just as much as the location does. But to me, it isn’t as important as you. You make the image, and the location and what you wear are really secondary.

For Back to School Fine Art Minis, what your son or daughter wears is an expression of them in this moment in time, and I think we can allow children to show who they are, with a few guidelines in place.

Here are my top tips for what they should wear for these Back to School Photos:

1. The most important thing is that whatever your child is wearing, it should be something that they are comfortable in. If your child is uncomfortable, it will show in the photos. They will be playing with the collar of their fancy shirt, pulling at the hem of a dress they don’t like, or grimacing at the itchy sweater. 

2. Their clothing should be a reflection of who they are in this moment in time. Are they relaxed and prefer a hoodie? Or maybe your princess is happiest wearing the sparkly tutu! Whoever they are, let’s bring it out and let them express it.

3. Try to avoid neon colours, largo logos, or very busy or jarring prints. In general, these don’t photograph well, and shouldn’t be worn. 

My best strategy that I use with my own son is to pick out a couple of my favourite outfits, that I know he is comfortable in, and allow him to choose what he wants to wear. This way, he feels like he has input into and ultimate control over, what he wears.

Like I said, whatever your child wears, they are what’s important in the photos, not what they wear! I can’t wait to see your kids at my Back to School Fine Art Mini Sessions!

Back to School Photos - The Cool New Way!

What did your school photos look like? 

I remember seeing a picture of my cousin who was wearing an acid wash denim dress, crimped hair, smiling stiffly and awkwardly in front of a LAZER BEAM background. You can picture this, can’t you? And I bet you have a photos almost exactly like it.

To be honest, back to school photos haven’t changed too much, have they? 

The school photos I get of my son, while adorable, are so painful to look at. His little eyes are practically squinted closed from smiling so dramatically hard, he is grasping his one forearm so firmly in the “the photographer told me to do this” pose that I can see the indentation. These photos crack me up! They are of course, a representation of his likeness, but they sure aren’t HIM.

I think you know exactly what I mean. These back to school photos don’t really show any of his personality.

So here’s the thing, I want something better for you and for your kids. I want to take photos of your children as they are. I want to show their real smiles, their cautiousness, the serious look that they give.  I want you to have honest images of your children that you both will cherish.

Whether your children are back to school on-line or in person this year, I think celebrating this year is still important.

I’m here to reinvent school photos with my Back to School Fine Art Mini Sessions, which will capture real photos of your child!

Ready to join me in capturing honest images of your kiddo? Book your session now!

How to Choose a Session Location

With so many awesome location possibilities (especially here in the Niagara Region!) how do you pick where to have your family photo session?

Thankfully, it’s actually not as tricky as you might think!

When I am working with you to decide where we should go to take your family photos, I will first off ask you if there’s a special or favourite place YOU have. Is there an outdoor spot that maybe your spouse proposed? A walking path that you go to frequently with your kids? Perhaps a beach where you have made some special memories? What kinds of activities do you and your family enjoy?

I have a short list of my favourite tried and tested spots where I love doing sessions, so if you don’t have a spot you’d like to go, I will have some great suggestions. I know these places well, and go back again and again. However, I love discovering new places too! The locations that I suggest are ones that I have chosen where the light is simply gorgeous at golden hour (my favourite time to shoot!).

There are a few considerations to take when thinking about where to shoot, the first of which is knowing yourself and your family. Do you have a small child who likes to run and play, and going to the beach or the streets where they might be able to run into danger makes you stressed out? I want you to feel relaxed and enjoy your session - so we are going to avoid those locations.

My favourite kinds of spots are:

1. Beach or Waterfront

2. Natural Field

3. Forest

4. Urban Streetscape

5. Park

The locations that I love best are easy to access, have ample parking, don’t come at any cost, and are chosen based on their natural outdoor beauty. Some locations are more desirable in different seasons, such as a forest or a park in the fall. 

Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions, or if you have a suggestion for a location maybe I’ve not considered! I can’t wait to photograph your family, in one of these gorgeous locations!

What to Wear to a Family Photoshoot

What to wear to a family photo session is one of the questions I’m asked the most.
I love this question! I know that you want your photo session to be easy and gorgeous, and you want to look and feel amazing in your photos.
Here are my top tips for how to plan what you and your family should wear:

1. Dress mom first.

Mama, you are gorgeous. I want you to feel like a million kazillion dollars. I know that you will usually plan what everyone else is going to wear and then you might be an afterthought - not today! Wear something you love, wear something that is really flattering and something that you feel GREAT in! If it’s an outfit that you’ve purchased just for this shoot and it doesn’t feel quite right, it’s going to show in the photos. From your outfit, we are going to choose the rest of the colour palette for everyone else in your family.

2. From mom’s outfit, choose a couple of main accent and complementary colours.

The rest of your colours should be neutrals like white, beige, black, or grey. You can choose a pattern piece from which the accents are drawn, such as your daughter’s floral dress or a plaid scarf for you.

3. Don’t choose anything that is too trendy.

You want your photos to be timeless and to look great years from now (do you remember puffy wedding dress sleeves? I do… ouch!), so try to stay away from outfits that you won’t love the look of in a year or two. Avoid clothing with neon colours (they don’t show up well in camera) or large logos.

4. Accessories matter!

Remember your footwear; unkempt shoes can detract from the rest of your beautiful and well put together outfit. A cute vest, a gorgeous scarf, headbands, earrings, layered shirts or sweaters give what you’re wearing interest and depth.

I’m always available for outfit consultations beforehand; these mamas sent me pictures of what everyone was going to be wearing before the photoshoots. Seeing those photos gets me that much more excited for a shoot!

Do you have any questions? Drop me an email and let me know if you need some help deciding what to wear to our next shoot!

Tips for Taking Your Own Newborn Photos

You want to know what hurts my heart so much during this time of social distancing? 
Not capturing your newborn babies. 

This makes me so sad because I want to take photos that show off those tiny toes, that soft downy hair and the incredible love and bond you already have.

I’m so sad I can’t spend time documenting this special time with your new family.
But what I can do, is help you capture this time and these special moments on your own.

So here are my top tips for capturing your own newborn.

1. Use only natural window light

Turn off all the lights in the room you are in, and turn off the flash on your camera too. Try to choose a time of day when the sun isn’t beaming directly into the window you are using. Ideally you should use the biggest window in your home, or failing that, simply open a door and shoot there. Place your back to the window or door, photographing inwards towards the house.

2. Capture these key images, keeping in mind to follow baby’s lead. If she is sleeping, let her sleep. If baby is awake, enjoy it!
- Lay baby on her back, on a neutral surface (like the the bed) and take an image from directly above, from chest level up.
- Have a parent hold the baby on her back, belly up, their hands under her back and bum, and the other supporting the back of her head and neck. Photograph the swirl of her hair, capturing the parent looking at the perfect babe in their hands.
- Tuck baby’s legs up up, and place her and her head on a parent’s chest, while the parent is either standing or sitting.

3. Capture every pose from at least two or three angles.
For each of the above poses, try capturing baby from a different vantage point, or get a little closer to capture details of the image. For example, of the image of a parent holding baby, also photograph this from the side, ask them to kiss baby on the forehead and capture again. Get a little closer, and photograph mom’s hands. Maximize every pose!

4. Don’t photograph up baby’s nose. 

This is a general “rule of thumb” when it comes to photographing babies (and people!). It’s not a particularly flattering vantage point, so… just don’t do it.

5. Use the self timer on your camera.

Get in the photo! It can be tricky, and will probably take a few tries, but it’s worth it.

I wish I could be with you, but I hope these tips will guide you through capturing this incredibly special and fleeting time in your baby’s life. I can’t wait to see you as soon as I can; the best part about shooting lifestyle images of newborns is that the images are gorgeous no matter how old baby is.
Have questions? Please reach out! I can’t wait to meet your new baby!

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