Setting up your session doesn’t have to be scary.
Whether you’ve just become engaged, you’re pregnant with your first or you’re just hoping to photograph your family for the first time (or 5th time), setting up a photoshoot can feel overwhelming. What should we wear? How will I get everything pulled together? Where are we working? What do I have to do to make this happen? Are my kids going to behave? How much work will this take?
If you’ve ever engaged in any kind of creative endeavor before, you know exactly how challenging it can be to transform the image that you have for your family in your mind into reality. It’s our vision at KDR Photography to be your one-stop shop for everything related to your session. Using your thoughts and ideas, your personality, your requests, and your own personal vision, we do the heavy lifting for you and take care of every last detail. I do it so that when you’re with the people you love most during your session, you can focus on each other and generate real memories to go along with your beautiful session.
Step One: Book Your Session
To book your session, please contact us through email, a quick phone call. Hate talking on the phone? No worries. You’re also more than welcome to text this number.
After our initial contact, I will send your session fee invoice, contact as well as your welcome email and questionnaire. Congrats, you’re in the family!
Step Two: Pre-Session Consultation
What is a pre-session consultation? The pre-session consultation is the time when we discuss your session location, clothing choices, and style, the mood for your session as well as any other details or questions that you might have.
You will have me live in person (or over the phone!) to discuss anything that you’d like to make your session great. I am here to help navigate the waters, so to speak, so I encourage clients to ask as many questions as they can. After our meeting, client’s are also welcome to text pictures of clothing choices for feedback.
Before your consultation here are a few things to think about:
Do you prefer images that are more candid or do you prefer posed? Perhaps a mix of both?
Who are you and what is your life about? How do you want to be remembered in these images?
Are you willing to travel to a great location that may be off the beaten track or would you prefer to stick to well-known areas?
What do you plan to do with the final images? Are you a family that enjoys displaying their “hero” images on the wall or do you prefer an album to tell the entire story?
Step Three: The Session (What to expect)
After our pre-session consultation (usually about two weeks later), we will get together at the selected location and start shooting. At this point, you will probably arrive feeling just a little nervous. If you’re a mom, you will likely be downright ready to hit happy hour after spending the last couple of hours trying to wrangle everyone together. But don’t worry, I get it, I totally understand.
What to expect if you have an engagement session:
Engagement sessions are designed so that the couple feels relaxed, playful and flirty with one another. During your session, I will ask you and your significant other a variety of questions (some funny and some serious) to help elicit specific feelings and emotions. This session is centered completely around the two of you and your love, so don’t be afraid to let loose and have some fun! Couples that are willing to play, snuggle and laugh together ultimately end up with the best looking images
What to expect during your maternity session:
Maternity sessions are focused on capturing your gorgeous bump, your significant other as well as any children that you may have. During your session, we will work with a variety of different poses to help accentuate your beautiful bump. Because of our hot location, we will take several breaks during your session to ensure that you stay comfortable and well hydrated. A maternity session is along the same lines as a beauty/glamour session, and we encourage clients to go all out and pamper themselves beforehand. Hair, makeup, nails, check! You deserve it!
What to expect if you have a session with young children:
Children are ferocious and unexpected creatures that can smell fear and desperation. Okay, maybe not all children, but mine certainly can! When working with young children, toddlers, and infants, it’s important to understand that they may not always do exactly what we hope for. Our best bet going into a session with children is to let the child take the lead. In my experience, children have a couple of different phases during a session:
A. Hyperactive explosion/ Shyness: When the child arrives (especially if they have siblings), they will be eager to play, run around and explore the environment. They are likely able to feel Mom and Dad’s stress and this is usually the time that they will react to it. The best way to handle this hyperactive explosion is to simply let it happen. There is nothing that I haven’t seen a child do (seriously) and I would much rather let the child get it out than to force them to sit still. In this time frame, I usually capture images of children playing with their siblings or their surroundings. This phase usually lasts between 5-15 minutes.
If your child is particularly shy or introverted, this is usually the time when they are the most afraid. If that’s the case, I will often spend time speaking gently with your child as well as using different techniques to help calm them. Unfortunately, depending on how shy your child is, this process can take time.
B. Eager to Please and Show Off
After your child has gotten to know me as well as their surroundings, it’s time to start working with them. At this point, the child is ready to show off and play for the camera. During this time, we will focus on getting their portraits as well as any family portraits using a variety of games and songs.
C. Wind-down/ Meltdown
After the initial excitement has worn off, your child may want to cling to Mom or Dad for comfort and gentle snuggles. Go with it!! Those are the memories that will mean the most down the road. This is my all time favorite time to capture a child in a more stoic and relaxed state. After the wind-down, children usually collapse into a meltdown and at that point, the session is over.
What happens if my child freaks out the entire time?
Honestly, the first step is to breathe and understand that I have seen it all before. I am a mother of four boys, two of which are extremely hyperactive and emotional. I understand how frustrating it can be when your child simply does not want to be a part of something you’ve worked hard to plan.
Secondly, it’s important to realize that even though your child may cry the entire time, it’s likely that I am catching things that will make it look like your child was actually super happy to be there. In fact, I’ll bet that if you look through my portfolio, you won’t be able to tell who was crying the entire time and who wasn’t.
Lastly, if your child does cry the entire time and does not wish to cooperate, I am more than happy to reschedule for a different day. Just remember, I am here to serve you and I will do whatever is necessary to make sure that happens. No stress, no worries.
Tips for Tantrum Proofing Your Session
- Make sure that your child is well fed and watered before their session.
- Bring small treats (like goldfish, cheerios, or teddy grams) to use as bribes.
- Have a variety of bribes in your back pocket.
- Don’t worry about the rules. During a photo shoot with children, the most important goal is to make sure that they are photographed, so unless your child is doing something to hurt themselves or others, don’t worry if they aren’t on their best behavior.
Step Four: The Session Reveal and Purchase Meeting
It’s the moment you’ve been eagerly anticipating from the very beginning. Your pictures have been retouched, polished and sent out for printing and now it’s time to see the magic.
What is the session reveal? The session reveal is the time that we get together and look over all of your edited images as well as decide what you’d like to do with them. To help make the process simpler, I have all of the edited images printed prior to our meeting so that you can hold your images in your hand while reviewing them.
In the comfort of your home, I will bring my shop directly to you so that you can touch and feel my products for yourself. At KDR Photography, we believe strongly in a hybrid of digital products along with tangible memories to further enhance your session. We offer canvases, acrylic wall art, image folio boxes as well as albums and during your meeting, you’re welcome to explore all of our options. Our belief is that images are meant to be displayed and cherished rather than left on the computer and we are thrilled to help you sort through your options.
Step Five: Cherish Your Memories
You’ve made it through the KDR process!
Is our process detailed? Oh heck yes. Why? Because you deserve the best as well as the attention and support to make it happen.
If you’ve made it this far, take a moment to congratulate yourself. You’ve chosen to do something amazing for your family for not only today but for their future as well. As we like to think of it, a picture is one of the only investments that you will make for your family that only grows more precious with time.