PREPARING FOR YOUR
in-home PORTRAIT SESSION
PREPARING FOR YOUR
in-home PORTRAIT SESSION
WHAT TO EXPECT
Plan for your session to last about an hour. We will use this time to capture lots of candid moments focused on your family's love! Snuggling, snack time, bathtime, playtime, diaper changes, etc. We will move all around the house-- mainly the living area and bedrooms, but I often find great light in the kitchen, hallway, mudroom and more, so plan to be everywhere. My specialty is candid images, but I will also make sure to get some more traditional looking at the camera photos as well. We'll get all the breakdowns from the whole family to sibling photos and individual shots. I will lightly pose you and suggest activities/ give direction in order to encourage a lot of candid interaction, so we can document some truly authentic moments and feelings.
Your session will be scheduled for the time of day your house gets the best natural light. Some cloudiness is fine, but if it looks like the day will be very overcast or stormy, I may reach out to you a couple days in advance to see if we can move to another day where we will have more natural light to work with.
GETTING THE HOUSE READY
- Minimize clutter! De-clutter whatever you can, even if it just means tossing a pile of stuff in the closet while I'm there. Minimal clutter will really help the focus of the images to be solely on your family.
- Do a quick clean of the house beforehand (or have a housecleaner come the day before)-- no need to go crazy, but a sweep/ vacuum and a wipe-down of surfaces will have your home looking fresh for photos!
- Take down baby gates for the day if you feel comfortable with it. They are great for safety, but not as great for photo aesthetics.
- I use natural window light to light the photos. Turn off any lamps or overhead lights, since this can cause an unpleasant color cast in photos.
- I may move some things around a bit while I'm there to make sure we can catch the best light. I'll make sure to put everything back where I found it!
WHAT TO WEAR
This is the most common question I get asked before a session. I am a huge fan of neutrals/ earth tones and textures-- this adds a soft organic look to the photos while also keeping the focus on faces. Lighter tones photograph best! Avoid things like bright colors, words on clothing, and bold patterns because they can be distracting. That being said, everyone in solid colors can be a bit dull. Mix in some simple patterns (think faint stripes or vintage floral patterns) or textures (like a knit sweater) to add interest in a discreet way. Be coordinated rather than matchy. A flowy dress for moms can be very comfortable and beautiful for photos. Guys can go for a nice henley tee, or something like a linen button down always looks lovely too if you prefer a less casual look. Avoid having everyone in blue jeans. Don't worry about shoes-- if you don't normally wear shoes around your house, there's no need to be wearing shoes in your photos.
Since we are trying to capture real moments and authentic feelings, it helps for everyone to feel comfortable and relaxed-- keep this in mind when choosing your outfits!
Make sure to take off your smartwatch and empty your pockets of phone, keys, and wallet so they aren't visible in all your photos! If anyone will have their nails painted for the photos, keep the color neutral/ muted so it's not distracting. Or if you or the kids have chipping nail polish, make sure to remove it before the session!
If you are buying the kids new clothes for your session, I'd suggest getting ones that fit now rather than ones they will grow into, as tempting as it is to get things that will fit longer. We don't want them to look like they are swimming in their clothes for your photos! Keep in mind that I have a Client Closet with clothing sized newborn through 5T that you are more than welcome to borrow from, so no need to actually buy their outfits for the photos.
Please feel free to reach out to me with outfit ideas or questions; I am always happy to assist in the planning.
aimee liz photography client closet
I have a whole collection of clothing items for babies and toddlers size newborn through 5T available to clients to borrow for their session. These items all photograph well and coordinate nicely with a variety of colors. If you'd like to see what I have, just let me know what size(s) you need, and I'll send along your options!
need some more wardrobe help?
Feel free to reach out to me for input on deciding what everyone should wear. I have a lot of experience with what photographs well with my particular style of photography, and am more than happy to help with ideas, sending specific links, or help shopping your own closet.
And please see below for some suggestions of great shops to check out!
FOR BABIES, TODDLERS & KIDS
Zara - zara.com
Jamie Kay - jamiekay.com
Rylee & Cru - ryleeandcru.com
Bitte - bitteshop.com
Illoura the Label - illourathelabel.com
The Simple Folk - thesimplefolk.co
Go Gently Nation - gogentlynation.com
H&M - hm.com
Madewell - madewell.com
Anthropologie - anthropologie.com
Free People - freepeople.com
H&M - hm.com
Not Perfect Linen - notperfectlinen.com
Christy Dawn - christydawn.com
Piper & Scoot - piperandscoot.com
Roolee - roolee.com
Baltic Born - balticborn.com
H&M - hm.com
Madewell - madewell.com/mens
J. Crew - jcrew.com
Target - target.com
Nordstrom - nordstrom.com
Abercrombie - abercrombie.com
Mango - shop.mango.com/us/men
* Target and Old Navy are also really great options for any member of the family. especially if you don't have time to order online, or if you want to work with a tighter budget.
Get the kids excited for the session beforehand so it’s a fun new thing for them to look forward to. The less pressure they feel going into it, the more real their smiles will be, and the more likely they will be to want to do everything we are asking them to do. They don’t have to be perfectly behaved in order for us to get fantastic images. They can have fun with it! Running around, giggling, hugs-- all these things can make for great candid photos. Even grumpy or sad moments make for strong portraits. Your photo session is an adventure, and the imagination from kids tends to make for wonderfully unique images!
The number one most important thing to remember is to relax and have fun! The absolute best photos come from when you’re having fun and allowing yourself to interact naturally with your family. Keep it positive; be affectionate, be happy, be you! It's not always easy to do, but try to let yourself act as you would if you didn't have a camera in your face. Enjoy your family, enjoy the moments, and you'll be sure to enjoy your photos.
CONNECTION AND MOVEMENT!
This is one of the most important tips! Important enough to get its own category. Connection, affection, hand holding, touching-- these are what help bring so much feeling into your photos. Feel free to go a little more overboard than usual with your affection toward your family members (tell your partner this too!). Going in for a kiss? Grab your partner’s cheek to pull them in. Nuzzle together for a moment afterward. Holding your baby? Brush your fingers through their hair, touch their belly, hold their tiny hand. Looking at your child? Push their hair behind their ear, whisper a secret, touch their arm, tell them how amazing you think they are. Tender moments and physical touch are everything! MOVEMENT is hugely important in creating authentic images. Though I will guide you into poses, you are not meant to stay frozen in place. Let yourself be fully immersed in the moment, breathe in the sweet smell of your tiny human, and love on your family.
Get excited for your photo session!