Inspiration: Try these seasonal color palettes when coordinating outfits for you and your family.

You’ve found your perfect photographer who will capture you and your family in beautiful photos to treasure forever. You've booked the session. What's next? What you do leading up to the shoot is just as important. Here are a few tips to help ensure a successful photoshoot from beginning to end.

PRE-SHOOT PREPARATION

Outfit Coordination
Choosing outfits is the fun part, but can be stressful for some. I like to encourage my clients to express their individuality but at the same time maintain a bit of unity. You don’t need to exact-match your outfits. You can either follow a theme or a color palette. If your shoot is in the Fall, try clothes with darker shades of red, orange, brown, yellow, and green. Refer to the seasonal color palettes to the right for inspiration.

Some things you may like to avoid:
-busy patterned clothes
-white, beige, bright neon colors
-exact-match clothes
-hats, as they cover and cast shadows over your faces

Timing
Almost every outdoors / natural light photographer will tell you that the best times to have a photoshoot are early mornings and late afternoons (“the golden hour”) when sunlight is soft. We are all at the mercy of Mother Nature and her unpredictable light. Southern California is mostly sunny, so never schedule a shoot at mid-day when sunlight is most likely bright and harsh. Harsh lighting causes overly bright photos, shadows, light leaks on faces, sweating, squinting, and not to mention, the overall discomfort experienced by all. We want everyone comfortable, relaxed, and happy in the photos! Perhaps the exception is for cloudy days, which would give us a little more “wiggle room”. But for the most part, I highly recommend that you schedule a shoot with me in the late afternoon – about an hour or so before sunset – when light is soft and comfortable.

Hair & Makeup
I highly recommend that female clients work with a hair and makeup artist to achieve that flawless look in photos. At the very least, try to use face foundation and/or powder to smooth and even out your skin.

Keep the Kids Happy
I find that children tend to be happier in shoots after they’ve had their naps and food. So, on the day of the shoot, give them plenty time to rest and nap, and perhaps bribe them with a few yummy snacks while you’re dressing them. Bringing their favorite toys might also help. For babies, some noise makers would help getting their attention.

Comfort is Important
Occasionally, there will be some amount of walking to get to the shoot location. It is always a good idea to bring comfortable shoes to walk in and then swap them out with your stylish ones for the shoot. If the weather is cold, bring a jacket or two. If the weather is hot and dry, bring lots of water to prevent dehydration.

Sleep is a Wonderful Thing
If possible, go to bed early the night before the shoot to avoid bags under the eyes. Even makeup would not cover it all up. Not to mention, you will be fully energized and ready to go make memories that will last a lifetime!

DURING THE SHOOT

My photographic style is journalistic, candid, and authentic. I like to capture the moment, encouraging my clients to interact with each other just like how they would in their daily life. That may include lots of talking to and laughing with each other, goofing around, running, skipping, picking each other up, dancing, spinning each other around, etc. Doing these things during the shoot not only helps to create authentic life moments, but also puts you in a more relaxed environment so that you can focus on just being with the ones you love, rather than awkward posing for a photoshoot. Most importantly, I want my clients to simply have fun and enjoy the shoot!