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A few tips before your family life session

  1. Share your Vision- Fill out the questionnaire so we can work together to create a great session!  It will help you think through what is most important to your family as well as plan for what you need to bring (or communicate to me what I need to prepare).  If you are like me I need help to think ahead and this will help in that!
  2. Theme-If you have a color & pattern theme in mind, or even if you don’t…shop around in your house for inspiration or think about where you want the photos to hang in your home and think about the colors that would complement that space. Then look in your closets (or borrow from friends) to find one patterned piece that you love. Depending on your budget you can buy one new piece as well.  It can be a girl’s floral dress or a boy’s plaid shirt, but if you find one central piece, it helps to plan everything around that. Since us mamas like our kids to be the focal point, I’d suggest this focus piece to be on one of the children. That doesn’t mean that they will stand out the most, after accessorizing it will all flow together.
  3. Color-It’s a good idea to pick 3 colors to work with as your main colors, then consider grays, whites, blacks, demin, or browns as freebie’s. Not necessarily all of them together, but one or two that work with the 3 colors you chose. This will give your photo more visual interest than a simple 2 color theme. If you want to include any props or important family keepsakes or objects think about those in relation to your colors as well. (tip: I make a big pile and start tossing and adding as needed before the shoot- this will enable you to see how everything looks together)
  4. Visual Interest-Think variety!  Cardigan, sweater, V-neck with another color underneath, necklace, scarf, button up shirt, undershirt, headband, tights, hats, fun shoes, ties, earrings, vest, boots. Layers & accessories add dimension and texture and therefore richness to the overall look. Try not to be too matchy-matchy.  For example: If I have 2 girls, they don’t both get yellow headbands, but one yellow and one green to spread out the colors. Boys have fever options when it comes to layers but we can be creative. Maybe try to put my 2 boys in two types of shirts and layer them differently. One a button up with t-shirt underneath, the other a polo type with T underneath and maybe sleeves rolled up into each other.
  5. Take Care of Mama- Mama’s always get the leftovers right? Don’t pick everyone else’s out, then just grab something from your closet that only looks “ok” on you, but matches the color scheme. You need to feel great because I want you to love these images! If anything, I’d pick something that you think looks fabulous on YOU, then plan around THAT! It’s tough enough to get mothers IN pictures, so when you are in them, you want to feel and look good so that these images will be special to you.
  6. Prepare but let it go- All of us who have children know that we can plan and prepare but we never know exactly what will happen the day of the shoot and it is better to be ready for craziness! When we were living in Africa we learned a great phrase “inshallah” (or God willing) meaning that we will plan but in the end it is out of our control. If your daughter wrinkles her dress or your son jumps in the mud puddle we will make it work! Don’t stress and have fun! Also, I always find it helpful to bring a “reward” (a toy or a favorite non-staining snack: gummy bears or fruit snacks are great) to help motivate kids to cooperate.
  7. Have Fun- This is an extension of #6- remember that this messy, crazy, beautiful family of yours is a blessing! Have fun and don’t worry about getting everything perfect- I will work hard to give you beautiful images and I just want you to enjoy your time together because that will be the story your images tell.  I will be able to capture more of the spirit of your family if you are able to relax, laugh, play, and just be together.  Usually these unexpected shots can be our favorites. Just create memories and have a blast!

I am excited to help share part of your story,

  Roxanne Engstrom