J&K'S GUIDE TO FAMILY SESSIONS
Our goal during a family session is to create natural, fun images that represent you as a family. We understand that you don't often have photos taken of you by professional photographers. Which is exactly why we created this guide for you. We want you to have the best experience, create some beautiful images and, most importantly, have fun during your engagement session.
This guide covers everything from scheduling your session, what to wear, choosing a location and even includes some of our tips & tricks. We have years of experience and we want to share what we've learned with you!
This is definitely not a rule book. In the end, it is your session and we want to create images that represent you as a family. We will say that if you consider and apply the information and ideas we've put together here, you will certainly make the most out of your session.
Scheduling your Session
We are able to schedule your family session Monday through Thursday (with the exception of Tuesdays.) Weekends, especially Saturdays, are generally booked which make them unavailable for family sessions. We also encourage scheduling your session during the week because you are less likely to have an audience during your session if we're shooting in a public area like downtown or in a park.
TIP: We find that our families are the most comfortable when it is just us and them. So with that in mind, we will do our best to choose a location that is not very public. We also encourage you to just bring yourselves and no one else. This is a special time for your family. Think of it as a date, but with Jake & Katie hanging out with you...
The best times to shoot are just after sunrise and just before sunset. Early mornings are a great option if you want to escape the heat and if you're in FL, you know how terribly hot it gets. You need to be comfortable during your session and, we're not sure about you, but sweating isn't comfortable to us...
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER:
TURN AROUND TIME: The turn around time for us to deliver your family session is 2-3 weeks.
CHRISTMAS/ANNOUNCEMENT CARDS: Schedule your session with these in mind. When do you want to send these out? Does the 2-3 week turn around work for that?
WEATHER: If possible, let's avoid scheduling your session in the heat of the Florida summer. If not, consider a sunrise or in home session. Sessions are generally rescheduled if there is a 50% or more chance of rain on the day of session. Living in FL, we know that rain can come and go in minutes. We'll stay in touch leading up to your session and make this decision together. We will definitely reschedule your session if there is lightning in the area or if we are planning on shooting inside but it's a cloudy that. This removes the nice natural light that we like to shoot in and therefore we aren't able to provide our best photos!
CHOOSING A LOCATION FOR YOUR SESSION
If you have a specific location in mind for your family session, please share it with us. If not, we'll suggest a location. We are constantly scouting and searching for new locations to use. The location of your session should be some reflection of you. If you don't like the beach, then we obviously won't go there. If you don't like downtown, then we'll avoid that. This all comes back to us getting to know each other more so we can settle on a location that fits you as a family.
We will reuse a location if it's been a while since we used it last or if it is a location you would really like to use. We always like the challenge of seeing a familiar location from a new perspective.
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER:
PUBLIC AREAS: We find that our families are the most comfortable when it is just us and them. So with that in mind, we will do our best to choose a location that is not very public.
NATURE: If we've settled on a location out in nature (i.e. woods, river, beach, etc.), be sure to come prepared for that specific location. If we're heading out in the woods, be sure to bring bug spray and even shoes you don't mind getting dirty.
TRAVELING: We love to travel and are always willing to hop in the car for a road trip. If you want to shoot somewhere that isn't local to Tampa, just let us know and we can discuss travel info. Keep in mind that travel fees may apply.
WHAT TO WEAR FOR YOUR SESSION
We get a lot of questions from our families about what they should wear for their session. We'll do our best to answer all of those questions and more here.
What you wear is a reflection of yourself and that couldn't be more true than during your family session. So ladies, what better time to buy that dress from Anthro? Guys, go ahead and treat yourself to a few wardrobe upgrades. Invest time, effort and money into your family session look.
TIP: We love colors and bold choices. Don't be afraid to take some chances with your wardrobe. Be adventurous and have fun!
Accessories are a fun and easy way to bring some color and personality into your session. Ladies, consider including a necklace or bracelets with your ensemble. Guys, a stylish watch or fresh show shine are great ways to elevate your look. Be sure your accessories are complimenting and that they don't contrast your clothes. For the kids, they've got to be comfortable. We don't want them complaining about being itchy or too tight or whatever you can think!
TIP: Guys, avoid the following: baseball caps, cargo shorts, baggy shirts/pants, tennis shoes, white socks and clothes with logos on them.
TIP: Girls, avoid clothes that might show bra straps or tags. It is very limiting and stifling when we have to keep ensuring that these are not showing.
There are a lot of elements that go into creating a beautiful photograph. One of those is confidence. Be sure you've tried on your outfits multiple times and seem them both together so you know you're going to look great. What you choose to wear has to be comfortable! You don't want to be fidgeting the entire session so be sure to wear something you can move around in and lastly, something that makes you feel awesome!
We've created this inspiration board full of some looks we love to help you out: https://www.pinterest.com/jakekatiephoto/family-session-style/
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR SESSION
Preparation for your family session starts with the first three things we've already addressed: scheduling, location and wardrobe. At this point, the bulk of the preparing and planning has been done. We have a few suggestions that should take place the week leading up to your session.
If you don't already, drink a bunch of water. The kids too!! This is a general life tip but it really does wonders and will make you look and feel so much better for your family session. Ladies, pamper yourself the day of the session. A mani-pedi doesn't hurt either. Guys, a fresh hair cut is a must! Get your hair cut two or three days prior to your session. Also, all of you should try to stay out of the sun and, if you're going to be outside, DEFINITELY use a high SPF sunscreen. No one wants to have sunburn when they are getting their pictures taken.
TIP: Be sure to eat before your session. Bring along snacks and waters and treats to bride the kids. Yeah, we're not above bribery when it comes to family pics!
Take some time to iron your clothes, put them on hangers and be sure that all of your accessories are easily accessible. Leave extra travel time to get to the location. As photographers who depend on natural light, ever minute that sun goes down is less shooting time for us.
It won't hurt to start talking about your session with the kids the week of. Tell them about us and how much fun we're going to have. If they're excited, they'll have fun and we'll get better pictures! It is important that you and your kids enjoy this experience because it will show up in your photos if someone just isn't about it. Relax and love on your family. Remember, we want to capture fun, natural images that represent your family. Let your kids be kids and let them have fun! We'll knock out the classic portraits at the beginning and then just have fun!
The last thing you should do is relax and trust us. We're here for you and want to give you beautiful images!
What to EXPECT During your session
Remember what our goal is here: to create natural, fun images that represent you as a family.
We will take some time at the beginning to walk and chat so we can get to know each other a bit more. Once we start shooting, it will take a bit for you to start to feel comfortable in front of the camera and by the end you'll be professional models! (Kidding, of course, but we're sure you'll surprise yourself!) Like we said before, we'll knock of the classic portraits at the beginning.
REAL TALK: Your kids are just that, kids!! They don't have to be perfect and you shouldn't expect them to be during your session. Just LOVE THEM and have fun with them.
We just want you to be yourselves. We’ll give you direction and help you along the way, of course, but remember what our goal is here - “to create natural, fun images” - so please don’t feel like you need to stay frozen in a pose until we release you. We will put you in positions and poses that feel natural and help create authentic moments.
TIP: Fall into a pose and feel free to keep things moving. The more movement we have the more opportunities we have to capture awesome images!
With that being said, if we ever pose you in a way that feels completely uncomfortable or you think feels unflattering, please speak up! We’re all about the experience and don’t want you looking back on your images and remembering how uncomfortable a pose felt.
Throughout the session, we may take a few minutes to pause, drink some water, relax and chat. We are not going to just shoot constantly for an hour straight. Other than our main goal (which we won't repeat again because you should know it by now), we want to get to know you and we want you to get to know us. We want to know what makes you laugh, what you like to do for fun and what you love about each other. Feel free to ask us questions too. The more comfortable we are with each other, the better your pictures will be.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you have. We're here for you and want to create a session and experience that is perfect for you!