Newborn Portrait Tips

Newborn Portrait Session Tips

I LOVE photographing newborns!
Newborn photography is incredibly challenging, but it’s so amazing to be a part of baby’s life when they are just days old.

There’s a bit of prep and planning that needs to go into these sessions to make them more successful though. I have compiled a few tips below to help us get the very best out of your upcoming newborn session.

LET’S PENCIL YOU IN!

I recommend that you schedule your newborn session PRIOR to your baby’s birth to ensure I am ready for the baby when they come.  Contact us during your second trimester and I’ll pencil you in.  Then, shoot us an email soon after you deliver so I can arrange a time for the session.

(And I always feel super special when dad’s put us on the official “baby is here!” cNewborn Photoall list!  Just sayin’…) 

Newborns are best photographed within their first 2 weeks of birth when the baby is very sleepy and “mold-able”. Ideally, 1-10 days, in this time period it is easier to get womb like poses, all sleepy, squishy and curled up.  I like to pose them with wrapped in blankets or with cute little head bands.  I have a good variety of props but if you wish to bring items that are special or that you like and want pictures with please free free to do so.

It typically take 2 to 3 hours for these sessions or longer so please be prepared.  Typically you should bring with you your diaper bag with change of clothes for the baby and extra diapers.  I also suggest if you are going to have some pictures taken with the baby to make sure you are not wearing strips or patterns.  I usually suggest either a white shirt or black shirt.  The same goes for daddy.  Also you should bring a drink and a snack for yourselves as well.

Have baby fully fed for 6 hours leading up to the session.  Dress your baby in loose fit pyjama, (zip up or button down) so that if your baby is still sleeping upon arrival, there will be less of a fuss getting him/her prepped for pictures. If the session is taking place in your home, you can even just wrap baby in a blanket with just a diaper underneath.

Keep baby awake and alert for an hour before if you can, this will make sure they are ready to sleep and better your chances of getting the sleepy poses.  I understand if you can’t do this, so this may take a little longer.  No problem, I usually do not book another session for that day allowing us the time, if needed, you should do the same.  As soon as you arrive, feed baby until they are full, if you are breast feeding offer both breast to insure baby gets fore and hind milk so they are nice and “milk drunk”.

A mother’s smell is so recognizable to a baby, and it may be necessary for the mum to leave the room for portions of the session. This is not meant to hurt your feelings, but only to allow me to get the baby thinking sweet sleepy dreams, instead of hungry “Where’s my milk?” dreams.

Relax! Babies can pick up on stress and anxiety, especially from their mums. Chances are high that there are going to be moments where your baby cries during the session, maybe even a lot. I plan for about 50% of the session time for cuddles, feeding and just getting baby into a pose.  So don’t panic if your baby is having a tough time, keeping a calm environment is key to getting the photos we’re looking for.  Patience is the key to a successful shoot.

If you have any questions feel free to ask and if you have some ideas of what you want for your pictures please feel free to talk to me about them.  I have 8 grandchildren and I have worked with countless number of newborns and parents over the years so you can trust in my experience to care for your new precious jewel.

Clothing tips for a Maternity Session?

Clothing tips for a Maternity Session

Maternity Portrait
Maternity Portrait

(this works for boudoir as well)

When someone asks me what should I bring when I do my in studio maternity session here’s my list…

White/black  boy-short underpants or shorts and bandeaus. (If you don’t have a bandeau, no problem, I have some of various sizes so ask I may have your size.)

Wearing a flowing dress or skirt that can be gathered to show off your figure can look great – pair with high heels if you want to go glam or go barefoot if you want a more ‘natural’ look.

Tops that are a solid colour or lightly patterned and logo-free.

A selection of tops – something white, something dark (doesn’t have to be black – could be navy or any shade of brown), and a couple of shirts in colours that look really great on you.

Black and nude/white bra

Think about bringing props related to your baby – booties, letter blocks, any other items of sentimental value that you might like in the photos.

Pants/jeans that are comfortable, not too tight around your belly, medium-coloured (denim is great) and can be folded or lowered out of the frame.

A white button-up blouse.

Consider accessories – chunky necklaces, bracelets, dangly earrings, feminine scarves that can help add texture, interest, and depth to your images.

Choose items that reflect your style – whether it’s chic or country, I’m sure we can work with it.

 Things you might want to think twice about wearing…:

Do not wear snug-fitting socks, pants or undergarments an hour before the shoot, so that you can minimize any lines that might appear on your skin.

As of with any portrait session clothes that have patterns (particularly pin stripes or small checks) or large obvious logos.  These can distract the eye from what’s most important about the photo.

Peter and Julia Maternity Session
Peter and Julia Maternity Session

“But what should my husband/boyfriend/partner wear?”

Like I say ‘Keep it simple’. Jeans and a black shirt or a white shirt, make for a great starting point. As a second option, it would be a good idea to bring a second shirt that compliments whatever you decide to wear – i.e. if you’re wearing jewel tones (rich, vibrant, bold colours), then he should wear something with a jewel tone as well, although it can be a white checked shirt with a jewel tone in the pattern rather than, say, trying to find an emerald green shirt to match your emerald green dress. Think about what fits your style as a couple and dress accordingly. Try to avoid pinstripes (they turn into wild disco patterns!) and bold logos.

Don’t forget the feet.  Check with your other half and decide natural (barefoot) or a nice pair of patent leather shoes.

With all of that being said, I will work with whatever you bring. Have something that you really want to wear? Bring it along!

 

Why get Professional Headshots & What to Wear

Why should I get a professional headshot?

DSC07633-2
Headshot

Image is everything… and many people don’t realize the impact your image can have on your career advancement. Professional headshots help you create the right image for yourself,

In the corporate world, a good headshot can help to make your face more memorable, which in turn can help you to stand out from the rest. In a difficult economy, you need to give yourself every advantage that you can. A simple scan of various social media profiles will say a lot about each person, and the people using professional headshots will stand out from the rest.

The Advantage of Working with a Professional Photographer

Having a trained artistic eye for posing and directing people in order to achieve the individual’s optimal look, will give you the best image of you to present to the business world. Everyone is different and needs to be photographed a certain way according to their shape, hair color, gender, skin, and profession. Knowing what lighting to use, in what direction, with each face shape, makes all the difference in the world between an okay shot, and an amazing portrait.

I have many years experience as a professional photographer and can bring the studio to you or you can come to the studio. I am willing to work with you to give you the best rate for your company and/or employees.

What should I wear?Headshots

Take a few minutes to think about the tone you want to project in your business headshots. Depending on the culture of your company, you may want to come across as hip, friendly or creative. Or if you work in professional services, you may prefer to project an air of formality, knowledge and trustworthiness. The location of the photo shoot (in a studio or on location) will also have a bearing on your best outfit.

Remember the focus for the business headshot is your face..

Colour

Plain colours are your best choice. Patterns or prints distract and date your photo. Choose mid- tone colours in blue, green, wine and purple because they are universally flattering. Avoid wearing tops in flesh tones (cream, beige, pastels, peach or yellow) as they will blend your face into your clothes. Unless you’re feeling super confident, pass on bright red or orange. Stark black and white are not good choices either because they play havoc with the camera’s exposure or the studio backdrop. Substitute black with richer neutrals like chocolate, navy, maroon and forest green. Black is sombre, safe and guarded, not likely the vibe you want to project. A fail-safe tip is to pick a top that accentuates your eyes. That’s why jewel tones work so well.

Neckline

A modest v-neck is universally flattering for women because it lengthens the neck and displays the décolleté. Opt for blouses with sleeves. Fine to medium gauge knits work really well too because they introduce textural interest. If you choose to wear a jacket, pair it with a collarless top. This is modern and keeps the neckline simple and sleek. Shirts should be crisply ironed.

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What to wear for your portrait session

I am always asked what I should wear to our portrait session.  The first thing I ask is, ‘what were your plans for the pictures’.   Were they to hang in your living room or den? If you will be hanging these photos in your house you want to make sure the colors of your clothes go with the color scheme of your home.

Family Portrait

Location

If the session is at a location then you need to think of the background what colours will be prominent.  If it is in the fall there will be lots of yellows, oranges and browns so bright pink or blue would not look great.

 

Clothing

Once you book your session, start thinking of the clothes right away.  You may think you know exactly what you and/or your family will wear but when the time comes it may not fit or you realized at the last minute it needs dry cleaned.

 

Clothes that do not attract attention in a portrait are the ultimate goal.

 

Avoid short sleeves and short pants.  When arms and legs are exposed to the camera there will be more flesh in the photograph in those areas than on the face, itself.  White shirts and/or blouses under a dark jacket are perfect.  A scarf loosely tied around the neck also helps to frame a face beautifully when a collarless blouse or sweater is worn. Neckties should definitely be toned-down in color and with a minimum of pattern.

 

Clothing should not be too tight or too loose. It is a good idea for clothing below the waistline to be darker than the clothing above. Otherwise, even light jeans worn below a darker top could easily attract attention to the lower part of the body and away from the face.

 

The most flattering neckline for anyone is something that comes up close to the neck. A wide-open neckline tends to thicken the neck in a photograph. On the other hand, a neckline that comes up to the base of the neck like a turtleneck or a v-neck top is the most flattering. It tends to slim down the person and frames the face beautifully.

 

Your clothing should be simple and coordinated. Select your clothes to blend the bodies together if your are doing a group session.  Dark colours tend to blend bodies and make you appear slimmer while lighter clothes tend to do the opposite.

 

Avoid loud or busy patterns and large logos.  Solid colors are best.

 

SONY DSCDecide whether the basic tone of the clothing will be warm-toned (browns, etc.) or cool-toned (blues/grays/blacks, etc.). If you would like to have everyone wearing one colour shirts, such as white shirts, that is up to you,  it’s your portrait however try to think outside the box a little and think about  picking a couple of colors and choose clothes that will fit in this color scheme.

For colour schemes check out this place and have fun.  http://colorschemedesigner.com

Keeping a group in similar colors focuses the attention of the portrait to the faces and individuals that make up the portrait. Dissimilar colors in groups tend to be more distracting.  White tops with khakis or jeans can look very nice and casual, but if anyone in your family is super pale, white can make pale skin look paler.  Jeans are the timeless choice and they’re great for fun, casual pictures because they are flattering and don’t show wrinkles or panty lines.  Lighter shirts on top give the pictures a more casual and bright look.  Pastels are also usually appealing because they enhance natural skin tones.  Black or other dark shirts on top give the portraits a more serious and thoughtful feel (not to mention that black is slimming).  Everyone should have color-coordinated outfits (Not a uniform necessarily, but there should be a theme).

 

For the children, choose outfits that fit well without a lot of “growing room”. Jeans / khaki’s and white or black tops are always very nice for a family portrait.

 

Hair Styles

Your hair style should be simple and preferably be off the face.

 

Avoid hair falling down onto the sides of the face (currently very much in style) create distracting shadows. Bangs that come down too low onto the face will keep light from getting into the subject’s eyes, the very most important part of the face.

 

Makeup

Try to blend your eye makeup so that there are no sharp demarcation lines between colors. Please avoid white above or below the eyes. It does not photograph well at all. Too much color above and below the eyes attracts attention to itself so don’t overdo it. It actually takes attention away from the eyes, rather than attracting the viewer to the eyes. Try blending your foundation at the jawline, so that there is no demarcation between the face and the neck.  Check this website for more tips on makeup for pictures http://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/advice/g1591/makeup-to-look-good-in-pictures/

 

Have a necklace for the kids to play with or hats to hide behind. Not only can accessories add a whole lot to your outfit but they can be fun to use in photos. Have your husband wear a tie so you can run your hand down it.  Have your son wear a bowtie so he can straighten it and bam what a great shot.