I get this a lot- I come into a client's home (or whatever they are doing, where ever they are doing it at!) and do my thing. They do their thing. And when it's time for me to leave, I almost always hear this- or something along the lines- "This was the most laid back session we've ever had!" Ya'll, I'm all about that no stress, no drama life.
So, you've taken a leap of faith. You've contacted me, we've agreed on a day and time, you've signed your contract and paid your retainer. Here's what happens next and what you can expect from me and the session.
You can expect:
1.) No stress. I promise. There's no posing, no saying cheese, no coordinating outfits. I know that sounds crazy if you are used to traditional, formal portraits. But know this- your real life is awesome. It may not be magazine perfect or Pinterest perfect and that's okay. Ya'll, I'll take bare feet and mismatched Halloween costumes from 2 years ago any day over perfectly coordinating, brand new outfits. And again, there's nothing wrong with that! Nothing wrong with it at all. It's just that when you book with me, that's not our purpose. Our purpose for the session is simply to show your everyday life and document those fleeting moments. We are here to document what matters.
2.) To not need to prepare for anything. Really. You don't need to make the house look spotless. You don't need to spend hours cleaning. You don't need to get ready, curl your hair, or put on makeup. There's no need for anything like that. Some of my client's favorite images have been of their kids brushing their teeth, tangled bed heads, and undies! This is about you being real with your loved ones. It's about documenting your day to day so that when your kids are grown, they can look back and recall those ordinary moments and I have a feeling that they will absolutely cherish them. DO NOT underestimate the value of daily routines. They make up so much of our lives.
3.) A no frill approach to wardrobe. I will tell you this- just be yourself. What you'd normally wear on a normal day. If I'm coming over in the morning and you still in pajamas, that's okay. The only thing I would suggest is to stay away from super busy prints or neon colors. The colors can cast colored shadows on skin and prints can be distracting. HOWEVER, if that's who you are and you LOVE plaid and floral at the same time, ROCK IT. OWN IT. I'll go with whatever flow you got going on. And honestly, whatever you do would probably be awesome. For myself, I'll probably be in the most comfortable thing I own...probably leggings...because I will be all over the place getting just the right shot. Which brings me to my next point...
4.) To assimilate into your home like an old friend (this is my favorite thing you can expect!). I don't want to take a fly on the wall approach- unless I need too- because that's kinda awkward. I won't intervene in ANYTHING, but I will chat with you, take a glass of water, and play with the children a bit- maybe like an old friend would do that you haven't seen in many years? I have cheesy jokes, silly stories about my own kids, I like hot tea and love animals.
5.) To capture what matters to you. In our initial consult, we will talk about things and get to know each other a bit. Why you want the session, a little background on your family, what's important to your family, what you like to do, etc. through doing this, it gives me an idea of important things to be aware of throughout our session; whether it be a special lovey your child has, a mannerism they display, your favorite thing about your home... you get the picture. Think about their personalities and we will go from there. This is so important because it helps me to make more intentional photos and make the most of our time together.
Now, the type of documentary-storytelling sessions I offer don't have to be at your home. If you want to take me on a family adventure, then here I come. Some favorites are a hike, the beach, the playground/park, or putt putt down at the Oceanfront would be amazing! The options are endless. I can help you decide further based on your family once you book.
After your session, you will have about 2 weeks until I deliver your gallery. If I happen to hit a bump in the road, you'll be the first to know. But I only take on a few clients per month, so this rarely happens. You'll get a gallery of images that are fully processed in my signature style, printing instructions and recommendations, and if you decided to invest in wall art, gift prints, or to have your images displayed in a custom designed album- then we talk about that once your gallery is delivered. I love to see beautiful statement images hung in a home.
If you are ready to book, click here and fill out my contact form. We can get the ball rolling from there!
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.