FAMILY OUTDOOR SESSION GUIDE

WHAT ARE OUTDOOR SESSIONS WITH JAMES LIKE?

Super fun! Within minutes, you’ll be laughing and having fun together as a family. We use our own unique blend of creative portraiture mixed with just the right dash of photojournalism to create images with an organic and unscripted feel that will look so natural, they’ll rock your world! Seriously, it will look like your family came into the pose all by yourselves! In fact, our images looks so natural that people often ask us if we do any posing at all. Of course we do, but we make it look like we don’t! And we think that’s a pretty big compliment!

 

EXPERIENCE.

As the father of a 7 year-old daughter and having photographed babies and children for many years, James has plenty of experience photographing little ones of all ages and personalities. Engaging the kiddos? No problem!

 

BOOK EARLY!

We recommend booking at least 1-2 months in advance because space fills up quickly. If you would like a session during the busiest time of year (October – December), we recommend booking 2-3 months in advance.

 

WHAT IF IT RAINS?

Not a problem – we’ll reschedule! We don’t get rained out very often, but if it happens, don’t worry – we’ll just move your session to another day.

 

HOW LONG ARE SESSIONS?

Our goal is not to produce just a few good images. We aim to create a whole collection of beautiful images that will highlight how amazing your family is! James wants to spend the time with you to ensure your session is a smashing success, so we’ve found over the years that the magic number is two hours. Spending two hours at our location provides so many benefits over a shortened session. It provides time for a wardrobe change and/or a snack break for the kids as well as changes of scenery or props. Plus, some children (especially younger toddlers and babies, and sometimes even adults!) might need a little more time to warm up to someone new. Having that extra time ensures that James will be able to capture you and your kids in a natural and authentic way, creating images that would not be possible in a mini session. You will be absolutely amazed with the variety of beautiful images you will see from your session!

 

HOW DO I CHOOSE A LOCATION?

Not sure about where to have your session? We know so many great locations and we’re always up for trying new spots too! James knows how to find beautiful light anywhere, but we do want to make sure we choose a location that is right for you. To help narrow things down, we recommend that you first select the general type of setting you prefer. Then, depending on what you and your kids are up for, we’ll narrow it down further from there. For example, If you have a baby or toddler just beginning to walk, often a traditional park is the best choice. And we know so many beautiful traditional parks! For older kids, beaches and nature parks can provide a more quintessential “California” setting. Here are the basic types of locations:

 

  1. Traditional park (landscaped).
  2. Nature Park (wild, not very landscaped or not landscaped at all).
  3. Beach
  4. Urban/Other (involves buildings as background elements).

 

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO HAVE OUTDOOR FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS?

Any time of year can be a great time for photographs! We love early Spring (from late January through mid-March in the Bay Area) as all that fresh new green grass is sprouting up. It’s really quite beautiful and the only time of year such lush new greenery is possible. The last 4-5 winters, we’ve had beautiful weather January-February too! And if it does rain, we’ve usually got dates open for rescheduling around that time (or we can all bust out the rain gear and make it a rain shoot)! Fall offers some great seasonal color and is typically the busiest time (October – early December), so we recommend booking extra early if you would like to have your session then. May – September is often a convenient time when kids are out of school and we generally receive little or no rain at all during this time, so its usually a very safe bet.

 

WE LOVE THEMED SESSIONS!

Got a few up-and-coming new superheroes in the family? Bring it! Capes and all! Or, is there a young Amelia Earhart literally flying through your house these days? Awesome! We’d love to do a pilot-themed shoot! Let us know if you’re interested in a shoot with more stylized clothing, props, etc. and we’ll be happy to help you plan your unique themed session. Themed sessions are a fantastic way of capturing the whimsy of childhood.

 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I BOOK?

We will have your pre-session phone consultation a few weeks before your shoot, or whenever you’re ready to start planning! During your consultation, we’ll go over things like deciding on a location, selecting clothing, goals for the session, props, theme (if doing a themed session) and anything else that will help us all prepare for an absolutely amazing session!

 

WHAT ABOUT CLOTHING?

Wearing clothing that fits the setting and allows you to freely move and interact with your kids is important. You’ll also want to coordinate your clothing with other members of the family to help make your family look like a cohesive group. We’re happy to offer suggestions to help you make sure that the styles you are all wearing reflect how amazing your family is! We’ll help you coordinate colors, layers, textures, and the like, keeping in mind that the most important thing about what you wear for your session is that you love it! The same goes for kids too!

 

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

Feel free to give us a call or send an email and we would be happy to help!

 

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