Things to Know
After making the decision to invest in professional family photos, other details like choosing a location and outfits can seem overwhelming. To assist, I offer some helpful information below so that we can work together to make your photo experience as successful as possible.
If you're interested in a newborn session, skip down to the "Newborn" section for valuable information.
Do you have a question that wasn’t answered? If so, I can be reached through the web-form on the "Contact" page or by emailing me directly at email@example.com.
Booking a Session
First, take a look at my work on the "home" and "portfolio" pages here or my social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram). I'm a natural light photographer, which means that I don't have a studio or shoot indoors. I'm also a lifestyle photographer meaning my aim is to capture your family as they really are so sessions are not overly posed. If you like my style then let's get started! Complete the form on the "contact" page and I'll get back to you in 24 to 48 hours to begin booking our session.
Choosing a Location
My starting point for making a location suggestion is always to think about what would best reflect your family. Are you city dwellers who love the look of urban architecture? Let's go into the city! Do you prefer the feeling of sand between your toes and the cool water at your feet? Let's go to a local beach! Maybe you really dig the fall and the beautiful foliage that comes with it. A local park or forest sounds like the way to go. Any way you choose to go is fine by me as long as it feels right for you.
An important note - some locations such as government-owned parks have a permit and fee requirement. It is your responsibility to look into these requirements and pay any fees. I will coordinate the licensing or permits.
Newborn sessions are always shot in the comfort of your own home. My goal with these sessions is to capture those first precious few days with your brand new family member. What better location than your own home and the baby's nursery? See the Newborn section below for additional details about these sessions.
Choosing a Date and Time
After you send me an inquiry, one of the first things we'll do is choose a date based on your schedule and my availability. Typically, sessions are booked at least six weeks in advance. The fall is the busiest time of year for photo sessions since everyone is rushing to get those family portraits done for holiday cards. I suggest booking your fall session in July or August to snag the date you want.
The time of your session is very important. The best light of the day is about an hour before sunset. Trust me when I say it can make an incredible difference in your photos when we're able to use this light. I strongly encourage you to choose a time as close to sunset as possible. That said, I know that most children are happiest earlier in the day and that long summer days mean the hour before sunset is right when they should be going to bed. I can work with all types of natural light so please choose the time that works best for you. But know that the golden light before sunset will take your session from great to downright awesome.
This can be a really tough one for some families but it shouldn't be! It's easy to overthink outfit choices because we want our family to look perfect. But the primary factor in choosing outfits should be comfort. You don't need to come out in your Sunday best because, let's be honest, most people aren't terribly comfortable in their fanciest outfits and it's unlikely that those clothes are a reflection of your family. That said, we don't want to look like we're about to binge-watch some Netflix while eating a pint of ice cream in our loosest sweat pants (not that I have experience with that).
Here are some of rules of thumb:
1. Your starting point should be selecting the outfit the most difficult person to dress. For example, select something that you know your very particular will wear and be comfortable and then choose everyone else's patterns and textures based on that one outfit.
2. Don't be too matchy-matchy. Sure it might sound like a good idea to put everyone in navy blue or white (hello, stains!), but in photos it can end up looking like one giant color block.
3. Don't wear too many patterns. It's great for one or two people to wear patterns like stripes, florals, gingham, polka dots, etc. But too many can make for one busy-looking photo.
4. Dress for the location. Are we shooting in the woods or in a park? Then leave those high heels at home! Wearing clothing that doesn't mesh with the location can look awkward and out of place. Not to mention the heels probably won't come out in great condition.
5. Iron, pet roller, hair spray. I do light editing to my images but can't get out excessive wrinkles, loads of pet hair, or tons of fly aways. Make sure that your clothes are pressed, you've gotten Fido's hairs off everyone's sweaters and those baby hairs are laying as flat as possible.
6. If all else fails, go simple. Did you wait until the last minute to plan outfits even though you swore you were going to have everything perfectly planned and laid out well before the session? Don't panic! Go simple. Basic jeans and a plain button down for him. A nice contrasting dress for you. A solid polo for your son and a skirt and basic top for your daughter. If the clothes are stain-free, pressed and comfortable, you can't go wrong.
7. Please feel free to share your selections with me prior to the session. I'm happy to give you feedback and/or suggestions!
During the Session
Prior to the session we'll determine a place to meet up. It is very important that you show up on time for your session. I know that things happen in life (especially with kids) but my weekends can be very busy with a schedule that does not allow for additional time at the end to make up for late arrivals. So aim to arrive 15 minutes prior to our session start.
We'll waste no time getting started once we meet up! For children, I find that the first few minutes when the bribes are fresh and still have power is the best time to lock in a great family shot. Eventually kids, especially the younger ones, start losing interest in sitting still, but we don't want stiff poses and frozen faces anyway. I find my favorite images are those candid shots that really capture your child's personality. I love to let them run around and be themselves. I also keep things fresh by being silly and playing games with them.
And I promise you, despite what you think, your children are not the most misbehaved kids in the world. Remember that we're asking them to listen, behave and smile (three really tough things for little kids) for up to an hour. And I've known a few fiancés/husbands who struggle with this, too. That's a big ask so let's make it fun for them.
Regardless of whether we're doing a maternity, engagement or family session, we'll be moving. A lot. No one wants be bossed around and asked to sit in an awkward pose with a painful smile on their face for an entire hour so we'll be walking, talking, laughing and genuinely enjoying ourselves.
As far as things to bring with you to the session - I suggest bringing one easy-to-carry bag with you packed with a blanket, a brush or comb to tame hair that might get wind swept while we shoot, a lint roller, snacks for a mid-session bribe and your child's favorite toy that I can hold while I'm shooting. We'll be moving around a lot so the bag should be easy to tote around. Of course, you don't need to bring anything with you if you don't think you'll need it. I do find that bringing a blanket is very helpful so we can do some seated shots without getting grass and dirt on everyone's nice outfits.
Receiving the Images
I always ask for two weeks to edit the photos. Processing the images is an involved process and isn't just a matter of downloading the photos to my computer and then uploading them to your gallery. I upload them, cull them and spend a significant amount of time editing each individual image. These photos are an investment and you deserve my best possible product.
Once the images are ready, I upload them to an online gallery, from which you can download all of the final edited images. The gallery will be available for one month. Please save the images to your hard drive prior to the date noted in your delivery email. For safe keeping, I suggest backing them up on a second source such as an external hard drive.
The gallery can be shared with friends and family. I also love when my clients share the images on social media! Because I consider the photos my art, I just ask that you provide credit to Megan Brodie Photography either by tagging my business or mentioning my business in the caption.
The images are yours to print, make cards, create canvases with, etc. I recommend using mpix.
Newborn sessions are their own special type of session, which is why they get there own section here.
Like my other sessions, it's important for you to know that these are also lifestyle sessions. So they are taken in the comfort of your own home and meant to truly capture your lives with your newest family member. There will be some posed photos of the baby but these will be taken in the baby's crib, the parents' bed or on the floor on a blanket. I don't have my own props and prefer simpler settings such as the baby in a white onsie or simple swaddle. However, I'm happy to incorporate any important details, outfits or accessories that you want.
The best newborn photos are done in the first ten days of the baby's life because this is when they're at their sleepiest and therefore their most cooperative. Everyone loves those sleepy newborn shots! That said, things happen. If your recovery isn't going as planned, you just aren't feeling up to it, or your in-laws want to stay another few days (eek!) then no worries. We'll shoot when you're ready. For planning purposes, it's best to reach out to me a few months in advance of your due date to hold a date around that time just to have something on the calendar. As far as time of day, take notice of when your house gets the best natural light, specifically in the living room, your room, and/or the baby's nursery. If possible, this is the time of day during which we'll want to schedule our session.
These sessions typically require a bit more time (about two hours rather than one) than engagement, maternity or family sessions because newborns can be unpredictable and often require feeding and changing along the way. As a mother myself, I understand the chaos of these first few weeks and that the baby gets what it wants, when it wants. Do not feel pressured to speed things along or push a feed out of the baby's schedule. I have no expectations of a fast session here.
If you're anything like me, it wasn't until months after delivering your bundle of joy that you started to feel like yourself. I remember painting my toes a few days out and feeling immensely better. Even though you're not going to be back to your original form quite yet, I still want you to be in the photos. Babies on blankets in swaddles are great, but they're even better when they're in their parents' arms where they belong. Which brings me to what to wear...
Choose an outfit that you're comfortable in and that makes you feel as good as possible. These are shot in your own home and meant to be a reflection of real life. Are you wearing form-fitting dresses and tight jeans at home? Well maybe you are and that's awesome! But I was personally wearing leggings and a baggy shirts. Wear something that makes you feel good but also isn't too outside of your normal attire. My personal preference is solid colors.
This was a lot of information but if you have any other questions, please shoot me a message!