Wildwood Session Guide 

I'm so excited that you've booked your session!  Here are some tips and tricks to help it be a success!

  • Once you've booked your session with me, start talking about it with your kiddos.  Talk about how much fun it's going to be.  Mention me by name (no formalities, Natasha or Tasha is great).  Tell them a bit about me that will help them relate to me.  The less they feel like I'm a stranger, the better for them!  Some things you could mention: I have two daughters: Stevie who is four, and Jessie who is 2.  I loooooooove chocolate.  I love funny jokes.  I am very clumbsy.  My favourite colour is blue.  I love puppies and camping.  I mean, you don't need to force information on them or make awkward conversations about me or talk about it on a daily basis, but the more kids feel like they know a little bit about a stranger before the meet them, the less time it takes them to warm up to them

  • Let your children be included in decisions for the session.  For example giving them a choice of what they would like to wear helps them feel involved.  By picking out two to three outfits and letting them choose from those (make sure you're happy with whatever options you are giving them), you're allowing them to feel like they have some control over themselves.  Maybe you could ask if they'd rather do photos at a lake, in field, or in a forest.  You can all discuss some fun short activities you might like to do during your session (playing slap hands, having tickle fights, piggy back races, etc...

  • Take your time getting out the door for your session.  Make sure the night before, or morning of, you have things out and set aside that you will need.  It's so stressful for you when you're running around last minute looking for the matching shoe to your kids pair, rounding up family, making sure everyone is fed, and you're leaving on time, etc.. Then you're stressed about being on time the whole way to the session, and that can lead to  afrazzled, grumpy family and we want you all to be happy and relaxed!  Make it as peaceful and stressless as possible on yourself.  You deserve to have this be an enjoyable experience and you'll thank yourself for it!

  • Make sure everyone has full tummies for the session.  It helps everyone have more fun if you're not counting down the minutes until you get to eat.  If you're grabbing dinner after your session, just make sure everyone has had at least a snack beforehand.

  • If we're planning your session to capture that gorgeous golden light at the end of the day, and you're worried about your kiddos lasting that late, push their naps a little later into the day that day.  That way they can last a little later into the evening.  I know changing nap times isn't ideal, but family photos only happen so often and we want to give your littles every advantage to ensure they are going to have fun as well. 

  • Have an idea of some things you're family might like to do together.  Do your kids like racing, piggy backs, ring around the rosy, a game of slap hands?  I have so many ideas as well, but it always helps if I know anything they may love in particular.  I love tempering the slow and sweet moments during a session with some fun activities to spark their interest and sense of fun.  

  • If you have any unique, fun, or sentimental objects you would like to incorporate into your session please let me know! Musical instruments, vehicles, clothing/fabric, even pieces of furniture can all make an amazing additions to the session if they fit the vibe and have special meaning to you and your family!

  • How to successfully bribe your child, yes, I am actually writing this, lol!  Some parents find it helpful to give their littles incentives for taking part in the session, and that's great!  Some parents don't, and that's great too!  You know your child and what works best for all of you.  But if you like to do this here are some helpful tips:

    • If you are giving them treats during the session make sure they won't stain clothing, faces, or teeth​

    • whatever you are giving them, make sure you are alright with it being in photos.  Many times once kids have something they don't want to give it up.  This includes phones, keys, toys, and food.

    • If possible, try and make sure it's not a super distracting item.  Sometimes kids get so involved with what you give them they want nothing to do with us once they have it

    • Don't use whatever you're offering them in a negative manner (eg: threatening to take it away or not give it, etc... This usually ends in tears)

  • Don't worry if your kiddos act out during the session, or just aren't really into it.  Obviously you still need to parent them, but it's my job as a photographer to work with them and coax smiles and reactions out of them.  When parents get upset with their kids because they aren't being happy, it often stresses the kids out and makes them more upset, and this makes it harder to turn their moods around. 

  • I love capturing the many moods and emotions that kids have.  Their grumpy frowns, shy tendencies, happy smiles, mischevious looks, and even tears if there happen to be some.  Please don't feel the need to push your kids through any emotions that they may be having during our session if you think that it will make thing worse.  If you think we will be more successful by letting them get it out, let's do that.

  • I tend to be hands on with kids during our session.  I often will take the lead in asking them things, giving them special activities to do, or redirecting attention when needed, but sometimes kids do not do well when others try to give them direction. If this is your child, please let me know! I would absolutely hate to be the reason your child shuts off during our session.  

  • Most importantly, come prepared to have fun with your family and spend quality time with them during our session.  When you are cuddling each other, really enjoy the snuggles, try to carve the feeling of your kids hug into your memory.  When you're hugging your husband, wife or significant other, really feel the embrace and enjoy the moment.  Just come with your heart on your sleeve and leave the rest to me.  We will make sure to get the traditional smiling at the camera moments at the beginning of the session, but above all else, I really want you to make memories during our time together.