Ten Things I’d Love for You to Know Before Your Family Session (PART ONE)

It’s only February but I’m gearing up for a busy summer full of family sessions (& a few weddings as well!) and I can’t wait to see what new families I will meet this year. I’ve been really focusing on how to make your experience before, during, and after your family session go smoother, making sure that you can enjoy it to the fullest!

What follows are some tips that I have gathered in the last few years, that should make this year’s session one to top all the past ones! This will help me deliver you images that you have come to expect of me, and will allow me to capture your family, just the way you are. I know this seems cliche, but it’s what I strive for every single time!

ONE | Clean Spaces + Lots of Light = Beautiful Photos!

The secret to getting images that you expect from Dianne Velthove Imagery is a very important one: Location, location, location! I have shot in some amazing locations in Canada and Europe, and the ones that render the most beautiful images will always be my favorite! There was a castle in the Netherlands…, okay, I won’t ask you to travel that far! 🙂

But seriously, a location where there is great open sky and an interesting background will give you images that you will cherish forever. Some of my local favourites are Dundurn Castle in Hamilton, Cranberry Creek Gardens in Lynedoch, and a little trail very near my house (you literally park at my house). The reason I love these locations are because they provide timeless captures that have lots of neutrals, so the focus is on you and your loved ones!

TWO | Let’s Chat on the Phone Before Your Session

Whether you have reached out on social media, email, telephone, or we happened to meet in town, I’d love to just have a 10 minute consultation with you on the phone (no guarantees that it doesn’t turn into a 30 minute conversation, though), so we can discuss exactly what you are hoping to get out of your session. I’d love for you to have a short list of captures that you really can’t wait to see, it doesn’t have to be a list of which family members you want together, but it could just be one of your children in a certain mood or acting his silly self. We will also discuss whether you fear that there will be any hurdles that we could be facing, such as a super shy or a highly energetic child, and what you think my best way is to handle that so that you get the best results at the end of it!

THREE | Take Time to Plan Your Look

My most important tip in this department is to have Mom pick her look first. Us ladies are the most likely going to be judgmental about the way we look, and I really want you to be confident at your session. That being said, I know you will look amazing no matter what! A great colour scheme to focus on is “2+1” or “3+1”. What that means is that you pick two or three neutrals and then add one accent colour that gets used minimally by the family.

I really advise you to stay away from neons, they create unflattering colour casts and will alter the quality of your final images. When it comes to your little ones, I’d avoid fussy outfits or accessories. For example, if your little girl absolutely hates headbands (I know she looks adorable with one, but believe me), it’s best to find something else to put in her hair. We want her to look adorable, but if she’s screaming, it’s going to make it much harder. And hopefully if she enjoys it this time, she will look forward to next year’s session! BTW, for your convenience, I email you a Portrait Session Style Guide when you book with me; this will really help you with a lot of these decisions!

FOUR | Pack Light

I know it’s always great to be prepared, but here are some of the only items you will likely need, and surprise, surprise, they don’t include your phone (although you’re so welcome to capture some of your own images if you’d like or even email me a behind the scenes shot that I can use to laugh at myself).

Some of the things I do recommend are walking shoes (for those who are wearing heels, this is especially necessary if we are on rougher ground a ways away from your vehicle), lip gloss or lipstick, if you’re using that, to keep your makeup looking fresh, and non-messy snacks that we can use to reward (or bribe!) your kids (some great ones are raisins, mini crackers, or non-chocolate granola). I am also totally willing to help you carry whatever you are bringing; this experience should be fun for you, and I really want to do everything I can to help you enjoy it!

FIVE | We LOVE Dads!

I love capturing children. It’s definitely one of the top three things I love most about my job, but your children are going to enjoy it even more if their Daddy comes along. Dads tend to bring the funny side out of their kids, and as Dads often work hard to provide for their family, we really believe he belongs here just as much as Mom! Once in a while I meet a Dad who seems like they’re not really sure that they are excited to be at the session. Never have I heard a Dad say that he didn’t absolutely love the final images, as they capture how much he loves his family!

Click HERE for the next five tips! There are some that I am super excited about; I go into more details about what to do during and after your session!




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