©2018 by April Allison of The Meadow House, DeBolt, Alberta

Session Planning Guide

Three Keys to Amazing Images!

Gorgeous Light

Gorgeous light outdoors and indoors is usually during or close to the golden hour, meaning the hour before sunset or sunrise. Sometimes this means messing with bedtime schedules! Especially living in Northern Alberta! If this is out of the question for you, please let me know. We can make magic at other times of the day, but if you want that WOW factor, please consider meeting me at the golden hour time!

Style

Style is all about you and your personality! We will put thought into our location, any props we may use, and how everyone is dressed. I’m here for you to work through these steps! If you give me some tidbits about what you like, I can help create the images of your dreams!

Connection

Connection is the final piece of a magical image. I like to start off my sessions doing poses and giving lots of direction. However, you need to meet me halfway! The more you relax, let your kids be crazy, just hang out, play, cuddle and kiss, the better your pictures will be! This means, letting your kids run around, do NOT tell them to say "cheese" and get silly and play along with them! The more you just enjoy your family, the more natural and beautiful your images will be.

What to Wear

Choosing a wardrobe is your most important job! Obviously you should wear what is your style & comfortable to you, but I do have a few tips! 

1. Please consider wearing something with 'flow'! This means a flowy dress, a flowy kimono, or hair down and flowy. This 'flow' adds movement and beauty to your images! 

2. I do NOT recommend short dresses. Midi & full length dresses are ideal! Since I will be asking you to move, bend, squat and sit down, short dresses get in the way of these things! 

3. Please choose a wardrobe that is neutral in colour, the session is about YOU, not your clothes. No neons, letter shirts, character shirts, etc. Patterns are ok, but use sparingly!

4. PLEASE, if your fella is a hat guy, let's lose the hat for photos! It's hard to photograph a person's face under a ball cap, and it gets in the way of candid shots when the brim covers others faces.

5. Wear layers! When it's a little chilly, we want everyone to be comfortable, but can remove some layers if it works. 

6. TEXTURE! Add some knit, a pashmina/scarf, leather, jean, etc!

7. COORDINATE, not match! Do not wear all matchy matchy colours and outfits, it's tacky and doesn't photograph well.

8. Reconsider that WHITE shirt... White is actual not great for photos, simply because it reflects everything around it and sometimes washes people out. This one isn't a hard and fast rule, just pay attention to how much white your family is wearing. Black is also not ideal since it loses form and texture in a photograph. 

TIP: Start with the MAMA outfit first! YES! Wear something you LOVE and are confident in. Again, I recommend long or midi dresses (they photograph the best)! Then plan your family outfits around yours. Please, don't be too matchy matchy! Do not put the dad & son/mom & daughter in the same colour shirts/dress. If your dress is patterned, everyone else should be solid, if you're solid, add some pattern somewhere else.

*I have women's dresses and some toddler/baby girl outfits in stock to use for your session!

Check out pinterest for some INSPO! Then send me your outfits & we will make some magic. 

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/697283954785527943/

We usually book the maternity session between 32-35 weeks, depending on how you feel, and whether you feel you’ve ‘popped’ enough! It’s up to you! I don’t like waiting until after 35 weeks, since we don’t want to miss it. Maternity sessions can be one of three things. A documentary session in the home, which could involve a partner & other children, showing you in the best light, but also what it was really like for you and your family during the pregnancy! This can also include some lifestyle ‘boudoir’ photos, which just means relaxed and natural, in more revealing outfits to show off the belly. Or, a styled session outdoors, which can involve a maternity dress (I have some maternity dresses in stock to choose from). We can involve a partner and family as well, and include beautiful scenery & florals. I want you to share your vision so we can work together toward what you want. I will create timeless portraits & natural, emotional & beautiful images for you!

MATERNITY

Newborn session are photographed in your home. Please be honest about whether this will be a good fit. If you don’t love your home, or have decluttered space, or if it is a bit dark & cramped, then we can look at alternatives! We can also rent studio space or go outdoors. Each newborn session includes cuddly and natural images of the baby on its own, with parents and siblings. We will also do at least 2 different styled set-ups. I bring plenty of props and blankets, but please give me an idea about colours & styles you like, so I can bring something suitable! To prepare for your newborn session: Please make sure to have at least two spaces in the home decluttered and ready for pictures. This can be the master bed, the living room couch, or the nursery. Please turn up the heat a bit so your home is nice and warm. Try to keep your newborn awake for an hour or so before I arrive & feed right when I get there. 

NEWBORN