Otherwise known as: a Love Letter to all my future clients…
Guess what? I dig you. I think you’re amazing. And beautiful.
I trust you to show up to our session, with wrinkles and crooked teeth and cookie crumbs and Chapstick. I trust you to play, to smile, to stretch and to scratch. I trust you to let me do my work, nudge you into sunlight, make you exquisitely comfortable, and transform your beautifully messy, maddening & miraculous family & reality into Art.
I trust you, because trust makes everything better.
Consider these FAQs (that’s Frequently AWESOME Questions, by the way) to be little trust-building vitamins — everything you need to know, to show up to our session feeling bubbly & bright, and have an excellent time. Please visit my desktop site for the full experience, and for accessing my FAQs.
Ideally – at your perfectly imperfect home! I have a strong preference for photographing people in their natural environment, where they feel most comfortable – ESPECIALLY the kids! There’s nothing more authentic & gorgeous than capturing a family in their home zone — unmade beds, dog hair, pancake batter and all. But if you’ve got a special location in mind — a park that’s near & dear, a biking trail, the farmers market, or some other spot that means something to you — let’s talk!
2. Ack! My house is a mess/unfinished/not a perfect showroom! Can't we do our session somewhere else?
Well, sure we COULD. However, I will tell you that, unless your house is particularly unpleasant to you for some reason or far from Portland, I really don’t give a rip about how imperfect it is. It is where you LIVE and love and do your thang. Chances are we’ll hang out and do some photos in the sweet spots of light inside the house and then move to the yard or go for a walk around your neighborhood. And I PROMISE, I will not have an ounce of judgment about your housekeeping or decorating skills.
Short answer: whatever makes you feel beautiful. Could be your favorite kimono. Might be a bowtie & sneakers. We’re going for casual, unfettered & free. I’d strongly advise against dressing in matching ‘family uniforms’ — it (almost) always looks awkward and forced. I am generally not a fan of tiny prints (they can go all buggy in photos), big logos that are distracting (they will become dated), neon colors (they cast their colors on skin tones), or lots of bright white. I usually advise that Moms choose their favorite outfit, and then style everyone based on her choice. Just make sure that outfits are too matchy, nor too clashy. Really, as long as everyone doesn’t show up in matching polos and khakis, we’re good.
We’ll frown. We’ll sulk. And we’ll choose a new date, together — as soon as reasonably possible. Here in Portland, the weather can be fickle & frustrating. But trust me — once you receive your album of photos, bathed in incredible, radiant natural light, you’ll know … it’s worth the wait.
Plain and simple, we reschedule. You don’t want to force a photo session if someone is feeling awful. I’m all about real life, but this is where I draw the line. The discomfort will show on your faces, and to be quite honest, I don’t like to get exposed to stuff when I can avoid it since I have a high needs family and business to keep on track! I’m all about communication and full disclosure – just keep me up to date on how everyone is doing. And I promise to give you the same courtesy if I’m not feeling up to snuff!
Well, I really don’t believe that anyone is unphotogenic. I think that you have been conditioned to force a smile and stiffly pose in front of the camera OR just plain haven’t been photographed by the right person. So of course you feel uncomfortable being photographed! My goal for everyone is to make you feel relaxed and comfortable so that I can show you the real beauty that I see. I will not remove wrinkles or make you thinner in photoshop, but I do promise to be a witness to who you are if you let me.
You’re just going to have to trust me on this one – I can take whatever they have to dish out! I love kids, and will spend our time together very much tuned into THEM. They have an amazing way of knowing when someone is interested in them, and tend to like to share themselves with me. There may be a point in our session when I ask you to let us have some one on one time because sometimes they feel less pressure to behave a certain way and chill out if there aren’t several pairs of eyes watching what they’re doing. I will be asking you ahead of time for some inside scoop about their personalities and if they have any particular sensitivities or quirks that will help me get to know them. In general, kids and I tend to get along swimmingly!
My best advice is this: make sure everyone in your family is excited and completely on board for the photography adventure — and knows what to expect. That includes both your kids — and your partner. Make sure to sit down together and have a look & read through my website together.
It is also helpful to plan a few activities that are relevant to your family to do during our time together. That could be anything from cooking a meal & blowing bubbles to an an art project & dance party. Having something to do that you enjoy as a family helps to tell your story & takes the focus off of the camera.
Other than that, get a good night’s sleep, and let real life unfold … as it naturally does.
I don’t do refunds, and I don’t do do-overs. It’s simply not sustainable, from a business perspective — but happily, it’s a very infrequent concern.
Here’s the thing — if you love my portfolio, feel drawn to my personality, and are genuinely open to a playful, unstructured, real-life photography session … you will love your photos. They will be beautiful. They will be true. They will be … you!
If you’re already feeling shaky or iffy about working with me — that’s OK! We might not be a match, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’d encourage you to look elsewhere. There are oodles of family & lifestyle photographers in Portland, alone.
You’ll find all of that information below, and in my client guide! If you have more questions, be sure to address them when you message me.