5 things your photographer wants you to know before your session!
There are things that we as photographers see/hear happen in sessions all that time that just shouldn't happen. I'm here to give you insight on the things that every photographer wishes you knew, because, well, sometimes we are just too nice to come out and say it straight. I will say that most of this comes from lack of knowing what is offensive, what is unhelpful, and what things really are just plain obnoxious to photographers. Here are 5 things you should know about your photography session:
1. Check out my work before hiring me (IG: @cmpphotobyashley FB: @cherishedmomentsltd). If you are new to this whole photography thing, please know that EVERY photographer has their own style. You can put 10 photographers in 1 room with 1 subject and all 10 of them will capture that subject differently. When you see my work through my website, instagram, or facebook; the images I deliver to you and your family will be that same style. My style has developed over years of figuring out how I want my brand to look. My style comes from how I shoot, how I edit, how I interact with you and your loved ones, and most importantly how I value myself and my work. If you don't like my style please find a photographer that matches a style you love. I will not be offended. While we are on the topic of my style please STOP adding filters over the top of the images you receive from me. I worked extremely hard to create the images that were delivered to you and guess what....those images match my brand! The image you are choosing to slap a filter onto does not match my brand and I don't want my name associated with that weird "ludwig" filter off of instagram. Doing that is a huge slap in the face to EVERY photographer. Also, it's in my contract that all of my clients sign prior to a session.
2. Photoshop isn't something that every photographer knows how or chooses to use. Photoshop is an amazing tool and yes, it makes impossible possible(for most things). This isn't the case for every photographer though. If you look at my work you will see that it is clean, classic, and natural. I don't add magic carpets or change out the mountain scenery to look like you're on a beach instead. For my style I only use photoshop if I need to touch up acne or hide a bra strap that showed up when a toddler pulled on moms shirt. If I NEED to do a head swap I could do that too, but I will never use photoshop to make you look like someone you're not. Embrace who you are in every stage of your life! There is no need to ask me to shave off ten pounds in photoshop. I will politely tell you no. Who you are is a beautiful thing regardless of how much you weigh. You want to look back on your photos and remember every aspect of it. One day you will thank me for not making you look like a super model from the New York Times.
3. Be Comfortable. If there is a certain part of your wardrobe that you don't like, please, I beg of you, CHANGE! Don't get to the photoshoot without a back up outfit and say "Do you think you can use photoshop to change the color of our shirts?" If you don't like the color, don't wear it!
If you don't like the fit, don't wear it. If you want an honest opinion about a clothing option bring it along and I will gladly tell you how I feel about it! I want you to be comfortable! Wear shoes that don't give you blisters after 5 minutes of wearing them. Wear spanx if that makes you feel like Beyonce walking down the runway! Let your husband wear his baseball cap for a few photos and don't glare at him!! If wearing the baseball cap makes him happy to do photos let him wear the darn hat! I want you focusing on having fun not worrying about how you, your husband, or your kids look!
4. All kids are crazy. Not just yours. I have seen it a thousand times! I understand how stressful it is when your child doesn't listen. I know how stressful it is when your kid won't hold still or
won't smile like you want them to. Rest assured.....it's not just your kid! It's every kid that comes to a photoshoot!! They are out of the house, in a new area, in front of a stranger, and in clothes they have probably never worn until the day of their photoshoot! Kids are crazy, but I want them to be! I want them to be themselves around me! Let them be crazy and please STOP yelling at them, STOP grabbing them by the arm and shaking your finger at them, and STOP taking them aside for a 1-on-1 talk. It makes my job 100% harder when I have to deal with an upset kiddo who is embarrassed because he/she was trying to make fun of a situation he/she was already uncomfortable with. I love interacting with them, I love the silly faces they make, and I love capturing your child as they are without that cheesy smile that parents always force their children into. Let them show me their real smile! When there are too many cooks in the kitchen kids get extremely uncomfortable and confused. They have no clue who they are suppose to listen to. Let me direct them. Let me do my job. I promise I know what I'm doing!
5. You're not the only one who's nervous. There. I said it. The truth is out! I still get nervous before every shoot! The butterflies come back every.Single.Time. Photography is my passion and what makes my heart skip a beat, this is what I was called to do. These moments with your family you are choosing to put in my hands. You are trusting me to be a part of your story. I am beyond thankful for that! Remember, I too am human. I get the anxiety you feel leading up and into the photoshoot, I understand how frustrating it can be when your dog won't sit like he usually does at home, I understand how stressful it was getting everyone dressed and to the location on time! I get it. Relax. It will be ok. I promise! The idea behind my photoshoots is that you leave feeling more connected. You leave with faces full of smiles. You leave relieved. I want you to have fun during this experience. I don't want it to feel robotic and I definitely don't want this to feel like a chore for anyone in your family. So please, show up with no expectations and enjoy the ride.