Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lifestyle Photography Session Prep and Tips | Ashleigh Olson Photography

Hi Fellow Artistic Toggers :)
It's Ashleigh, from Ashleigh Olson Photography. This is my first post on the Artistic Togs blog and I couldn't be more excited! I specialize in Lifestyle Photography, and thought I would talk about how I prepare for a session. Everyone prepares differently, but these are just some of my tips!

Let me start by saying that before I came across Lifestyle Photography, I wanted nothing to do with Newborn sessions. I can't, for the life of me, pose a baby perfectly. Some people have that skill, but I certainly do not, and that's okay! I absolutely love the art of lifestyle, and newborn lifestyle sessions are now my FAVORITE! So today, I'll go over that!

I'm going to talk about both sides of preparation (Parent and Photographer) so you can include your client in how to produce the perfect session that leaves you both smiling after!

1. Before The Session:
 Clients will usually contact me about a session while they are still cooking that bun :)
This is great because I will find out their due date, and roughly when the little one will be joining us. Sometimes this doesn't happen, and you can get a spur of the moment inquiry. Those are great, too! I suggest a session for newborns usually within the first 14 days after birth. This is not mandatory, of course. Lifestyle sessions can be shot at any time, but it's always nice to get those sleepy baby photos!

Ask clients to prep by knowing their vision beforehand. If they have family heirlooms they would like in the photos, have them ready to go! A special blanket, or stuffed animal, let's include those too! It's always great to have ideas in mind before the session starts, this way you know a shot is never missed.

2. Light
When you arrive at the session, find the best natural light if possible. I love working with natural light! It makes for a soft glow against the baby's skin! Also, don't be afraid to crank up your ISO if natural light is lacking. Work with what you have, you're a rock star! If a client mentions there's more natural light in a different room other than a bedroom or nursery, invest in a big white down blanket (like the one below). I actually just invested in one after clients used one for their recent session!

When photographing the little one, let the light fall at an angle against his/her skin. In the photograph above, the light is coming from his top right.

3. A full baby is a happy baby!
I tell my clients to make sure baby is fed and full right before I come. Babies are unpredictable so if a feeding occurs during a session, that's okay too! They are usually super sleepy when they have a full tummy :). I also advise to keep the house warm, we may sweat a little bit but the baby will be nice and cozy, especially for those diaper photos! Booking a session depends on the baby's schedule. My son, for instance, would keep us up ALL night, so he would sleep his little heart out between 8am-12pm, so that's when I would get all the sleepy photos I needed! It's possible the baby will not sleep throughout the whole session. Being put down and picked up may awaken him/her, but that's okay... those moments when baby is looking at mom/dad are priceless!

4. Include siblings!
Including the big brother/sister is always great! It makes them feel a part of the session, even with the excitement of a new baby! Consider bringing a 'big brother/big sister' gift (coloring book, crayons, bubbles), to show them how they were such a great helper during the session!

 Sometimes they will not want to take part, but don't stress. Lifestyle is about capturing moments, so just be ready to snap! Ask if they will give their little sister/brother a BIG kiss. Ask if they would read him/her their favorite book. Or maybe they want to take a photo with mom or dads phone!

5. Include Parents!
I encourage parents to get into the photo, you won't regret it! It can be simple as their hands holding the baby, or a peck on the cheek. A window provides a nice glow as well as a beautiful set up!

6. Take your time!
Don't rush the session. My newborn sessions can take 1.5-2 hours. Relax and take as many photos as you can! I always like to take multiple shots of the same photo, just in cause! Babies can sense anxiety, so don't stress! If baby is having a fussy time, let mom or dad have a moment and you can take time to reevaluate your surroundings as well.

7. Details!

Details are a great way to tell a story. Toes, little hands, even a nose. These photos showcase those tiny parts that won't stay tiny for long! I absolutely love when babies wrap their little fingers around yours! If you are shooting in the nursery, grab a few shots of the details of the room as well.

8. Have fun!
Lifestyle sessions are SO much fun, newborn lifestyle is about capturing the joy of a family who are welcoming a beautiful being into the world. Tell their story! Capture the pure bliss on their faces! Have fun with it, and create something special!

Thank you to the Artistic Tog for giving me this opportunity. I hope this post helps others who are interested or shoot lifestyle sessions! I'm SO excited to write more content! If you enjoyed this blog, let me know, head over to my facebook page linked above! :)



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