your moment

It’s all in the details. From the timing of the session to the wardrobe to the location and props, there is just a little more to it than booking a session and showing up to get the best images from your time with me.

What you need to know about {light}

What time of day is best for your session depends on your session, location, and what we are trying to achieve artistically. This is almost always determined by light and unfortunately weather.

My favorite time of day is 2-3 hours before the sun sets, of course that is only if it is a sunny, beautiful day. If you are like me and you love the golden haze of back lighting and the whimsical feel of sun flare, then this is the time of day we should schedule your session. I realize it’s hard for families and little ones but you won’t get this feel for your images any other time of day. The earlier in the day the better if you want a morning time slot and the later in the day the better if you want an afternoon time slot. Other times of day I will usually head for the shade, especially with younger ones that I can’t keep in one spot for the sun and my reflector to do what needs to be done.

If I am photographing your newborn then we will be in my studio.  My studio is in my living room and my main lightsource is my gloriously huge picture window (love natural light). If it is a dark overcast day we might have to reschedule, especially if family members will be part of the session.

The downside to being a mostly on location photographer is that I am at the mercy of the weather. You have to be prepared to reschedule your session if Mother Nature decides to dump rain or howl wind the day of your session. Overcast skies are fine, as long as they are not dark storm clouds associated with a nasty storm. Breezes are fine, sustained winds are not. Temperature is only an issue if you will be uncomfortable. During the winter months remember that we don’t have to be outside for longer than 10 minutes at a time, so just because it is winter doesn’t mean your session can’t take place in the snow. If it’s summer and it’s hot and humid and everyone will be sweaty and cranky we should reschedule. Photoshop was not made to remove sweat.

What you need to know about {location}

Location, location, location, it really is all about location. Location is yet another aspect that artistically affects the final look of your images. The location we decide on for your session depends on the look you are going for. Here are some of the basics as well as common locations.

urban – This can combine many different looks from vintage to modern. Downtown Rochester has some great modern architecture and concepts. The Peace Plaza is a great spot for an urban setting. If you want to incorporate a more vintage modern look, the alleys and Historic 3rd are great spots. Of course there are neighboring towns that also have some great urban locale. Some of my favorites are Northfield, Red Wing and Winona. Remember that when using an urban location there will be random people walking around and may end up as part of your image. I will do my best to avoid this and may be able to clone them out but this may not always be possible.

rustic – Locations that contain old buildings work great for this type of look. The locations I usually go to for this include the apple orchard (I have a couple of different ones I like), Essex Park, Plummer House, Oxbow Park, History Center and some private locations. There are a few locations that require rental fees, such as Mayowood Mansion and the Mayowood Stone Barns that have some amazing buildings and gardens.

nature – What better backdrop than what Mother Nature did all on her own. Think tree lined paths, sculpted gardens or wide open fields. Some of my favorites include: Quarry Hill, Oxbow Park, Plummer House, Essex Park and random spots that I find along gravel roads.

What you need to know about {wardrobe, props & styling}

What you wear is one of the final pieces to your photography puzzle. Coordinating outfits (not matching) between family members can be hard. One of my favorite sites for all types of sessions is Wardrobe Wednesday. The key to a great outfit is layers and accessories. Both add personality and style to your outfit and that will reflect in your images. Think jewelry, hats, scarves, hairpieces, ties and even your shoes can make or break your outfit! I am more than happy to help you finalize your clothing, just lay it all out and snap me a picture.

As far as props go, I have quite a few items in my personal stash that can help tell a story for your session. Of course I love new things and it is always fun to have a child’s favorite toy or blanket be part of their session. For younger ones I will usually bring a chair with at minimum, it keeps them in one spot for a small period of time, climbing on a chair is the best thing when you are 2! Need some inspiration, check out Confessions of a Prop Junkie, my favorite site for props!

Styling for a session is the best way to bring out your family or child’s personality. If camping is your favorite past time, let’s pitch a tent out of branches and old quilts, build a fire and roast marshmallows, when the sun starts to set, you can catch lightning bugs with your kids. What better way to remember your time as a family than capturing what you love to do together. For your kids, think about what it is that they love to do right now. From baseball to hockey, to tea parties and ballet, nothing brings out the smiles and the true personality of a child than their favorite activity! No matter what your child is into, we can style a session around it!