Session Guide


When you book a session, there really are a million questions! A session should never be stressful though, so here is a little session guide to hopefully answer some of those harder questions.

Please, if you have any questions that are NOT answered here, let me know!

There is no such thing as a silly question!

Picking a Location


The location of your session "sets the mood" for your portraits, which makes this a great place to start!

The Look


When picking your location, first ask what "look" you want to achieve!

You can aim for a country setting, an urban setting, or something in between.


Click the link below to explore!

The Need


The most important thing is to make sure that the location meets your NEEDS. If you have small children, a location with cattle or a public space that is known to have debris might not meet your needs. However, a public park or a private property would be perfect!

Know your NEEDS!

The city


If you aren't up for traveling or aren't able to pay for ME to travel, be sure to pick a location that works for your geographic location!!!

I charge $0.55 per mile over 30 miles.

I work in Thayer, Alton, West Plains, and even in the Branson area!!!


Please let me know where you are!

What to wear

Decisions... Decisons...

Comfortable


The most important thing to think of when choosing your clothing is to be COMFORTABLE! When picking your clothes, the best tip is to dress the pickiest or hardest person FIRST. If that person is comfortable, the session tends to be 100% easier!

Furthermore, think of what makes YOU comfortable!!! You are important too!

Confident


If you are comfortable, the next question is, "Are you CONFIDENT"?

If you can look at yourself, in your chosen outfit, and all you feel is confidence, then you are ready! Until you love how you look in your outfit, loving how you look in photos will be difficult!

If you need help feeling confident in your skin, just reach out! I get it!


Kids and Photos

Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.


Nothing goes as far as preparation!

Tell your child(ren) how they will be in front of a camera with you. Explain how they will have to be patient and listen to us. Let them help pick out their clothing!

Show them some photos of the location(s) we picked and show them some example photos you might want at the session!


PS: Don't offer any clothing options you wouldn't be happy for them to wear!!!

No Bribery!


I myself used to bribe children and dads. lol

Here is the thing though. Imagine being told you would get ice cream after you did something. The whole time you were doing what was needed, you would be thinking about that ice cream! You wouldn't focus well. You wouldn't be able to sit still and think about anything but that delicious, cold treat.

Bribery works against everything we need!


A surprise without any bribery makes a session into a memory they will never forget. So go get that ice cream, but don't use it as a bribe!

Patience.


Children are unpredictable, babies even more so.

The only certainty, when working with children, is that your session will likely become stressful.

Here's the great thing though:

We already know it will be tough!!!

Patience goes a long way. Go with the flow. Let them move and play.


Unless you ask for more structure, I work along the lines of "Are they Safe?". As long as everyone is gathered together, in the frame, I can work with it!

Leave the stressing to Me!


Going with the flow and being patient is important for the overall photos. If you are stressed, it will show in the images.

Relax. Enjoy the session and enjoy your child(ren).


The family above is one of my favorites. They return every year and I have LOVED seeing their family grow. Their oldest daughter is a SPITFIRE of a child that is going to do what SHE wants and you are simply along for the ride. She has finally gotten to the point that she will smile around me and, with the help of her parents, we captured some true GEMS. She smiled, giggled, and munched on gummies all throughout her session because her parents were PATIENT!


Breathe. Trust. Relax.

Let me know if I need do the talking

Mom


Think about how your children react when you ask them or tell them to do something they don't really want to do. If your children are anything like my own daughter, it could explode into a whole argument and take our relaxed session and make it into a stress filled ball of tears.


Obviously I would never tell you to NOT parent your children, however, consider how you know they respond.

Stranger (me)


When it comes to asking children to pose, to smile, or to look somewhere specific, they will more likely listen to me (the stranger) as opposed to their parents.

I know, it sounds crazy. But really.


As long as your children are safe and being themselves, I can direct the little things to make pretty much anything work for a shot!


Gallery Rights


I will NOT send your gallery to anyone other than YOU and who you specifically tell me to send it to.

If I am asked for a gallery my standard response is that "I only send galleries to the contracted client." However most galleries are publically available on my website to allow those looking for a photographer to see what I provide my clients. If you would like your gallery to be unattainable for the general public, please inform me of this BEFORE the session or before leaving your session. Nothing will be posted of available without your permission.

Notes for LARGE Families

More planning = Less stress

MUST HAVE


Before your session I MUST have a "family tree".

This is so important because it will help me get names and relations right at your session. Now, this is a struggle for me, so I will never promise I will have it perfect, but having a family tree will at least give me a chance!!!


Also, PLEASE provide me notes regarding any family drama or "difficulties".

The worst thing that could happen at your session is it ending in frustration and an awkward silence.

MUST HAVE


Before your session I MUST have a "family tree".

This is so important because it will help me get names and relations right at your session. Now, this is a struggle for me, so I will never promise I will have it perfect, but having a family tree will at least give me a chance!!!


Also, PLEASE provide me notes regarding any family drama or "difficulties".

The worst thing that could happen at your session is it ending in frustration and an awkward silence.

What to Expect


Family Pod: An individual family that includes those that live in the same household.


Each Family Pod will have an individual session within the session. You will also have different breakdowns to allow me to capture each relationship within the family.


Click the image here to see what this kind of session might look like!

Extended Family with FOUR "Family Pods"

Please. Please. PLEASE ALl settle on ONE general color scheme!

Plan


Be sure that EVERYONE is on the same page as to when and where to meet.


If you have a family member or two, like I do, that is always a few minutes too late... I find that giving them an earlier time than needed always helps.

(Evil, I know... but it works!)

Travel


Some locations available have limited parking.

If you have multiple car loads of people, attempt to ride in larger vehicles that will make parking easier.


Also note that most locations require driving on gravel roads.

Refreshments


For the hotter months, it might be best to bring waters. If you have smaller children, maybe add some gummies or pretzels to that.

For the cooler months, bring some hand warmers!


Warning: Be sure that snacks packed will NOT cover anyone in color or chocolate!

Who gets the Gallery?


Short Answer: The cleint that signed the contract!

Long Answer: I will have an email sign up sheet at your session and the gallery will be sent to each email on that list AFTER the contracted client is happy with the gallery.


While "Standard" Family sessions require you to pick your 15 digitals... Extended Family sessions include the WHOLE GALLERY!



If you have any questions that were not answered here, please ask!


Email at emilyagray0223@gmail.com

Facebook @Grayphotographyalton

Instagram @emilyanngrayphotography


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