Rundown of a Family Session

I don’t know about you, but whenever I have to do anything for the very first time, I get super nervous. If I don’t know what to expect, I imagine the worst. What if all my worst fears (or even just one of those fears) come true? How do I know that you’re going to take all of the necessary precautions, now in the age of COVID? Whenever possible, I need details of what I’m getting before I commit. I need a rundown of what’s going to happen. So that’s what we’re going to do today.

Let’s do a rundown of an Allison Patel Photography family session:

A rundown of a family session

Once you’ve decided that you want to hire me (if you need help finding a photographer, you can download my 5 tips here), contact me using the contact form on my site and let me know what type of session you’re looking for (family, maternity, newborn, or events).

I’ll email you back within 24 hours and we’ll iron out details, including where and when, and then I’ll send you a contract and an invoice for the session fee. Once you sign the contract (electronically) and pay for the session, our date and time are set and we can start planning.

Family Photography Dogwood Dell

I’ll scout the location 2 weeks in advance. I learned that lesson the hard way. Whomp. After I scout the location, I’ll send you a rundown with some quick inspiration photos and some thoughts on what you could wear to our session. If our session is scheduled to occur in your house, instead of physically scouting I might ask you to send me some photos of the rooms you want to use so I can get an idea of what we’re working with. Don’t worry – I’ll walk you through how to choose a good room and how to hide stuff you don’t want in the pictures.

If you have kids who are nervous about being with strangers, not to worry! I have ways of helping them open up, which I have used many times with my own kids. A lot of times, an unfamiliar environment can largely contribute to their sense of nervousness, so if you have time to acclimate your kids to the location where we’ll be meeting, that can really help. Just like we adults get nervous when we do something for the first time, kids feel that too. They trust you to walk them through it, just like you trust me to walk you through it.

One week before our session, I’ll send you an email with a rundown of things available to you after our session, including prints, albums, and canvases, so you can think about what you want to do with your pictures after our time together.

Photo Album sample

I’ll send one last reminder email 24 hours before our session, with a couple of quick tips on how to relax before we get together.

On our shoot day, we’ll meet for our session. I’ll likely get there before you because I hate making people wait for me, and so we can get shooting right at the start of our session. If we’re meeting outside, we’ll walk around the location to the spots I scouted a couple of weeks earlier. If we’re meeting at your home for a lifestyle session, I’ll give you some direction and start shooting while your family plays, cooks, or reads together. No matter the location, don’t worry – I won’t let you stand there while you try to remember what to do with your arms.

About 24 hours after our session, I’ll post 1-4 sneak peek photos on my social media outlets and send you an email, so you can see some of my favorites and share them with friends and family.

social media example

Then, I’ll edit the rest of our images and load them into your password-protected online gallery, and let you know when they’re ready.

Galleries are defaulted to stay open for 3 weeks, and you’ll get reminder emails as time starts to wind down, so you can finalize your decisions and order what you need to make your photos a permanent part of your home. Once you make your choices (I’ll walk you through that too!) I’ll get the prints/canvases/albums made and deliver them to your front porch.

I hope this little rundown helps make things a bit clearer as you consider having family photos made. Don’t forget to download my 5 tips for finding a pro photographer as you begin your search!

Gallery example