Pick your location(s). We can go anywhere in the greater Kansas City area, including my studio in downtown Blue Springs. We can also travel beyond the metro area for a minimal fee. During a two-hour session (which is the typical session length for families), we can visit one or two locations. If there is a location that is special to you and your family, it may be a great place to have the session. I can also recommend locations for your session if you would like. I recommend starting the session about two hours before sunset for the best natural light. I also prefer to shoot in the shade to keep you in soft, won’t-make-you-squint-and-glare kind of light. 

Decide what you prefer in terms of poses and styles. Although I will guide you in your poses and suggest different things to do during our session, if you prefer more traditional or more unique styles, let me know before we begin.

For toddlers and children, take time to practice smiling and posing (sitting still) at home. It is generally best to teach children to hold a smile and recognize the camera rather than repeat “cheese” or other words. It may also be helpful to explain to them the general details of our photo session beforehand. If possible, schedule the session during a time of day that your children will not be sleepy or hungry.



 Clothes and Accessories:

  • Feel free to bring an additional complete outfit for everyone if you would like to change at some point during the session. Adding accessories to outfits (jewelry, scarves, jackets, etc.) is another option for an easy way to change the look of your photos without having to change outfits.
  • Avoid large or “loud” patterns or choosing clothing that have words or images printed on them, as they can be distracting. Smaller patterns and solid colors are great options!
  • Choosing coordinating colors (same color palette) and styles (casual or formal) for everyone in the family is recommended. Having some family members wear darker tones while others wear lighter tones is a nice way to maintain contrast between individuals in the group. It’s not recommended to have everyone wear the exact same color. Here are some examples of past clients whose wardrobe worked nicely together.
  • Blues, purples, greens, and neutral tones (black, white, gray) are usually the best options for any environment. It’s usually best to avoid reds/yellows, or any shade that is too similar to your skin tone.
  • Favorite toys can be great motivational items for toddlers who may be timid around the camera.
  • If members of the family normally wear glasses, consider wearing contacts with the frames and having an optician remove the lenses from the glasses for the session to avoid reflections from flashes. Please avoid Transitions lenses for outdoor photos.
  • If you have cool chairs or stools around the house that compliment your clothing choices, feel free to bring those (or other props you may want to use).


General Guidelines:

  • If your children wear diapers, make sure it is completely covered by their outfits (tuck in shirts or have them wear a onesie under their shirts or leggings under skirts).
  • Make sure everyone’s pockets are empty and faces/hands are clean before the session begins.
  • Women: Apply makeup as you normally would (and bring it along if you may need to reapply). You may also consider hiring a makeup artist (I have several I work with) for your session. Call me for pricing.
  • If you tend to have oily skin, powder is recommended. Yes, even for the men!
  • Men: shave or trim facial hair. A fresh haircut is great as well.
  • Visiting the tanning booth before pictures is not generally recommended.
  • Your hands and fingernails will appear in the photos! Trim and polish nails as necessary.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell me if you don’t like the pose I request or location we’re in.



Tell your friends about your session! Each time you refer a new client to me (for any type of session), you and your friend will both receive a gift: session discounts, free prints, or a gift card! The more friends you refer, the more you will receive. Ask me about current referral bonuses!