the recipe for awesomeness.

I get it. Hiring a professional photographer is a big deal. You want these pictures to last a lifetime, and you want them to be awesome. Like, so awesome that you fall off your chair from the beauty and wonder.
So do I!
So you best know I'm gonna be working my butt off to get you the most incredible photos, BUT. What can you do to make sure you get the said incredibleness? I've written these suggestions mostly from the perspective of shooting weddings, but these tips apply to portrait sessions as well. Fo sho.

1. Talk to me. Tell me anything and everything you want to tell me. Seriously. Do you have a bossy aunt that is going to try to take over your wedding because she thinks she's a great photographer? I wanna know. What about your cousin who hates having his picture taken more than life itself and needs to be left to candid shots? Is that necklace you're wearing an heirloom from your great-great-great grandmother? I want to know about your baby's teething, your mother-in-law's hidden agenda, and your dad's hilarious dance moves. Don't hesitate to talk because you're afraid of coming off as a control freak. From personal experience, I promise I understand (maybe I can tell you that saga someday...eeeek.) Show me examples of what you like and what you don't like--be that locations, poses, trends, etc.While I consider photography my art medium, it is my priority that you love, love, love the art we create together. This means talking to me needs to be important to you, too--I have garish nightmares about 'just' showing up to your wedding and 'just' taking pictures.There are so many details to consider, so many dynamics to navigate--I'm going to be totally lost if you don't fill me in. Let's plan to have at least one gushy session where we let it all hang out, yes?

2. Get confident. I know having your picture taken can be supremely nerve-wracking and may tempt you to quit your life at times. I'm here to help you and your people calm the nerves and feel right at home, but it sure helps if you're willing to shed the shyness and work it. I know you practiced your pouty face in the mirror--so let me have it! It can be tempting to let me take total control and just hang out like a dead fish, but if we're really going to capture you, I can't anticipate all the nuances of your personality and your love for your people having just met you. Plus, I'm also here to capture those delicious candid moments, and if you're all wrapped up in what I'm thinking/doing, we're going to end up with cookie-cutter stiffness. Yuck. It is so much better times infinity plus five if we're working together on this, with give and take from both of us. Every once in a while, try to forget that I'm even taking pictures. For heaven's sake, if you attempt a model face that falls flat on its face, we can delete the darn thing. Take some risks! I will love you forever for it, with a cherry on top.

3. Get inspired. Spend some time on blogs and websites looking for inspiration--it can be found anywhere! Interior decorating sites, etsy, fine art, and the fabulous standby wedding inspiration sites. You will be amazed at the possibilities! The point is to find things that excite you and epitomize your style, so I can get to know you better in what little time we have to get to know each other before our shoot.

4. Consider your outfit(s). Since I'm not going to photoshop the groovy 70s swirlies out of your shirt, pick wisely. I can't stress how important it is that you wear clothes that a) you like a whole bunch and b) work well for photos. See my tips here.

5. Details, details, details. Whether it's a wedding or your child's birth story, the details go a long way. The details are the icing on the cake of your photos, and if you skip over them you're missing a huge chance to express exactly who you are. Embroidered onesie with your brand new babe's name? Yes please. Letterpress place cards, handmade cake topper, bouquet with your new initials? Drool. Have fun with your jewelry, your accessories and the environment we create to make a great shoot--let's make it as multi-faceted as you are!