"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" ~Benjamin Franklin
While brainstorming my discussion topics today, I got a little distracted. For those that know me, this is not an unusual occurrence. I tend to get distracted all the time. You know- when you walk into a room and you have zero clue as to why you are there? Or you sit down to your desk to get some work done but you get sucked into Facebook and you can't get out again? This happens multiple times a day for me. Couple that with the fact that I am homeschooling my son, am a cub scout den leader and acting as a chauffeur most days of the week, you can virtually forget the idea that I actually might accomplish something meaningful in one day. So what do I do to help this? I plan ahead. I make lists and I stick to them. If I have a master list I can get anything done and I can always refer back to it when I notice that I have gotten off track.
So on my list today was to start brainstorming for a new session I have coming up. I will photographing three little ones and their parents. I get really excited with multiple children sessions, especially when the number is an odd one. Working with three or even five kids gets all my ideas flowing and I can't wait to begin! Needless to say I am excited but I just wanted to make a small list for you today to show you what kind of planning goes into a session like this one. It's no easy task to get everything ready. Without my list I would be completely lost.
1. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork:
This one task, although a boring one, is probably one of my most important. Paperwork is a must. Keeping track of model releases and contracts, mileage and extra costs per session is surely a hard one! If it were not for some really awesome computer programs to help me out I think I would be completely lost. But all in all I feel like I am in control of the madness that is paperwork and I have to be proud of that. Boring tasks are never fun to complete. Multiply that by several clients per month and you have a confusing mess! I love that I can take control of this with ease.
2. Meetings, meetings, meetings
From the consultation to the ordering session there is a lot of times that I am in contact with my clients face to face. Several emails and lots of questions later we have planned the perfect session at the perfect time and at the perfect place. My thinking never stops and my lists are never ending throughout this entire process.
3. Gear check!
Before the actual session takes place there is a ton of things I need to make sure I have ready before I can meet my clients. My gear is obviously a very important part to my business. It is not the end-all be-all of how wings work but without it I would be lost for sure! Checking to make sure things are working properly and are clean are just some of the steps I take to make sure I am prepared. Having a backup camera and battery and a "plan B" is something never to take for granted. Photography gear is just that- gear. It's not a brain or a fool proof method to anything. Having backup plans and back up gear is an essential part of this business. Having it all in tip top shape is the next step. I check my gear before each and every session- even if I had a session the day prior. You never know when things are going to fail.
Well for those that follow my work, you will know that it is very rare that I use any type of props at my sessions. I always try to use natural props or things that enhance the portrait rather than take away from it. Client requests are always taken into consideration and I love that people sometimes will have great ideas for themed lifestyle sessions. Because, as you know, I do everything completely customizable. So, bottom line? Making sure I have all the props I need and making sure they are clean and ready is obviously very important.
This one is super important. I am in constant "photographer mode" when I am driving around. There is nothing I won't do to get a great location if we need it! I want the background to your portraits to match your style and vibe of your home. No small detail goes unnoticed when it comes to the location of your photography session. And, on any given day you can spy me catching up on my cartoon themes so I have some background knowledge when I go to sing them to your children. Or- you can catch me reading my son's Scooby Doo joke book so I have fresh joke to tell to get a laugh. You could also say that anything Disney is my forte so I have plenty of kid knowledge in my back pocket.
6. Tricks of the trade!
Photographing kids is probably my favorite part of this job. I love getting families the artwork they deserve for their homes. I love getting that great "money shot" where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. But, for the most part, the kids are the best. With some cool tricks I have up my sleeve we usually have tons of fun. Some of my tricks may even surprise you! Naming my pet "giraffe" who lives on my camera is kinda fun for the little ones and the stickers they just may get in the end of the session can make any kid happy!
Bottom line is, no stone goes unturned to make sure I am prepared for your session. You can bet that what ever you want I will probably be able to do (or at least consider!). And, if you have no idea what you want thats ok too because I love surprise sessions. To do this for people every day is surely a dream come true and it makes my heart sing.
Want to know more? Go ahead and contact me today to discuss the finer details of your next session! I can't wait to hear from you!
Member of National Association of Child Photographers ￼
Member of Red Thread Sessions