Eat well and hydrate. Drink plenty of water in the days before your shoot to make sure your skin looks its best. Try to avoid lots of salt, sugar, or alcohol the day before your session. Moisturize your skin - face and hands!
Get a good night's sleep. Easier said than done, I know. The more sleep you get before your shoot, the more relaxed and rested you'll feel. It shows!
Choose clothing carefully. Avoid trendy looks that will soon look dated, logos and branding, bold prints, and super fine patterns that produce moiré in camera. Solid colors, classic styles, and the occasional pattern are smart choices. Couples/families should coordinate (not match!) outfits. Let me know if you need advice on what to wear, or bring options so we can decide together. There's a steamer at the studio, but try to iron out wrinkles before you arrive to save time.
Get ready for some close ups. Brush your teeth right before the session - Everyone looks and feels better with some fresh pearly whites! You don't need to wear tons of makeup to look great in your photos - Less is usually more on camera. For engagement shoots, try to get your ring cleaned before the session and make sure hands and nails are camera ready.
Avoid big changes. I don't recommend a new haircut or color at the last minute, or a straight razor shave if you don't usually do it. A new style might not be what you envisioned, or you might have an adverse skin reaction. Stick to your routine, and the results will be authentic and genuine.
Relax and be you! Everyone is weird in their own way, so bring your sense of humor. Don't be afraid to laugh. Heck, bring some props! :) Try to forget the camera is there, and let's focus on telling your story!
Directions - Bloomingdale is a narrow one-way street that runs east to west along the elevated Bloomingdale Trail. Traveling south on Western Ave., you will turn right just before the trail overpass. It's very easy to miss the turn and many adjacent streets are one-way, so please check the directions ahead of time!
Parking - Do not park directly in front of the building or you might be ticketed! There is free street parking on Bloomingdale west of the first stop sign at Artesian. There is also permit-free parking on Moffat, Campbell, and Wabansia.
Arrival - Call my cell, and I'll come let you in the front door.
The studio is dog-friendly. Feel free to bring your pup along! Not only will they help make your photos feel more special, but they'll help you relax and have more fun in front of the camera! *I usually have my Pug, Charlie, at the studio. Please let me know in advance if you have pet allergies, or if your dog(s) do not play well with others so I can plan to leave Charlie home that day.
Arrival - Call my cell, and I'll let you know where we should meet.
Weather - We can't control it, so if it will prevent us from taking great photos we may need to reschedule. A little rain or snow never hurt anyone, though, so let's not throw in the towel before discussing our options. It can add to the story we're telling, or maybe we can switch to an indoor location or two. Make sure to factor wind, rain, or snow into your clothing and hair decisions. Check the forecast and be prepared with coats and umbrellas if necessary!
Flexibility - Sometimes locations are unexpectedly unavailable or unsuitable for our shoot. Don't stress! We can improvise and still take great photos. Just remember, you are the star of your story and the location is just the background.
Be patient! With children, we are documenting the moment - whether it be laughter or tears. They don’t (and shouldn’t) have the same expectations we do as adults. For little ones especially, their attention span or mood may dictate how many photos we take or how long we can go. Be prepared to call it a day if they just aren’t cooperating.
Because kids are kids, I may ask for parents to occasionally step outside or out of view. This is to ensure the best, most natural images possible since children have a tendency to react differently when parents are in the room. I encourage snacks for children, but choose wisely be careful to avoid any spills, stains, and dirty cheeks!