Avoid florescent colors.
Sessions are most productive when we have an idea of how and where the photos will be displayed. Will you want large prints, an album or cards? Although it isn’t a requirement, you may want to think about spaces in your home that would be good locations to show off your wonderful portraits. Knowing what spaces a photo might hang will help us construct a session to give you the best options for display.
As for what to wear, I usually don’t like matching outfits, family portraits are one place it can work. I do caution that white shirts add visual weight. The best option is to choose colors that are in a similar color family, i.e. parents are both dressed in blues or both in earth tones. Avoid busy patterns or big logos (solid colors help to keep the focus on your faces). Bring touch-up make-up and hair product, and if in doubt bring several outfits to choose from. If there are other little ones in the group, a few toys and snacks can go a long way in keeping them busy when they are not in front of the camera.
Weather is unpredictable, it is a good idea to have a coat or sweater available for cool weather sessions. For summer sessions, don't forget water, sunscreen and bug spray. If you have long hair, bring hair spray or some other holding product in case of wind. Bring a pair of comfortable shoes for when we are moving between locations. Consider a snack before your session so you aren’t low on energy.
Maternity photos are best scheduled for the beginning of the last trimester. The goal being to wait long enough that the belly is showing fully but not to wait so long that waterweight makes you puffy or uncomfortable. It is ok to bring props, things like baby shoes, For studio sessions, bring several outfits including something flowing and something that can show the belly.
Newborns photography sessions are best done in studio or your home. Ideally the baby is 7-14 days old. Typically your newborn will develop acne after the second week and we may need to wait a few more weeks for it to clear up. But your baby will be growing and changing daily so the delay is not recommended. You will need several changes of clothes for each person (including mom and dad) you will likely need a change before the end of the session. Newborns will sometimes be photographed with props, toys or blankets. Bring props that have special meaning or that were passed down from the family. It is good to include items that may show the parents interests, hobbies or occupation. Things like a favorite football jersey, ballet shoes or parts of a uniform can make for a compelling story.
Newborn sessions can be unpredictable, plan on feeding and changing the baby one or more times during the session. If you are bringing headbands for the baby, make sure those are not too tight or too loose (too tight will make the baby cry, to loose wont stay on). Try to avoid headbands with giant flowers unsell you are trying to draw attention away from the baby's face. Newborn sessions usually involve the parents holding and interacting with the baby. You may also include grandparents and or godparents. Just be aware that the more people you add may require longer session times.
Milestone - Holding head up
Around the 2 month mark your baby will start to gain control of head and also be able to push up when laying on their tummy. Babies will start showing some personality by this point.
Milestone - Baby Sitting Up
Many babies are starting to sit up unsupported around 6 months old. This is a great time to schedule photos because the personality is really starting to show. In addition, this is the last time you will get photos before they start crawling or running off.
Milestone - Standing (assisted)
Month 9 will see your baby standing while holding on to things.
A first birthday photo session is a great way to mark the occasion. Some parents use this session as a "smash the cake" opportunity.