Family & Friends

All Creatures, Small and Tall!

Just because someone has four legs and a tail doesn’t mean they aren’t part of the family!  In addition to photographing your two-legged family members, I am also skilled in photographing your cuddly friends as well, whether they have fur, features, or scales.  My fully-equipped studio is able to capture the smallest details, and I am also prepared to come to your home in case your family or cuddly friends are not able to travel.

The Traditional Family Portrait

Do you remember the sound of rustling winter coats and laughing voices as the family comes in from the snow during the holidays?  Ah, that smell of hot chocolate and something baking in the oven, the sound of gentle music in the background, and that feeling of family, no matter how small or tall your family is.  I will help you to preserve those feelings in a photograph that will invoke those memories for years to come, and will allow you to share those emotions with your friends and family around the globe.

The Non-Traditional Portrait

While traditional portraits have their place, there’s something fun about quirky expressions and poses, different camera angles, and playing with different themes, modern or vintage.  Is your family full of techies?  Bookworms?  Scientists?  Artists?  Sports Fans?  Outdoors Enthusiasts?  By combining technology and specialized equipment with the ability to photograph in any environment (rain or shine!), I will help you to collect all of the things that make your family “your family“.

Furry Friends, Scaled Sidekicks, and Cuddly Critters

Who else makes up your family?  Is there a fuzzy special someone that you couldn’t live without?  Does your little buddy like to spend their time curled up at the foot of the bed, or go on outdoor safaris?  I will capture your pet doing whatever they do best, be that bounding through fields, walking the streets, slithering in a terrarium, swimming in an aquarium, or snuggled up in your arms.  I capture a real pet’s-eye view of the world, with dogs that seem larger than life, cats looking curious, snakes looking satisfied, frogs looking friendly, and every one of them looking not just like a pet, but like a member of the family.

How to Prepare Your Family

Consider what themes you may wish to have photographed.  Do you want a traditional or holiday-themed portrait, or would you prefer to capture something more specific to your family?  Simple hairstyles and natural makeup are best.  It is best to ensure that fingernails are trimmed and clean.  Please bring hair and makeup supplies for quick touch-ups, and avoid haircuts within 48 hours of your portrait sitting.  For clothing, solid colors or simple patterns look best. Busy patterns on clothing can be distracting.  Medium to dark shades create a timeless look & are slenderizing, but colors can also be fun.  Small jewelry/accessories will compliment your face better. Avoid large, distracting accessories.  Please ensure that your shoes match your outfit, as they might show in some poses.  Long sleeves are better for adults to focus attention on the face. Short sleeves are fine for infants and children.  If you wear glasses, feel free to wear them; I am trained to minimize any glare.

How to Prepare Your Pet

Every session begins with up to 15 minutes of getting to know your pet and allowing them to become used to me and my camera. This will help relax your pal and make for better photos. There are a number of things you can do, both before and during your session as well that will get both you and your pet ready. Choose a location with which your pet is familiar and comfortable. If your pet is very nervous or shy, your home may be the best option.  Then again, if they’re happiest outdoors or exploring new environments, a location-based shoot or studio session may be even better.  A few days before your session practice with your pet and (if applicable) hold them in long Sit and Stay positions, and plan to take your pet for a good walk about an hour before the session.  If treats will be used for encouragement, please don’t feed your pet beforehand; you will want to bring them a little hungry so they are more enticed by treats during the shoot.

To Groom or Not to Groom Your Pet?

Grooming is a personal decision, but your pet should at least be bathed the day before. You know how your pet will look his or her best, but if you do choose to have your pet groomed, we recommend you have that done a few days before the sitting rather than on the same day as your sitting. A grooming and a portrait session on the same day can be a lot of stress for many pets.

What to Bring for Your Pet

You can bring any toys that your pet enjoys playing with, along with other accessories and costumes. A selection of pet toys, props, and treats are provided for your session.  (All toys are sanitized after every use.)  However, please do bring your pet’s favorite treat. Small pieces are best, as we don’t want them filling up too quickly and losing interest.  I recommend only bringing toys or costumes that your pet has experienced before to ensure their comfort, unless you know they enjoy new toys and experiences.  For dogs, bring something they go crazy for! Squeakers are great! Cats tend to be excited by feathers, long, string-based toys, low-power lasers, and things that make crinkling or squeaking noises. You will know your pet’s interests best! Please also bring a collar/leash, enclosure, cage, or other appropriate accessories for those moments when your pet may need to rest.

Special Items for On-Location Sessions

For your family, please bring plenty of water and a snack in case anyone gets the munchies.  Food and water for your pet is also important so they do not get overheated while on location.  If the location you choose or your pet’s behavior requires them to be on leash, a retractable leash is great, since it is thin enough that removing the leash in post-processing is much easier.

What’s Next?

Please contact me and we will schedule a time to schedule your photographic session and discuss how I can help you capture your family.  Please make us aware of any aggression issues your pet may have so that we can be sensitive to those concerns. We understand that some pets have special needs; aggression, anxiety, fear of new things, nervousness/timidity, etc., but we will discuss all of these issues in the pre-shoot consultation.  I look forward to working with you!

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