What to expect.
I'm a quiet people watcher by nature. I fee this has made me a better photographer. I watch people connect. I watch people interact. I love getting to know the people that I photograph. If you use facebook, please feel free to connect with me (Ashlee Krammes) there. If you use any other forms of social media like Pinterst, flickr, twitter, etc. don't hesitate to let me know. I spend quite a bit of time before your session, composing shot lists, and planning locations before the shoot occurs. I like to tailor the photo shoot to reflect your family's personalities.
I will guide you during our session but I will also be quite at times and let you be yourself. I love to take photos during the in between times, in between poses, and in between locations. Don't feel like you have to stop what your doing or saying (or stop your child and tell them to smile) if I pick up my camera. Some of the best photos happen when you're not expecting it. Relax, have fun. Enjoy the experience and make it a memory in itself. Laugh with each other, hug each other, joke around.
I understand it can be awkward to be in front of the camera. I like to start sessions out with the more traditional posed shots. This helps everyone warm up and relax. I will take photos of the group as well as individual photos of each child and/or adult. I love to spend the last half of the session just having fun and capturing spontaneous moments. For kids, this means letting them be themselves, letting them run, laugh, and act silly. I allow all of the children I photograph to take some photos "just for them". This means silly faces, jumping, twirling, throwing leaves, skipping stones. It is really important to me that the children come away from our sessions with fun memories too. For sessions without children, we can spend the end of the session chatting and walking and even being silly too if you want! Laughter is good for everyone. After the fun photos, I like to pull everyone back in for a few end of session group photos.
Please discuss any special requests, needs, or concerns with me prior to your session.
Specifically for children
Please don't stress over your child's behavior. I'm a mom myself and I understand it all. Before the shoot, take a deep breath. Everything will be ok. If you go into the photo shoot with a relaxed happy attitude, your children will absolutely pick up on it. It is ok if your child is shy and doesn't want to smile (which is especially common in the beginning). Serious, soulful, and bashful photos are just as beautiful. If that is who your child is, that is how I want to capture them. In fact, I try really hard to get a variety of expressions during a photo shoot.
I will talk to your child, be silly with your child, ask you child questions. I may ask you to stand directly behind me if I'm having trouble getting eye contact for younger children or I may even ask you to step away a little if your child is having trouble focusing on me.
- Bribes -
Please avoid bribing your child prior to the session. It's been my experience that with most children, telling them they'll get a treat or get to do something fun after the shoot will only make them want to get the shoot over with faster. Save the bribes as a last resort if all else fails during the shoot. Two of my favorite bribes/rewards during a shoot are Pez and quarters (for age appropriate youngsters). Please let me know ahead of time if you do not wish your children to have these.
- Prep -
Do bring snacks/drinks for your children. Make sure the are non staining. No staining juices or candies for at least 24 hours prior to your session. I usually find it best to tell my girls that "we are going to go out and have so much fun" when we are getting ready to go to do a shoot. If I tell them we're going to take pictures, they moan and translate that into "it's going to be something boring that grown ups like to do". Unless you have a child who absolutely loves to be in front of the camera, I have found that most relate it to having to sit still and wear stuffy clothing for a gruelingly long time (you know how long an hour is to a child!). Do your best to avoid rushing and stressing as you are getting ready to come to the shoot. Again, from my own experience, it takes children so much longer to relax and be themselves when they are feeling stress from the parents.
What to wear
Wardrobe choice is one of the major factors in elevating a photography session from a simple family session to a work of fine art. Choosing a wardrobe for your session can be daunting, especially if you will be planning for several people. I am happy help. If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to contact me. I'm open to giving suggestions and feedback and I actually encourage you to include me in your planning. I am also happy to take a look at your wardrobe selection prior to the shoot, so feel free to send me pictures. The more I get to know you and your family, your style, and your personalities the better I can capture the real you during your session.
Because I am a visual person, I have a collected many great wardrobe color schemes and ideas to help in planning my own personal photo shoots. If you need some inspiration, my what to wear. and small style. boards on Pinterest might help.
My suggestions for dressing for a fine art photo session:
- Simplicity is best. Think classic and timeless.
- Keep prints, plaids, spots, and patterns small. Large prints and patterns draw attention away from faces.
- Coordinate without completely matching. The easiest way to start planning for a family is to choose a color scheme. First choose if you'll be working with a warm or a cool color palette and build from there.
- Keep location in mind and dress accordingly.
- Avoid large words, graphic, or logos. These again will compete with faces for the viewers eye but will also date your photos.
- Feet will be in the photos. Make sure shoes are clean and match your outfits. Outdoor sessions will necessitate some degree of walking. Feel free to bring along a comfy pair of shoes for the walking. Nothing takes the fun out of a portrait session like trudging through the grass in high heels.
- Accessories look great and give us options of changing up the look quickly and easily. Think hats, scarves, jewelry, boots, jackets.
- Stay true to your style. You need to be comfortable in your clothes. If you choose to wear something that is totally not "you", your discomfort will show in your photos. Choose your outfit based on what you like.
- Make sure the kiddos are comfy too. Avoid clothes that are stiff or itchy if you children are sensitive to that. Layers work great for outdoor sessions.
- Make sure nail polish is tidy.
- Guys, if you want smooth skin, shave before your photoshoot. I can't remove stubble in post processing.
- I also can't remove wrinkles in clothing in post processing. Do you best to keep clothing wrinkle free. I know car seats can be really hard on children's clothes. Children can be changed into their clothes before a shoot, if you are worried that they will get wrinkled in route.
- Just remember, be comfortable and be true to your style.
Session Times and Scheduling
My favorite time to photograph is one to two hours before sunset. This light is the most flattering (even on overcast days) and the quality of the light adds a gorgeous flare to photos that is just pure magic. Please be aware of your session time and strive to arrive at least a few minutes before your scheduled time. This will allow you to relax a little and go into your session without a hurried feel. Shooting before sunset also means that we will loose light as time goes on. Should we start your session later than your scheduled time, there is a possibility that could impact the number of photos I am able to create for your gallery.
Sessions typically last 45 - 90 minutes. The biggest variable when considering session time is with young children. Some children take a little while to warm up to the idea of being photographed and I need longer to work with them to capture their true personalities. Other children come into it ready to go and tire quickly.
Should you need to reschedule your photoshoot, please contact me as soon as possible. If I am notified at least 24 hours before your scheduled shoot time, I will happily apply your retainer to another date. No shows, cancellations of less than 24 hours notice, and late arrivals exceeding 45 minutes will result in loss of your retainer.
After Your Photoshoot
One of the most exciting things about photography for me is viewing the photos after the shoot. I know you are excited to see your photos too. Immediately after your session I begin downloading, backing up, and editing your photos. I try to have at least one photo edited as a sneak peek for you within 48 hours. Your gallery will be completed within 2 weeks. I will contact you with a link to your private online gallery. Here you will be able to view, share, and download your photos as well as purchase professional photo lab prints, enlargements, albums, and more. Your gallery will be live for 30 days. Should you need more time with your gallery, a 30 day extension can be purchased for $25. Once a gallery expires, there is a $30 fee to upload and host the photos again for another 30 days.
Prints, Products, and More
Memories are priceless. I love surrounding myself with photos and nothing makes me happier than seeing photos of my family on the walls of our home. In this ever increasingly digital age, I am passionate about getting photos printed. I love to help my clients turn their precious memories into lasting, professionally printed art so that they may enjoy them for decades to come. Over the years, I have have tested labs, both consumer and professional, types of paper, finishes, mounts, albums, wall art and more. I have found products and prints which I feel are the best available and have made them available to my customers. Products and prints may be ordered through your gallery at your convenience. I am also available to help you in the ordering processes, should you like suggestions, to see and hold samples, and tailor wall art specifically to your home. Please let me know should you desire and in person print and product consultation.