Kelsie was really excited to take her senior photos and I was just as excited to be apart of that moment. When I brought Jessica over to do hair and makeup we knew by talking to Kelsie that it was going to be a great session. 

However, with a bad storm trying to push through we were able to beat end our session about 5 minutes before it started to poor (some places had a tornado watch). Regardless of the thunder we heard and the lightening we witnessed from afar, we were able to utilize the main strip in downtown Lebanon, Ohio to our advantage. From the train tracks (no they were not in use) to the ice cream parlor, we captured some fantastic memories for Kelsie, her handsome godson and her beautiful friends to cherish forever. Whitney and Kaylyn defiantly made Kelsie’s session so special as we were able to capture their true friendship through my camera lens. Now these girls can look back 20 years from now and smile from ear to ear about that fun and special day.

Baby Lawson

I really enjoyed getting to know Jordan, Samantha, Maddux and Lawson! I had shown up to take Lawson's newborn photos at the perfect time because he was just a few days old. Although he had a little upset belly at first, we ended up with some amazing photos! From the basketball hoop outfit to the naked baby photos he was sleeping so well that it was hard for me to end the session. I think I could’ve stayed there all night taking photos of their sweet family. 

Maddux was such a ham and will be making a fantastic brother. These two boys will grow up to love and protect one another and there is one reason I can tell. Maddux was a little reluctant to take photos at first with Lawson, but as soon as Lawson was laying on his lap and begin to cry, guess who was the first one to look to find out the reason why? Maddox! Congratulations to this beautiful family on their new addition!

How I get ready for family photos...

Getting ready for family photos

As a photographer, I give you all tips and tricks on how to prepare for your own family sessions. Now it’s my turn to prepare for myself and I want to take you through how I get ready and take my own advice!

First of all, let me just say that I decided last night that I was going to get our family photos done TONIGHT! I broke the news at the dinner table as everyone was getting their bellies filled and the day was coming to a close. That way I didn’t hear, “I don’t want to” or “do we have to” by my kids (and husband). Granted, I take their photos WAY more often than the normal person and I don’t just mean with my phone. I doll them all up and fix their hair and have them cheese it up. So I understand why they aren’t up to getting them done “again”. 

Now it’s the morning of and I need to get our outfits together. Usually I tell you all to get your outfits together way more in advance than the morning of but I’m a last minute kind of girl. I’m going to first start with my own outfit because if momma doesn’t like the way she looks then those photos are not going up on the wall and I need… okay, I want a giant metal print above my couch that will fill the space of 5 - 16”X20” prints and frames. The good part… I know what I want these photos for and I know what orientation it needs to be which is very important for a photographer to know.

Now that I have my outfit picked out, I’ll go pick one for my 2 girls (ages 7 and 8) then my son (age 5). They usually have cuter clothes in abundance so it shouldn’t be too hard to choose. I also give my husband and son a hair cut before I get ready. I’m not spending all this time getting stuff ready for them to look scruffy. 

Next, I’ll make sure that everything is on a hanger and ironed if needed. Also, I will keep my husbands nice shirt on a hanger until we are out of the car on location. Their shirts wrinkle so easily and that is not easy to photoshop out (contrary to popular belief). That way when the kids get home from school I will not be rushing around and making this an unpleasant experience for the kids before we even start. I want this to be a good experience for them because I don’t want them crying right before we take the photos.

Now to get ready for myself. I always get ready first, because I take the longest and I don’t want the kids getting their outfits dirty or hair messed up long before needed. I’ll exfoliate my skin to give that smooth and glowing look prior to applying my makeup. Speaking of makeup, I do put on more concealer, foundation, blush and bronzer than normal so I don’t look dead in the photos (yep, I said it!). I also don’t wear a lot of eye makeup, I will add more mascara to my top lashes but if I put too much eyeliner and eye shadow on then my eyes will look black instead of “intense” like I want. Another option is to higher a makeup artist (which AK Rustic Photography offers).

Because we are going outdoors into the grass, I know that I cannot wear heals that cannot be cleaned well or that will sink into the ground. I don’t want to worry about that on top of everything else (kids faces clean and such). I also know that if the kids start to complain about their shoes, then we are going bare footed! So I had to plan my husbands outfit to look good without shoes (aka, no dress pants).

Now, let’s be honest. Most kids like having their photos done at first and then they slowly start to fade away. If you have a great family photographer then they can keep the kids attention around for a little longer than normal. Because this session is with my kids who get this done a couple times a month (yes, I said it right!) their attention span is out before we even begin. So how will I get them to smile? They’ll each earn a dollar if they do what makes mommy happy.

Let me know if the comments below what’s your biggest tip for getting ready for family photos. Also be sure to check out my fb page on tips and tricks for your next family session here. Our Christmas Limited Edition Sessions are right around the corner so I made a special fb group just for tips and tricks to get ready here. Once you request to join, I'll add you within a couple of hours.