Newborns: We only accept 2 newborn sessions per week, please contact us after your 1st trimester, but as early as possible in your pregnancy. We can sometimes still fit in newborns last minute, since babies can come early or late, leaving a scheduled appointment available. But we can book as many as 6 months in advance for these sessions! Newborns are best photographed at 4-14 days, but we jokingly say, “… just swing on by on the way home from the hospital!” We’re not sure who loves these sessions more, baby or Mom & Dad. These sessions last 3-4 hours; we play with baby while Mom & Dad relax, have a latte or cool drink & snacks here at the studio while you put your feet up. Go ahead, take a nap. We know you’re exhausted. The studio will be a toasty, perfect-for-new-baby temperature. Since Darcy’s style focuses on the art of the sleeping newborn, we’ll send you some tips for keeping baby sleepy. We encourage parents to bring a book, laptop, or DVDs to enjoy during their down time.
Toddlers and Children: Please stick to their usual nap and feeding times – this is critical for a successful session! Please feed your child and take care of bathroom or diapers right before the session. If you object to sugar bribes|props, please let us know! Please don’t bring extra adult helpers to the session. Young kids get overwhelmed with directions coming from many adults, and they look for familiar faces when they feel unsure. Darcy will always spend the early moments of the session getting to know the child and earning her trust. The outfit can really set the tone for styling your child’s images. For this reason, we like to be included in choosing and approving outfits. We are happy to come browse your child’s closet or send you links for ideas in the days before the session. Layers, layers, layers! Bring lots of accessories: tights, scarves, hats, headbands, jackets, vests. Diapered babies are often modestly photographed diaper-less in the studio. Ruffle butts and diaper covers make cute accessories. Check out Darcy’s ideas for outfits on Pinterest. Please reschedule if your child has a runny nose, is running a fever, has any vomiting or leaky diapers in the last 48 hours. We have newborns in the studio weekly and it’s important you don’t bring your child’s germs into the studio.
Families: We love summer and fall outdoor family sessions – especially with warm, golden hour light! In the late spring and summer we love tall grasses, wild flowers, fields, and sunset sessions. In the fall, we love crunchy, colorful leaves, beautiful warm tones and the changing colors of Iowa’s autumn season. We typically only shoot families from about April through October but if you’re up for braving a hot cocoa and snow family shoot, we are up for it! If the urban look suits you better, we can work with you to find beautiful urban backdrops – cool alleys, old brick, worn streetscapes. Please make sure all family members arrive on time, waiting for latecomers means fewer photos. Be prepared for our lame jokes and ice breakers! We believe wardrobe is crucial for a successful photo session. We like to be part of photo styling, and can help you coordinate outfits and create something you’ll be proud to hang in your family room. The effort you put into styling your shoot makes a huge difference in your wall art!All family sessions are held outdoors.
Teens & Senior Girls: Senior portrait sessions usually include several outfit changes. These are really fun sessions! Plan to bring a parent to help. Minors will need parent approval for sessions and locations. Our senior girls loved being pampered – a makeup artist will help you look your best, cover any teenage-skin issues, and bring out your best features! Bring lots of outfit ideas and accessories. Check out Darcy’s ideas for photo styling on Pinterest.
What not to do before a session
The following things should be avoided immediately before your portrait session:
a new hair cut, style or color
shaving the mustache you’ve had for 20 years
anything that involves bleach, dye, tattoos, or permanent markers
What to wear
Please contact us for wardrobe and styling suggestions. Styling is a huge part of prepping for your session. After you book your session, we’ll send you ideas and suggestions. We like to be part of this process, since it sets the tone for your session. Solids and warm neutrals with lots of textures are best!
Avoid clothes that restrict positioning. You will likely be asked to sit on the ground – especially if we have many people to get in a photo. We super don’t want to see anyone’s unders.
If it looks a little wrinkled in person, it looks a lot wrinkled on camera. Wrinkles cast shadows. This is very obvious on camera. Steam or iron all clothes before the shoot.
Unless your family typically dresses identically, this makes for an awkward photo. Coordinating is good. Matching is awkward. See Awkward Family Photos. “Wear cream and browns” or “Wear dark denim and fall colors” is fine. “Let’s all wear the same Old Navy flag t-shirt” is just uncomfortable for everyone.
Think timeless. Remember hammer pants and that one-sequined glove phase? You want to avoid anything that will look immediately dated. For example, be very judicious about the “I love Justin Beiber”, “Team Jacob” or “Palin in 2012″ shirt you were thinking of wearing. (Aw, c’mon… you giggled!)
Make Up & Grooming
Make up should be natural-looking. We work closely with several amazing makeup artists in the area, particularly for our senior girls. Our girls love being pampered and feeling beautiful! Contact us for pricing and details. This isn’t Glamour Shots at the mall! We want you to look authentically you!
Be attentive to foundation lines. Your neck and face should be the same color with no obvious transition lines. If you color your hair regularly, time appointments so your roots look natural. Contrast is more obvious on camera than in person!
We want soft, clean, dry hair. Avoid over-grooming children. Helmet-like, hair-sprayed heads will be something you all make fun of in 10 years. We want kids to look clean but natural. Children + makeup = unnatural. Wash faces and noses right before the appointment.
Guys – shave if you normally shave, trim if you don’t.
Most of all – HAVE FUN. Portrait sessions are a good time. We know you may feel self-conscious or shy. We do our best to make everyone feel at ease. After all, if you don’t look good, we don’t look good!
Now for the not-so-fun part:
And if you know us, you know these are here for a reason. *wink wink*
- We have both a photography contract and model release for all our clients. These will need to be completed before your session begins.
- Scheduling of times and locations and any official correspondence is all done via email rather than over the phone, so that both parties have the plans in writing to look back over. Everything is available in your inbox for reference, as needed. Please check your email regularly leading up to your session, and please reply promptly. Outdoor sessions, in particular, are light and weather dependent and can sometimes shift as needed to get the best light and locations.
- No cameras on-set besides ours. We don’t allow parents or well-meaning loved ones to use cameras, videos, or phones over our shoulders or “behind the scenes.”
- Please leave children who aren’t being photographed with another care-giver. Unattended children are too much of a liability and we ask that you please arrange other care for them. This is for their safety and so we don’t have to send you a huge bill for broken equipment. ;)
- Absolutely no smoking on H&H property, in or around our studio. We’ve had clients leave cigarette butts in our landscaping and porch, and as a result, we’ve decided to completely disallow any smoking on or near our property. There’s no one to clean up the mess but us, and no thank you.
- The number of people who will be photographed as well as the ages of all children must be divulged and agreed upon before you are put on the calendar and pay the Creative Session Fee. Please do not surprise us at shoot time (or in the hours before!) with unexpected family members. A lot of artistry and planning go into preparing for your session; the location, equipment needed, time, prep, and amount of editing is very different for a portrait session than a family session. Please don’t put us in the awkward position by bringing session crashers to the shoot. We will proceed as planned with the portrait session, but we’d be happy to schedule an additional family portrait session to include your loved one(s) on another date so we can be prepared!
- Your scheduled session is weather-dependent. Our equipment cannot be exposed to rain, heavy snow, or intense cold. In case of inclement weather, your session will be rescheduled within a 6-12 week window. We don’t reschedule for clouds, humidity, wind, or light snow.
- Please let us know how many people to expect for your viewing session and arrange childcare for young children. We’ve been surprised by in-laws, grandparents, and surprise little guests. We have limited seating, and we shop for treats and drinks. It’s awkward if we don’t have the right number of seats and drinks for everyone. Please help us prepare! It’s kinda like RSVP etiquette and helps us be better hosts. Thank you!
- Ordering is done in-person at the time of your viewing session so we can answer all questions and show you what products you’ll be getting. Please come prepared with any measurements and your portrait needs. You are always welcome to add additional prints and products down the line, but your initial order will be placed at the end of your viewing session.
- It is illegal to copy, scan, print, edit, sell, reproduce, screen capture, photograph, alter or otherwise manipulate images created by His & Hers. His & Hers retains all copyrights. To maintain a consistent quality, all instances of our work are printed solely by His & Hers. We appreciate your integrity!