Cody Farrall Photography Portrait Session Guide

Portraits. I used to think I couldn't do them. But then...

I realized that I really like them when they are done a certain way. A bit more...unposed. A little bit casual. A little bit more connected - with each other, not with me. When I started my photography business, I had every intention of turning away anyone who just wanted portraits. But, I kept getting asked and I had no reason to say no.

I've spent the last year reading and learning and completely changing my perception of portraits. I am SO excited to put into practice what I've been learning. I've also realized that I love pretty light and golden hour - something that isn't always possible in storytelling photography.

What to Expect

Choosing a location. Like I said above, I'm all about connection and pretty light in portraits. While a gorgeous background is nice, I want the focus to be on you and your family. We don't need to drive far away...literally all I need is in my backyard! I have several spots with great light and lots of room to run and play. I also have a couple of other go-to locations within 20 minutes of Henderson that offer great spaces. I am willing to travel to your location, but I'll probably check it out on Google maps first to make sure we can find a great spot!

Time of day. Golden hour is awesome - it's that last hour of golden, yummy light right before sunset. In the summer, I prefer around 7:30 p.m. (unless that's too close to your kids' bedtimes) and in the fall, usually around 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. depending on the time change.

Length of session. It usually lasts right around 45 minutes to an hour. That might seem short when compared to some other photographers, but for me, it's just right. Kids have a super short attention span and often lose interest around the 30 minute mark - pushing them much past that just results in crabby parents, kids, everyone :) But don't worry - I take tons of photos which results in plenty for you to choose from (usually around 35 or more).

What we will do. We'll start out with some very posed photos - I'll tell you exactly where to sit or stand and we'll do the whole "look at me and say cheese!!" thing. Then, I'll start giving you prompts and we may play a few little games. It might sound awkward and strange, but trust me - the more you get into it, the better your photos will turn out! So be awkward and laugh and play. And always try to have a smile on your face :) Next, I'll do individual portraits of the kids. Then, it's the parents' turn to have a few photos of them as a couple - so many haven't had professional couples photos since their wedding! (This is also when the prompts might get a little more personal - just laugh and smile and go with it!). Finally, if we still have a little time left, I'll let the kids run and explore a bit and capture them being kids. And that's it! Super easy and stress free and we're done before you even realize that you were having fun.

Preparing for Your Session

What to wear. I'm not good at telling people what to wear, because I'm happiest in jeans and a comfy shirt. So find things that you and your family are comfortable in. It doesn't have to be your dressiest, Sunday-go-to-meeting outfit, but take time choosing clothes that are flattering and cute. Avoid t-shirts with lots of writing or large cartoon characters. Please don't do matching outfits (coordinating is awesome; outright matching is so 1990s!). Small stripes don't always work well in photos (it's this thing called moire and can make strips look pretty weird).

Eat something. Whether it's supper or a small snack, make sure you all have had something to eat before your session! Hungry kids are cranky kids.

Bring along some props. Sometimes young kids (toddler age and younger) are intimidated by a stranger with a camera. If you think they might cry or otherwise not be into it at all, feel free to bring along a lovey or a favorite small toy that you won't mind being in some photos. Someday you just might look back and love seeing something that was such a big part of their life!

Don't stress. As a mom, I know what it's like to want everything to be perfect. It's ok. These photos don't have to be perfect - they just have to be YOU. If you're stressed, the rest of the family will be stressed...but if you laugh and smile, everyone will be much more relaxed!

After your session

Your photos will be ready within about 2-3 weeks after your session (possibly a bit longer during the fall season). I will upload your gallery to Pixieset where you will be able to view, download, and share your photos. Most portrait galleries include 35-50 photos (keep in mind that more is not always better - every family is unique and I tell your story in different ways!).

From your gallery, you can order prints and canvases. It's so important to print your family photos - studies have shown that kids feel more connected and at peace when they can see photos of their family every day. I also include a print release with every session - you are free to order from anywhere. However, I can only guarantee the quality if the prints are purchased through me. I've spent a lot of time ensuring that my computer matches my professional print labs :)

If you share on Facebook, please remember to credit me! My best business comes from word of mouth, so if you love your photos, share with the world!

Final Thoughts

The best way to know that you'll be happy with your photos? Just remember this word: connection. I want you interacting with each other and always touching: holding hands, brushing away hair, putting your hand on someone's back, kissing your child's cheek.

I'm super excited to get to know your family better and spend some time creating art to hang on your wall! Please, please ask if you have any more questions or ideas!

Contact me through my website at www.codyfarrallphotography.com or message me on Facebook!

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