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What to Expect from Fox and Bird Photography

Before I get to know you, I think it's only fair you get to know me a bit. I am a bit of a paradox, in that I LOVE people, but am incredibly shy and very much an introvert. Most days, I don't even leave my house - but when I do push myself to get out there, and shoot - MAGIC happens. I come alive with a camera in my hands, and get excited and will start to talk your ear off and spill my life story (lol mostly because the most social interaction I get on a daily basis is with our little ones).

I am a mommy of four incredible children with four incredibly different distinct personalities. I have the most loving and supportive, sexy bearded husband who is always pushing me to be my very best self. I am a Pepsi addict. I am fiercely devoted to my family, especially my babies and my 3 little sisters. I love LOVE in all it's forms. It's what I hope to capture in every one of my photographs, and what I wish to spread across the world. I look forward to meeting you, and becoming fast friends.

xoxo, Karla-Rae

Your Portrait Session with Fox and Bird Photography

(visit our site for our separate guide for Boudoir Sessions)

At Fox and Bird Photography, I strive to capture real moments - and the real you. As a mommy of four, between the ages of 5 and 20, I know all too well how fast they grow up and how quickly time passes. 

My goal with each family session is to capture the real connection you have with each other, and I promise I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help do that! Expect to laugh, to have fun, to snuggle and kiss, to kiss some more, to tickle and play, to bond and to love. I want to create something that you and your children can look back on years from now, browsing through an album with your grand-children, showing them how little their daddy was (and how young grandma and grandpa were!) I want to create a legacy, not just snap some pictures. 

I would call my style "Story-Telling" with a few simple “un-posed poses” tossed in there. I love capturing families playing, snuggling, being goofy, and just loving on each other. I will always do my best to get that one desired shot of everyone looking and smiling at me, but for the most part you’ll be looking at and engaged with one another. I might encourage dad to show off his best kid-flipping skills, have little ones give mommy their BEST HUG EVER, get the kids and mom to all pile on top of dad or get dad to furiously tickle mom with the kids help - all sorts of fun stuff like that!

I also HIGHLY encourage you to think outside of the box with your portrait sessions. Think up activities you can do together, memories you can create rather than poses you'd like me to try to capture. I can photograph you enjoying a picnic dinner, playing tag, splashing in a creek, building a snowman - there are so many things you can do together to make your portrait experience one REALLY worth remembering.

All outdoor sessions are shot in the evening for optimal lighting - the time frame of this will depend on the season and the sun. We will discuss this more in detail if we haven’t already. 

Please take some time to read through the following information as you prepare yourself and your family! Looking forward to our shoot!

What to wear guide (not really though, wear what you want!)

(this section with a VERY extensive list of online and local shops I have compiled is available in our Client Guide for booked Clients only!)

OUR FAMILY SESSIONS

Family. It means having someone to come home to at the end of the day. Someone who will help hold you up when you feel as though you can no longer stand. Someone to share your secrets with, and to share your dreams. Someone who will kiss away your tears and who will make you smile so hard your face hurts. It means little feet and tiny fingers. Sticky kisses and sleepless nights. It means learning to accept the “comfortable chaos” that comes along with little ones, and then growing to love that chaos more than any order you once had. Family is EVERYTHING - and my favourite thing about families is that no two are the same. Neither will our family sessions be. I want to capture you and YOUR family - and all the beautiful chaos that comes along with that. Be real - be you.

I always encourage families to play together, and to come up with something fun to do with one another during our portrait sessions. Actions create reactions and your portraits will be so much more authentic if they are not posed. Some fun ideas could be a paint fight, a picnic, potato sack racing, snowball fight, roasting marshmallows over a fire, anything you think that you and your family will enjoy. Of course, we can do classic portraits as well but an adventure is SO MUCH MORE FUN!

For this session, my client provided the powder paint and had her family dress in white tee-shirts. It was really one of the most fun family shoots I've ever had the privilege of photographing!

I always make sure to capture a few pictures of mommy & daddy alone during our family portrait sessions too!

When kids are playing, they're having fun. I encourage you to think outside of the box with your family portraits. Think of an adventure we can all take together. Think of the fun we can have and the memories we can make together.

OUR MATERNITY SESSIONS

Every woman is different, but personally I LOVED being pregnant and never felt more beautiful than I did while I was carrying my babies. There's something about carrying another life inside of you that fills you with so much love that you radiate it inside and out in a beautiful light.

Document that beautiful "Baby Belly" with a maternity photo session. I know our 7 year old loves seeing photos of when she was inside of mommy's tummy - your little one will too, this is for them.

At our Maternity sessions, I will focus mainly on you and your bump but invite you to include your spouse/family in the portraits as well. The best time to schedule your maternity session is around 28-34 weeks, when the tummy is nice and round. This will vary with each woman, and some women who carry small, or gain little weight may choose to wait until they are 36-38 weeks. The most important thing is that you are still feeling comfortable (or as comfortable as can be with a baby growing inside of you!) .

OUR MOMMY & ME SESSIONS

These are the moments. Those fleeting magical moments of their childhood where Mama is number one and the center of their Universe. When they need you more than ever, skin to skin, heart to heart - you are their everything, and they are yours.

Mamas, get IN those portraits with your babies. In a little while they're going to start to crawl, and then you will blink and they'll be walking. As they gain their independence, moments like this will be wistful memories.

Fed is best, but I am a huge advocate and supporter of breastfeeding. I always encourage nursing mommies to breastfeed their baby, at least for a portion of our session together and get some photographs of those moments. There is nothing quite like the bond you feel whilst breastfeeding, and it's one that I wish I'd documented myself while nursing my youngest two babies.

Our Mommy & Me sessions can be outdoors, or in the comfort of your home. This milk bath session was photographed in my clients rental home - absolutely beautiful light and an even more gorgeous mama and baby1

Our backyard makes for a lovely spot for portraits during the winter months. A cozy fire pit, twinkling lights and piles of logs lead a rustic atmosphere to your photos. This mama schedule a mommy & me nursing session around the campfire, but I love this portrait of her and her little man against our backyard fence.

I love lifestyle sessions, because little ones are already more comfortable from the get-go (they have the upper hand, after all - this is THEIR domain!). Don't worry about your house being "magazine ready" - keep it real, keep it authentic.

Surrounded by their own things and in their own home, children start to forget about the crazy lady with the camera in front of their faces and just relax, and then the magic happens!

In this portrait, mommy and her little girl were playing with a stuffed bunny that mama used to play with when she was just about the same age. I melted.

This mama took advantage of the beautiful light in her master bath and scheduled a milk bath breast-feeding session with her newborn baby boy. He was so relaxed that he was snoring louder than my husband does - it was SO cute!!

I love older nursers! They are so much more interactive with mama, and it can make for some really beautiful portraits.

I'll rarely ask you to look at the camera, instead I will encourage you to play with your child, tickle them, snuggle them, dance with them and love on them.

These are the moments that matter.

This was another session in my clients' home. She wanted to capture portraits of herself and her two beautiful daughters. This wound up being one of my favourite images from the session, and one of my favourite breast-feeding images to date.

Beautiful big sis smooching on her mama as her baby sis nursed away <3 Nothing could be more sweet!

CHILD'S PORTRAIT SESSIONS

As a mommy of four, ranging from 5 to 20 - I know only too well how quickly time passes. One moment you’re holding your newborn baby in your arms, watching as a tiny finger instinctively closes around yours, then it seems as though you blink and they’re toddling about - getting into everything! Blink again and they’re teen-agers who want nothing to do with you (only your bank card!), and then too quickly they’re all grown-up. Soak up these moments while you can, schedule portrait sessions where you just let them play and explore - let them be little, because they’re only this little for a little while.

Enjoying a tea-party always makes for some great portraits.

Think of other things your kids could do during their portrait sessions. Perhaps they could play tag, hide and seek, colour pictures on their bedroom floor, snuggle up with their favourite blanket, or paint a picture. Create memories with them and I'll capture them forever.

During every family session I will also capture an individual portrait of each person, you're all individuals after all not just one unit, that's what makes families so interesting and wonderful!

From time to time, I will offer limited edition themed portrait sessions. This was from our spring sessions one year a "Let's Go Fly A Kite" theme.

OUR COUPLES SESSIONS

Do you remember the first kiss you shared together? The first time you told eachother “I love you?” The first moment you knew, this was it - there was no turning back, you were head-over-heels and irrevocably in love? I want to bring you back to those moments. When you’d feel butterflies at the very mention of your lover’s name, when your heart would pound in your chest in anticipation of that first kiss, when two random souls meshed into one beautiful new entity. You won’t be looking at the camera during our couples sessions - instead you will be gazing into eachother’s eyes, whispering sweet everything’s into one another’s ears, sharing many laughs (and possibly a few tears), and just being together and so in love that it will be impossible not to have a great time. 

Wasn’t it just yesterday you were teaching them to tie their shoe-laces and sing their ABC’s? Now your baby is all grown up - and graduating high-school! Wherever their journey leads them after this, you’re going to miss them. Yes, you will even miss the parent teacher interviews, the late nights working on their school projects, the car-pooling and the lunch-making. You will look back fondly on the Christmas concerts, the Mother’s day gifts they’d make for you, their first fantastic report card, and you will wish so badly that they could be little again, and need you again. 

Remember them as they were, but celebrate them as they ARE - schedule a senior session for your graduate, so you always have these photos to look back upon, before they leave the nest and start lives of their own. You have both reached this moment together - congratulations!

Multiple outfit changes are allowed during this session (well, during all of our sessions!) and, I can book a professional makeup artist and hair stylist for you for an additional fee.

PORTRAITS/PROFESSIONAL PORTRAITURE

During our Portrait/Professional Portraiture Sessions, we will work together with you to create concepts that best advertise you and your brand or business. We can take traditional portraits in front of a backdrop, more candid life-style type images, or a combination of the two. Our Portrait and Professional Portraiture Experiences can be photographed in studio against a backdrop, in your home, office or workspace, or outdoors amongst the nature in beautiful Fort McMurray. As we never schedule more than one session a day you are never rushed out, and we can really take our time getting to know one another, and working to create images that will give your potential clients a fantastic first impression!

Even if you don't have a business to advertise but just want some beautiful portraits of yourself to look back on, (or an adult cake-smash like the session below) our portrait sessions are wonderful experiences because we really strive to capture your best self, and make each session more personal.

This was a collaborative session between Emily Gale Photography and Fox and Bird Photography, though Emily is the genius who put most of it together, I just had a concept and a dress.

We have a lot of people to thank for pitching in to make this session fantastic!!

PREPARING FOR YOUR SESSION

(this section is available in our Client Guide for booked clients!)

HOW DO I BOOK A SESSION?

The first step is to contact me, either via the contact form on our website, email, or on our Facebook business page - to have a quick chat about what type of session you’re looking for, and pick a date! I’ll send you over our booking proposal, which will walk you step-by-step through the booking process, signing your contract, completing your custom questionnaire, and paying your session fee. You’ll have a week to get that submitted and back to me, and then - it’s time to start getting excited for your session!

WHAT IS INCLUDED AND FOR HOW MUCH?

Every Session is $450 and Includes;

  • A thought-provoking questionnaire to help you share your goals for the session.
  • A Welcome Guide filled with tips, ideas and information to help you plan for an amazing experience.
  • Access to our small but always growing client wardrobe.
  • One-On-One time for the day, I never schedule more than one session a day so you're never rushed - which means you can bring multiple outfit changes and we can really take our time getting comfortable with one another, and turn this session into an adventure.
  • And no less than 20 high resolution digital photos, delivered by download from a password-protected online gallery, that you are welcome to share with friends and family.

A 50% non-refundable retainer fee is required upon booking. While the retainer fee is non-refundable it is transferable, so if you wish to sell your spot to someone else you are welcome to do so. I also always allow for one reschedule with enough notice in the event of illness or inclement weather.

WHERE WILL THE SESSION TAKE PLACE?

In and around the Fort McMurray area, but most often in the woods behind our home in Thickwood. This is where I am most comfortable shooting and where I know all the little pockets of light and shadows I love to play with. I also offer lifestyle sessions for both personal and business portraits in the comfort of your home/workplace. I do have a small in-home studio space but reserve it for very limited sessions.

WHAT SHOULD I/WE BRING?

(this section is available in our Client Guide for booked clients!)

WHAT IF I CAN'T KEEP MY APPOINTMENT?

I’m a mommy of four so I completely understand that life happens, kids get sick , meetings get booked, family trips get planned last minute, work calls you in for overtime - I get it. I will always make the best effort to reschedule you to the next available date.

It is so important that everyone being photographed is in their best health. There isn’t anything worse than an unhappy and sick feeling child - and they especially do not want to be in front of a camera.

At the first sign that your kids aren’t well, please send me a message and let me know. They need snuggles and sleep - not a crazy lady with a camera in their face.

WHAT IF IT'S TOO COLD/WET/MISERABLE OUT THERE?

I always give clients the option to reschedule in inclement weather, as I want this session to be perfect! I also reserve the right to reschedule if I feel the weather calls for it.

A quick but important note; if the weather turns out warmer/cooler than you anticipated while putting together outfits, please adjust what everyone is wearing. Doing a session when it's sweltering and kids are over-dressed is never fun. Likewise, if a cold front comes through and your child is not dressed properly, I will be unable to Photoshop out blue lips and goose-bumps. I will most likely cut the session short, if I feel the kids are too cold/over-heated.

WHEN WILL I SEE THE PHOTOS?

Within 4 weeks you will receive a password protected gallery via email from which to download no less than 20 full resolution digital files with a full print release. Prints and products from albums to wall art can also be ordered through your gallery. Typically prints arrive and will be ready for pickup within 14 business days.

CAN I PRINT THE PHOTOS SOMEWHERE ELSE?

While I do allow my clients to print elsewhere once they have purchased their full resolution digital files, I can not guarantee prints or products unless they are purchased through me.

WHAT TIME WILL THE SESSION BE?

All of our outdoor sessions are shot during that last magical hour-and-a-half before the sun sets, unless we are lower in the valley and then it will be a bit earlier than that. We will book around the proposed sunset for the day, making the final decision that morning. Our lifestyle sessions can be shot really any time of day, but I recommend choosing the times that the areas you wish to feature in your session get the best light.

WILL THESE IMAGES BE POSTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

Not without your consent. Along with your booking proposal will be a contract and in it, a section regarding the privacy of your images. You decide whether you want to allow Fox and Bird Photography to share all of your portraits, only one without any identifying features, or none at all. We will never share any images without your consent.

HOW CAN I PAY?

After you first contact me, I will send our our booking proposal which will walk you through the rest of the booking process, including signing your contract, filling out your questionnaire, and securing your session fee. Payments can be made online, through Paypal, Stripe or a bank email transfer.

Thanks for taking the time to read this guide! If you have any more questions I'm happy to help! PS If you made it this far, mention the code DUCKISH for 10% off your next session!

Keep scrolling to see some imagery from one of our favourite family portrait sessions.

Credits:

Fox and Bird Photography