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Welcome to the blog! I’m a small-town Florida girl and Army wife relocated to the Seattle Suburbs, documenting love from one coast to the other. I live for a good PNW mountain breeze, sweat pants, and local eats. Let's be friends!

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SEATTLE TACOMA olympia PHOTOGRAPHER

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megan montalvo photography

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WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN PLANNING YOUR FAMILY SESSION

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN PLANNING YOUR FAMILY SESSION

Family’s sessions are SO much fun and one of my favorite ways to connect with past clients and meet new families! Your family session will be full of adventure whether that’s walking around a local park or hiking to your family’s favorite spot. There will be all kinds of giggles, lots of love and often times a whole lot of silliness from me while trying to get your young kiddos to smile!  When you leave your family session, you will have new memories to talk about and reflect on for years to come!

START WITH A DATE OR TIME OF YEAR

When considering the time of year to take your family portraits, we encourage you to consider what reflects your family most and also what you will be excited to display in your home. Locations (especially in the mountains) offer different perks and “looks” during different times of the year which can drastically vary the look of your photos.

  • Family sessions are offered on weekdays only as most weekends I’m capturing weddings or spending a rare day off with my husband!
  • Sessions can typically be arranged around work schedules as the best time for lighting on a sunny day is sunrise or sunset. If we have a nice overcast day, I can photograph at almost any time! (See more below)

TIMING

Normally sessions are scheduled during “golden hour” about 1-2 hours before the sun sets. We’ll start by setting a general time frame based on the date and location, while also considering nap and bedtimes that may affect your child’s cooperation. I will give you an exact meeting time once I have a better idea of the weather forecast. That means, sometimes you’ll get a time a week out and sometimes the night before. It all depends on how tricky the forecast is! If you live in Washington, I’m sure you’re familiar with the struggle. 😉

HAVE A MOOD OR THEME FOR YOUR SESSION

How do you envision your family photos? Do you picture a classy city session or a mountainous adventure? Is there a hobby that your family enjoys or is there a location that is meaningful to you? Are you drawn to fun and adventurous photos or calm and editorial? We take all of those things into consideration when planning your photos! I encourage you to look through some of our past family sessions on the blog HERE to see what you are drawn to.

LOCATION

We’ll take your ideas for your session and work together to find the perfect location. If you’re starting from a blank canvas, I have a list of go-to places and a dreamy wish list that I can share with you. We will work together to narrow it down and find the perfect location.

OUTFITS

The biggest thing when it comes to selecting your outfit is starting early. It is A LOT less stressful when you’re not rushing around last minute. If you plan on purchasing something specifically for the shoot, I’m happy to do some research and send you some links (or give you a second opinion on ones you’ve found). Here are some tips:

  • Keep in mind your vision for the shoot and what colors are going to look good displayed in your home.
  • Dress for the appropriate season. Layers are great when it’s chillier.
  • Neutral, muted or earth tone colors with minimal to no pattern. Vibrant colors and patterns can be distracting.
  • Colors should coordinate but not match too perfectly. Not sure? Send me pictures. I am happy to help you get the most out of your photos which includes helping you choose clothes + pieces that will photograph well.
  • NOTE: Things that look fashionable or great in person don’t always mean they will photograph well. 
  • Accessories that POP are a nice way to spruce up your look and photos!
  • No graphic T’s, hooded jackets or tops (if you’re particular about your long hair), or clothes that make you second guess yourself. Don’t wear something you are not confident in. 
  • Avoid drastic haircuts or colors and spray tans before your family session.

SESSION PREP

  • Kids need to be well rested. Make sure they get a good night of sleep or a midday nap if you have an evening session. We can reschedule if it’s a cranky day!
  • Snacks, treats + toys that make the little ones happy. Snacks that can be easily hidden (cheerios, puffs, fruit snacks, etc.) and that aren’t too messy can be helpful.
  • I normally work with the environment we are given however, I’m happy to hear all of your ideas and incorporate what you bring along. If you’re not ok with sitting on the ground, bring a blanket along that coordinates with what you’re wearing.
  • Pay attention to the details Make sure your nails, eyebrows, skin + hair/makeup are exactly how you want them. Style a little bolder than normal so it lasts the entire hour + photographs well.

THE WEEK OF THE SHOOT

Getting a fresh haircut or color can give you the boost of confidence you need! Don’t come to your session with grown out roots if that’s something you’re conscious about. Groom your eyebrows, nails and make sure to clean your ring. Steam, iron and de-pet-hair-ify everything! All of these things make a huge difference in your photos.

THE NIGHT BEFORE

Lay everything out you need to wear one final time the night before. Pack a bag with extra comfortable shoes, touch up makeup and anything you may need to bring with you! If it’s going to be chilly, pack some hand warmers or a blanket.

THE DAY OF: RELAX, HAVE FUN AND TRUST

Relax and trust! We have everything under control. Sometimes sessions can feel crazy if little ones are running around. That’s okay, that’s what kids do! We know what we’re doing and will make sure we get some pictures you will love. The best thing you can do is enjoy the ride because stressed parents are harder to photograph than active kids!

AFTER YOUR SHOOTI’ll have a few sneak peaks up on Facebook and Instagram throughout the week so make sure you are following those pages and don’t miss out! Sometimes privacy settings won’t allow me to tag you so feel free to tag yourselves and share if not! Your entire gallery of stunning images will be ready within 3 weeks for you to download, share and print!

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