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Ariana V
How to Prepare for Your Holiday Family Photoshoot

‘Tis the season…for family photoshoots and holiday greetings!

The holiday season can be one of the most wonderful times of the year. In the midst of all that holiday cheer, it’s also the most wonderful time for your holiday family photoshoot.

Whether you’re planning to use the photos for holiday cards or you’re diligently updating your family photo book, you’ll want to be fully prepared so you can get the most out of your holiday session.

Fortunately, you’ve got a professional bestie like me to set you on the right path. Check out my pro-tips in preparing for your holiday family photoshoot with me.


Tip 1 – Coordination is Key!

There are few things more precious than a family who coordinates their outfits in a family photo.

This rings true during the holidays, too.

Here are some questions to consider when coordinating your next family outfits:

  • Should you wear matching pajamas, or are you leaning towards a fancier theme?
  • Should you go with a classic flannel, or bold solid colors?
  • Will your session be outside or inside (be sure to consider the weather)?
  • Furbaby? Have them coordinate too!

Note: if you’re planning to use the photos for holiday cards, you may want to take the background settings and color of the cards into consideration. For example, if you’re going to use earthy tones on the cards, or if you’re considering choosing an outdoor location, colors such as red, tan, or white will pop nicely and be visually appealing. If your cards will incorporate red tones, you should consider a background setting and colors that would fit well with the overall aesthetic of your cards. For the best results, choose colors that are opposite of the ones in the background of your cards


Tip 2 – Bring in the holiday props!

Even if you’re going the traditional route for your holiday session, it’s always a good idea to think about using some props to bring out the holiday spirit in your photos.

Props can be great for photoshoots with kids, too! Who doesn’t love a Santa baby?

Here are a few ideas for props you can bring with you to the session (of course, feel free to add your own):

Family ornament or heirloom

Holiday stockings

A letter to Santa with cookies and milk

A favorite stuffed animal or toy

Favorite blanket

For pets: favorite toy or snack to keep their attention


Tip 3 – For the little ones…

Fellow parents, the first thing you should do is check out my blog on my best tips for preparing for our family photo session with the kiddos.

Be proactive about a travel bag. Have the snacks, drinks, after-photo incentives, and an emergency change of clothes–you know, in case of any accidents–ready to go.

You can get the kiddos even more excited by having them choose their favorite holiday prop for the photo (from your approved options). The look of pride in their eyes when they get their chance to show it off will be priceless–and my goal is to capture that moment.

The important thing to remember here is that you can take advantage of props! Even if you don’t bring any, you can rest assured. As a mother myself, I know how to get on their level and speak their language. I know how to bring out that precious smile!

Tip 4 – Get ready to laugh and be merry!

In our session together, you can expect to let loose and have fun (’tis the season after all!)

I’m here to capture and memorialize your genuine family chemistry. Say goodbye to rigid smiles and forced poses, all you need to do is be ready to laugh and be merry. No pressure.

Break out your holiday accessories! Let your spirit shine and express yourself.


Tip 5 – Book your session in advance.

The most wonderful time of the year can also be the busiest.

Don’t let a full appointment book be the reason your friend with that “really great” camera takes your family photos this year. While the sentiment is sweet, you and your family are worth going that extra mile, or in this case, that early booking to reserve your spot with me.

Booking in advance also gives you plenty of time to visualize what you want your family photos to represent. My goal is to make memories that will last for generations to come.

Schedule your free consultation today!

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Ariana V
How to Prepare for Your Engagement Photo Session

Woo-hoo! You’ve leveled up your relationship to the next level.

I like to think of myself as your professional bestie. From one bestie to another, here are some of my pro-tips for how to prepare for an engagement session with me as your photographer.

Your recent engagement is something to share with the world! What better way to flaunt your undying love for each other than with a professional photo session. You have much to plan and prepare for, so maybe you’re wondering where to start.

No worries though, I’ve got your back. Hiring me as your engagement photographer in advance will show you why I’m the best choice as your wedding photographer, too.

The best part about investing in a professional engagement session with me is that I genuinely care about highlighting the uniqueness of your bond. Plus, you’ll gain first-hand experience with my expertise, style, professional chemistry, and the artistic eye that I have for encapturing the essence of your love.


Pro-Tip: Nobody knows your love better than you and your partner.

As your professional bestie and photographer, I want to do everything I can to make sure that your love shines through in the most glorious ways.

Are you and your partner romantic and playful, or do you prefer a traditional look?

Perhaps your love is versatile, fostering various sentiments and shifting from day-to-day. After all, feelings constantly flow and change–love is no exception.

Knowing what the sentiment of your relationship is serves as an important starting point for getting the most out of our engagement session together.

Professional engagement photos are a prime opportunity to show the world why you are made for each other, and it all starts with getting clear about what you want that to look like for you and your future spouse.


Brainstorming Activity:

Create a list with your partner where you brainstorm themes for your professional engagement session. Feel free to write down the ridiculous ideas too! Not only will they surely make you chuckle, but doing this also makes room in your brain for ideas that are more aligned with the aesthetic you wish to articulate in your professional photos. Be sure to include ideas for props that you can incorporate to home in on your desired aesthetic as well.


Pro-tip: Location, location, location.

Did I mention location? This is one of the most important steps in getting the most out of your professional engagement photos. You want the backdrop of your images to mirror the sentiment and aesthetic of your bond and love for one another.

Whether you’re in nature, amid sun rays during the golden hour, or engaging in all your favorite activities while I tag along like a fly-on-the-wall, your background carries a sentimental value that I want to exude with every image.

If you’re having trouble narrowing it down to one location, always feel free to ask me for some ideas. As your professional bestie AND photographer, I have insider tips on the best locations.

Once I know the overall aesthetic and vision of your photos, I am well-equipped to guide you to the right location for our session.


Pro-tip: Practice strategic time management.

Don’t wait too long after your successful proposal to schedule an engagement photo session. Besides, if your proposal was recent then you’ve also got plenty of endorphins coursing through your veins.

It’s also important to consider the time of day you want our session to take place. For example, if your goal is to capture a passionate kiss during the “Golden Hour” (aka an hour before sunset), then be sure to let me know so that I can schedule our session appropriately.

If you’re planning to create “Save the Date” cards, then you can also use professional, beautiful, and genuine shots from our session!


Pro-tip: Let loose, let live, and let YOUR love shine.

You can expect to feel comfortable and free to be your genuine selves. Feel free to get lost in the moment, too.

I want your photos to look as natural as your love for each other. So let loose, let live, and let YOUR love shine. If there are props that speak to your similar passions, interests, or hobbies, then I want you to bring them! I’ll be sure to find ways to artistically incorporate your personal touch throughout our session.

Pro-tip: Category is…FASHION!

Another great way to highlight your personality is through outfit coordination. What you and your partner choose to wear can compliment the sentiment that you, without a doubt, complete each other.

Don’t be shy, accessorize!

Wear your favorite bow-tie and jewelry. Accessories that enrich the overall sentiment of your personality and love are highly encouraged…and who doesn’t love a pair of matching shoes? TWINNING!


Above all, our session is all about highlighting your love and genuine bond. I am honored for the opportunity to gracefully showcase this intimacy, while also providing you with lasting memories that you can share for generations to come.

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