Are you asking the right questions?

Heliograph-19So many families come to me asking the wrong questions

They aren’t asking ‘How can I make sure we catch the stuff that matters?’ or ‘Will these last long enough for my grandchildren to see them?’ or ‘How many days or weeks of work am I taking on if I choose this over that?’

Actually –  95% of the people to contact me have no idea what they are going to do with their images after the session. Would you buy a sofa and figure out what to do with it once you got home? What a huge burden.

What happens if you just don’t have the time to deal with it all?

Guys, I made this awesome thing

(I’m not talking about my two little boys. You already know about those. This is a new thing.)

And I really think you’re going to like it.

I’ve been photographing families for 14 years now. I’ve been a mom for 4. I’m ready to admit that documentary family sessions aren’t for everybody.

Do I believe that they are kind of life-changing, awesome opportunities that help validate the hard work of parents? Do they give us an opportunity to re-live the joy of this hectic time with perspective, and comfort us when life gets dark?


Do I think the albums from this day will be one of the top ten things your kids will cherish above anything else from their childhoods as adults?

Yeah, actually. I really do.

That’s why I do what I do. It’s not easy. It’s not profitable. My work isn’t destined for museums and I will never be featured in an art history book. But I still believe that this is the most important thing I can do with my camera.

(Emphasis on ‘I,’ since I just don’t have the skills it takes to document Syrian Refugees and larger injustices. Obviously that is more important. Still.)


But it’s not for everyone. Only if you’re into this sort of thing.

Stick with me.

Every family deserves to see that the work they do matters. That’s why I made this really AWESOME Family Portrait Planner.

It’s got mad-libs, you guys. Worksheets! Tips & tricks!

It will help you figure out if you’re into this sort of thing. And if you’re not? It’s still helpful!

I made this Family Portrait Planner.
I made this for you. Here. It’s a gift.

Click here and tell me where to send your Free Family Portrait Planner

This is embarrassing, but this took me like, months to make this thing. The design is cheesy and I’d like to re-do the whole thing. Whatever, the important thing is that it educates and empowers families to choose what is right for them. So they don’t waste a three or four-figure session investment on images that last less than 50 years.

My motives are not 100% pure

I’d kind of like to stop fielding calls from families who want a JC Penny portrait session. I’ve got other stuff to do with my time, and it eats up hours of my time each week. I’m tired of explaining over and over the ethical dilemmas of shooting & burning, and what a disservice this lazy mess does to families. But you know what? It’s my job to help families navigate the hard work of building and raising a family, and part of that is educating as many people as I can. So yeah, families knowing what to ask when they are looking to hire a photographer saves me a ton of time.

It also saves YOU a ton of time. It saves you a lot of headache, and possibly a ton of heart-ache after a session-gone-wrong (not to mention your investment).

This stage passes quickly. We only get so many chances.






Looking for more updates and information on planning a session? Contact me and I will not only answer your questions, but I will enthusiastically refer you to a photographer who can help if we’re not a perfect fit.

If you liked this post and the photos in it, you may want to join my email list to stay in the loop about my do-goodery projects. (PS – this is also how you get your Free Family Portrait Planner!)