Prep Guide for your Tree farm Session 

The goal of this session is to capture YOUR family. Parents, kids are unpredictable and this is especially true in front of the camera. Try not to stress out if your baby, child, or teenager is not behaving how you had imagined for the shoot. I have three kids of my own (4, 2, and 1) and can handle the tears and the high energy, we make it work! These shoots are typically kid led, and we let kids be kids! As for husbands, we'll get these done quickly so they can get back to watch some football.


Please arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled time. The sessions are booked back to back and we want them to run on time to get them all in during daylight. If you are planning to change your child, please do so before your scheduled time. I want to ensure you get the most out of these mini sessions and every minute matters.


The most important thing when planning your outfits is to make sure everyone is comfortable and feels good in their clothes. Feeling comfortable in your clothes is going to make such a huge difference to how you act in front of the camera. Wearing something that you already know you love will give you that boost of confidence that you might need! Especially for kids. Make sure they wear the outfits you want them to wear in the photos, wearing new clothes can sometimes be uncomfortable! 

Here are some tips when planning an outfit:

  1. Think about the location. It might be hard to maneuver through a waterfall in heels! Make sure you’re dressed in a way to make it easier to move (there will be a lot of moving around!). If your signature look is a pair of heels, remember to bring a pair of sneakers or slip ons in case we are going on an adventure to get to our location!
  2. Layer your outfits to make it easy to add or take off depending on the temperature.
  3. This isn’t the time to try out a new style. Wear something that you would normally wear. If dresses are not your thing and you hardly ever wear one, don’t feel pressured to wear one if you want the photos to look sophisticated! There are other ways to achieve that look without going outside of your comfort zone! You want to look like yourself in these pictures. Remember, feeling comfortable and confident is key!
  4. Solid color outfits tend to look better than prints, which can be distracting and overwhelming. If you do go with a print, make sure it’s not too loud! If you are a bold person, opt for a super fun pair of shoes or showcase it with your accessories, rather than a bold print!
  5. Start with a neutral base and build from there. Neutral tones are typically more flattering and cohesive than bright colors. Pick two or three neutrals to start with and then add little accents of colour if you want! 
  6. Avoid tight fitting clothes that might highlight areas that you’d rather not have highlighted.
  7. Consider the weather! Make sure you’re prepared with cute coats if it’s cold or snowy! Layer your outfits to make it easy to add or take off depending on the temperature.
  8. Do not match. Avoid wearing the same outfit (especially the classic white-t-shirt and jeans or family buffalo plaid look) and avoid putting your kids in the same shirt, it’s tempting because it’s cute but it doesn’t make each child stand out! Instead, try to coordinate. Mix and match the base neutrals that you picked out. You should also look like you’re all going to the same place. 
  9. Remove anything that will be distracting; sunglasses, Apple Watch, phones and keys from pockets. I will try to remind you on site but sometime I don't notice until the editing process.

When trying to coordinate outfits in a family I find it easy to do one outfit first (when getting our own pictures done I usually plan the entire wardrobe around my outfit!). Take that outfit and use it as inspirations for other outfits. Use the same base neutrals and find different ways to incorporate your pops of colour in the other outfits. Remember to think of your location. Try to coordinate with the setting, you don’t want to clash with the trees. 

When dressing kids for sessions, keep these things in mind:

  1. Avoid character themed clothing. Their favorite show might be Paw Patrol or Ninja Turtles but stay away from logos, images, or graphics. Even though it might be their favourite shirt, it will be a serious distraction in the image.
  2. Make sure they have matching socks!
  3. Avoid buffalo plaid or other bright plaids, these tend to take the attention away from the child in the images.
  4. If you have a daughter wearing a dress, put a pair of bloomers under. There will be lots of movement and sometimes climbing or high kicks involved.
  5. Being able to move around in their clothing is a must!

If you’re still stuck, head to Pinterest for inspiration and you can send me pictures of your outfit(s) if you want my opinion! When in doubt, ask!


Saying the word “cheese” actually creates a very fake smile, so I ask that you do not encourage your child to say it. I will “perform” and sometimes do some crazy things behind the camera to get authentic smiles & genuine laughter out of your kids, so just leave the direction to me! Nothing is worse than getting great smiles out of the kids but have Moms & Dads with open mouths from talking.


So, my sessions are heavily candid, but I'll still be assisting with some basic posing. Nothing wild, cheesy or awkward! I might need you to change positions, angles, etc. I might have an idea for something that I want to try. But really, my priorities are lighting, comfort, and showing your connection. And sometimes a little rearranging needs to happen. 

Be in the moment and don’t stress about the end result. Never. stop. moving. Seriously, the more movement you give me, the more pictures you are going to get. When I give you a direction and you stand still, you are going to get one shot from that pose. But if you take my direction and move around, you’ll get so much more variety. Don’t worry though, you’ll get the hang of it while we’re shooting! This style of photography works so well with kids because sometimes they don’t even realize they are getting their pictures taken! Feel free to take any liberties with any of the directions I give you, kisses, hugs, tickles are all welcome at any time!

We’re going to get really silly. I will be making a fool of myself all in the name of getting your kids to laugh and I expect silliness on their end, and that’s okay! I want to encourage as much personality as I can and I suggest you do the same!

Plan Before the Shoot:

  1. Avoid foods the day before your shoot that make you feel bloated (fast food, foods that are high in salt or fat or sugar). Trust me, being bloated is not going to make you feel pretty during your shoot!
  2. Speaking of food, keep it light the morning of as well, bring some snacks. For children, make sure they are well fed and watered and rested before the shoot! Bring non-mess snacks. Avoid gummies, chocolate, or crumbly items, instead opt for cheerios, raisins, even mini marshmallows, white cheese (in case it gets stuck in their teeth), or a promise for a bigger treat later… I am not above bribery!
  3. Make sure everything is all ready the day before so you aren’t scrounging up your clothes in the morning, you don’t want to be flustered before your shoot!
  4. Don’t get your hair cut/coloured right before the shoot, the best time to do it is about a week to two weeks before.
  5. Try on your outfit a couple days before the shoot, you want to make sure that you still feel great in it. If you don’t feel great, change it up!
  6. Talk to your kids about the session before. It’s best not to surprise them with it, if they know what’s coming they can prepare themselves (even children as little as 2 need some warning!). You can show them my picture and tell them not to worry because they aren’t going to have to sit and smile for an hour!

Here are some handy dandy things that you might end up needing before or during the shoot:

  1. Water bottles
  2. A brush, hairspray, and/or gel. Do you trust your hair to stay how you want it for 1-2 hours? I definitely don’t trust mine but you’re the one who is in front of the camera!
  3. On that same note, bring a little makeup bag for touch ups.
  4. Comfortable shoes!
  5. Your children. As tempting as it is to leave them at home (or send them away from home), it won’t be that bad!


When will you get your pics? I'll be honest- as a Mama, life can be busy and unpredictable. I don't like to make guarantees or promises, then fall behind and disappoint. I do my best to return your edited images within 3 weeks. I will communicate if it's taking me longer, but that's only if it's "busy season" (fall & holidays) or I've had extenuating circumstances. Trust me, I know you want your gallery. But I also take my time with editing. I frequently give myself a break through the editing process so I can look at your gallery with fresh eyes and make changes if needed. Each gallery consumes me until it's complete, I promise you that.

Please reach out with any questions you have along the way. It's my goal for both of us to feel comfortable and prepared, and get the best use of our time together. You can reach me by email at, or my cell: (845) 269-0440.

I look forward to photographing your family! - Theresa