2018 Family Portrait Sessions

Thank you for signing up for a portrait session this season, its my favorite time of year.  Below is information, tips and a form that will help make the most of your session.  I'm looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new families!

What to wear

Picking family outfits.

  • Skip matching entirely for a more natural family portrait.  Don’t feel restricted to one color but embrace a hue or shade.  Try picking earth tones, pastels, or even primary colors and blending them together for each member of your family.  This year, I’m feeling  rather inspired by navy & the deep burgundies of fall.  
  • Don’t forget accessories.  Not only do they make fun props but they photograph well.  Think hats, scarves, statement jewelry, etc.
  • Layer up!  Try to find layers and textures to add to each family member.  This adds depth to your portraits and will give you that perfect pop.  In the fall or cooler days, add a scarf, puffy vest, a cardigan, collared shirt under a sweater, or even your accessories to layer up.  You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to do!

The little things:

Transition Glasses.  If someone in your family wears glasses, transition glasses is something that does not work during an outdoor session.  Even a slight darkening of the lenses will seem extreme on camera.  

Chapstick.  Chapped lips stand out, having chapstick, even for dads is recommended.

Nails.  Polished nails or plain is okay, just make sure the girls don't have chipped nail polish.

Tattoos.  Please do not put temporary tattoos on the kids.  Removing them in Photoshop is extremely time consuming.  You may be charged an editing fee if temporary tattoos need to be digitally removed.

Acne/bruises/cuts.  It happens.  Many kids show up to sessions with a fresh bruise or cut and teens are prone to acne.  I will remove all blemishes that are not permanent.  If something is beyond my Photoshop capability, I will let you know.  Scars, moles and birthmarks are not removed.

Speaking of Photoshop.  Basic editing and enhancing is done to all images.  Special requests such as; 'I couldn't find the right color pants, can you change them in Photoshop?' may require outsourcing for a fee.

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 Here's the official 2017 Fall Colors.  You will likely find clothing lines in the stores using these colors.

Here's the official 2017 Fall Colors.  You will likely find clothing lines in the stores using these colors.



We are blessed to reside in such a beautiful state with all the seasons, however, the fall season is a short one and we are all familiar with the unpredictable nature of the weather.  So here's the deal with weather reschedules.  If there are definite rain/storms on your session day, we will certainly reschedule.  I understand the effort that goes into getting everyone ready for a session.  If there are spotty storms/rain showers on the radar 2/3 hours before your scheduled session, we will communicate about our options.  The options may be moving the session location to an area not affected by the weather or reschedule.  Sessions are not rescheduled for cold/hot weather or undesirable foliage color (i.e. colors have not changed or the leaves have all fallen). 


A final payment is due on or before your session.  Cash, check (payable to Shannon Finnie) or credit/debit cards are accepted.  Here is a link for the balance if you would like to pay with a credit/debit card.  

Other Tips

  • If you feel your child needs an extra incentive to behave during the shoot, bring something that they can have right then and there.  Promising a child a toy, ice cream, or even a pony after the shoot will do no good.  Children need instant gratification.  Good treats would be small candies like gummy bears or skittles.  Stay away from anything with chocolate.  And especially stay away from lollipops unless you want them in all of your pictures!”
  • Sometimes kids behave better when their parents aren’t around.  If your child is old enough and you think they will feel safe, try walking away from the session (have one parent in viewing distance) for a minute and let the photographer do their thing.  Children can sometimes feel overwhelmed when mom, dad, and the photographer are telling them what to do.  When the photographer can be in charge they are more likely to get better eye contact and more genuine smiles.
  • Try not to stress.  Photography sessions can be stressful for parents.  You have invested a lot of time and probably a lot of money in the shoot.  But, I can tell you from lots of experience, the more you stress the more your child will feed off that tension.  Do your very best to have fun.  You know how to get those genuine smiles and reactions out of your children.  Make it a big play session.  Be silly.  Make noises.  Have a dance party.  Your photographer can’t get pictures of you having fun unless you are really having fun.  If they don’t cooperate the entire session just let it go.  No child ever cooperates the entire session.

After The Session

I try my best to deliver galleries as quickly as possible.  At the same time, I want to provide you with an amazing gallery and not rush though the editing process.  This year, I'm anticipating a 3 week turn around time, give or take a couple of days.  You will emailed with a link to an online gallery where you can download the images and order prints. This link can be shared with your family and friends.  The online gallery will be open for 30 days for downloading and ordering.  Reactivating galleries after the expiration date are subject to a $25/fee.  Downloading can only be done to a computer.  I have some clients say that an iPad will accept the download but that is not recommended due to the size of the images.