JBP session style guide

for a stress-free experience

the need to know

Whether I am capturing your sweet family, or celebrating a special moment in your life, like a birthday, anniversary or new baby, I am so honored to help you create memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime. I have created this guide to help you get the most out of your photos, by the time you’ve read through this magazine, you'll have your questions answered and feel more than ready for your family session. Then I’ll take care of the rest! Your only job is to be yourself, laugh a lot and let me create photos you’ll love forever. I can’t wait to meet your sweet family and get you in front of my camera!

Welcome to my client guide!

I am so excited for your portrait session

I begin portrait sessions one or two hours before the scheduled sunset during “the golden hour,” when the light is the dreamiest. Remember, the sun sets much earlier during the colder months of the year and much later during the warmer months, so make sure to factor that in when choosing your portrait session date, especially if you’re taking off work or have evening plans afterward. To get the most out of your session, please plan a buffer when getting ready so you can arrive a few minutes early to your session and be ready to start on time. I am only able to shoot when natural light is still in the sky, so we’ll want to take advantage of every minute we have together before the sun goes down. If you’re wearing two outfits, save your favorite one for the second half, because that is when you will be most relaxed. As a rule of thumb: 9-11am or 2-4pm.

I am a natural light photographer



style tips for her

because you always want to remember this

don't be afraid to dress it up!

Have you thought about wearing a beautiful dress but just never had an occasion for it? This is your chance to get fancy! When it comes to your portrait session, don’t be afraid to have some fun! If you don’t want to add a new permanent piece to your collection, a lot of my clients love Rent the Runway for their session because it’s such an affordable option. Other clients love having a great excuse to bring a new permanent piece (or two!) into their closet! Target, Anthropology and Loft, and Red Dress are a few of my favorite shops. Poshmark allows you to purchase designer items at a great price. I also offer a few dress options in my client wardrobe.


to the dress

yes yes yes

Dresses and skirts look most stunning because they really flatter every female body, especially on camera  - for your session, say yes to a dress -or two- for a fun and feminine outcome.

Long, full-length, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. Especially when combined with nature, flowers, clean architecture or the beach. Consider softer fabrics like chiffon or tulle which allow for beautiful movement in the images.

When considering the length of your dresses or skirts, it’s also a good idea to factor in whether or not there will be little ones in your photos. If you have smaller children, I’ll likely have you sitting or crouching on the ground to interact up-close with them. Cute, shorter cocktail-length dresses photograph beautifully, but if you have little ones in your photos, a floor-length dress or skirt, or perhaps a cute midi-skirt, will make moving around with your kids much easier, and look perfect on camera, too.

If you’re an expecting mother, I always recommend floor-length gowns or maxi dresses. These dresses create the best silhouettes to flatter your figure and really highlight your bump. 
NothingFitsBut, Morning Lavender, Baltic Born are a few of my favorite shops to purchase dresses. 

You can bring one outfit, or two! Most of my clients who choose two outfits will bring one “wow” dress, and then another slightly more casual outfit that has a "comfortable" feel to it. But if you want to bring two “wow” dresses and forgo the more casual dress altogether, give yourself permission to do it! Most importantly...feel comfortable in the clothes you choose. Thread and Needle and Ivy City Co. are two of my favorites. 

Remember, though, you don’t have to bring two looks if it’s too stressful to coordinate.  One outfit that you love will be so much better than one outfit you love and another you’re not very excited about. And if you stick with one outfit set, you won’t have to spend any of your time changing half way through, so we’ll be able to sneak in a few more photos!

One or two? It's up to you!


styling tips

a few more

flattering your features

In my experience, every woman, regardless of her shape, has an area of her body that she’s self-conscious about - so recognizing what area that is in advance, is key.

Choosing flattering silhouettes and colors that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure you’ll love the way you look in your photos.


choosing colors

When choosing colors for your outfits, I recommend selecting softer, lighter tones and more muted shades. Avoiding ultra- bright, bold colors will help bring all the attention to your faces and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other. The camera loves shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather gray, creams, leather brown and white. That softer color palette fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments.

style tips for him

because dapper and debonair never go out of style

the best fit

Long, fitted pants and closed-toed shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men. They draw attention away from his legs and feet and place it where you want it: on his handsome face. So, for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts, sandals and jeans at home, as well as any pants that are loose or baggy. Fitted dress pants or fitted colored pants work best on camera. Solid shades of gray or navy are a strong compliment to most women’s outfits, whereas pinstripes or plaid patterns tend to distract the eye. I also recommend staying away from graphics and logos.

Many guys love to mix a suit coat, blazer or sport coat with a different pant color. It adds some extra visual interest and breaks up the color tones. I am a big fan of this fresh take on a timeless classic.

Most men aren't overly excited to take photos for an hour, because they don’t have an expectation of what’s to come and why it’s so important to you.

Take fifteen minutes to educate and empower your guy. Tell him why you chose me and my style of photography. Show him your three favorite sessions that I've done, explain why you love them and express to him how much it means to you. Trust me, once he knows it’s important, he’ll light up the camera for you! The most common thing I hear from guys before photo sessions is this: because of a bad experience in the past, they don’t like taking photos or don’t think they’ll be good at it. By the time we are done, though, they can’t believe how fast it went and just how much fun they had!

prep your man

how to

hair and shoes matter. I recommend getting your hair cut 1-2 weeks before your session. Causal grey shoes, loafers or brown leather dress shoes are best. If the session is indoors, bare feet is great or cream socks.

the whole family

because they won't be little forever

coordinating the crew

As you’re coordinating your outfit with your family, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palette and wardrobe pieces coordinate, but don’t actually “match.” In fact, I recommend that you avoid thinking about “matching,” and instead think about what “fits” together. This will create more visual interest, and allow each personality to shine through.

The goal for coordinating a family is to visually break up the colors and shades so that you’re not all wearing the same color on top and bottom. The more we can mix that up, the better. I encourage you to think about planning each outfit with “dominant colors” and “accent colors” in mind. A dominant color is the color that you see the most in an outfit, while an accent has a smaller piece of visual real estate. When you’re planning each family member’s outfit, if you can aim for each person to have a different dominant color, and then tie in and vary the accent colors, it’s going to look great all together.

For example, if you’re wearing a blush dress, soft blue earrings and nude heels (blush being your dominant color), then he could wear a navy coat with a white button-down and gray pants, paired with brown leather shoes. (making navy his dominant color). Your daughter could wear a soft blue top with a white tulle skirt (making a soft blue her dominant color), while your son wears light beige pants with navy suspenders and a white button down (making white his dominant color). Now each person has their own dominant color while still incorporating a few touches of the others that will pull all the looks together. This will break up the color visually and highlight each personality. Most mothers choose their dress first, and then build the rest of the family’s outfits based around that.

Remember, I recommend selecting those softer, lighter tones and avoiding those ultra-bright, bold colors. 
Cream, dainty florals, blush, baby blue, grey, tan, and navy are all flattering colors to choose from. 


family tips

a few more

prepping your little ones

Before your session, pack a bag with snacks, water and any small objects (like toys or lollipops) that might help us get their attention when it’s time for them to look at the camera. If they are old enough to understand you, it’s a good idea to prepare them for what’s to come before the session starts. Explain how much the photos mean to you so they know to be on their best behavior. A lot of families discuss and pick something fun in advance as a treat after the session if they’re good listeners, like an ice cream cone, for example. It also helps if their bellies are full and they’ve has some good rest beforehand.

Once you prepare them physically and mentally, then feel free to give them (and you!) grace! They’re little, and I know that some days don’t always go as planned. I’ve seen it all and will make sure to get you great photos, regardless of their moods. My goal is to make this as fun and stress- free as it possibly can be for you and your family!


mixing up the pieces

If you have multiple children, don’t feel like you need to put them all in the same type of outfit. For example, one of your daughters could wear a dress and flats, while the other wears a skirt and boots. One of your sons could wear a bowtie, while the other one wears suspenders. Mixing up the wardrobe pieces will bring a great visual interest to the photos.

newborn sessions

welcome little one

Newborn session tips

Newborns prefer to stay in environments they are familiar with. This is why my first choice of a newborn location is in your home. The baby stays relaxed and comfortable because they feel safe. Feed them about 10 minutes before the session begins and keep the room we will be photographing in very warm. If they are warm and their bellies full, they stay drowsy for most of the session.

Because I swaddle them first, a plain white onesie is the best option for the first outfit.  I focus on genuine photos that happen organically. During the newborn's portraits I do try to capture a few of the baby wrapped and looking at me. I don't use any props except for the parent's arms if the baby gets fussy.

I take the session in the room with the most natural light. Windows are my best friends during a session! The master bedroom works great. We start out with just the baby, then I add parents. A few of just Mother and baby, Father and baby, and few all together. If there is an older sibling, I bring them in last. They get worn out the fastest and this gives them time to warm up to me a bit.

I try to capture a few of just the toddler and newborn, then move onto the full family photos. I get the first shot of you all looking and then we transition into the fun shots like Daddy tickling the toddler, reading together and a family hug.


the location

The location of your newborn session is up to you! Like you see throughout my work, most of my clients choose to showcase the style and beauty of their home. But local parks are lovely too if the weather is mild. For most of my sessions, outdoor, open-air environments are always my first choice. I love shooting in wide-open, natural spaces because the light is divine. There are great options all around, so even if you've never seen me photograph in a specific location before, I'm always up for exploring a new spot together!


styling your session

I love anything with sentimental value! Whether it's the dress Mother wore as a little girl, Daddy's baseball, or the quilt Grandma made; we can find ways to incorporate those special things into your session. The only props I bring along are a few baby wraps and hair bands (for girls). I like to capture the meaningful images that tell a story. The moments that happen organically are my favorite. If the baby gets fussy, I sometimes use the parent's hands for a prop.

I know I just gave you a lot to think about, but I created this guide to help make your portrait session experience something you’ll look back fondly on for years and years to come. At the end of the day, though, the location you choose and the outfits you select won’t matter nearly as much as the memories you make together.

Your future memories are the most important thing to me, and I want your session to be a time for you to just be yourselves and enjoy it. Have fun together. Laugh a lot. And I’ll take care of the rest!

one final note