One of my biggest mistakes, when I was starting out, was that I brought all my props/wraps/blankets/headbands to every single session.  When I got set up, I would have a mini panic attack because I had no idea where I should start.  Now I plan 3-4 different setups (based on the client’s preferences and expectations) and that’s all.  I am often inspired by something the client owns as well, such as a blanket knitted by Grandma or something else that’s special to mom and dad, so it is not uncommon for me to not even use everything I bring.
You’ve probably seen a wide variety of newborn baby poses, from a sweet swaddle to a baby in a basket or hanging in a sling from a branch. Lots of the poses you may have seen might take half an hour just to set up, and some actually require having an assistant hold the baby in position and then editing out the assistant’s hands in post processing. Some people love these more creative poses; some people hate them. Personally I think some (when well done) are kind of cool, but I really prefer more natural poses that don’t look contrived. Since my goal here is to help you take better photos of your own newborn at home, I’m going to share three simple, go-to poses that you’ll be able to use without extra equipment (or even extra help).
It usually takes at least a month to get all those photo proofs back from your photographer. Why? Your photographer is shooting enormous raw files far bigger than your typical JPG. Shooting raw files gives your photographer greater ability to correct the photo, but it also takes a longer time to upload, process and edit all those files (in order to correct color levels and so on). It varies, but many photographers say they spend an additional 40 hours editing images from a single wedding, so it can take up to six to eight weeks (or longer, depending on the photographer and how busy they are) to get proofs back. Here's what to ask: How many images should I expect? Will they be high resolution or low resolution? Will I be able to get prints made myself, or does the photographer retain the rights to the images? Will the proofs I see be the retouched versions, or does that happen after I select the photos I want? Speaking of retouching, ask about retouching options and special effects (which can range from simple white balancing to beauty retouching and stylized art effects like super-saturated colors) and the additional cost for both.
For us, all we wanted to do all day from the second we got up in the morning was to see one another! Our wedding day was such a huge day for us and we wanted to experience as much of it as we could together. Plus, we aren’t exactly huge fans of being the center of attention, so seeing each other before the ceremony gave us a sense of “ok, we can do this together.” When Marianne walked down the aisle, both of us were just floored because it wasn’t until that moment that it hit us: we are getting married today. We are getting married right now! This is the beginning of the rest of our lives together!
Erin Montante Photography is a full-service studio offering clean, modern custom portraits for clients in the Dallas area. Their team offers maternity, newborn, baby, child, and family photography, and provides additional services such as custom framing, photo stationery, and in-home art consultations. Owner Erin Montante is a member of the Professional Photographers of America.

I am very picky when it comes to photos and Laura just blew me away. The entire process start to finish was a pleasant, seamless experience. And the quality of the photos is unreal! The gorgeous images you see on her Facebook and website are exactly what you can expect to receive. There is no disappointment with her. I couldn't be more happy with our decision to use Laura for these once in a lifetime pictures. I can't wait to get them on my walls!"
What are you willing to invest in getting the images that will bring you (and your kids) back to this moment? Are you willing to save up for the perfect experience? Are you willing to make payments? Or do you have other things that you have to prioritize and you’ll have to make compromises in one place or another? Of course we all have to manage a budget, and this may be a place where you make it a priority, or a place you are ok with making a compromise.

Just as important as getting some light in the eyes is having it come from a good direction. We’ve established overhead isn’t good direction, neither is straight from camera. So turning on your built-in pop flash isn’t going to give you good light. Neither is sticking a speedlight on top. Light direct from the camera angle flattens the subject, that is not what you want. You want the light to come from the side more, 30-45 degrees from camera is a good starting point. To learn more about this read my article on the 6 Lighting Patterns Every Photographer Should Know.
I attended the University of North Texas and received a Bachelor’s degree in Radio/Television and Film.  In 2011, I received a Master’s in Ed. Technology.  My first thought was I would teach technology/videography at a High School level, but I fell in LOVE with photography after my 1st daughter was born. She came into the world with the most beautiful red hair and striking blue eyes, needless to say, her Dad, her grandparents and myself were shocked!  I picked up a cheap Kodak camera and never stopped taking pictures.  Over the years I have self taught through online workshops, upgraded to a professional Canon Mark iii, purchased several fancy lens and just have gotten better by good ol’ fashion practicing.  I have 3 children ages 12, 10 and 8 who always give me a good reason to shoot what I see!  🙂  I love what I do, which I think truly shows in my work.  Photography and children inspire me.  I am so grateful to be a given a gift to see the world the way I do.
It's funny, but I have seen “Uncle Bob” ruin more wedding photos than you could possibly believe.  What I mean by this is that there will (almost) always be someone in the wedding party who likes to get in the way.  They either tell people how to pose while you're trying to get everyone in the right spot, or they step in front of you to take pictures, etc.  The wedding photographer must be CONFIDENT and take charge.  Simply saying something like “Thanks for your help.  I'm trying to do something a little different here.  Is it all right with you if I go ahead and get the posing set up here?”  It might seem forward, but your couple will be glad to see you moving quickly and getting the photos done correctly.  (Thanks Julie Gallagher)
Family, just kids, or high school seniors. My favorite portrait sessions are capturing family interaction and play at your own home or favorite family spot or taking a high school senior around town to celebrate adulthood.  The Custom Portrait Session is a collaboration between my ideas and those that hold special meaning to you. Do you love to go get ice cream as a family?  Love to make pancakes together on Saturday mornings? Have a favorite game you play in your yard? I am a “fly on the wall” capturing your family as they are, in a photo journalistic way, not posed.  I want you to walk away from this session with a documentation of a slice of your life. I don’t want you to have a “hard time choosing” because I want you to have them all, so this package is all inclusive! For this purpose, I carefully select the best images from our session with a “storytelling album” in mind, and they are all available to you so you don’t have to choose. Images that paint a picture…the story of you.  Sorry, no newborn sessions at this time.
“When shooting a wedding I try to keep my set up really simple. I find that the more toys to play around with takes time away from the thing I am most interested in documenting: the people. Generally, I roll with 2 DSLR bodies, 2 lenses (Canon 50mm f/1.2L/Canon, 24mm f/1.4L) and a Pelican case full of cards in my pocket. I have other gear there on the day just in case but that’s pretty much it.”

“My husband was hesitant of the cost at first, but at our session I remember thinking, ‘yep, she’s worth it.’ Kate brought her A-game and we were both significantly impressed with Kate’s patience, positivity and consistent high energy with the kids. We had never experienced this before and realized THIS is why Kate’s the best. No fake smiles, no fake laughs. There’s a reason the best photographers come at a price.”
Baby pictures are among the most popular types of portrait photography, and most newborn photographers are well versed in the best places to take baby pictures in their local areas. Some newborn photographers will come to the hospital to shoot the baby within a day or two of birth, while others have set up their studios to accommodate the needs of infants. Some parents prefer to have the newborn photographer come to their home or travel to a favorite park or other outdoor location. Like any portrait photography, the best place to take baby pictures is the place you like best and that will yield the types of photos you want of your baby, whether that’s posed and carefully lit studio portraits or spontaneous, casual photos at home. Work with a local newborn photographer to find a safe, calm location with great lighting and some privacy for your family.

Fans – A fan can introduce some motion into your portrait (think wind-blown hair or clothes). But they can also make it comfortable to work in hot studios. Continuous studio lights and strobes with modelling light generate a fair amount of heat. A fan can help provide some comfort. (In a small photography studio, you may prefer to use small speed lights.)
“The key is developing and following one’s own style. One should not try and copy others but develop their own style and try and create a niche segment around it with their expertise in that field. This way the increasing competition does not affect one’s business. Good branding is an important aspect as well. So developing a niche style and promoting your business around that style is the key to survival and growth for every wedding photographer.”
If you're working with a hair and makeup artist for your wedding day, now might be a great time for a trial. If you're just in town for the shoot, I can recommend some wonderful artists for you. While professional hair and makeup are not a must, it can help boost your confidence and ease the getting-ready process on the day of the shoot. I recommend staying away from bright whites, heavily visible logos, or crazy mismatched patterns. While trends heavily lean towards things-that-look-like-they-would-clash-but-they-don't pattern mixing, be careful that you don't go overboard. You don't want your outfits to pull attention from your faces!
She advises against using a Speedlight mounted on the camera. While this may be her preference, and often for good reason, it really depends on your location's light. I tend to shoot in open shade under a large tree where it can get pretty dark. Shadows under the eyes, nose and chin can be eliminated with a slight flash fill. In post processing, I'll using Lightroom's dodge tool to add more light to faces, if necessary. Even a half-stop boost will make your subjects stand out.
Nothing is worse than one photographer trying to conduct two large families for photos.  I like to plan a time for the bride's family to be there, and shoot their photos, then I'll have the groom's family come to shoot everyone together, then I ask the bride's family to leave while I shoot the groom's family.  Works like a charm.  The last thing you want is for people to be standing around waiting on you. (Thanks Michaelle Parsons Mulhollan)
Spreading quickly by word of mouth, Veri is an app that allows users to easily auto-share all their great footage—no uploading or tagging required. It takes less than 10 minutes to invite your guests with a personalized link to a free app download, then you pay $97 for an event, which includes unlimited photo and video uploads. (You can also purchase a discounted three- or five-event package if you want to use Veri for your bridal shower, bachelorette, and/or rehearsal dinner.) Couples typically get between 80 and 1,000 photos and videos from the app alone; that's in addition to all the content from your professional photographer. And everything is uploaded in real time, so you'll have instant access. If auto-sharing seems risky to you, though, don't worry. Users can turn off or pause sharing at any time and also delete any photos or videos, as can the bride and groom.
Here are some basic concepts that will make your choice easier. Of course, there are many styles that don’t fit into these categories, some of which are difficult to categorize and some photographers do more than one style (I do lifestyle and documentary) or a mix of them. But in general terms most of the family photographers in the market will fit (or semi-fit) into at least one of the following categories:
Bonus tip: If your camera has video capabilities you have a neat way of doing manual focus. Turn on the Live View so you can see the image on your screen. Hit your “zoom” button (it may have a magnifying glass or a “+” sign on it) once or twice. The image on the screen will zoom in (your lens doesn’t) so you can see what is in focus which allows for much most precise manual focusing. Press zoom again to return to normal view and turn off Live View.
We used to photograph both larger weddings and elopements, but these days we are 100% elopement photographers. We want to focus on delivering the absolute best expertise in this niche that we can. From beginning to end, we’re deeply involved in the whole planning process, because your elopement is about a lot more than just epic photos. We want you to have an unforgettable experience that leaves you wishing the day would never end! Having photographed many elopements all over the country, we know exactly what goes into crafting and capturing a perfect elopement experience. We love being tour guides, and we love taking pictures, but our favorite part of being an elopement photographer is hands down the fun times we have romping around these epic landscapes with our new friends.
“When shooting a wedding I try to keep my set up really simple. I find that the more toys to play around with takes time away from the thing I am most interested in documenting: the people. Generally, I roll with 2 DSLR bodies, 2 lenses (Canon 50mm f/1.2L/Canon, 24mm f/1.4L) and a Pelican case full of cards in my pocket. I have other gear there on the day just in case but that’s pretty much it.”
Engagement means family. Closeup of a diamond engagement ring standing upright on a stump of wood in shallow depth of field with the word FAMILY in large lettersWoman takes off an engagement ring, family conflict. Close-up, a frustrated woman gives an engagement ring to a manWoman takes off an engagement ring, family conflict. Close-upWoman takes off an engagement ring, family conflict. Close-up, a frustrated woman gives an engagement ring to a man, a frame withWoman takes off an engagement ring, family conflict. Close-up, a frustrated woman gives an engagement ring to a man, a frame withEngagement ring love family marriage. Engagement. Boyfriend puts a ring on his girlfriend finger. Love celebration family marriage relationshipEngagement ring love marriage family. Engagement. Boyfriend presents a ring to his girlfriend. Love family marriage relationshipHand with engagement ring turns page of family photo album. Young female married or engaged person looks at wedding albumEngagement rings on children`s legs. Lifestyle. Family. black and whiteEngagement rings on children`s legs. Lifestyle. FamilyBoyfriend presenting engagement ring to surprised beloved girlfr. Happy millennial boyfriend making marriage proposal to beloved girlfriend, young womenEngagement ring in a white box. Engagement wedding emerald diamond gold ring in white box inside decorative flowers and beads bundle proposal engage marriageEngagement bowl for Thai engagement ceremony. Called Khan Mak bring to the Bride`s family in Thai cultural engagement ceremonySmiling couple with engagement ring in gift box. Love, family, autumn and people concept - smiling couple with engagement ring in small red gift box outdoorsSmiling couple with engagement ring in gift box. Love, family, autumn and people concept - smiling couple with engagement ring in small red gift box outdoorsSmiling couple with engagement ring in gift box. Love, family, autumn and people concept - smiling couple with engagement ring in small red gift box outdoorsCouple hands with engagement ring. Love, family, anniversary concept - couple hands with engagement ringCouple in love. Family couple. Formal couple with red heart. Love romance. Couple on love date. Bearded man in tuxedo. Couple in love. Family couple. FormalCouple in love. Family couple. Formal couple with red heart. Love romance. Couple on love date. Bearded man in tuxedo. Couple in love. Family couple. FormalFamily raising glasses. Cropped shot of a family raising glasses and celebrating engagementHappy family members clapping hands. And celebrating engagementSmiling couple with engagement ring in gift box. Love, family, autumn and people concept - smiling couple with engagement ring in small red gift box outdoorsSmiling couple with engagement ring in gift box. Love, family, autumn and people concept - smiling couple with engagement ring in small red gift box outdoorsClose up of couple with engagement ring in box. Love, family, autumn and people concept - close up of smiling couple with engagement ring in small red gift boxSmiling couple with engagement ring in gift box. Love, family, autumn and people concept - smiling couple with engagement ring in small red gift box outdoorsHappy woman showing engagement ring to mother. Family love and happy people, young women showing engagement ring to her mother and huggingHappy woman showing engagement ring to mother. Family love and happy people, young women showing engagement ring to her mother and huggingSmiling couple with engagement ring in gift box. Love, family, autumn and people concept - smiling couple with engagement ring in small red gift box outdoorsSmiling couple with engagement ring in gift box. Love, family, autumn and people concept - smiling couple with engagement ring in small red gift box outdoorsFamily with baby. On winter bridgeHappy family on the beach, silhouette of couple at sunset, man and woman. Happy family on the beach, silhouette of couple at sunset, men and women relationshipsLove, relationships, engagement and wedding concept - man proposes a woman to marry, red box ring, happy young romantic couple. Love, relationships, engagementSelective focus of an engagement ring. Symbol of love. Selective focus of an engagement ring being on a female handEngagement couple. Engagement Photos, rings visible on the hands in the nature. focused rings. blurred background. love storyYoung man makes a marriage proposal to his girlfriend and surprises her with a beautiful engagement ring. CloseupValentines day with woman and bearded man. Date of family couple in romantic relations, love. Couple in love at the. Valentines day with women and bearded manHappy Family. A cheerful family is sitting while posing together on the grassFamily dinner with wine. Family dinner of a young couple and their parents, with wine and greek saladEngagement. Ring wrapped with a pink bowThe young family signing marriage documents at laywers office. Young family signing marriage documents at laywers officeThe young family filing divorce papers with lawyer. Young family filing divorce papers with lawyerDivorce concept. Sad lonely man holding engagement ring sitting at home. Depression after a divorce. Selective focus. Divorce concept. Sad lonely man holdingAdult man giving engagement ring to beautiful woman. Picture of an adult men giving engagement ring to beautiful womanThe young family signing marriage documents at laywers office. Young family signing marriage documents at laywers officeFamily members at the dinner. Enthusiastic family members sitting at a dinner table and clapping their hands at the person making a toastWedding couple hands with engagement rings over lake background. Italy, Venice. Family with sled. In the parkThe man gives the girl an engagement ring, couple in christmas lights and decoration, dressed in white, fir tree on dark wooden ba. The men gives the girl anFamily. winter. Family lies. winterBeing sad wife looks at the ring in the palm in front of him, nostalgic about a former husband, family, marriage. The concept of a. Being sad wife looks at theHappy couple choosing engagement ring in mall. Sale, consumerism, shopping and people concept - happy couple choosing engagement ring at jewelry store in mallEngagement. A metahpher for an engagement or weddingMatching Wedding and Engagement white gold Rings. Isolated on white backgroundHappy couple in love on a summer holiday vacation.Celebrating holiday,anniversary,engagement. Woman laughing at a joke. Making women laugh.Humor in relationshipYoung man making marriage proposal, engagement ring, lady reject. Young men proposing to girlfriend, asking to marry, engagement ring box, indoor. Unhappy ladyYoung man holding engagement ring, making marriage proposal to g. Young guy holding box with engagement ring, making marriage proposal to girlfriend, requestingLooking at vintage printed family photos. Young engaged or married female person sitting at white desk holds photograph and chooses pictures for family photoLove, relationships, engagement and wedding concept - man proposes a woman to marry, red box ring, happy young romantic couple. Love, relationships, engagementFamily raising glasses in a toast. Elegant dinner of a multigenerational family, with its members raising glasses in a toastMother of the bride blesses the bride for a happy family life. Bride on wedding day holding her mother`s hands. Mother of the bride blesses the bride for aElegant dinner of a multigenerational family. With a grandmother raising her glass in a toastFamily of three. winter. sun. Family with baby. winter. sunWoman engagement. Happy young women with fiance showing her engagement ring to her motherFamily of three . winter. TreesCouple engagement. Couple in love having engagement dinner at the restaurantWinter family on sled. The winter family on sledConceptual hand writing showing Engagement. Business photo showcasing Formal agreement to get married arrangement for doing someth. IngHappy Family Sitting on Grass. A happy family are sitting and smiling on the grass near several treesSad girlfriend looking her engagement ring. Sad girlfriend crying while is looking her engagement ringJewels of family. Rings with precious stones in acollection of family jewelsEngagement Ring Couple. Close up of a young couples hands and diamond engagement ring with platinum and gold accents. Shallow depth of fieldMan with engagement ring making proposal to woman. Love, anniversary, surprise, people and holidays concept - happy men with engagement ring making proposal toHappy couple in love on a summer holiday vacation.Celebrating holiday,anniversary,engagement. Woman laughing at a joke. Making women laugh.Humor in relationshipClose up of woman and man with engagement ring. Proposal, holidays, jewelry and people concept - close up of happy women and men with engagement ring in gift boxWedding photography. Happy family. Groom and bride in white dress on background of the arch. Wedding ceremony. Happy familyProposal concept - Portrait of man showing an engagement ring diamond to his beutiful girlfriend over isolated white. Proposal concept - Portrait of men showingLove, relationship, engagement and people concept - happy couple. Love, relationship, engagement and people concept - happy kissing couple in love outdoors inCouple showing his engagement ring to a friend. In a coffee shopDivorce, separation: man removing wedding or engagement ring. Divorce, separation: hands of man removing wedding or engagement ringBoyfriend Surprised Her Girlfriend With Engagement Ring In Restaurant. Man giving an engagement ring to his girlfriend In Restaurant. Boyfriend Surprised Her
Both of my sisters had babies around the same time last year (they're 10 wks apart).  One sister did the whole enchilada and spent hundreds of dollars on a photo session and got some really breathtaking photos and made some into large canvas wall hangings they put in the house.  My other sister went to JCPenny and had the photo shoot there for about 1/10 of the cost.  While the professional ones were really amazing, they were too expensive for family members to purchase or my sister to give out as gifts unlike the ones from JCPenny that we all got copies of.  The JCPenny ones were not ALL great but there were definitely some gems.
This is the biggest question I get from almost all of my couples. While clothing is very subjective, your clients will seek assurance from you that their style is worth being photographed in. Regardless of what you say, your clients will probably end up wearing something they feel most comfortable in. However, from your experience, you can guide your clients into choosing to wear things that will look good in the camera.
I like that you pointed out how some photographers will be able to give digital copies of the photos by downloading it on a CD/DVD. I will look for a photographer who does that to ensure we have two copies of the images. We just need to have family pictures done starting now that we have kids, and we plan to do it every year on January to save memories of how we look together.
Being as I am just started out I figured it might be a good idea to get my feet wet in those editing programs before I take the big leap into Photoshop and pay it’s ungodly price!! (lol) anyhow, if you can think of a better site where I might get a little more practice editing pictures please let me know. And please let me know your honest opinion of the aforementioned websites.
Finding the perfect location is an important part of planning for the photo shoot of your dreams. I have my favorite places, and usually make a recommendation during our consultation based on your personality and style, but I always welcome your location ideas. I’d love to know if there is a place that is sentimental to your family so we can discuss our options and plan the best location to suit your family.
Kids are naturally photogenic. Instead of bending over backwards to create posed photos that look natural, try capturing the essence of special moments in your daily life. Take photos of your kids swinging from the monkey bars, splashing along the shoreline or tromping down the side of a large hill. Thanks to digital photography, you don’t have to worry about wasting film. You can take as many shots as you like until you find the ones that have the fresh, yet timeless feel you are looking for.
×