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Hello! Thank you so much for visiting Shani Dreams of Photography! My hope is that this client guide will help you feel as prepared and relaxed as you possible for your upcoming photo session. My sessions are a mix of  posed and natural with some direction and lots of interaction with your loved ones. Most people don't feel super comfortable being photographed (I certainly love hiding behind the camera - ha!), so I love to talk and laugh with my clients and get them focused on each other or the beauty of the moment and not worry to much about the camera lens. I like to have fun during portrait sessions, and am always excited to get to spend time with my clients!

Details on booking your photo session...

Your session deposit will be due at time of booking to reserve your date and time. I will email you an invoice, which you can pay via Venmo to @Shani-Dreams, via Zelle @949-689-3026, or via credit card. Your session price includes your location and full photo session, hand-editing of your photos by me, and the digital download of the number of photos you have purchased. The session price is non-refundable, but it is transferable should we need to reschedule due to weather, illness, or other unforeseen circumstances.

The exciting stuff...Within two to three weeks of your photo session (I always try for sooner!), you will receive an email with a link to your "First Look" online photo gallery. At this stage, your photos will be lovingly edited but not heavily retouched. This means that I haven't gone through yet to soften facial features like darkness or lines under eyes or smoothing of flyaway hair. You'll now go through your gallery and favorite a few of the photos that you'd like me to retouch more or you. Please let me know if you have any special requests! Within a week, you'll receive a link to your finalized gallery. You will be able to download your purchased number of photos as well as order and download additional photos if available. You also may order professional-quality prints and canvases directly from your photo gallery.

Here are some important details about your session...

Full-length outdoor sessions will take place either in the early morning or in the evening when sunlight is softer, warmer, and more flattering in photographs. Sunset sessions are truly gorgeous and produce a stunning background for your photos. Mid-day light is usually too harsh to produce a large set of photos, but it can be just right to create a handful of beautiful shots during a mini session. Remember, your session is scheduled according to light; therefore, it is very important that we start on time. Please plan for traffic or parking constraints. It's best to arrive early. If we start late, we will run out of time and possibly day light and might not be able to capture the quality or number of photos we would like, and also your family will feel stressed out and have a difficult time relaxing during your session.


























Some Clothing Color Scheme Ideas for Families

My advice on what to wear and not wear for your photos...

I strongly recommend that your family members do not wear matching clothing colors or matching outfits but rather an array of colors that compliment each other (see wardrobe color scheme ideas above for inspiration). When people standing beside each other in a photo wear the same color top or outfit, a group of people suddenly look like one large person with a lot of legs and arms. In particular, I advise against wearing white shirts with blue jeans in your photos as this takes away from the individuality of each family members’ face. Instead, opt for vibrant colors that truly capture the warmth of your family. Warm colors really POP in photos and make the final result incredibly special. So...strive for a palette of colors that look beautiful together. Also think about incorporating color-coordinating accessories like scarves, jewelry, and shoes. I find Pinterest to be a great source of ideas for color schemes. Lastly, you will want to stay away from clothing with large logos or graphics as they are distracting in photos.

IMPORTANT tips for grassy park locations...

I advise staying away from green clothing, which blends in too much with the color of the grass and trees. We want your family to be highlighted from the background of your photos. Also, avoid wearing too much white clothing. White tends to pull the color green from grass and reflects that green onto your skin color, which is not flattering on anyone! 

Tips for beach photos...

A real must…Everyone should wear flip flops so we can move easily over rocks and be able to kick off flip flops when in the water or sand. I recommend leaving all valuables, sunglasses, and handbags securely locked in the trunk of your car or at home. Basically, don’t bring anything you need to carry in your hands or place in your pockets during the session. For the guys: The look of cell phones in pants pockets is not ideal, so please remove them from pockets before the session begins. We will be walking a bit around the beach, and you don’t want the stress of having to constantly set down your belongings and then keep a watchful eye over them. I will have a small back pack for your cell phones and keys.

BEACH ATTIRE: I recommend using the color white sparingly (don't have everyone in white or light colors) and staying away from very light  beige, light yellow, and ivory clothes at the beach. Too many light colors tend to blend in too much with the sand and create a bit of a colorless look. Some exceptions to this: Guys in beige pants with a deep blue or green shirt look great. For ladies, a white/ivory top works nicely if it's something with lace or texture to it. Just be sure to stay away from oversized tops and turtleneck sweaters, which add unwanted bulkiness in photos. If wearing a sweater, I would still plan to bring a cute top to also wear. For women, coral and light pink color sweaters look amazing at the beach!


After a beach portrait session, it's always a good idea to have towels and a change of clothes in the car for your next destination just in case your clothing gets wet, which can happen at the beach! Plan on wet feet and legs.


Sessions with children...

For little girls who will be wearing dresses for the photo session, I strongly recommend pairing dresses that fall above the knee with leggings. With sitting and playful poses, dresses tend to shift upwards more than you might want.


 It's really helpful to have young children well fed before your session (and bring snacks and water, too). Setting the mood ahead of time will help keep your photo session as relaxed as possible. You can tell your kids that you're meeting up with a friend who will be taking pictures of your family having fun together. Please don't worry if your child is moving nonstop as I enjoy photographing children playing and exploring. I really love when kids get excited to offer their ideas on where to take a photo and how they should pose! To capture family shots with younger children, I will sometimes suggest that parents or siblings just be near each other, interacting and smiling (when natural in the moment).

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