This past Saturday we found ourselves on a quaint little Christmas tree farm in Yardley, PA (Colavita Christmas Tree Farm.) I was so excited to have our first photos taken as a family, but also undeniably anxious. To put it lightly, we are not models (except Emma, Emma is a model.) My husband and myself? We’re awkward. Like, what am I supposed to do with my hands?!
It is so, so important to have a good photographer. That doesn’t just mean that their work and style should align with yours, but it should mean there is somewhat of a connection between you on a personal level. They should be able to make you feel comfortable and they should know how to direct you with what the hell to do with your hands. Most photographers will ask you if you would like to have an “interview.” Whether it’s in person or over the phone, I highly suggest doing so. Usually it will show pretty quickly whether or not there’s a connection.
When planning our photo session, I decided to go with one of the photographers we had at our wedding (Niki Phillips Photography.) Not only was Niki able to capture our wedding day in a raw, beautiful way; Niki was able to connect with us, our family and our friends. His approach made every one of my guests feel comfortable. His photography ethic is flawless and sharp; He truly didn’t miss a beat and I question whether or not he even took a single break all night. Here’s just a few of my favorites:
Since then, Niki has had his adorable girlfriend, Aubrey, join him in is craft. Aubrey was able to easily orchestrate the entire session; On what to do, when to do it, etc. She was even sweet enough to lend us her blanket scarf as a prop when we needed something to sit on the ground with. Prior to the day of, I had sent Aubrey a few pictures of ideas I had in mind. She ensured that we at least tried to reenact each of the photos I had loved, plus some of her own creative ideas. Her and Niki worked together professionally and balanced off one another effectively. They were funny, down to earth, and remained calm (and patient) when Emma had a meltdown. Lastly, they returned the photos to us diligently. This was so important to us, since we want to use them for our Christmas cards and welp, it’s just about December (my fault.) If you are in the NJ/PA area (or beyond – I would just contact them about travel), I highly suggest you reach out to Niki and Aubrey for your photography needs. You won’t be disappointed.
Tips for a perfect photo session:
- As I said before, interview your photographer and make sure you mesh together well.
- Before your session, scroll through Pinterest for some ideas. Take note of locations, styles, props, etc. Anything special that catches your eye!
- If you’re wearing makeup, make sure your foundation doesn’t have SPF in it. SPF can cause flashback and make your face look white.
- Take everything out of your pockets! Nobody wants to look back on photos and see your phone in your back pocket (I know this from experience.)
- Make sure your photographer is aware of anything that could be helpful knowledge/useful information and send them the photos you found that you’d like to replicate.
- When it comes to your wardrobe, I prefer to not get too trendy. I like a timeless look that I won’t look back on fifteen years from now and wonder what the heck I was thinking.
- Don’t dress too matchy matchy. For example, if you want to all wear red, try to do different shades. You don’t want to clash and you definitely don’t want your family photo to become the next meme circulating the internet.
- Relax and listen to your photographer. They know best! We’re not all models here and we’re not expected to be. Let them work their magic.
- Have fun with it! Remember that these photos are for you. They’re not to impress Karen at the office or that boujee instamodel. If your family is goofy, let them be goofy. These photos should be a direct reflection of you and bring you back to that moment in time twenty years down the road.
Finally! Here are some of my favorites from our session…
Even when Emma became hungry and we had to feed her, Niki and Aubrey were able to transform this moment into beautiful pictures. They might even be my favorites! Being a parent isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but it’s who we are. It’s real and raw. Being a mom is my favorite job and these pictures reflect what I actually do on a day to day basis.
And because I could never choose just one…
Ugh, MY HEART! That smile and those cheeks get me every single time. I mean, LOOK:
THANK YOU, Niki and Aubrey for capturing my family and our love.
Niki Phillips Photography
Emma’s Outfit Details
My Outfit Details
*I promise you these jeans are the most comfortable, stretchy ones ever!
Marty’s Outfit Details
Thank you all for tagging along! I hope you enjoy these as much as we did.