1.  First and most important...  If on the day of the session, your child is not feeling well, or just having a bad day, please call and reschedule your appointment. We would much rather reschedule than to have you less than thrilled with the results.  If your child does not feel well, it will show in the finished portrait.

2.  Never coach or tell your child to smile.  This will never result in a natural expression.  Children are born knowing how to smile and often parents will try to teach them to do it a different way.  Getting the right expression is our responsibility.  We will never tell a child to smile!  They will smile naturally as a reaction to what is going on in the camera room.  We don't always want a smile anyway. A large smile will result in squinting.

3.  What to wear...clothing is an important factor in a portrait. Avoid outfits that makes your child angry. We can usually do more than one outfit if your child will tolerate it. Changing clothing can make a child frustrated or angry. We cannot do 4 or 5 outfits.  Here are a few tips:

*  keep it simple. The more elaborate the outfit, the more likely a part of it will be out of place during the session. Children are not miniature adults... they tend to move much quicker

*  make your child the star of the show. Select an outfit that doesn't compete with your child when you look at the image.  Avoid strong primary colors, and high contrast outfits (such as light top and dark pants). A rule of thumb is to put light colors together and dark colors together.

*  patterns are fine if they are subtle. A strong pattern competes with your child for attention. Avoid bold stripes, plaids and big emblems or designs.

*  shoes are definitely optional...don't spend a great deal of time looking for the perfect shoes. We would much rather see bare feet than the bottom of a shoe.

*  hats are great, but to avoid messing up their hair, or making them mad, we will add it toward the end.

These are just guidelines. If you have doubts about what to bring, select several outfits and we will help you decide when you get to the studio. Don't forget to bring any items that are special to you or your child. A favorite stuffed animal, a special piece of jewelry, an item that was given to the child from a special person... 

4. What to expect... When most people arrive at the studio, they need a little time to get settled in. We schedule plenty of time for your session so don't feel we need to get started right away.  Your child needs to get comfortable with us.  We can tell when it's time to get started.  It's ok to arrive a few minutes early, but avoid getting here too early. It's likely there is a session scheduled before you and we don't want to use up your child's patience just waiting for us.

5.  What should you do while we're photographing...We consider you part of the team and you are welcome to join us in the camera room.  Most children will feel a bit more comfortable with you there, and we will sometimes need your help. Please avoid coaching the child, especially if there is more than one adult in the room.  We will need the child to look in a certain direction, and too many voices will be confusing.  This is your child's special time. Please avoid bringing other children or friends that are not a part of the session. Sometimes it is best if we work with the children alone.

6. Bribes... We're not above a little bribery as a last resort, but we caution parents not to start with a bribe.  In other words don't promise a special treat or trip if they're good while here. A properly placed bribe is a thing of beauty and can be highly effective if done at the right time. It's rarely needed, but nice to know it's there just in case.

Finally... if there is anything we can do to make your experience better, or special situations we should be aware of, please contact us at (315) 465-4848    We encourage you to stop by and look at the many samples to get ideas for your child's portrait.  We look forward to creating a portrait of your child that you will cherish forever.

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