Step Two: Plan for Your Client, Not Yourself
Step two, plan for the family. Every family is different - embrace the uniqueness of the family, okay? This is when you are gonna really use that questionnaire that we had on Iris okay? Ask questions to guide your session, okay? And each family's different - some are new moms, some have lots of kids, dogs, some have toddlers; just don't expect perfection. We're gonna go over shot ideas about the family ideas later but just embrace this uniqueness, and style the session around them with kind of a flare of you, okay. So this, I wanted to give you this example. When I walk into a home, if I see an element of a home that I think is really cool, that would make for a really cool composition and then what? What doesn't happen? It sets you apart, okay? Most people don't go searching for blue walls during newborn sessions right? So this boat right here, these boats? Guess what that was. A mobile, so what happened to the crib? I moved it okay? So cribs are moveable okay? If you see something in...
the home and you wanna use it, ask the family. Like at the back of your mind you'll leave a session like oh my gosh, that rainbowish ottoman was so cool, I wish we would've used it but it was in the other room that we didn't shoot in. Then move it, right? So start watching for these things. Plan for that family. So I moved it, look at how dark that room was. You guys see how dark this room was? But I purposely shot in there with side directional lighting which we're gonna get into, in order to create the story okay? How to stand out in your area. Okay we're gonna get into prepping... Okay, use your clients questionnaire. Think outside the box okay? Outside the box. Do you see she's holding the newborn over there? This was at the very end of our session and the older kiddos were starting to kinda have a meltdown because we were you know, not paying attention to them as much as the newborn baby, you know which happens. So plan an activity. Every newborn session, you plan an activity. Typically, what do newborns do? What activities can newborns do? Anybody? Sleep, eat, but an activity. Bathe, a bath right? A bath is a great activity to do with a newborn because you get natural moments occurring, you're having connection okay? The baby connects with you by A, screaming while in the bath right? Or B, smiling, and what happens after the bath? Parents are laughing, there's bubbles, there's the hoodie thingy you put on their head right? All of these natural, organic moments happen. Dad and mom are laughing at each other because the baby peed in the bath - funny things happen - and these are all of those moments that you can't recreate right? With POA sessions you can create something, but with lifestyle you setup activities, you know actions cause reactions right? So you set this up and then these things organically happen. So try to think of activities that you can do with your newborn okay? Changing them, you know? Sometimes you get there and they haven't even had their first bath yet. Always ask, you'll be surprised because how cool is it to be able to document their first bath right, ever - that's so cool! So ask these things okay? Take other images during that activity. Don't just focus. Remember we're talking about infusing a baby into a lifestyle session, okay? So don't just feel like you have to concentrate on the baby okay? Like this one. Why do you think I picked this location? The light? But what's cool in this photo, what sets this apart? The blue sink. I mean hello, they have a blue sink! When I walked in and I'm like we need to use this blue sink. My ISO I think on these pictures were like 20,000 - it was pitch black in there, so dark, so dark - and I jacked up the ISO and I dealt with it later because I wanted to use that blue sink right? So this is at the end. We filled the bubbles up and I infused this. So this is what's gonna make you guys standout okay? You're not just gonna be taking pictures of mom holding the baby with a foot hanging over the arm. You're not just gonna be taking mom snuggling the baby like this looking at the baby, okay? You're gonna have motion and connection, and fun, and family moments okay? So, for instance, these all happened. Look! It's like lifestyle pictures, right? In the middle of a newborn shoot, 'kay? Parents love this because they don't just love their newborn, right? They love all their children. So take a minute, take the kids away. If mom's feeding the baby and the other little kiddos wanna keep hanging out with you, take them into their room, like have them play tea party with their sibling you know? Take advantage of you were there documenting their family. Document them. Don't just document the baby okay? Tell the story. What's happening right now? Okay and this was the story. I mean how fun are those right? We filled up the sink. Organic soap doesn't make a lot of bubbles so if you have an organic-y family, bring soap. (audience laughs) (laughs) I don't know how many like, brands I can talk about. There's certain brands that make more bubbles; use them, okay? I wanna make a really quick note about this one. You see her tooth? This kinda goes with family lifestyle but I wanna touch on it. If they're missing teeth, make sure you see them okay? 'Cause how old do you think she is based on this photo?
Six, six! You got it, goosebumps, everybody said it together. (audience laughs) Okay? Exactly, so what did we just do? We told a story, okay, and we can remember how old she was, and she was six years old when what happened? When her baby sibling was born, okay? You're getting where I'm going with this? Do you see how this can set you apart? Okay? Alright, use elements in their session. Back to...Everybody has blue something, I don't know what it is (laughs). Blue is the color! Blue is the coloring color, it brings me down. Okay, use fun elements and be okay with different, okay? When you're talking with your client have them list out what's important to them right now, okay, and make a list. So, what's important to you right now, as a mum? We bake cookies with our kids, right? We play play-dough with our kids. When I think back to when Tyler was born what was the best time that I had? Giving him a bath with daddy. Kenny was hilarious, hilarious with Tyler when he was in the bath. You know dad's get really funny, you know, where like mom's would be really sweet in the tub. Those are things you wanna look back on and remember okay? Bath time. So what's really fun right now with your newborn? Bath time. You know and give your clients ideas you know 'cause they're not gonna think of bath time as being something atypical, you know that's just a normal routine. So say what are your routines right now? What's your bedtime routine? You know for me personally, it was we gave him a bath and then 'cause you read all the books on what to do to make sure your child doesn't break, you know, (audience laughs) so then you give him a bath, this is what you do A, B, C, and D. You know they send you home from the hospital with a baby and you're like what do I do with this baby? So you give'em a bath and then you put their lotion on 'cause that's what you're supposed to do, and then you - this is first time mom stuff - then you put their pajamas on and not too warm because they can't be too warm, and then you read'em a book okay? What's an activity that just happened? Reading a newborn a book okay? We all read to our newborns too. All (stutters) so do that you know? Do that, have the sibling in your lap, have a newborn in this arm, have the sibling in your arm read the baby a book okay? So find what activities are families doing on a regular basis that you can document to tell the story, okay? You gotta think in terms of story. Think back to your why. Why are we doing this? We are telling a story for them to have forever okay? So little things like - and these are things you need to be aware of. I'll be at home sometimes and I'll see there's some like dads or moms, and the dad will like kind of touch mom on the back, or like rub her back every once in a while, and I'm like I wish Kenny did that (chuckles). (audience laughs) Not really, sorry. But then we're like oh that's really sweet, I wonder if he does it all the time, and then you see him doing it throughout the session, take a picture of that 'cause that's what's happening. If mom's holding the baby and you see dad go up and make connection in some way, document that okay? That's the activity. That's the connection right there okay? Dads burping babies. How do dads burp a baby? Like crazy, they don't know how to burp a baby! They like hold them and they're all like weird. Document that! Don't, do not tell dad to hold the baby correctly okay? As long as you're not hurting the baby, just let them do it how they do it and take a picture of that 'cause it's hilarious! Like new dads with baby, they're like, they're not gonna break and they have these big hands, and they hold them like they're little glass balls you know? So document all of that okay? All those little things that parents don't realize make them who they are, are so important.