Photo Session Guide

minisessionfa14-4109-EditThank you for trusting me with your photo session.  I am committed to providing you with my best work and a the tools to help you have a fun and engaging experience.  I want to capture the love in a family, a commitment to your work, and the free spirit that makes you who you are. I have prepared a few tips and tricks here that will enhance your experience.  Take a minute to review them and share them with whomever else may be involved that day–older children, grandparents, your spouse & even the dog if he was invited.


san diego, balboa park, family portrait photographer, san diego family portrait photographer, magenta dress, family with two girls, what to wear to a photo sessionWhat to Expect (for families)

There is not a single person on the planet who likes to sit still and smile for 6o minutes–especially your kids.  When starting the conversation with your family talk about an outing to the park, beach, wherever where their will be a mommy there with a camera–all in an age appropriate voice, of course.  There will be times where I ask you to sit or stand or even climb.  Don’t tell them what you want them to do with their smile. My job is to make you forget about all that and have fun with the assortment of games and jokes I have up my sleeve. I even have games for the adults in the shoot.  So, don’t worry–I’ll get you too!

You’ll want to be comfortable. Doany personal business before we start.  This means having a snack in the car (and leaving it in the car), going potty, and any extra fluffing you need to do. It’s most agreeable for everyone if you arrive on time.

Bribery with treats of the editable kind will ensure you have melted chocolate all over your teeth and funny expressions half way through a chew. We want everyone to be willing to go with the flow. Forcing things makes everyone grumpy. Bribery falls under the category of forcing things.

We all know Mommy and Daddy are amazing at getting Little Joey to smile. Please do your best to avoid being cute adorable selves while I’m trying to get your little ones to look at me and the camera.  I can be very silly and engaging but there is no way I can compete with you. Please do not hesitate to let me know what he or she might respond to.

Looking Your Best

Generally, take care of yourself the days leading up to the shoot–drink water, stay out of the sun, and get good sleep.

Pick out clothes that you feel great in.  It will reflect in how you carry yourself that day. Heals can be very flattering but you may also want to bring a pair of flip flops or comfy shoes to wear between shots since a lot of my locations can be

Makeup helps everyone but makeup for the camera needs to be done up a little more than what you usually wear. The camera does not pick up on it as well as our eyes do.  Practice putting on a bit more than normal and take a selfie. It’s usually a good indicator of what will show up during our session. Fake eye lashes can be awesome too! Coconut oil helps with stray hair and dry skin. Blotting tissues at any drug store can help with oily skin. Makeup tips for creating contour can be bidart_hs-7119-Edit-Editfound online, but we could all use an excuse to head to Sephora.


Eyedrops, a clean shave and leave your wallet in the extra stuff bag (see below).


Keeping the face clean is the only thing we need to do.  But if it were that easy I wouldn’t need to tell you to bring wipes or tissues.  Part of keeping it real is the dirt, sand and puddles.


All the Extra Stuff

You won’t want to be juggling your stuff so anything you want to bring with you should be put into a bag you don’t mind putting on the ground–like a reusable grocery tote. This would be ideal for cell phones, sunglasses, nice purses, wallets, keys, toys, extra shoes, towels, treats and bags for the dog, and whatever else you can think of.


Beach Sessions

Yes–this gets it’s own section. Bring towels.  You will more than likely get wet even if you try really hard not too. Baby powder is great for getting little bits of sand off you when we are finished.  It’s also a good idea to keep an extra change of clothes in the car.

If your child is not familiar with the beach, it can be an unpredictable experience. I would highly recommend going a few times leading up to our session.



As a former teacher, and now as an active parent in my own kids' school I love to help rally community and fundraise with my photography services. This works best with my mini sessions which don't come around very often. I work with your school's parent-teacher group much like we would with a restaurant dine-out where a percentage of the proceeds go right back to your school. We pick dates and locations, parents sign up through you. I take care of the rest!

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Photos By Leyna

Serving San Diego & Beyond