portrait planning guide

when to schedule...

family portraits

At least 4 weeks in advance to ensure availability, check out the ​calendar at booking for dates and times!

engagement portraits

Anywhere from ​4-6 months before your wedding is ideal.

Your e-sesh allows you to be more creative with the season, style and location. 

time of day

I photograph portrait sessions on Sundays only within a couple hours of sunrise or sunset. Indoor sessions are perfect mid-day to get all that glorious afternoon sunlight coming in!

weather

It's important to take​ weather into consideration. Spring and Fall are ideal for outdoors sessions so you aren't sweating your booty off OR freezing your booty off. In cases of rain, snow or strong winds we reschedule. 

what to wear...

Be you

Accessorize with statement pieces and don't be afraid to be bold.

You can stay within your personal style but elevate the look!

comfort meets style

Personally, I go all out when dressing my family for portraits. I have photographed everything from a couple in a velvet blazer + backless gown to a couple with ripped jeans and a leather jacket with sunglasses on! Be stylish but comfortable so you are not constantly self aware that something has to keep being adjusted :)

hair and makeup

I always encourage makeup and a hairstyle you love!  

A pop of lip color can do magical things on camera too.  

match something

I legit choose color palettes and styles to match rooms in our home where the photo prints will be displayed. Consider matching your wedding colors if these photos are for your save the date or do a theme that is fun! Patterns and textures are your friend!

colors

I get asked this a lot and honestly there is no wrong color, I feel like you can make anything work if styled just right!

what to expect...

 

posed + candid

Typically the photos I take are half posed and half candid. I will direct you but I also capture all the 'in-between' moments, those always end up being my favorites! 

how many images?

This is dependent on each session as no two sessions are alike. I provide an estimate of the minimum number of images you will receive and galleries range from 25-75 images.

I deliver digital files so you can print on your own.

work mode

When I am photographing sessions or events I go into work mode. My eyes are scanning the area and I am forever searching for the best light. Sometimes I stop mid-sentence to take a photo and that's because I am in the zone, I want to capture all the amazingness!!! 

set your tone

Make your session the highlight of your day! Don't run a bunch of errands and pack your day full. You can set the tone by being relaxed, allowing enough time to get ready and be prepared as you possibly can be. I'm a mama and a wife, I know the hassle of getting everyone ready for photos :)

empty your pockets

Leave bags in the car. You can throw your keys, lipstick or your

phone into my camera bag. Minimalism is best.

how to make it perfect

An open line of communication! I do everything in my power to create amazing portraits. You are hiring me for a reason and I want you to have the best experience! If there is something that you are concerned about before or during the session please just open up and tell me so I can be mindful of that detail. 

after your session

Portrait galleries are ready within 3-4 weeks. I send a link to your online gallery via email and you are able to download the images and print on your own, there is also an option to print directly through the online gallery at the professional lab.

tips for families with small children...

 

i'm a mama. i have a four year old and a one year old, i know how stressful it is getting everyone ready, it has even been discouraging to attempt family portraits because of the unpredictable nature of children. But every kid is different! i won't tell ya what to do but here are my own life hacks for photos: 

01. Bribery is your friend. My hubby isn't exactly thrilled to take photos either so I bribe him too. No shame! Mama is gonna get her annual photos!

02. Schedule around nap time. Namaste. 

03. Do not upset them, there are some meltdowns that they won't recover from, especially around a stranger waving a camera in their face.

04. I.N.D.E.P.E.N.D.E.N.T.  (I sing that song in my head whenever I get extra back sass from the toddler). Let them do their own thing, we will try to get group shots first but if it doesn't work we will circle back to it.

05. Set your expectations of them low. 

06. It's not always about the 'smile at the camera'. Some of my favorite photos of my children are Brooke disgusted by the grass touching her legs for the first time and Blake mid-yawn. 

07. Don't make any other big plans for the day, the goal is to be calm, rested and happy!

08. Snacks. All of the snacks. 

09. Travel light. Just bring yourselves. If you need to bring a bag or supplies it is easiest to have a stroller to push.

10. Don't worry about stains or temporary boo-boo's, I photoshop those out.

locations...

fells point

city, cobblestone streets, waterfront, pier, colorful buildings, ivy wall, pretty doors

rawlings conservatory

greenhouse, cactus and succulents room, palm room, orchid room, mediterranean room, rain forest room (requires permit and fee)

cylburn arboretum

gardens, mansion, woods, open fields, really cool trees, variety of colorful flowers (requires permit)

clipper mill

industrial, edgy, brick buildings, parking garage, old glass windows

historic ellicott city

small town vibe, coffee shops, a tree lined trail, urban vibe

jerusalem mill

rustic vibe, stream, open field, lots of trees

Bromo selzter arts tower

giant clock tower, industrial (requires fee)

federal hill

city, view of Baltimore Harbor, park with trees

Patterson Park

the pagoda, butterfly garden, woodsy pond

Cromwell Valley Park

rustic white buildings, woody trails

locations cont'd...

loch ravern reservoir

water, tall trees, beachy area

north point state park

beach, sandy trails, woods with tall trees, tall grasses (requires entry fee)

hampton mansion

historical mansion, tall trees, pretty garden area

swan harbor farm

vintage farm vibe, gardens, open fields, cool trees, a waterfront area (requires permission)

oregon ridge park

we got married here! woodsy, trails, tall grasses, all of the trees

sherwood gardens

variety of flowers and plants, park has a picnic-y vibe and is very colorful in the Spring

liriodendron Mansion

mansion, gardens, vine covered porch, woods, elegant (requires permission)

choose your own!

Choose a setting that makes you happy, you want to feel in your element. You are required to get permission/permit/pay fees for any location that requires it. Keep in mind it needs to be within 20 miles of 21234 or a travel fee will apply. Some cool ideas are a library, museum, home, city, waterfront, woods, beach, bar, studio space, art gallery, beach, greenhouse, coffee shop, etc.

serving Maryland, Pennsylvania and anywhere with palm trees

  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Pinterest Icon

  baltimore, maryland  

   & everywhere   

let's
do this!

©2020 Alicia Wiley Photography, LLC | All Rights Reserved | Site credit