Welcome Guide

Hello, and Welcome!

Setting the Stage for a Successful Photo Session

I’m absolutely delighted that you’ve entrusted me to capture this special moment in your family’s journey. As a mom and former preschool teacher, I truly appreciate the importance of preparation and setting expectations for a successful photo session. To ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience, I’ve prepared this welcome guide.

I hope you’ll take some time to read through it and feel more confident and comfortable as we embark on this photography journey together. Thank you again for choosing me as your photographer, and I look forward to working with you!

Our Session Path

Before digging in, here’s a quick overview of the whole photo session process.

1

Zoom Consultation

Book your zoom consultation and fill out the questionnaire; linked in your Welcome Email. I will work on a personal styling board for you to help streamline the planning process for you .

2

Location Selection

Consider the tips for choosing an outdoor location below and we’ll work together to choose where you would like your session to take place. (from my list of approved locations.)

Family of six, playing together on a creekbed at Patapsco Park.
A pregnant mother affectionately kisses her partner on the beach at Beverly Triton as their toddler, standing close, holds onto them and gazes into the camera. The family enjoys a heartwarming moment by the shore, capturing the love and anticipation of their growing family.
3

Session Day

I use a combination of prompting and very light posing to elicit natural connections. Plan to spend about an hour together. Time and space is essential to let the magic happen!

4

Gallery Delivery

Expect to receive a soft-proofed gallery (with basic edits applied) in about 1-2 weeks. Once your collection is purchased, your photos will be fully retouched and returned to your online gallery in about 1 week. You’ll have access to download, share, and use your print credit for the following 30 days.

Planning Outfits

let your style shine through

Wardrobe contributes a so much to the artistry of your final images. That’s why I offer a styling consultation with all of my sessions. We’ll chat about everything you need to know regarding styling you and your family for our session. Check out the link to my Zoom calendar in the booking confirmation email and schedule a time for us to chat at least 6 weeks before your session. You can also refer to my do’s and don’ts for more tips on planning your outfits. When we virtually meet, we’ll work together to finalize outfits that not only look great but also make you feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera.

Choosing a location

Session locations are available from your choice of one of my preferred outdoor locations. Check out the questionnaire in your welcome email to let me know your preferences, then we can work together to narrow it down and choose the best fit for you. All outdoor locations are scheduled according to golden hour; within 1 hour after sunrise/prior to sunset. Of course; since we’re working with light, and have to accept that it’s always shifting; it’s important to be flexible with timing the day of.

Here are some things to take into consideration when making our final decision:

Comfort

We want a space where you feel comfortable to be in front of the camera. If you, or some of your family members have shy personalities, we may want to factor a less public space into your decision.

Character

What makes your family unique? Choose a location that fits in with who you are as a family. Do you enjoy spending time in your garden or a park? Perhaps you spend lots of time hiking or on camping trips? Your location should speak to your family’s personality.

Convenience

Take each member of your family into consideration. What are their ages and needs? For example, if you have two toddlers then an open field might be a great location to allow for space for them to be active and explore.

Expecting mom and dad embracing on the edge of the water at Great Falls Park.

A few of my favorite locations

Kinder Farm Park
Patapsco Valley State Park
Howard County Conservancy
Beverly Triton Nature Park
and growing…

Make the most out of your Session

  • Schedule hair cuts/coloring about a week or two prior to your session.
  • Try on your outfits a week before to be sure everything fits and is comfortable.
  • Have everything cleaned, steamed, and ready to put on the night before.
  • Talk to your kiddos about the session in the week leading up. This will ensure they have time to process what to expect and help the session run a little smoother. You can show them my picture from my ‘About Me’ page, and explain I’m a friend they’re going to see to take pictures while you hang out and play.
  • Schedule down-time before the session to rest, and make sure everyone is well hydrated and fed.
  • Photo sessions are a special opportunity to celebrate your family, if possible plan a special outing (like getting ice cream) for afterwards. Sometimes this helps if we need to encourage a little cooperation during the session.
  • If you have any questions leading up to your session, please send me a message! I’m happy to help.

This tip is so important, I had to give it it’s own tab. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to arrive on time. All my sessions are scheduled according to light. Please arrive on time. Map the route out before your session day, and allow for a buffer of 15 minutes between your arrival and your session start time. If you arrive late to your session it can greatly reduce the amount of images in your final gallery or cause your session to be cancelled.

  • Water bottles
  • Non-staining snacks. Avoid things like gummies, chocolate, or goldfish crackers (can stain or get stuck in teeth) instead opt for cheerios, mini marshmallows, even smarties.
  • Brush, hairspray, and clips.
  • Makeup bag for touchups
  • Small bag/backpack to hold personal belongings like phones, wallets, and apple watches. That way they stay out of pockets where they can create bulges.
  • A change of clothes, especially for kiddos.
  • Bug Spray (check for ticks after)
  • The most important rule is to let go of expectations and focus on relaxing and having fun! This is so important because it really sets the tone for your session. Take the time to be present, relax and love on your family.
  • I have a planned session flow for my sessions to ensure that we get all necessary images, and my goal is to pose and prompt you in ways that allow natural moments to unfold. I have two simple tips that help encourage natural connection and candid moments: One, (especially for the adults) is to avoid looking at the camera,
  • And, two, always be touching someone. Whether it’s a hug or just a tender hand on the shoulder. Make contact with your family. This makes the love and care you feel for one another, visible.
  • Don’t stress if your kiddos are a little shy or acting a little wild. As a mom and former preschool teacher I have worked with so many children over the years and I have seen it all. We’ll follow their lead. So perhaps a shy kiddo gets extra snuggles, whereas the wild one gets more time to be active and explore. It’s all about who your family is in this very moment. I want you to embrace that.

I take great care going over all of your images and spend some time looking through to narrow down your gallery to the best of the best images. My turn around time for your full gallery is about 3 weeks. I do not offer sneak peeks because I find that focusing on your gallery as a whole allows me to turn around images in a more timely fashion and I think waiting to see all your images at once really ups the wow factor. Because my sessions are moment based, I just pick the best moments to edit and share with you. But I do guarantee approx. 40 images in your gallery. Once I’ve finished soft-proofing your session, I will upload it my gallery website, Pic-Time. I will send you the link to view your images, you will then have the chance to purchase the exact collection that is the best fit for you and your family.

Once you’ve made your selection, the chosen images will undergo thorough editing and retouching. I will upload your final images to your gallery in about 1-2 weeks, and then you can download, share, and purchase prints/products for the following 30 days. Be sure to download your images before then, after 30 days your gallery will be archived. There is a fee to re-upload a gallery.

I have worked to curate a collection of high-quality, professional grade prints and products available for you to purchase in my Pic-Time gallery store. There is no requirement to purchase prints from me. However, I cannot guarantee the color or print quality from third party printers. Outside of my shop, I recommend Mpix for prints and Artifact Uprising for other print products.

I am so excited, and can’t wait to get started!

Feel free to email me any time if you have any questions!

Erin Link, Annapolis Family photographer is sitting in an egg chair in a studio, holding a camera. She is wearing a blue embroidered dress and a hat, looking towards the camera with a smile. The studio is lit with natural light, creating a warm and inviting ambiance.