A Chicago Style First Year Birthday Shoot

One could say I am Type A and Type B simultaneously, if that is even possible. My type A persona as a photographer is extremely meticulous and comes very well prepared, if not over prepared, to every shoot. I plan out every detail and prepare myself for every possible outcome. On the other hand, the Type B in me readies myself for all unpredictable moments. My job involves “live” moments, they are not pre-recorded nor are they planned or well versed. Live is live, and anything can happen at any moment (especially with kids) and I am flexible and ready for it! Type A and Type B characteristics don’t compliment each other very often…yet I have to admit, I have a knack for doing it very well. (It’s ok to give myself props every once in a while, right?) So no matter how prepared I am for a shoot, I also have the ability to be that much more flexible.

Every moment is a photographic moment. It really is. That is my philosophy and what sets me apart from so many others. I find the moment, I get the shot, and I deliver it with great detail.

So as a family photographer, I serve to commemorate milestones –such as this 1st birthday-so families have stunning images to reminisce over, year after year.  And in no way does my job does end there. I go overboard to ensure my parents and the kiddos are happy, because this creates a wonderful experience for them, as well as stunning images!

So, how do I do that? I use one of my most recent milestone shoots as a terrific example. With preparation and planning, a well crafted photo shoot is guaranteed to be a success, with a dose of flexibility, of course!

It turned out that one of my very long time friends from New Jersey moved to Chicago and married a WONDERFUL woman. (Lucky him!) Brett and Beth asked me to photograph their daughter for her first birthday and I was over the moon to do it for them. To prepare for our shoot, Beth and I discussed various items in detail.  I asked her:

– Exactly how she envisioned the images (finished product) to look like

-What types of poses/shots she would like to have

-Where her ideal location was and why

-Who did she want in the photos (besides the birthday girl!)

-When was her daughter’s best time of day (we want her fed and napped so she is super happy for picture time!)

We then discussed adding meaningful props to enhance the birthday shoot (balloons, blanket, pearls, halo of flowers, tulips, ect.).

I always ask several questions. It is never to pry, only to create images that reflect the warmth and personality of the children and of the family. I know there is great anticipation when my clients are about to open the link to their gallery. I also know there are high hopes and expectations for beautiful images. My goal is to deliver! I don’t just want their pictures to be great, I want them to be extraordinary…and want them to have the same experience. That’s a tall order, but I happily strive to do it.

Here’s a peek into beautiful Juliana’s 1st birthday shoot.

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