Portrait sessions bring to life the beauty and simplicity of the everyday moments.
A big celebration, a quiet moment and those in between are worth capturing and honoring. We love sessions that are supposed to go one way and end up going another – it’s a reflection of how we live our lives. The laughter of an inside joke, the unstoppable giggles between siblings and the priceless expressions your child is famous for – you know, like that one that somehow blends mischief, adventure and bliss-filled love all into one? And it’s usually the unexpected shots that end up being your favorites (and for us too.) They are the imperfections in life – the honesty, the authenticity, and the real.
We believe all emotions are beautiful – and we love capturing them. We take time to laugh at life and help you relax during your time with us. And, we want you and your family to have fun! We totally understand how not everyone enjoys having their picture taken.
Our sessions for families and children focus on capturing everyone’s individual personality and exuberance for one another and for life. Sessions are $200, typically take 1-2 hours and are never rushed. Indoor and outdoor sessions are available as weather permits. Shooting in our studio is always an option, though we really love shooting on location the best. We’ll talk before the session and brainstorm locations and activities that are favorites of your family. Incorporating these elements into your family session will undoubtedly help us create more meaningful images. And, we also promise your session will never feel rushed – ever.
Your $200 session fee covers up to 5 people. It is $25 for each additional person. Gift prints, which are 8×10 and below, start at $75. After our session, we’re going to show you the ‘best of the best’ and we recommend our clients budget anywhere between $500-$2500 for their wall collections. We offer custom heirloom albums, beautifully framed artwork and gallery wraps, as well as many other products.
For more detailed pricing you can contact us through this site or give us a call at 608-238-2020. We would love to chat!
What to Expect
What to Expect
Okay, we’ve captured the memories, now it’s time to finally attack that bare wall that’s elusively escaped family memories, frames and smiling faces. It can be overwhelming and it’s not uncommon for our clients to be overcome with emotion. You’re looking at images of the people you love most in this world – if we’ve done our job, they should move you. Of course, it doesn’t make selecting them any easier. After enjoying a slideshow with all your images, we’ll work with you to carefully and thoughtfully select the images most precious to you. And, based on past client experience, you will be relieved when the decisions are made and all you have to do is look forward to receiving your beautiful portraits and products!
How will we order? Ordering images from your session takes place in our studio approximately two weeks after your session. We will review a variety of size options, collection ideas and album choices to help showcase your photos in the best way possible. All of the images your order will be mounted on archival board and sprayed with a high-quality protective finish.
Our friends had their portraits taken by you and referred us. Do we get anything? You sure do! There’s no greater compliment than a referral. If a past client refers you, you will receive a $100 gift credit to be used towards your purchase. When YOU refer friends, you will receive another $100 gift credit to use as well.
Everyone looks so good on your website! How can I look just as good for my session? Go and check out our what to wear section on our site. Our most important goals are doing what it takes to make you sure you have fun, and feel amazing and confident. If you feel good, you will look good! Also, basic retouching is included as part of the session and ordering.
How far in advance do I need to call to book? We are currently scheduling portrait sessions one to two months in advance. Only a limited number of sessions are scheduled each month, so earlier is always better. We do require full payment ($200 session fee) to schedule your session.
What to Wear
What to Wear
But what do we wear? The session fee is paid, the portrait agreement signed, and you’re getting excited about your upcoming session. But then . . . the dreaded question arises: “What on earth are we going to wear?”
It’s a great question, and an important one. The last thing we all want is a timeless family photo permanently stamped with the era of Hello Kitty or Lightning McQueen. (Yes, even though our kids swear they’ll love them forever.)
But where to go from here? And what traditional portrait wardrobe rules are meant to be bent, if not broken entirely? And what about dressing the entire family? Worry no more–that’s where this guide enters the, ahem, picture. So sit back, enjoy a little light reading, and get inspired! The result will be fresh, classic yet distinctly modern portraits that tell the story of your family.
The simplest wardrobe choice for your maternity session is (okay, deep breath)…none at all! Moms-to-be are often stunned at the elegant images that result from creative posing and camera angles that show “just enough.” If you’re not inclined to bare all, there are many options that result in the gorgeous bare belly shots everyone wants. Try a fitted tank top and low-waisted yoga pants (black looks especially sleek). The “fitted” part is key – we want to show off that beautiful baby bump! Perhaps we take a few fun shots with hip tees that disply clever proclamations on them – always nice as well! We also recommend staying far far away from tightly-fitted elastic waistbands and socks a few hours before your session. This avoids indentations in your skin and keeps your bump smooth and indentation free. Wristwatches are also best left off for the session.
For newborn sessions, two key wardrobe questions significantly affect your images. First, what will the baby wear? And second, what will we wear? That’s right, mom and dad . . . you’ll be in some of the photos as well, even if just as a “backdrop” to the star of the show.
Newborns are absolute perfection when they wear nothing at all! For variety and some fun pops of color, we also like to use the swaddling blankets you have at home – that also gives the images a personal touch.
With Mom and Dad in the shot, there are few things more stunning than skin-on-skin shots of proud parents holding their beautiful newborn baby. Images for this type of shot are generally closely cropped (as to capture the parents awestruck gaze of their little one, and vice versa). We recommend Mom and Dad wear long-sleeved black shirts to help provide a sophisticated, dramatic backdrop. If you’re up for it, Dad can also be shirtless for some shots, as can Mom, or she could wear a strapless bra or tank top.
Star of the show
A wildly-patterned pair of cargo pants and a hipster tee. Her funky hot pink tutu and cowboy boots. His superhero cape. Her five closest stuffed and cuddly friends. Individual shots offer your child a chance to embrace his or her personality through fashion like no other.
Without the concern of clashing or competing patterns that exist in a family shot, the creative possibilities are limitless! Break rules. Have fun. Let your little super star shine in the light the love. Go ahead and break out your daughter’s bright, crazy Oilily ensemble – yes, the one that gives your Strasburg-loving mother-in-law fits – or your son’s beloved rain boots, it doesn’t matter. Let’s capture something bold, memorable, and no-holds-barred fun!
Wardrobe choices for sibling shots, like those for family images, should be complementary but without the requirement of matching uniforms. A tried and true formula for boy/girl sibling duos includes a patterned dress or skirt for the girl, with the boy in a solid shirt pulled from that pattern. If the little girl is wearing a solid shirt with a patterned skirt, have the boy’s top match a different color in her skirt, so that their shirts don’t match precisely. Trust us, it works! Fight the urge to put your boys or girls in the exact same outfit. We recommend mixing it up a bit – while still creating a pleasing overall combination. And, it makes for amazing images.
Flowing white shirts and khakis on the beach. Navy polos and you guessed it, more khakis. We’ve all seen those photos – heck, most of us have been in those photos. But there is a big difference between creating the uniform approach and some smart, simple coordination. And, it’s not as difficult as you might think to pull this off.
The cardinal rule of dressing for a family portrait session is simple: choose items for the entire family as if you were creating one outfit. If all of your choices were somehow on one person, how would it look? Mismatched or beautiful color harmony? A handy trick for those who are hesitant to break away from monochrome madness is to choose one patterned item (for example a print dress for your daughter) and then select the rest of the family’s clothing from colors within that pattern.
Pulling it all together
Now that you know some basic tips for various types of sessions, how do you put it all together? A good place to start is by defining the style sensibility you want reflected in your session. Do you want to capture your typical style, or perhaps a more formal or casual version of it? Look at the furniture around your home, or notice the magazine spreads to which you are drawn. Chances are, these preferences have everything to do with your clothing style and can provide great style and color inspiration for your session wardrobe choices.
What follows are a few common styles. This list is by no means all-inclusive, but they should get those wheels turning! Lastly, you’ll find an extensive collection of web resources at the end of this guide. Happy shopping!
Modern classic style… Is your home a mixture of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Pottery Barn? Refined but never stuffy, modern classic style is not quite traditional, not quite trendy, and “just right” for many. Streamlined looks from Gap, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and Burberry are perfect for this look. For those who want modern classic but with a smidge of romantic whimsy or British flair, try Anthropologie for her and Thomas Pink for him. You’ll find loads of smart classics for the little ones at Janie and Jack (Gymboree’s more refined big brother), J. Crew’s Crewcuts, Land’s End, and Lilly Pulitzer.
Modern trendy or eurostyle… Are you more Terence Conran with a dash of Jonathan Adler than Restoration Hardware? If so, you’ll undoubtedly love trendy, European labels like Deux par Deux, Le Fromage et L’orange and Oilily. The bold, colorful prints of these French and Dutch labels scream fun, whimsical childhood. For those of us desiring more subtle but nevertheless cutting-edge looks, Mini Boden and Tea Collection are complete perfection. Mom and Dad will also love (not-so-Mini) Boden, which offers hip yet refined style with an undeniably British sense of humor. Of course there is always the romantic modern feeling of Anthropologie, a personal favorite of ours at Krakora Studios.
Traditional style… Though our particular style of photography – which focuses more on lifestyle images than elaborately posed captures – lends itself less to ultra-traditional wear, sometimes clients will want slightly more formal clothing for their session. We particularly love the retro-sweet styles of Olive Juice Kids and Pears and Bears; they are traditional, yet updated and fresh looks. For the ultimate in luxurious old European (as opposed to funky European!) styles, try Flora and Henri and Papo d’Anjo. You won’t be disappointed with their impeccable, classic choices. For mom and dad, try Brooks Brothers (for both), Talbots (for both but more commonly for her), and Hickey Freeman (for him).
We LOVE engagement sessions – they capture your true personalities and oh-so-sweet relationships. Yes, the wedding day marks the celebration, but engagement sessions reflect how you got there. They are fun, informal, spontaneous and usually involve a lot of laughter. We incorporate the places, memories and activities that reflect your day-to-day life together – the essence of who you are now and who you will be long after your wedding day passes. It’s always fun to see where our couples take us. Undoubtedly, wherever it is, there is always a great story behind it.
A full engagement session (with Mike + Heather) is $500. These sessions usually last approximately two hours and are held in Madison Wisconsin or within a half hour drive. Travel to Milwaukee and Chicago is a little bit extra, but so worth it. These sessions are a great opportunity for us to get to know each other prior to the wedding day. And remember, these sessions shouldn’t be stressful – the focus isn’t to create something, it’s to capture what’s already there.