Thank you so much for choosing Jannicka Mayte to capture your family. I'm very honored and super excited to work with you!
My client questionnaire is listed below or you can access it from the direct link in your email. I use this questionnaire to get to know my clients a little better before we meet for your session. Fill it out as best as you can and be as specific as you want! You can never give me too much information as I will be using this info to customize your session… especially the location.
I have several favorite local spots that I love to use and I’m always willing to explore new spots! You can help narrow it down by filling out the questionnaire and then we can go from there to pick the perfect spot. We will decide if you prefer a more natural setting or an urban location.
Time of Session
Please keep in mind that I’m kind of picky about the time of day I shoot. I prefer the early morning or late afternoon since the light is perfect then. I will only shoot in the middle of the day under very special circumstances. Early morning shoots are in the hour the sun is rising and sunset shoots are typically 1 ½ hours before sunset. These times change throughout the year and may be earlier or later depending on the sunrise/sunset time. Please don’t hesitate to bring snacks, drinks, etc for young children since sessions usually occur around dinner time! I don’t mind taking a break to let kids eat—hungry kids are not happy kids.
I’m here to help with wardrobe, if desired! You should receive a copy of my style guide that will give you lots of ideas and tips. Please don’t hesitate to text, call, or email me with styling questions, ideas, or suggestions while you’re shopping! Wardrobe should mesh with location, so keep that in mind when shopping.
Tips & Tricks
Allow me to work with your children. Don’t feel stressed trying to get everyone to look at the camera and smile at the same time, to behave, listen, etc. I’ve worked with a few families and have some tricks up my sleeve! I understand the stress that comes with getting photos taken, and a lot of times mom and dad’s stress makes the kids stressed. Let me do all the work for you while you relax. I can get genuine smiles when mom and dad are relaxed; no threats or bribery needed! You just focus on interacting with your family and allow me to do the rest.
If you want to bring some fun props to your session, please let me know what you’re thinking so I can give you the vision you’re going for. I always bring a few quilts along for sessions but usually travel lightly. If you’re wondering what is appropriate to bring to your session: please bring anything that’s meaningful to your child—a stuffed animal, favorite blanket, toy, etc. Things you know your child loves. I don’t care if they’re worn out or chewed on; you’ll want to remember that time when your child loved it so much.
The most important thing of the day is to have FUN! I want this to be fun for you, fun for me, and fun for your children. I laugh, joke, tease, tickle, play games, and smile a lot. I want to be your friend and I want to be your children’s friend. I want your session to be as custom to you and your family as possible. I want to photograph kids being kids and mom and dad being lovey. Don’t worry about posing; I have a few ideas! I want kids to hug and kiss. And tell dad not to worry; his job will be super simple.
So relax, have fun, and enjoy this time with your precious family and let me do all of the work. I can’t wait!
Please fill out this questionnaire prior to your session.
I'm so excited to be working with you for your family session! I absolutely love creating outfits and have put together this little sheet of styling tips for your session. Please don't hesitate to call, text, or email me for input, ideas, and suggestions while you're shopping!
Steer clear of fluorescents.
Fluorescent colors tend to color cast on faces, necks, and hair. They’re harsh sometimes. I always recommend versions of primary colors: yellow (mustard), red (maroon, brick), and blue (navy, royal).
Stay away from wearing a lot of green when having photos taken in grassy/wooded areas.
It’s just too much green. Green as an accent color is great, though! You want to stand out among all the greenery you’re surrounded by.
To get the flow going with wardrobe for your family, start with one outfit that you really like.
From there, build from it for everyone else. If you’re at a loss of where to start, I suggest starting with your children’s outfits and then adding on coordinating pieces for mom and dad.
Wear what you feel good in!
Moms and dads, this tip is for you specifically. If you aren’t comfortable in what you’ve chosen for pictures, it will show. If you can’t find a dress you feel good in, but you rock a good pair of skinny jeans, do that. If you can barely walk in heels, there’s no harm in doing cute and comfy flat boots or pretty sandals. If you can’t do a heel, a wedge is a great alternative, too.
Layer, layer, layer!
Layers add dimension and depth. In the summer, layer your dress with a cute belt and pendant necklace. In the fall and winter, layer on cardigans, belts, statement necklaces, scarves, hats, blazers, etc.
Purchase clothes to fit.
And fit well. I know we all have a hard time buying clothes for our kiddos that don’t leave a lot of room for growth, seeing as they do grow so fast. However, keep in mind that for pictures, a polo shirt that’s too large, jeans that are saggy and ill-fitting, or a jacket that’s falling off the shoulders looks sloppy. You’ll most likely be purchasing outfits specifically for pictures, so choose something that fits perfectly, or even just a little bit snug. Make it look almost tailored. Go a size smaller in jackets, cardigans, or blazers. A jean jacket that’s too big will not compliment shape. It hides hips and waist for moms. If you typically wear a size medium jacket, try on the small. Even if it’s just a little snug in the shoulders, it should lay nicely around your hips and waist, creating a tailored look.
Matching is out. Coordinating is in.
And anything goes nowadays! I know your family is together. I’m photographing you together! So, wearing the same colored shirt, pants, shoes, etc. looks a bit awkward. Coordinating color is what really brings wardrobe together. I usually choose two to three main colors of wardrobe, and maybe one accent pop of color. Also, mixing stripes with plaids and tweeds is okay! Expression is important. I want to see your personality through your wardrobe.
Minimal wardrobe for newborn sessions.
The times I recommend clients keep wardrobe super simple is during newborn photos. In these cases, you don’t want the clothing to overshadow the precious little person that you’re showcasing. I recommend grey, black, and white for these shoots. If we’ll be posing a big sister with the baby, light pink is a good color that adds a little something, but again, it’s not enough to overpower the baby.
Dress for the weather and be flexible.
If you’re from the Pacific Northwest, you know that it can be 50 and rainy in the morning and 75 and sunny in the afternoon. So, be prepared to be flexible with wardrobe, in case you have to switch it up last minute. If you have plans for a cute sundress for your daughter, and the weather ends up being 20 degrees colder than you were anticipating, switch it up a bit by adding layers: tights, boots, scarf, slouchy hat, or a cardigan. Dress appropriately for the weather that day, even if it doesn’t go with your original plan. If your child is sweating profusely in a sweater during his shoot, he won’t be happy. And on the same token, if your child is wearing a tank dress and the weather dips too much in the evening, she’ll be a grump, and it’ll reflect in the final images. I speak these words from experience. There are a couple of instances I can think of that I should have taken this advice with my own kids!
Dress for the situation.
Just as dressing for weather is important, dressing for the situation is just as important. A fancy black dress and a dress shirt and tie wouldn’t be the most appropriate wardrobe for a forest or grassy setting. More formal wear would be more appropriate for an urban or “big city” feel. Also, if I’m shooting a lifestyle session in your home, wardrobe will take second fiddle to the actual lifestyle images I’ll be capturing. Lifestyle clients should wear whatever it is that you would wear at home. No coordinating or matching necessary. These sessions are meant to be as normal, true to life, and every day as possible.
Easy Tips for Different Body Shapes (for Women):
Maxi dresses are flattering on every body type.
Keep that in mind while shopping! Maxi dresses are usually a slam dunk for shoots, and they’re so versatile. Add a belt or a statement necklace with strappy sandals for the summer, or a belted fitted cardigan and a scarf in the fall.
Skinny jeans are flattering on most women, even the curvy ones!
Pair them with cute heels or wedges, and your legs look a mile long. If you’re overweight and don’t feel comfortable with the tighter fit, I recommend a fit called “skinny boot cut.” You can find them at American Eagle, Gap, and Levi's!
Take a friend shopping with you.
Your friend will see you better than you see yourself when trying on clothes. If he/she tells you it looks great, believe them! We’re our own worst critics.
Flaunt your best asset.
If you’re self-conscious about a particular body part, hide it while flaunting one of your favorite parts. For instance: if you dislike your stomach and upper arms but like your legs, wear a shorter dress and pair it with a fitted blazer or cardigan. Show off those legs but hide the parts that you don’t like so much.
Child Wardrobe Tips:
Timeless always has a place.
I love when my clients show up to a shoot with the most simple and timeless of outfits. A smock dress that belonged to Great-Grandma; a plain white lace dress with a simple bow; a plain diaper cover. Naked baby! These outfits (or lack thereof) will always stand the test of time and will never go out of style.
Dress your kiddos in clothes that fit perfectly, not with room to grow.
Even if you child may only wear the outfit for a few months, it’ll look much better than putting them in something that they still need to grow into. Go a size smaller in jackets, cardigans, or blazers. A jacket, blazer, sweatshirt, sweater, or hoodie that’s too big will not compliment shape. It looks sloppy on children.
Shoes are a very important part of wardrobe.
If you have the cutest little trousers and button down for your son to wear for pictures, but slap his favorite pair of Disney tennis shoes on him, it makes the whole look lose cohesiveness. Stay away from character shoes, flip flops, and crocs. My recommendations for shoes are boots, leather sandals (just say “no” to Old Navy flip flops), Converse All-Stars, Toms, Sperrys, Mary Janes, and Hunters. And always, barefoot is an adorable option, especially with babies. I’d much rather see bare feet than the bottom of their shoes.
Remember, coordinating your children’s’ outfits is key.
Layers are just as important for child wardrobe as it is for yours.
Layer hats, glasses, vests, bow ties, cardigans, tights, or leggings under a skirt. I do recommend making the outer layer (blazer, cardigan, or jacket) fit snugly. I usually purchase the outer layers one size smaller than normal, because they tend to run on the bigger side.
Hair piece tips.
For babies, toddlers, and older girls, I always recommend keeping hair accessories simple. When they are too big (think “Gerber daisy” big), it distracts from their faces. The only time I think you can get away with a bigger hair accessory is when the child has lots of hair or long hair. Even if your baby girl doesn’t have a ton of hair, don’t feel the need to hide that adorable head behind a huge head piece that makes her angry because she’s pulling it off every few seconds. Simple and dainty is just as pretty and understated. You can find some great hair accessories and shops on Etsy and Instagram.
The most important part of putting together your child’s wardrobe is allowing their personality to come through in what they’re wearing.
If your daughter has a favorite pair of boots, let her wear them (at least in a few pictures). If your son prefers to run around naked to being fully clothed, we’ll let him strip down at the end of the session. If your child loves to wear hats and sunglasses, bring them! Whatever makes your child their own adorable, individual self, let’s focus on those things. Yes, we all want our children to look adorable and fully polished for photos. I’m not recommending you don’t brush your daughter’s hair or forget to wipe off the smudged PB&J off your toddler’s face, but allow them to have a little bit of input when planning their wardrobe as well. And never say “no” to bringing their favorite things along. Photographers want to capture those, too.
Favorite Places to Shop:
(Price points: $-cheap, $$-average, $$$-high, $$$$-expensive)
Gap provides a great option for “basics.” Just about anything you’d need, you’ll find on their website. And Gap frequently offers sales and discounts if you sign up for their email list, plus their sale rack prices are amazing!
Old Navy is also a slightly less expensive option for basics--especially for kids. They have a great line of jeans for babies and older kids, and they have adorable dresses and inexpensive shoes (but no rubber flip flops!). You can also find fun accessories for girls and women (hats and jewelry) and it's a good place to try a new style without breaking the bank (romper trend, anyone?).
Free People is easy, breezy, comfy, boho chic.
It’s a little bit more on the expensive side, but the clothes are quality, unique, and last forever.
The Crew Cuts kid’s line is probably one of my top 5 sites for kids clothes. Also, their shoe selection for kids alone makes me giddy.
Okay, so who doesn't love Target?? They've really stepped up their style game lately, especially with their baby, toddler, and children's clothes. I absolutely drool every time I walk past their little girl's section--so many trendy, adorable pieces for such a great price! Their new line, Cat & Jack, has some really cute and affordable pieces that would make the perfect base for your child's outfit. They also carry Genuine by Osh Kosh in their little boy's section and their clothes are timeless and just perfect for photo sessions.
I consider H&M the Holy Grail for all things boy and men. And, they just recently started selling clothes online! Eep! Their price point is ridiculously low, and the clothes are my favorite. My son’ closet is stuffed full with H&M swag. Their trouser pants are around $10 and are amazing quality. Also, the cutest little cardigans, sweaters, button downs, and other great accessories for super low prices. Keep in mind that H&M sizes are a little different and they run big. If your son is an average size 4, buy him the size 3-4 pants. The 4-5 seems like the obvious choice, but they’ll be too long and too big around the waist.
Cute clothes for women of all sizes (and men!) on the cheap. Take someone with you if you choose to shop in-store. It’s a little overwhelming. But honestly, they have some amazing wardrobe choices and the best (cheapest) jewelry that won’t break the bank.
I think my closet is seriously mostly made up of pieces from Dottie Couture Boutique. They're prices are great and they have anything from basics to dresses, jeans, shoes, lounge wear, accessories, and the occasional piece for girls. They post new arrivals almost daily and they offer free shipping and free returns, so if you see something you love, snag it up because they can sell out of their popular items in a matter of minutes.
I get lost on this site, seriously. So many adorable pieces, shoes, accessories, etc. for men, women, and children.
A fun, flirty, and pretty affordable site for women’s timeless dresses, fun tops, and the best shoes and accessories!
Shoes, shoes, glorious shoes for girls and women. Breathtaking dresses, jackets, caplets. Moms will thank me for this. Husbands, not so much.
Antique stores. Garage Sales. Flea Markets. Ebay. Zulily. Etsy. Hand-me-downs. Possibly even your photographer’s closet! Always keep your eyes peeled! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
Styling Do’s and Don’ts:
Choose a color scheme.
I would suggest choosing three main colors to work with. This will give you more flexibility when it comes to dressing the entire family. It will also really make your pictures pop! You want to coordinate, NOT match. By this, I mean choose the color(s) you want to work with and find different pieces that incorporate some or all of the colors you’ve chosen. I do not want to find out that you sent out a memo saying “Everyone wear jeans and a white shirt” and call it a day. White tops generally wash people out in photos, so I suggest staying away from white altogether unless it’s just an accent color. Also, keep in mind that not every person has to have on every color you have chosen. Split the colors up. It makes the photo more playful and less uniform.
Find a focal point.
When you begin shopping, look for a patterned piece that you simply cannot live without! This may be a top that you feel absolutely fabulous in, or a plaid button up for your son that will make your heart melt, or maybe even an adorable little floral print dress for your little princess. Whatever that piece may be, commit to it and work from there. It’s natural for me to find the mother’s outfit first. As moms, we tend to forget about ourselves in the planning and we become an afterthought. Of course you want your kids to look cute, but you deserve to look and FEEL awesome in your pictures! Trust me. Take that time for YOU. You won’t regret it!!
Mix it up.
Do not be afraid to mix prints and textures. Or styles for that matter! For example: You could choose a piece with polka dots and a piece with stripes. You could put a denim top with a corduroy pant. Your prints and textures don’t always have to come from your main pieces. You can jazz up a dress with printed or textured tights. Or dress up a t-shirt with colored or patterned suspenders. From here, you can go a step further and start mixing “styles.” For example, I might have a client wear a plaid button up, a blazer, and a slouchie beanie (mixing dressy and grunge), or a short a-line skirt, blousy top, and military style boots (mixing edgy and chic). By doing so, you will begin to showcase the different styles and personalities of each member of the shoot.
Layers, layers, layers!!!
When putting together an outfit, layers are what make the outfit look polished and complete! Add a vest, jacket, cardigan, bowtie, hat, scarf, suspenders, belt, jewelry, etc. This also gives the shoot much more depth! Even if it’s just as simple as adding a little fur vest, it adds so much more dimension to your wardrobe. Vests can be found everywhere, but specifically I’m finding them at H&M, Gap, and Old Navy right now. Also, if all else fails in chain stores, search Etsy.com. Etsy has everything!
Play on your strengths.
Ladies (& gentlemen), let’s be honest…most of us have some insecurities about our bodies. But, my best advice to you is to WORK what you’ve got! Know your body type and what styles will flatter your figure. If you like your legs, show them off! If you think you’ve lost your waist, try a high-waisted pant or a tailored blazer. Any shoe with a higher heel will elongate your body and instantly make you appear thinner. Do your research!
Try to push yourself outside the box.
You obviously want to feel comfortable and confident, but perhaps you should try on something you wouldn’t normally take off the rack. It may be a complete disaster, but you may also find a new love! We all know that fashion is a form of self-expression, so just be the best, most flattering version of you!