[FAQ's: how it works, where to go, what to wear]

HOW DOES IT WORK?
  A typical family session usually lasts roughly an hour and a half to two hours, sometimes more, depending on the location/s and the situation.  Within three and a half weeks of your session (usually less), I will send you a link to a password-protected online gallery.  In your gallery, you can opt to view your images one-by-one, or in a full-screen slide show set to music.  You are welcome to share this link with family and friends. From your gallery you will be able to order prints and products from a professional lab at their base lab prices [their pricing is similar to local labs such as Walgreens or Walmart, but their products are professional-grade].  You can download directly from your gallery for immediate use.  There is no time limit on the gallery.  All images will be artistically enhanced in color and black and white. See pricing details here:  http://shannonladukephotography.blogspot.com/p/fall-2012-pricing-information.html
WHERE SHOULD WE GO?
The short answer is that we can go anywhere you wish - I love an adventure!  Sometimes it works to begin in your home, then venture to another location from there.  I love working in and around the home  - where your family is most relaxed. Kids can show off their bike-riding or trampoline skills, cuddle with the family pet, read a favorite book in the light of their bedroom window, play their guitars (real or air) or relax on the porch swing.  Your backyard needn't look like the fairway at the Masters - remember, I'm capturing your family, not your patio furniture. I love finding the beauty, light, colors and textures in seemingly ordinary spaces.  Are you a LAKE family? I love shooting on and around Lake Hamilton.  Of course, there are so many fabulous spots for sessions around Hot Springs - we're surrounded by so many gorgeous trails and parks!  If you have access to any interesting locations (rural farm or lake properties, etc.)I'd be happy to check them out - I'm always up for anything new and different.  On the right side of my home page, there is a section titled "posts by category". The labels allow you to view session images by location or  type of session.  
BUT, WHAT IF IT RAINS?
While overcast days can provide some great lighting, rainy days are a deal breaker.  In case of rain, we will need to reschedule.  I would not want to compromise our session by forcing it inside somewhere.  I want us to enjoy a full session in our planned outdoor location/s. I have built-in rain dates on the calendar, and we'll find one that works for your family.    
 WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR?
For family shoots, simple, solid colors in browns, oranges, reds, greens, purples and blues always photograph well.  That being said, don't be afraid to embrace bright colors and  pattern. You might want to choose one complete outfit for one family member, then build on that. Choose four or so complimentary colors, and go from there. For the sake of family posing, try to avoid two or more family members in the exact same shade or pattern.  Layers (scarves, jackets, vests etc.) and textures (cable-knit, linen, tweed, denim, corduroy etc.) always work well.  You might steer clear of big logos, message tees or cartoon characters, as they tend to be distracting. Also, please avoid gym shoes and grungy flip-flops. 

  I've found the best advice is to  go with coordinating, but not matchy - matchy, and I've included a few examples below.  Go with comfortable clothes that fit your family's personality. If he's not the pleated, starched-'til-they-stand-up-on-their-own khakis and tucked-in shirt kind of kid (or hubby!), don't make him wear it. If she insists on her hot pink tutu over her jeans (again!), let her, at least for a shot or two.  A few short years down the road, you'll be glad you did.  Does he spend the majority of the week in his faded Super Man cape? Bring it along. There is a senior slide-show somewhere in his future!  Think about how you want to remember this moment in time - this wonderfully quirky, silly, don't-blink-or-you'll-miss- it stage in the life of your family.


 I welcome wardrobe changes, but keep in mind this is easier in some locations as opposed to others.   Just a side note: have everyone try on everything - clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. BEFORE the session day. If they are not comfortable, it will show. (I dealt with soooo many ill-fitting shoes on kiddos last year, and trust me, we do not want that issue!) Also, socks will show in many poses, so you may want to nix the white gym socks if you don't want them peeking out in the family portrait.   On the day of the session,  check your kiddos' hands etc. for stamps, "art work", hair-bands, or haphazard nail polish jobs. Also, please be aware of bulky wallets or cell phones in pockets.  Those are things you may NOT want represented in your images in years to come.   
Over all, just be YOU and we're going to have a great shoot! 

I have examples from past sessions below. Also, I have collected some wardrobe combination suggestions on a Pinterest board here:
https://www.pinterest.com/shannonladuke/session-wardrobe-fun/

OKAY, SO EXACTLY WHAT IS  COORDINATING, NOT MATCHY-MATCHY?
I've added examples below from varying seasons, ranging from casual to dressy.  Love their mix of accessories, colors, layers, patterns and textures!  
Click on the first image, then keep clicking to view a variety of combinations that worked: