Tree Farm Mini Session Prep Guide

Your Tree Farm Mini Session with Apple of My Eye Photography & Design is just around the corner, so now is a good time to think about how to prepare. I’ve put together some key pieces of information that will help guide you in the days leading up to our session!


Gaver Farm, Mt. Airy MD

5501 Detrick Rd

Mt Airy, MD 21771


When you arrive you will head to the field to the left of the parking lot, go about 1/2 the way down and you can park there, you will see the trees in front of you. I will be shooting in the trees in that area, please plan to be ready right at your start time, I will come out of the trees to grab you. You do not need to go into the building. Again I can't stress enough how important it is to be totally ready at your start time, being there early and being ready is imperative, we have to stick to our 20 minute session, the sunset waits for no one :) 



Please plan your outfits in advance and make sure they fit and are comfortable and attractive. While it’s important that every member of the family coordinates with each other, this doesn’t mean you need to be matchy-matchy (everyone in khakis and a white shirt, for example). I recommend choosing one clothing item that has a print of some kind (florals, stripes, plaid, etc.), then planning other outfits around it. Good neutral color choices are- creams, grays, tans, light pinks, dark blues, and other “autumn colors”. Pops of color are good, but I would avoid lots of bright colors like red, green and yellow, as they can cast color onto skin and tend not to be flattering.

Competing patterns and multiple “busy” prints, along with t-shirts with big logos, images, and/or words on it is also discouraged. Keep your wardrobe choices simple, so that they don’t take away from the moment!

If you need some help getting started, here is a Pinterest board I put together with some good examples of coordinated outfits–

What to wear


Other things to consider–

I sometimes pose families sitting on the ground, therefore, if Mom/daughters will be wearing a dress or a skirt, make sure they will be comfortable doing so and that proper undergarments are worn 

It is fall and thus there is often dew on the grass, please take this into consideration when planning footwear, boots or heels with a skinny heel may sink into the ground, and shoes may get a bit wet.

I take formal portrait shots, but also like to catch candids of kids being kids. If you are overly concerned about your child ruining an expensive piece of clothing, it might be best to choose a different item.

Worn down, dirty and/or scuffed up shoes can draw your attention in a photo, so don’t leave footwear as an afterthought. I often hear, “I wish I wouldn’t have let my husband/son wear his gym shoes in the photos!”

Please take keys & phones out of your pockets before we begin!



Hair, Make-up, Nails & Skin

I recommend getting haircuts at least a week in advance of your session, so there aren’t any last-minute surprises! Moms and older daughters are encouraged to wear slightly more make-up the day of their photo session than they normally do, but no need to go crazy. Nails can be another distractor in photos, so be sure chipped nail polish is removed and kids have their nails trimmed and free of dirt.

If your child has a bruise, a pimple, skinned knees– do not worry! That is something that comes with the territory and we can make sure they are not visible in your final images. I do ask for you help in removing any stamps and/or temporary tattoos that your child may have on their bodies.




Light reflected in eyeglass lenses can create white spots and glare, leading to extra retouching charges. And tinted lenses cannot be lightened. I generally try to pose families so their backs are to the sun, but I just like to share this info as an FYI.




Be sure to feed yourself and your children before the session, but NOT in the car on the way! Hungry kids make for miserable models, but you do not want to be cleaning up faces and clothes in the parking lot. Eating about an hour before the session ensures full bellies and enough time to brush teeth and wash faces & hands.



Give Yourself Time

This one is especially for the Moms. We are always running around taking care of everyone else but often leave little or no time to take care of ourselves. Give yourself the opportunity to LOVE the way you look in the photos by allowing enough time to get yourself ready. Wearing a new item like jewelry or a scarf can help it feel like a special occasion for you!



Take the Pressure Off

Telling your children how important the photos are, or how they need to smile or act a certain way, causes a lot of unnecessary stress on little ones. Believe it or not, family photo sessions are meant to be fun! Set them up for success by making it as casual as possible, and just encourage them to be their (best) natural selves. I often bring some small, stain-free treats to coax young kids who need a little encouragement, so try to leave the bribery up to me!



No Cheese, Please!

Saying the word “cheese” actually creates a very fake smile, so I ask that you do not encourage your child to say it. I will “perform” and sometimes do some crazy things behind the camera to get authentic smiles & genuine laughter out of your kids, so just leave the direction to me! Nothing is worse than getting great smiles out of the kids but have Moms & Dads with open mouths from talking 



Last, but not least…

Be in the moment and don’t stress about the end result. We will get some beautiful photos, you do not need to worry. You will be more emotionally attached to the images if you have FUN while taking them. If you are worried about how your children are smiling, or if Dad is irritated (some are, and it’s ok, I just need 20 minutes of patience), then you will think of that every time you look at your photos. Relax, enjoy the time spent with your family, and I will catch some amazing moments for you that you can cherish forever!


***Mini Sessions move very quickly, please be sure that your kids are well rested and have had a snack (or bring one with you), we do also suggest bringing small bribes. Plan to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early so that everyone is ready to go at your scheduled time. Missed appointments will be subject to a $50 fee to reschedule or squeeze in the session, paid before services are preformed. In order to guarantee the client 15-20 images, the photographer must complete her typical workflow before attempting any special requests from the client. The completions of all special requests are left to the discretion of the photographer. 

***No cell phone cameras or any other cameras/recording devices may be used during your session 


If you have any questions about anything written above, or just about the session in general, please do not hesitate to ask. I look forward to working with you soon!


Our phone number, should you need it is: 301-312-7392