Family of 3 playing during indoor photoshoot in San Francisco Bay Area

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What To Expect When I’m Your Photographer: Family Edition

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November 17, 2022

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Kati Douglas

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Well, let’s dive in! I know it’s exciting, scary, and all the things to hire a photographer for your special occasions, milestones, newborn sessions, and annual family pictures. Don’t worry. My goal is to make this process as simple as possible for you.

I am a San Fransisco Bay Area Photographer who specializes in capturing the authentic and raw moments. We’re talking that documentary style of capturing and editing, which makes my heart soar. This makes working with me very unique, and will create images that are tailored to you and your loved ones.

Okay, to start.. Let’s get to know each other!

Grab your coffee or tea! For me… It’s a Chai latte! ☕️

Hello! I’m Kati! I’m a California Native, and have raised my family in Oakland, California and my business is based here too! I work with clients all across the San Francisco Bay Area, as their family photographer.

No matter where you are in life, I see myself in you. Additionally, as an award-winning San Francisco Photographer, lover and mother, I’m here to help you feel comfortable in your skin, while creating a space that allows you to connect to your loved ones in a natural and authentic way.

Oh wait, and did I mention we’ll have a blast along the way? Cause we will.

It’s my deep honor to celebrate love and share space with ALL people, especially those whose stories have not always been documented with the inclusivity, equity and real joy they deserve.

I’ve got you. And together…we’ve got this.

My goal is stopping time to document your smallest moments with great heart.


What is it like to work with me?

In short, it’s fun, memorable and heartfelt.

No one feels super comfortable with a camera in their face, so based on each

person’s personality we make sure to take it slow and not make it a stressful situation.

I love to laugh and making others feel comfortable is kind of my super power – you will walk away feeling like I captured your beautiful and unique selves.

Connection is the basis of my authentic and emotive work. Touch, joy, big feelings, and small delicate moments are captured by cultivating honest and authentic interactions through fun games and spontaneous moments.

The connection comes from you and your family- which means the closer you are physically and emotionally, the better your photos will be.

No session is the same because no family, couple, or person is the same.

When you walk into your photo session be ready to have a blast!  We are going to create situations that connect you to capture the small moments of emotion and build real memories that honor who you are. This means I might put you into a specific grouping but the whole point is to allow your beautiful chaos to unfold.

This is your reminder to let go of perfection or the idea of a “perfect” photo.

Let everyone (especially the littles) choose their favorite outfit or shoes. Yes, that means allow them to wear that sparkly costume or silly hat they adore.

These photos are to document who each of you are in this stage of life and their clothes need to reflect that expression and allow them to move, groove, and feel just as good as you need to!


Here are a few of my best tips for making your family photo session fun and relaxed:

  • Bring snacks for you and your little ones so the hangries don’t make a visit
  • Indoor sessions at home are best for toddlers and little ones who struggle with transition (even if your home isn’t Pinterest Perfect, I prefer that it’s not actually) and plan ahead with some games/activities at your home that fit
  • Enjoy time with your loved ones and bond with them, not with my camera lens – allow that natural connection to unfold, and lean into activities that fit with your personalities.
  • If you want to choose a location that’s special to you and your family, or want some suggestions, just let me know! I have a location guide as well!
  • Make sure you take a break if you’re feeling overwhelmed!
  • Games and activities can go a long way! (peek a boo, hide and seek, spin around and then cuddle in, etc)
  • Keep things lighthearted, silly and fun! We will quickly transition into new activities or locations as we see fit.

One of the questions I get a lot is how to style our outfits or choose what to wear for our family session.. Here’s how to style your outfits:

Your session is all about the moments and the connection between those who are participating. Coordinating outfits helps with the overall feel of the session but, more than anything, it’s important that no one is stressed and feels comfortable to move freely to avoid any meltdowns (including adults!)

Remember: keep it simple, make sure everyone’s personality is honored and keep it comfy for the dance party we are about to have.

How It Works:

Consult:

10-15 minute phone consultation where we chat to learn more and connect, I provide details about the process and answer any questions. We will probably chat about dates, times and locations, you know…making plans for the fun stuff!

Confirm:

Confirm your session-questionnaire, contract, retainer with dates and location(s) and I’ll send you my Session Guide. You’re going to LOVE this guide! It includes tips and tricks to set you up for success and will be your access code for styling help.

The Session:

Eeee! The part where we have the most fun! We meet at the agreed upon place, have an untimed session, and make sure to create real memories that you get to look back on and enjoy for years to come.

The Gallery:

Your gallery will be delivered to you with a private viewing link. From there you can choose which collection you’d like to purchase and choose images to download as well!

Print Gift:

Each collection includes a print gift that you can use in your online gallery. Print products are shipped from my very own photography lab (it’s the good stuff that won’t fade). High quality stuff!

Delivery:

Any products such as albums and prints will be shipped to you directly from the lab! Your digital gallery will be available for 30 days.

What My Clients Say About Working With Me:

“Thank you Kati for sharing yourself and your gift with my family. We think the world of you!”

“Kati is a gem. My family and I have been clients for almost 3 years now and have never been disappointed. Kati is friendly, down to earth and is such a gifted person. She doesn’t just capture a smile, she captures the soul of the picture as if you’re able to feel that exact moment the photo was taken each time you see it. Kati is so patient with both children and adults! We just finished our 6th session with Kati and the images are beautiful!”

“I love the way Kati captures magical moments, especially when we are not looking.”

All of your burning questions about working together answered:

What if my little ones don’t cooperate or aren’t used to taking pictures?

Sessions with me are fun and full of play. If your little one is feeling shy, we can give them space until they are ready. If they have a lot of energy then we will have them get it out and I’ll document their joy until they’re ready to snuggle. Sessions are fast paced and flexible. I will meet your family wherever all the individual personalities or moods are. 

What if we have a nap or bedtime routine to work around?

If your session is not taking place in your home, then I have location suggestions for all hours of the day. We will work together to ensure we find a time and place that fits your needs.

What do we wear?

Every session includes access to a website to help you with style coordination as well as my Session Guide that has styling tips and tricks as well as color palettes. I’m also only one call, text, or email away to help.

How long do sessions normally take?

I am unlike many photographers in the fact that all sessions are untimed but they will come to a natural ending. I will gauge the energy of you and your littles as we use the variety of spaces in the location. Sometimes your child will tell us they’re done or we feel we have gotten a robust gallery. Normally sessions are 1.5-2 hours or so. 

Can we pose during the session? Do you pose us or do we only have candids taken? 

It’s a mix and also depends on your family and personality. I will guide you for the best lighting and put you into a specific grouping or pose, but from there we will play a game and allow the fun and beautiful chaos to take over.

Once everyone feels comfortable it’s a more natural process. Sometimes we begin more candid and other times we begin with more direction. I will check in with you before and during to ensure we get all the shots and groupings you need and want.

That’s it! We’re set and ready to go!

Photographing you and your family is an honor I don’t take lightly. I will thrive while documenting each of you, your energy, your story,  and your love, uniquely and together with one another.

Because your life, your love, and all of its’ beautiful chaos is the art.

Have some thoughts or questions I didn’t cover about booking a session with me? No problem! Inquire here and let me help put you at ease.

Quick, head over and see more of the fun we get into on Instagram at @XiloPhotography or at xilophotography.com! I share stories, tips, examples, and highlights from my work as a San Francisco Photographer. We’re talking lots of galleries and pictures of families, unique and beautiful… just like yours!

Can’t wait to see you there!

Kati

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