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Preparing for your Christmas Mini

It’s November, and despite this strange year, I'm excited to announce that it's feeling like Christmas at Kirsten Laufer Photography!  I’m looking forward to our upcoming session together. 

Kindly read through this entire page for additional information to help prepare for your session.

First of all, your sets & background options:

New for 2021 - All sessions have the option of being between 5-15 minutes in length, depending on your family's needs.  I will have three set options from which to choose (see pictures and links to the full backdrops above).  Please take a look at these sets and let me know when you arrive which sets you'd like me to use.  Due to the fast-paced nature of the day, please feel free to remind me of your choices as needed!


Please note that for 5-minute sessions, you will need to pick your favourite 1 (possibly 2) backdrops.  Ten-minute sessions can accommodate 2 backdrops, and may be able to accommodate 3 depending on the child cooperation.  Fifteen-minute sessions have the option to use all three backdrops.


Sets 1 + 3 can accommodate children & families; set 2 is a smaller set designed primarily just for the children. 

Now...what's still on everyone's mind: Covid-19. 

What safety measures have you taken?  I'm pleased to announce that we are back in the KLP studios this year!

All clients are expected to be in full health at the time of our session.  If there is any hint of illness, you must contact KLP so that we can reschedule your session.  

I have 3 sets we will be using, and there are minimal props that will be used. In the studio, at least one outside door will remain open at all times.  I will be running a HEPA air filter and wearing a N95 mask.  I am also fully vaccinated against Covid-19; I received the AstraZeneca shot in April followed by Moderna in June. 


Unless we are doing family shots for your family, only one adult may accompany the children into the studio.  All adults must be masked at all times when not being photographed.  I kindly request that adults remain in the entryway when not being photographed.

A failure to comply with these Covid-19 policies will lead to a forfeiture of the session.

What is the address?  The studio address and parking instructions are on the email sent to you the week of the session.  If you do not have this email on hand, please contact so that I can send it your way.

When should I arrive?  Please come to my studio door no more than 3 minutes prior to your session. 

What props should I bring?  To keep us all Covid-19 healthy, I am limiting shared props as much as I can. You are welcome to bring any specical mementos, toys or books that you would like to include in your family's photos.


Please also bring:

-Wipes for your child’s face as needed.
-Shoes you can change into in the studio, if you so desire. Please ensure that they are a quick change.

What if my child does not cooperate?  With the shortened sessions this year, we are certainly operating in a more fast-paced nature than in the past.  I kindly request that all parents consider their children's ages and personalities when booking session lengths.  Children who are shy may need longer for their session than a child enthusiastic for photos.  If you'd like to increase your session length, please email me ASAP.

If during the session, I feel that your child needs more time than your session length, I will contact you directly to set up a make-up time.  There is no charge for the additional session, and it is solely at the photographer's discretion.

How will I receive my images?  As always, your images will be posted within 2 weeks of the session into your personal digital gallery.  All images are high-resolution images, and new for 2021, the full digital gallery will come with your session.  I will do my best to include every image I adore into your gallery.

…and for the nitty-gritty, non-Covid details:

Kindly park your car a few minutes early for your session.  Allow yourself extra time to perfect your wardrobe, style yourself, and travel.  You can take the opportunity to enjoy a few moments of relaxation before we begin. You are welcome to wait outside the studio door beginning approximately 3 minutes prior to your session; to ensure that each family has my undivided attention, please do not enter the studio until your session starts.  If you do wait outside, please be cognizant of noise levels so that the children before yours are not distracted.


Please do not be late for the session.  

With the short nature of these sessions, I cannot make up lost time for late arrivals.

Due to the short nature of this year's sessions, pets are not permitted in this year’s photos at any time.

Kindly keep a close eye on your children during the sessions, and do not allow them to play around in the studio or on /near photography equipment. 


As much as I enjoy Photoshop, my services do not extend to cleaning up face details that can be taken care of prior to or during the session, and yes, this includes food bribes that are given quickly in the hopes that the little one will cooperate and that the photographer will not notice.  (Yes, I have had it happen.). Please ensure you double-check your children's faces and use wipes on them prior to entering my studio.  Kindly respect these guidelines to ensure we capture absolutely amazing images for your family.

Along the same lines, if your little one wakes up sick, please let me know so that we can coordinate accordingly.

As already mentioned, with Covid continuing to affect things differently this year, I’ve limited the number of touch points and props I am offering. As such, you're welcome to bring any additional special mementos you'd like included in your family's photos. If your little one adamantly wants a special toy or stuffy in the sets, I am all for it. A large part of my photography is capturing our children as they are at this point in time; if a child wants a special toy included, I will certainly allow it. If you prefer to not have said stuffy/toy in the photos, please let me know so that we can do some with the toy and some without. I'm generally pretty darn good at getting the children to cooperate as needed! 

Throughout your session, you’re encouraged to embrace whatever mood you’re feeling.  Feel free to relax, laugh and have a good time.  Portraits are best when you are yourself.  It’s important to remember - just because there is a camera pointing at you, you don’t have to look at the camera.  Sometimes the most meaningful images are when you’re enjoying a moment instead of posing.

That being said, if you have a specific request, please speak up.  

I’m happy to accommodate requests as best I can if I am aware of them.  

Here is some general information I provide for my outdoor sessions

that may be useful for your session as well:


I love it when families wear complementary - but not completely identical - outfits.  Here are some suggestions for colour palettes and styles that work well together:

Here are a few other prep details and suggestions: 

  • Simplicity is always best, so when in doubt keep in mind that “less is more.”

  • Avoid patterns and stripes unless they are themed and matching for the holidays.

  • Avoid logos, as they can be distracting.

  • Neutral colors such as beige, white, black, tan and grey often photograph the best. They complement your skin tones and don’t conflict with common background elements.

  • Wear clothing that fits properly. A proper fit that allows you to move and feel comfortable will help you look more confident in your portrait.

  • Always dress with the full length in mind. Include shoes and socks in your wardrobe consideration. Shoe styles should be simple and not distracting.

  • If you normally wear glasses, you should wear them for your session as you want you to look like you usually do. Don’t worry about shine or glare, as I know how to work around it.

  • Dads: I kindly recommend you remove wallets and phones from your pockets to avoid the square pocket look!

  • I recommend against going for a professional tan or tanning outdoors before your session. A fresh tan may look good in person but the camera is more sensitive to skin tones, and your natural color is always more flattering in photographs.

  • For hair and makeup, keep it natural as opposed to going too over-the-top. You may be more comfortable with having your hair and make-up professionally done, or you may be more comfortable doing it yourself. Whichever you choose, it is crucial that you feel beautiful and confident.

  • Please visit my style guide for a wealth of information on preparing for photography sessions. 


A final note - you may have already received an invoice from me with the final balance due. Please note to click on the invoice and check on the "Total paid" and "total due" lines to ensure that your account has been paid in full, retainer and later payment as well.  Due to Covid, I request that all families pay via touchless methods – either via credit card online or via EMT directly to my business.  Kindly do not plan on paying via cash or cheque.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Thank you for your continued support of these efforts to keep us all as safe as possible this year, and for your flexibility with our atypical set-up this year.  I’m committed to doing everything I can for all of you, and I look forward to our session.

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