Simple Sessions | Family Photographer, Rockwall, TX

Why Simple Sessions?

We’ve all been there.  I just hired a family photographer for our vacation on Spring Break this year when we traveled out to Palo Duro Canyon.  It was amazing.  We had a great time and we have all of the beautiful landscape documented along with our precious family.  Thank you Kayla Smith Photography! But now it’s almost time for Christmas cards and I need the latest and greatest picture of my kids to send to all of our friends and relatives (it’s a ‘big list’ Christmas card year…more on that in another post).  In 9 months my three littles have changed a ton and I feel obligated to send the most updated photo so everyone who does not see us everyday knows a little more of what they look like.  So what’s a girl to do?  Well, clearly, for me I just gather my three and head out a park for an update!  But you?  You, my friend, are the reason I created my Simple Sessions.  By request I’ve brought them back for those that don’t want a full custom session but just a quick update for their card or their mantle portrait.

Photo by Kayla Smith in Palo Duro Canyon, March 2016.

How do they work?

Simple Sessions are scheduled in advance and I usually take 2-3 clients at a time.  The locations are listed per date on the webpage right now.  Simply choose your favorite location or the time that works best for you and fill out the form on the site.  I’ll send an invoice for the session fee and once that’s paid you’re all set!  From there I’ll send over my Pinterest boards with outfit ideas, some tips and tricks to make sure your session runs smoothly, and the last minute reminders for your session.

What’s the difference between Simple and regular, full family sessions?

Full family sessions are my favorite!  I love to get to know you through our consultation so that we can plan a great session that is completely customized to your family.  I consult with outfits for your entire family.  During the session I give you a time frame just to help with planning, but there’s really no time limit.  I shoot until I have all that we need to deliver a full gallery and we’ve ‘gotten’ what you wanted in our pre-session planning.  Want to get family shots but also celebrate a little turning one?  We can do that!  Want to do a more traditional sitting but also document your children and how they love your backyard pool?  We can end the session in the water!  Want to venture into Dallas for a rooftop photo shoot?  These are just a few of the options you could plan for your full family session.  After the session, I edit your photos and sit down with you to decide how and what to purchase. And then I deliver your beautiful products straight to your door!  Simple session are equally awesome, just for different reasons.  I plan the sessions in advance and schedule two or three at a time to make it more cost effective for my clients.  In a 30 minute session I have a session flow that I follow in order to give you a variety of images in your gallery.  After the session I upload your images to an online gallery and you choose the 10 images that you love for your pre-purchased set.  If you love all the images there is an option to purchase the additional images.  The images come straight to you in a digital download format.  You may choose to purchase prints through the gallery which puts you in touch with my professional lab (for amazing quality) or order from your own favorite company.  Easy peasy!

Ready to book?  Start here!



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Graduation Etiquette For Seniors | Senior Photography, Dallas, TX

I’m a rule follower by nature and having great manners has always been very important to me.  So it should come as no surprise that etiquette books hold a special interest for me.  I love knowing the “proper” action in any situation, even if it only by society’s standards.  After a little discussion with some of my Class of 2016 senior team members, I decided a quick post outlining the basics of graduation etiquette for the end of your senior year might be helpful for my readers.

Announcements vs. Invitations

Because most venues have limited seating, seniors are usually limited in the number of seats that they may fill at their graduation ceremony.  Usually only family and very close friends are included on the invite list.  Many schools and institutions print their own formal graduation invitations.  It has become customary for students to announce their graduation to a wider group using a more casual card.  In high school, these cards are typically informal and fun.  Cards can be personalized with photographs, colors corresponding to the school from which they are graduating or denoting the school that they may attend.  Announcements are also a great way to tell friends and family about a graduation party or the future plans of the graduate.

All of our announcements are personalized to the graduate.  They are printed on high quality card stock and are 5” x 7” with a pearlized finish.  They come with white envelopes with return address pre-printed.  They come with overnight shipping, so once you approve your proof, they’ll be here the very next day!

Invitations should be mailed three to six weeks before the graduation.  It is acceptable to announce the graduation up to about one month after the event.  Graduation parties hosted by family members or friends should only be hosted after the graduation ceremony, though gatherings for family the day-of the event are acceptable and often handy to allow guests to carpool or sit together at the event.


A gift is never required when one receives a graduation announcement, however many recipients may wish to send a gift to celebrate the graduate and their accomplishment.  Graduation gifts are customarily something with special meaning for the grad or something to help them prepare for their next phase of life.  College or dormitory necessities are handy and cash is acceptable to help the student with moving expenses or furnishing a new place to live.  Proper graduation etiquette necessitates that the graduate should respond to all gifts with a personal thank-you note which should be sent within two months of receiving the gift, although sending the note soon after receiving the gift will alert the giver that you received it and will avoid that awkward scenario where the giver has to ask if the gift was somehow lost in the mail.

Thank you notes need not be difficult or stressful.  Our thank you cards are 4.5”x5.25” flat cards and are personalized to match your announcements.  They may be printed on the back as a postcard or with more traditional blank side with envelopes.

Care to learn more about ordering your own announcements or thank you cards?  Click here to get in touch!

Source:  Post, Peggy, Anna Post, et. al.; Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition: Manners for a New World, 2011.  

graduation etiquette, senior photography, rockwall senior photos, senior photographer

Senior Announcements | Rockwall Senior Photographer

Senior announcements are just one of many things to remember for your senior year.  Let us help you make it easy!  We can customize any of our designs to your personality, to match your photos, or even highlight the school you are graduating from or the one you will attend.  You can let others know the details of your graduation, your graduation party or even your future plans.

The process is simple.

  1.  Select the images you want to highlight.  Usually a single image on the front of the card and a single or multiple images on the back of the card that highlight different aspects of your personality or interests are ideal.  Even if we didn’t take your senior portraits we can print your cards as long as you provide your photographer’s print release.
  2. Choose a front and back from our basic designs.
  3. Decide on your front and back text.  Let me know about any special colors or patterns that you love.
  4. From there, I’ll design your proof and send it over!  If you love it, it’ll be here tomorrow.  If we need to tweak things a bit, no problem.

Still need senior photos?  It’s not too late to book your senior photography session.  Class of 2016 sessions will continue into the month of June.  Wondering when it is too late to send your senior announcements?  Check out our post on etiquette for graduation!

senior announcement