HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY SESSION? That is one of the most commonly asked questions I get and understandably so! It’s not exactly everyday we are getting professional photos taken right?
While I can’t give you all of the exact answers of how to prep, I want to provide you with some guidance and tips on how to prepare! After all, this session is about YOU and/or your family! I want this to be personalized to you, so take these tips and let them guide you!
I want you to be CONFIDENT in your photos, so here it goes!
What kind of location should I pick?
This is honestly, 100% up to you! I will, however, say this, choose your location wisely! Locations are so important to your session! They add variety, their own personality, and fun.
So, think about what type of setting you would like first. Do you like parks where there are trees and paths, farms where there are barns and tall grass, or maybe you are the opposite and love the urban look with graffiti, brick, and sidewalks, or you just plain love the city and want to capture the cityscape in the background.
Ultimately, choose somewhere that speaks to your personality (or your families personality). Also choose a location where you are comfortable. If you are shy and can’t imagine being on the spot, then the urban/city shots with loads of people constantly walking by you may not be the best! (I will try to shoot in locations with less people!) Or, if you absolutely hate bugs, spiders, and other wildlife, you may not want to stand among the tall grass or inside/outside barns.
Keep in mind, we want variety, where possible in your photos! So try to choose a location that has a little bit of variety (paths, water, benches, sidewalks, cool walls, backdrops, etc). This allows me to get a whole variety in one small area!
What should I wear?
I could honestly write a book on this answer, but I am going to keep it simple. Wear whatever makes YOU feel CONFIDENT!
Having a family session? Follow the same, CONFIDENCE! I also recommend, starting with one persons definite outfit and then coordinate with that outfit. DO NOT match though! Again, we want variety and a few colors! So, if dad is wearing a plaid shirt, don’t dress everyone else in plaid. Mix it up! Maybe include some outfits that have some similar colors to dads shirt. Play off of one full outfit.
Again, try to steer away from being matchy matchy or bland (stay away from white shirts and khakis, or white shirts and jeans – accessorize!)! Pick at least 3-4 colors and make sure everyone has different outfits, but of the same theme (formal, semi-formal, totally casual, etc).
Accessorize and/or layer! This will allow you to create multiple looks just by adding/removing a layer (like a cardigan or scarf) or adding accessories (like belts, necklaces, etc).
Lastly, know your location! If you chose a park that has lots of grass and trees, try to steer away from greens. If you chose a field that has lots of yellows and oranges, try to steer away from those colors. Can you wear them? Sure. But make sure your primary outfit colors are ones that do not blend in with your back ground.
I want you to POP in your photos!
Need some visual ideas? Scroll down for a Pinterest board full of visual ideas!
Props? Yes or no?
YES, YES, ABSOLUTELY! Big props, little props, silly props, serious props, bring them (within reason of course)! If you have props that you would like to bring with you, so as long as it is appropriate and allowed at your location (ex. don’t bring a cushioned chair to a park where these things may not be permitted).
Do you play an instrument, are you a book lover, do you love picnics with your family? Or, are you doing a save the date? Then bring props to highlight these things! Love sports or are active in sports? Bring your sport props like your ball, jersey, etc!
Need other ideas? How about some things like balloons, bubbles, blanket for the ground, keepsake, etc.
Sometimes, this is one the last things we all think about! Grooming!
This is YOUR session and the look you go with to your session is what will be captured as memories forever! Be sure your wrinkles are smoothed out. Plus, here are a few pointers for men and women.
1) Hair: Glam it up, but keep it simple! Go with a hairstyle you are comfortable with and have worn before. Confidence reflects back in your photos, so I want you to feel your best!
2) Makeup: Again, glam it up but keep it simple! If you don’t normally wear makeup, then don’t wear a full face unless you are very comfortable in it. And if you normally wear makeup, I recommend kicking it up just a notch. You don’t want it to get lost in photos, but you don’t want to overdo it either! So, remember, kick it up just a notch.
3) Nails: Whether it’s nails or toenails, if they’re going to be in the photos, then be sure they’re touched up! No chipped paint! 🙂
1) Hair: Be sure to shave (if you normally do) prior to your session! Unless the look you’re going for is a 5 o’clock shadow, then make sure you are freshly shaved! As for your hair, do it as you normally would!
2) Nails: Touch up your hands and nails. You may not need polish like the ladies, but make sure your nails are clean, freshly clipped, and have applied lotion! Your hands may have close-ups, especially in engagement sessions!
How do I pose?
While it is my job to pose you, I highly encourage anyone who is in the session to practice posing. The first few minutes of any session is always the most tense so I always recommend my clients arrive a few minutes early so we can get those few initial shots out of the way to get everyone comfortable and into a flow!
Posing at home and practices give you ideas on how you think you smile best, what side you feel most confident, and so on! Plus, at the end of our session, I always ask for any ideas you may have! This is your time to get in some favorite poses that you think might look great!
I’m not sure of how I want my session? Do you have any tips?
Absolutely! If you’re not sure at all what you want out of your session, then I highly suggest Pinterest. Pinterest will help you gather ideas for locations, outfits, props, and poses you can practice at home!
You may share any Pinterest ideas with me, but keep in mind, I may not be able to duplicate the post 100% since we are working with different variables in our session BUT this will help guide me with what you’d like and understand your personality more!
If you create a Pinterest board, feel free to share it with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kids – Should I bring anything for them?
Yes! If you are doing a session with your kids I recommend bringing some of their favorite things! Photography sessions are not the most exciting for kids so having some games or favorite toys helps keep them entertained.
Plus, we can use these as props and capture great photos of you and them all interacting around these toys.
I also recommend bringing snacks and drinks for them. If you have little ones who still take naps, I also recommend they are well rested prior to your session.
My goal is to make your session fun for everyone!
Here are some Pinterest outfit ideas!
Photography Session Outfit Ideas