As a seasoned photographer I have found that with proper planning and preparation you can get the most out of your photography session.  It really should be the photographers job to educate their clients so they understand all that will go in to cultivating the perfect session experience.  You hire them with the understanding they are the expert with the camera.  They know lighting and flattering poses, they can educate you on what would look flattering to wear but at the end of the day you, the client, are in control of your photos.  So here are ten things that I think are important to consider when preparing for your session to make it fun, fabulous and create the photos you dreamed of!

Here we go:

  1.  Choose your location.  You are unique so shouldn’t your location be as unique as you are.  It is fine for your photographer to offer suggestions but don’t be afraid to speak up.  If you have an idea share it.  Find a place you think is cool, a place that reflects a part of you.  Then allow the photographer to have input into timing for proper light.  SUPER important.
  2. Props.  I don’t mean kudos here!  Bring props.  Create magic just by adding confetti or balloons.  Hats and instruments, suitcases and chairs.  Maybe a vintage piece is your style or something fun and funky.  Even your car or rent one.  Food is also a wonderful prop.
  3. Dress for Success.  This maybe should be number one but it is in the top three!  You need to be comfortable while still looking your best.  What is your best feature?  Show it off.  I love to tell my clients to think about their “alter- ego” here.  What would he/she wear?  If it’s a more styled shoot, think celebrity.  Color is great too.  A good thing to use in planning is again, what is the desired look or outcome of the shoot and do the clothes and location compliment each other.  Over pack or if you can share wardrobe ideas with your photographer in advance. Family and couple shoots it is even more important to work together.  Coordinate outfits but don’t be twins!
  4. Let’s talk Face.  So, what makes a photo go from average to stunning?  Proper hair and makeup.  Let’s go best version right?  If you are investing the money then do it right because the camera will only shoot what is in front of it.  If your hairdresser was out and the new person did a bad dye job, wait!  If the kids need haircuts and their hair is falling in their faces, cut it and wait until it grows to the perfect length.  Some might consider getting someone to professionally do hair and make up but that has to be factored into your budget.  Think WOW factor!
  5. Inspiration.  This is easy right!  I believe Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and magazines have more material to feed the creative side of you.  Look at what you like, what grabs your attention and then ask why.  Now you have some inspiration to share.  Remember, these images are someone else’s eye, another person, another time of year and location so the inspiration is only that.  Not copying! 
  6. Lifestlye.  Consider using your hobbies, job, pets, places in your life as part of your session.  Incorporating your life will add meaning and value.  This will give your images that out-of-the-ordinary appeal and you will be more at ease and natural.  Like a bear in the woods or a giraffe on the grasslands.  Do you ride horses?  Drive a big green tractor?  Someone might think that’s sexy! 
  7. Timing is Key.  So there are many factors involved with timing. First, there are NO portrait emergencies.  So getting that off the table, let the photographer help with the planning of time of day, time of year (aka season) and anything else that could potentially make the session less than perfect.  On your side, please be on time.  Be respectful of the photographer and it is also going to effect the way your photos turn out if you are late.  Lighting is everything especially outdoor light.  So be on time.
  8. Personality Plus.  Let loose!  Laugh!  Be silly and let that freak flag fly!  Hopefully you chose well and have a super awesome, super fun, and super funny photographer who knows just what to say and do to put you at ease.  This is MY specialty!  
  9. Strike a Pose.  So, this can be somewhat awkward especially at the beginning of a session but I promise, after five minutes with good coaching, you will be laughing and smiling, taking some direction and just being your naturally beautiful self.  Open communication is important so talk to the photographer.  Some parts might be posed, some they may offer what I call a soft suggestion, like “hold hands or kiss”.  This is a unique bond you two have if it’s a couple shoot and you would do that naturally your way.  Again, always a great idea to look at some poses you like online.
  10. Be Brave.  Think outside the lines, be creative, take a risk, dare to be bold and different.  Be open to some out of the “norm” suggestions like standing in the middle of a street or a traintrack (be sure there is no train coming please).  Maybe sitting on cobblestones or climbing along a rock wall.

Okay, you are ready!  I hope you will share some of your photos with me.  Or better yet, call me and let’s work together.

Ciao for now


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