I am always asked this question and so I thought I would share some tips with all of you. How do you best prepare for your next professional photography session? There are many questions that people have when it comes to this to let's begin to explore what is involved in the process.
1. Pick a photographer
Yes! You first must choose a photographer that you are moved by and one that you would be excited to work with. How do you know that? Please refer to my previous post in regards to this matter. There is a lot to be considered when choosing the best photographer for you.
2. What type of session do you want?
Ok so this obviously has a little bit to do with what type of photographer you find is best for you, but truly it is a really important question! Do you like studio photography or outdoor portraits with natural light? Do you like a more lifestyle portraits or posed portraits? Choosing what you like best will help you determine not only your photographer but it also can help you determine other aspects too. Determine what you think will look best in your home when its finished. If you have a more modern taste then studio photography might be for you whereas if you have a more natural earthy vibe then an outdoor session may be for you. These are not values that are set in stone so bottom line is that you have to choose what best fits your personal style.
3. Where will this take place?
Ok so if you have chosen the "studio" route then obviously this step can be eliminated for you. However, if you prefer outdoor settings then you really need to start thinking about what is most important to you in the outdoors. Is your favorite place the beach on a hot summer day - or at sunset when its calm and dreamy? Do you like the forest with all its natural beauty? Do you live in the midwest where there are great plains everywhere? Do you like to play sports? How about a cool baseball diamond for some neat lifestyle portraits? Is this just too much for you to decide? Don't worry! Your photographer will likely have tons of options for you and if you want you can let them do all this for you. Part of a photographer's job is to know where to go and when so you don't have to. But if you want to have a hand in choosing where your dream session takes place please don't hesitate to ask! A good photographer can go anywhere and take good portraits for you.
4. What do you wear?
The most often asked question is, "What should I wear?" This is such a personal choice and throughout history the best "what to wear" recommendations have surely changed over time. The best thing about it is that is a personal choice! There are some basic recommendations that will never change. Don't wear white!! Don't wear anything with a large logo! Don't have clothes that EXACTLY match. Matching colors and textures is helpful if you can but most importantly you also have to be comfortable. Here are some recommendations I have found to help my clients on what to wear on my pinterest page. Your photographer can't pick your wardrobe for you and its also very possible that your photographer won't edit out a lot of bad wardrobe choices on your part without charging a lot of extra money. Editing out something large like a hat or a large print on a a shirt takes a lot of time and I am sure they will want to be compensated for his/her time. Choosing the right wardrobe in advance will help greatly.
5. Prepare your kids!
A lot of work goes into a session from start to finish. The last thing that anyone wants is a child who won't cooperate or have fun during the session. Plenty of times there is a way to prevent this. If a parent is stressed out about a session because they are nervous to be in front of the camera, then the children will be the same way. They mimic what you do in everything. Its really hard to be calm when you're not but putting on that brave face will not only help you - it will help your them too. Explain the process to them a couple days in advance and talk about it often. Eliminating the unknown will ease fear. Telling them it will be over soon also helps because depending on the age of the child they often don't have a good concept of time. Bribe them if you have to! Make it so they are comfortable and cooperative. All good photographers will have a couple tricks up their sleeve to help calm you and the kids down but no one can work magic if there is not a good foundation present. ;)
6. What products do you want?
Understanding what you want to get out of the session in terms of product will help you greatly when the session is over. Thinking ahead of time about this will speed this process up tremendously. do you want wall portraits? Do you want digital files? Do you want a lot of gifts for family and friends? No idea? Let the photographer you chose help you through this process. Any full service photographer will know how to help you figure out what you want. That is their job.
I hope these tips will help you when getting ready for your next professional photography session. If you have any further questions about this please don't hesitate to contact me or better yet- just schedule your custom session today. I would love to talk to you in person about these things in your consultation so book today.
Member of National Association of Child Photographers ￼