Preparing for your Session

So you booked a photo session…and the panic has set in….you might be wondering…Now what?!?  I wanted to answer some of my most asked session questions, all in one place, to make it easier for you to be completely comfortable and relaxed during your session.  So…here we go…

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….Be Inspired!  This is YOUR photo session and it’s important to be able to communicate your ideas and thoughts with me to make it a great success.  Be sure to tell me if you are commemorating an event (engagement, senior, babies first something).  And remember…there are so many great resources out there these days…from websites to Pinterest, making it easy to gather up your ideas and share them with me prior to your photo session.  I want to know more about your style, favorite colors, and the vision that you have for our finished product.  More is better….don’t be afraid to share, ask questions, bring along printed ideas, etc…


….It’s all about YOU!!  Anyone can pose a bunch of people and call it a day.  My goal, with all of my work, is that your friends and family see the real you shining through.  Don’t be afraid to incorporate things that are important to you, your family, your life.  Like soccer….dress the part.  Engagement photos…let’s go to your proposal spot or first date location.  She likes to dress up…bring along some dress up clothes.  With small children I like to take my time and let them warm up so that their fun and authentic selves come through in my work.  Think about how you would act if you were taking cell phone photos with your friends.  Do that crazy catwalk…a spontaneous kiss…laugh hysterically…dance & sing.  Let loose and be yourself and your light will shine through in our photos.  This is a snapshot of a particular time in your life….make it count!

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….Dress for Success!  Most importantly…dress in something that makes sense.  If you are uncomfortable it will show in your photographs.  Wear comfortable but stylish clothing.  Don’t change your style just for this day. Ultimately…you should look like YOU.  A bold, colorful version of you is OK…but still be you.  It’s better to go a little overboard on your look than to be too conservative.  Choose great colors and textures.  And don’t forget the accessories!  It’s better to have too much than too little.  We can always take away if need be.  For group photos it is better for everyone to coordinate rather than match.  Instead of everyone wearing white shirts and jeans…choose coordinating colors and patterns that give each person a distinct style while still being a part of the group.  Don’t be afraid to mix patterns…for instance…if Dad is wearing a black shirt and Mom is in yellow the kids could be in black and yellow dots, stripes or textures sweaters.  Here are some examples of how to coordinate your outfits.


When in doubt…bring along extra outfits or feel free to message me a montage of your clothing and I can offer suggestions. (yes…I get photos of clothing all the time…it’s a thing)  I am always happy to do everything in my power to make your session a wonderful experience!

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….Don’t eat the red popsicle!!!  Or have that blue sucker….or let the toddler eat the strawberries on the drive over.  Please…I’m begging you…do your photographer a favor and think about your pre-session choices and how they might affect your finished photographs.  Yes, some things I can and will retouch out of your photos.  (blemishes and wrinkles come to mind here)  It is labor intensive and time consuming to edit out blue teeth or red stains in every photo.  Heavy editing will be available at an additional cost.

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….Consider using a Pro. Some people like to do their own hair and makeup.  They are great at it and it shows.  If that is you…then go for it!  Remember that you might want your makeup to be a little bit heavier than normal as the camera will generally lessen the effect a bit.  But…if you are worried about looking your best…why not take advantage of professional hair and makeup artists.  It’s not like you take professional photos every day after all.  This is your time to create special memories to last a lifetime.  (and…please…DO NOT use that pearlized or glittery makeup for your photo session)

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….Location….Location….Location!   There are many ways to choose the perfect place to shoot your session.  Sometimes it is as simple as your back yard or home.  Other times it might be important to go to a beautiful, formal destination to achieve the look you want.  I have a variety of locations, here locally, that I regularly shoot at including formal gardens, rustic barns with green space and cute parks.  I also love to use some more urban locations like alleys, vintage brick and funky doors to achieve a more artsy look.  The best locations for photography have equal amounts of shade & sun.  Look through my website and let me know if a certain location really stands out to you.  Or let me know if you already have a place in mind and I will be happy to check it out and see if it will meet my needs for our session.  I am happy to consider any location!

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…Bring props (or ask about mine).  Props can make a session soar!  Some of my clients ask to include items that are meaningful to them like instruments, sports equipment, initials etc.  I like to incorporate items that reflect your life and style.  Some other things that you might consider are…Vintage Chairs, a bike, sled, trunk, signs, suitcases, balloons, blankets, flowers, teddy bears, books, or toys…the options are limitless.  I have a vast collection of newborn props, headbands and outfits as well as initials and some cool words to use in your session.  Let me know what you would like to bring or if you would like to borrow something of mine.

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….Timing is everything.  I work very hard to allow sufficient time to take as many photos as we need to achieve a gorgeous gallery of finished images.  I also try to schedule the sessions with lighting in mind.  If you are late to our session, even as little as 15 minutes,  you might miss out on taking advantage of both my time and the lighting necessary to have the best experience.  Perfect light is a fleeting thing…so don’t let it go to waste by being late!

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….Strike a Pose!  I would say that over half of the photos that I take during your session will not involve posing at all.  I spend a lot of time allowing my subjects to move around naturally and to be in the moment.  This is especially true with children and families.  Some of the best photos that I have ever taken have come from natural interaction during the session.  And, there will be times where I will stage a pose for you for sure.  I will also ask you to strike poses that are comfortable to you and are common ways you might pose for a friend.  I suggest that you practice. Take a little time to try out some poses in front of the mirror at home.  Corny…I know…but it really helps to get you more comfortable with your body and how it works in a pose.  Most people have a “good side”…I hear it all the time.  I need to know which side you think looks your best.  I also need you to be comfortable moving around and striking a pose in front of the camera.  Look online at models….check out photography and see which poses you find appealing.  Try them out.  Seriously…the more comfortable you are doing this the more relaxed and easy our session will flow.  And remember…this is YOUR session.  If anything is uncomfortable, or if you suddenly have a new idea mid session, please be sure to share it with me.

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….And most of all RELAX!  I want your experience with me to be fun and memorable.  Don’t worry about how you will look, whether everyone will cooperate, or anything really.  Leave that to me!  I guarantee that you will love your photos or we will do it all again!

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I hope this was helpful.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.