Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Photo shoot Preparation

This post will answer some of the most asked questions you may have about what to wear and how to prepare for your photo session so that we can make the most of your photo shoot!

This is often the first question I ask you and the answer has most likely already been established by the time we reach the point of scheduling.  I ask this because I am an “On Location Photographer”.  This means that I do not maintain a studio and I can do your shoot in your home, the park, downtown, an open field or any other location you prefer.   The reason I ask this is to help determine what style you would like to achieve for your session. 

Choosing a style for your photographs is very important. Would you prefer a vintage feel, something more traditional or do you love candid shots? Do you want to use props - fun mustaches, feather boas, frames, balloons, glitter or bubbles? 

Pinterest is one of the many great resources found online that can help inspire the style of your portrait session. I must admit that I have a serious pinning problem myself!  There are so many great ideas out there to try.  This photo shoot is your chance to do some things you may not usually try.  You’re welcome to check out some of the boards I have created at or even start one of your own to share with me!

What should you wear?
With a little bit of planning, you can have your family looking natural, comfortable and still be color coordinated, without everyone wearing the same thing. Think outside your comfort zone while still being yourself.  The photos that most likely capture your attention showcase complimentary color palettes rather than all being all matchy matchy.  Choosing colors that are flattering to your skin tone will help dramatically.  Also, if you’re going to be displaying your prints in your home, make sure to consider wearing colors that will the accentuate colors you’ve chosen to use in your home.  
Choose different layers and textures to catch attention.  Using accessories such as jewelry, hats and scarves are the easiest way to showcase your personality!  Try to avoid busy patterns and wearing really bright pinks.  The patterns and reflection of a bright pink top on your skin tones can often be distracting.  

Like I said, I have a Pinterest obsession so I do have a palette board with some ideas to get you started, but there are other great resources online that will help you create just the look you’re going for.  Design Seeds is a fabulous blog that is devoted to showing gorgeous pictures and breaking down the color palette within the picture. You can even conduct a palette search to find the color combos you are craving. 

You may also want to do a Google image search for something like “What to wear family outfits” or cruise Pinterest for outfits choices, if you need some more inspiration.
Choose a couple of your favorite outfits, that will be easy to change in or next to your car if need be. 

What time of day is best to schedule your session?
It is best to schedule outdoor shoots either early in the morning (by 8 or 9 AM according to the season) or in the later in the afternoon (about 2 hours before sunset) to achieve the most beautiful light. Timing for indoor shoots is a little less important because I use a combination of natural, ambient, and a lighting kit, if necessary.  For family sessions, it is also very important to schedule around your child’s napping and eating schedule to make sure they are the happiest during their shoot.

Hair, Makeup and other tips…
Makeup should be slightly heavier than normal. Too much makeup tends to give you that painted look, too little might not show off your features. A loose translucent powder is helpful to eliminate shine especially for oily skin.  Be sure to bring a brush, comb, hairspray, mousse, pins, headbands, make-up and/or other styling aids as needed so you can repair hairstyles and make-up as needed.  Make sure haircuts are about 2 weeks prior to your session so that you’re comfortable with styling it the way you like it.  Having Visine on hand is a good idea if you’re fighting allergies and have red eyes.  Men should be freshly shaven with a new razor, cream & aftershave to avoid bumps and redness.

Please do not forget the importance of your hands and feet in your portraits, especially if we are showing off that giant rock your honey recently gave you! Whether you choose to do your nails yourself or have a manicure and/or pedicure, remember to keep your nails clean and to have fresh color if you like to have them painted.  Don’t forget to moisturize hands, arms & legs!

Blemishes & Scars
There is no need to cancel your session because you have a blemish, scar or even that bump on your toddler’s noggin. I can retouch your images to remove them.  If you are concerned about a bruise, feel free to email or text a photo to me so that I may check it out prior to your session.

I love for my clients to bring any props that hold special meaning and that you would like to use during your session. Old photos of each other (engagement sessions), your child’s favorite toy, instruments and sports equipment are good examples. Your pets are also welcome! If you bring your pet, please bring treats.

I have some fun props too.  Just let me know if you’d like me to bring my tub full of mustaches, chalk, boas, frames or newborn items!
Getting the kids to go along with our plan
Making sure your little ones are well rested and fed are, of course, a few keys ways to making sure the photo shoot is a little easier on their patience.  Involving them in some of the decisions on what to wear and picking inspiration photos on Pinterest will help with their involvement.
 My approach with kids is to work with their energy not against them. What I mean by that I allow them to be themselves.  If they feel like playing, I let them and I sneak shots while they aren’t paying attention to me. Those wind up being some of the best shots.

Be sure to bring something to drink for them and also some snacks.  We can totally take a time out and let them refresh themselves so that they are happy and ready to take some more photos!

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