The Guide to Preparing for Your Portrait Session
So, we’ve got a session scheduled! I’m excited to make memories and portraits with you. Below are some tips you can use while preparing for your portrait session.
- If you can avoid salty foods and alcohol in the time (at least the prior 24 hours) leading up to our session and get a good night’s rest, you will be happier with how you look in the portraits we make together.
- Have hands/feet/shoes in condition to possibly be photographed.
- Please arrive with your clothing, hair, and make-up ready at your session time.
- Please arrive at least 10-15 minutes prior to our scheduled time.
- Avoid clothes with slogans, logos or other decorations. Dial down bold stripes and busy patterns. Solid colors (preferably not white) or subtle prints, work best. Busy prints or white clothing detract from a subject’s face. When you look at your portrait, we want the first thing you notice to be faces, not clothing.
- Clothes that fit you well (not too big or too small) work best. Try things on ahead of time to be sure and invite someone you trust to advise you. Wear colors that go best with your complexion, hair, coloring and eyes. Is there something you wear which brings you complements? Extra choices are helpful.
- Think seasonally. If all of your clothing options are summer-y, will they still work well to portray you in the winter? More important than matching color, try to match seasons for everyone in the portrait.
- Hang clothes after removing wrinkles for the most “put together” look.
- If there’s something about yourself that you don’t like, try not to highlight it. For instance, if you dislike your upper arms, skip the sleeveless shirt.
- Wearing your eye color makes your eyes stand out more. Darker colored clothing is concealing if you want to be less of a focus.
- Fancy, casual, matching outfits? These are your portraits … what would you like to see when you look at them? People show up for their sessions in everything from sequins to a favorite old ripped t-shirt. Whatever you choose, pick something that makes you feel good when you wear it.
- Don’t get a haircut on the day of your session. Seeing your stylist well in advance will give you a chance to let your new style settle in. If we’re shooting on location, consider wind when styling your hair.
- Bring grooming supplies for touch ups.
- Mascara can help accentuate eyes but if you never wear make up, a portrait session isn’t the time to try it for the first time! Test it at home first.
- Make sure to have gloss or Chapstick.
- For adults and families: Bring props you want to include – such as something meaningful from your childhood, a photograph or other item that reminds you of someone you’ve lost, hobbies or interests, anything you want – silly or serious.
- For seniors: Props can help you show your personality and document the types of activities you’re involved in. They serve as a definition of who you are right now. Popular choices are sports equipment, musical instruments, favorite books, skateboards, uniforms, pets, etc.
- For babies: any props/objects that are significant to you – something from your childhood, blankets are especially important.
What Else Should I Bring to a Photo Shoot?
- If you’re bringing kids, they’ll take their cues from you.
- Any needed entertainment or snacks/drinks for children.
- Squeaking toys for both children and pets can help draw their attention.
- Snacks/drinks or comfort items for pregnant women (or other grown-ups!).
I’m happy to help you plan. You can call or email us for support. Some clients email pictures of clothing options for my feedback. Especially if you are bringing children, bring some choices. We can quickly swap out an article of clothing if something isn’t working. And having back up when the inevitable spill happens is always a good idea, too!
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