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How to Prep for a Professional Portrait Session


Studio Branding Session
Studio Branding Session

A professional photoshoot should be an exciting and fun experience with no stress. The end game is for you to have timeless portraits that you will treasure forever. Getting photos taken by a professional portrait photographer is a fantastic opportunity to step into your power to create beautiful heirloom images. Preparing for your first photo shoot with a professional photographer can be stressful. Many people get a mix of excitement and nervousness about getting their picture taken, but we promise there’s nothing to be nervous about. To simplify the process and take the stress out of the unknown, I put together some tips that are sure to put you at ease, so you can be prepared to look your best.


BEFORE YOUR SESSION

"How do I prep the kids for our photo session?"

4 year old unicorn birthday session
4 year old unicorn birthday session

The week or two before your session, start bringing me up in conversation. Tell your kids about the fun adventure we'll be having. I am totally not above bribery. A fun ice cream date after our session or a yummy snack is always a big hit. Just make sure you let the kids know we're going to have fun! If they get worried about behaving perfectly then it will show in the images. I love taking time to connect with your kids to get those fun images of them.


"How do I prep dad for our photo session?"

Dad posing during family session
Dad posing during family session

Tell dad we're going on an adventure too! Let him know that all he has to do is relax and have fun loving on his wife and kids. Take the pressure off. He'll do great!


"How do I prep myself, mom?"

Mom posing during family portrait session
Mom posing during family portrait session

Relax! Pamper yourself. Get your hair or nails done (if that's your thing). Don't stress, and remember to just have fun with your family. This is the time to be your true self with your beautiful family, enjoy it.

DURING YOUR SESSION

Birthday personality Session
Birthday personality Session

"It's finally here!" The day of your session is here! We've picked out the perfect time and location, and your wardrobe is ready to go. You've spent weeks preparing, and it's finally time. I'm getting just as excited as you are.


Make the day as stress-free as possible by allowing lots of extra time to get ready. If need be, create a time line for yourself on the day of the session. Leave home earlier than you think you need to, and try to arrive 5-10 minutes early to your shoot to allow kids to settle. The more relaxed you are the more relaxed the family will be! If you are rushed and stressed, everyone feeds off that energy and it becomes a domino effect. So stay calm and carry on!

DO WHAT FEELS NATURAL TO YOU…

Senior enjoying her senior session
Senior enjoying her senior session

In other words, what you would do if you are goofing around in the kitchen or dancing to your favorite song or whatever it is that you do when it’s truly authentically you.

If I give you direction, please know you can always make it your own. You know how to be the realest you better than anyone else so if it feels awkward, then adjust. Rest assured, I’ll help along the way and I’m not here to put your session in a box or follow a set of photo rules. So let’s shake off those old ideas and really reflect your personality


It’s a combined effort…

Aspiring Model Showing Off Some Creativity
Aspiring Model Showing Off Some Creativity

This is a staple for me. Really and truly, it’s all about collaboration between you and me.

A good mantra is to “show up and show out”. So let’s really show up and show out the many beautiful chapters in your life. We’ll celebrate the good vibes, put on some music and document the realest you there is.


Keep On Moving

Senior swinging hair during portrait session
Senior swinging hair during portrait session

Basically the entire time, my friends. Whether that’s swaying, a playful nudge, dancing, running around… just keep on moving.

Reason being, if you’re still and I take a handful of photos, you’re going to get the same photo out of that group of photos. But if you keep it moving and I take a handful of photos, you’re going to get all different (and more) photos from the bunch.


Let's Make This Unique

Senior eating ice cream during senior session
Senior eating ice cream during senior session

Whether that’s putting on your favorite playlist, bringing your dog, going to your favorite brewery, hiking up a mountain, hanging in a hammock, eating at your favorite taco truck… let’s create a session that honestly feels like something you’d actually dig doing. Using the information from your questionnaire, your session will be designed with you in mind.


Don't Panic If It's Been a Minute since I've given you Direction...

Gorgeous senior playing with hair on a windy day
Gorgeous senior playing with hair on a windy day

That just means you are absolutely killin’ it and I’m just getting amazing shots and digging into the creative flow. So please, don’t second guess yourself or feel you have to ask what to do next. Just keep doing you!


Things To Remember:

Have fun! This is so important that you and your kids enjoy this experience because it will show up in your photos if someone just isn't having it. Relax and love on your family. This time is about you and what makes your family special. We'll spend the first little bit getting to know each other. We'll knock out the "Christmas Card" photos (ones where everyone is looking and smiling), and then set off.

Moments over poses: after we get the poses out of the way, you don't have to look at the camera anymore. You totally can if you want, but it's not required.

Always touching: be sure that you’re always touching someone. Whether it's a hug or snuggle, or just a tender hand on the shoulder. Make contact with your family. This shows connections and love.

Don't stress: if your kids are nervous or acting a little wild, that's totally OK! I embrace children in every aspect of them. We're focusing on moments, so a shy kiddo can get extra snuggles and a wild one can have extra run time. It's all about your family in this season! Each session will have it's own unique, beautiful and unscripted moments. Embrace it all. With trust and collaboration between us, we'll create photos that will resonate with you and bring you right back to where you were and the emotion of it all.


Have fun and don't stress,

AND REMEMBER…

Family walking and holding hands during portrait session
Family walking and holding hands during portrait session

Need help? Just ask:

I am here to help in any way that you may need, from helping with wardrobe choices, or deciding between whether or not to bring your child's lovey. I want to make this session awesome for you, and I love getting involved in all the details. So if you have a question about anything, please don't hesitate to ask. Interested in booking a portrait session? Click on the image below to be redirected to my website to learn more about my simplified process or to book and get started!










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