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5 Tips {Maximize Your Photo Session Experience}

March 05, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

We often offer our clients a check list and some helpful tips before their sessions. It helps to prepare them and to stew some ideas together. We thought it might be nice to include some of these tips on our blog. We'd also like to mention that we would be happy to assist with any of the points mentioned below!

1. Location & Theme

It's important to have an idea of where you will want your session to take place. The location will add to the general feel of your photos, whether it be romantic, playful, bold, edgy or vintage and the list goes on. It's also important to consider where you will be most comfortable and open, free of potential distractions. This will maximize your experience and help you to loosen up and be yourself, naturally... which is really what we aim to capture after all! You being you, your personality shining through.  

If you spend the majority of your weekends boating or soaking it up in the sun, then you may want to consider the beach over a park setting. If you're after a romantic or vintage look, then you may opt for a field or flower garden. For children that spend lots of time outdoors playing and getting dirty (which is probably true for most) than you may want to consider your favorite park or even your own backyard play area. Are you more into the artsy urban look? Then you might opt for your favorite spot downtown or perhaps an alleyway somewhere nearby. If you feel most comfortable at home, you may even want to consider an in home session, please just make sure to tidy up first ;)

Our style or what we try to capture resembles more of a natural look and less posed. The best way to go about this is to have a theme in mind and/ or some sort of activity. Whether it be a romantic picnic, a mother blowing bubbles with her child, daddy reading a book to his son or even a family painting session. The possibilities are endless! Be creative and have fun when thinking about your desired location and theme! 


2. Attire & Props

Again, comfort is key here. Always make sure to wear comfortable clothing, something that makes you feel confident and that mirrors your personal style. Plan also according to the weather and always have a backup, just in case. Try on your outfit(s) before the day of your shoot to make any last minute changes and to ensure the clothes you choose are comfortable and well fitted. Keep in mind that what adds interest to many photos is often in the colors, textures and accessories. Don't be afraid to mix. Keep your location in mind as well as it is often recommended that your clothing contrasts with the backdrop so that you stand out rather than blending in.

And I want to emphasize--- ACCESSORIZE! You can be subtle about it, a plain white tee paired with your favorite scarf. Or you may choose to layer on the accessories: several long necklaces, cute headbands and bows, fun tights, whatever your heart desires. Of course we wouldn't recommend bringing your entire jewelry ensemble with you, but it's good to bring a few items that you can mix and match, especially if you will be changing outfits. Another idea might include wearing jerseys of your favorite sports team.

Finally, it is good to think of any props you might want to use to add more personality to your photos and to make them more unique. Some ideas may include: hats, umbrellas, bubbles, flowers, sports equipment, books and the list goes on. Hey, you may even want to bring your furry little friend along! Just check with your photographer(s) in advance to make sure this is OK based on the chosen location, some areas may have restrictions. 

For photos with multiple people such as couples, families and groups you must try to compliment each other. This does not mean that everyone should be in the same color nor the same shade nor the same attire. Often times it looks neat when groups choose a color and each wear a different shade of that color. This can add some depth to the photos as well. Don't be afraid to experiment, but be careful to ensure that the attire each person is wearing compliments one another and make sure that everyone is aware of this well before your scheduled shoot.


3. Be rested & well hydrated

Please make sure to get plenty of rest the night before your session. You want to look your best, don't you? It's also important to be well hydrated and nourished. It can get very hot down here in South Florida and it would be wise to bring some bottled water and even a couple snacks. This way if thirst or hunger strikes, you'll be well prepared.

I had some maternity photos taken last year in May. It was very hot and we were shooting on the beach. We were outside and in the sun for about 2 hours. Shame on me for being pregnant and not even thinking to bring any water or snacks. {In my defense I was rushing around frantically beforehand trying to find what to wear for the session, too bad I didn't have these tips to help me plan} And so, I wasn't prepared. I had no idea how long the photo shoot would last and just anticipated it would be quick. I was wrong and in a location that really did not have any water on hand for me to drink. Luckily, the photographer had a couple bottles of water in her car and thank god for that and for her, because the photos were stunning too!


4. Speak up!

As your photographer(s), our creative license or vision often contributes to your photos. However, it's very important to have an idea of what you want or do not want to see in your photos. If you have a vision for your session, please discuss this with your photographer(s) during initial consultation to ensure everyone is on the same page. Often times, sessions are a go with the flow event, so as the session unfolds, it is also important for you to speak up on any ideas you may have or situations you may not be comfortable with. 


5. Share your photo ideas with your photographer(s), but remain open minded

Last, but not least and somewhat tying into the last tip, it is important to share any ideas you have with your photographer(s). If you know of certain shots you'd like to see captured it is important to communicate this in advance. We often encourage our clients to round up some inspiration photos before their session and we'll usually do the same as well. However, it is advised to remain open minded. Inspiration photos are not meant to be copied, but rather to provide some direction. We do not attempt to recreate photos precisely how they were taken by another photographer.

Photography is an art and it's also a lot of work. We do understand that there are certain trends and poses, etc. that you may run into over and over again, and you may very well like them. While the inspiration photos are helpful to all, we always try to create a slight twist or something different to allow for a unique photo and thus respecting the work of other photographers.  This is why you must have an open mind. Trust the talent of your photographer(s), but feel free to share your own input.

If you took the time to read this blog post then rest assured you will be well prepared for your photo session. Please take a moment to comment on some of your own ideas or perhaps ways to help you relax before getting in front of the camera. We know it can be awkward for lots of people. We admit, even for us! We're so used to being behind the lens that when faced with it, it can seem a little weird to us too!



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