Preparing for Portrait Sessions

Preparation
General Appearance
  • For men:
    • Have a fresh shave or trim, and use a new razor with shaving cream and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to limit bumps and redness
    • Make sure nails are clean and trimmed
  • For women
    • If you wear jewelry, aim for subtlety, and be aware of it twisting or turning. Avoid anything big and bulky that will detract the attention away from your face
    • For an engagement session, get your ring cleaned the day before your session so your ring comes out nice and sparkly in the photographs
    • Have a fresh coat of polish on your nails. If you don’t typically wear polish, make sure your nails are clean and filed
    • Make-up – Make sure that your make-up has a matte finish to it to avoid shine. Natural light will reflect on your nose, chin and forehead to create an oily look. Make sure that you apply some powder to your “T” zone or keep oil absorbing sheets handy and within reach
  • For Children
    • Avoid colorful drinks or lollypops within 24 hours of your shoot, don’t let them eat or drink anything that will stain their face, teeth or mouths.
  • For everyone
    • Moisturize and scrub away flaky facial skin. When you wash your face, pay attention to eye boogers and sleep crusties
    • Clean up your shoes
    • Make sure nails are clean and trimmed

General Wardrobe

  • Avoid strong patterns, bright colors, busy prints, or logos
  • Make sure your clothes are pressed and clean. An insignificant wrinkle can sometimes ruin an otherwise great photo
  • You should also ensure your undergarments aren’t visible through your outer layers of clothing. Bras and bra straps are notorious for causing problems in photos
  • I recommend that family members wear similar attire. You should think about complementary colors and styles. These wardrobe choices will keep distractions to a minimum. Avoid exact matching outfits. Look coordinated, not matching.
  • Avoid bright white matching shirts and khakis
  • Make sure your clothes aren’t too baggy or too tight
Newborn Sessions

The key to content baby pictures is a full, sleepy, and warm baby.

Timing for the Session:

  • Of course with babies, we will have to play things by ear. If the baby is more alert when I arrive, we can do the family shots first.
  • I will need about 10 minutes to set up my gear (lights, backdrops, props, etc)
  • If the baby normally falls asleep after a feeding, you should feed the baby while I’m setting up
  • It will be approximately one hour to shoot the baby alone
    • Once the baby’s settled in for sleep, I’d like to start shooting her on a blanket, basket, etc.
    • We’ll get close up shots and swaddled shots here. These shots may be asleep or awake. I will work around whatever the baby does.
  • It will be approximately one hour to shoot the baby with siblings (if any) and parents
    • I have a paper backdrop that I’d like to use to shoot some poses with everyone.
    • I’d then like to photograph more lifestyle shots with the family interacting with the baby as they normally would (i.e. maybe laying on the floor playing with the baby, reading to the baby, snuggling, etc).

Preparation for the Session:

  • If you have any sentimental items like the quilt especially made for the baby, a baby blanket from your own childhood – they’re great for baby to lie on.
Engagement and Family Sessions
  • Family and engagement sessions are typically one hour at an outdoor location.
  • Props
    • In addition to your standard accessories, you may wish to bring along a complementary props. Try to choose items that help identify you as a couple or family, things that you enjoy doing together or your hobbies.
    • Let me know ahead of time if you plan to bring anything, so I can incorporate it into the session.

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