Before we head to our photo session together, most of my clients are usually a bit nervous and not sure of what to expect. At some point, they always email me asking for help. I find that regardless of the type of photo shoot they’ve booked (engagement, pregnancy, family, newborn), the questions are often the same. In this blog post, I will try to answer all the most common questions and provide a few useful tips on how to prepare for your photo shoot with me.
1. What to Wear?
Your photos should represent you and the precious moment in your life you have decided to capture. It really is as simple as that. When it comes to what to wear for your photo session, here are my main tips on how to prepare for your photo shoot:
- Wear something you love and feel comfortable with. If you are uneasy with it, chances are it will show in the photos.
- Don’t overdress just for the photo shoot (unless that’s your style and what you really want). You might look back at the photos and don’t feel like they represent who you are.
- A colour scheme is always a good idea. It can help to create a sense of continuity throughout the photos and can even match your home (!). This said, I always recommend my client to avoid an exact colour match as that might look a bit cheesy.
- Colours and quirky accessories are one of the best ways of putting a bit of yourself into the session.
- Avoid big logos, narrow stripes, busy patterns… All those things can easily make the photos result less timeless while distracting from your face.
- Whenever possible, avoid white as it reflects lots of light.
- If you are the kind of person who likes to wear makeup, it might be a good idea to wear some foundation or concealer on the day. Good makeup can be a massive ally of photography. The amount of makeup or the style are totally up to your taste and personality.
Q: Should I bring a change of clothes for us? Should I hire a makeup artist?
As my style of documentary portrait photography is quite relaxed and natural, my clients often prefer a casual style. This said, if you’d like to do any of that, please just talk to me as I am definitely open to the option.
Q: What about Kids?
In my experience, children are always great in photo sessions. They are natural models and bring lots of fun to the photo shoot. I just let them play spontaneously and don’t worry too much about posing them or make them look at the camera. Ultimately it’s really about catching a glimpse of their personality.
My top tips when it comes to children at photo sessions are:
- Bring a change of clothes, especially if they are really young or the photo session is outdoor.
- Make sure your child has their nap and/or feed before the photo shoot. Otherwise, we might have a very grumpy baby!
- Bring a favourite toy if you’d like to include it in the photo or just to entertain them.
- Snacks are always a good idea.
When it comes to the location, the most important thing is to define what look you’d like to go for. Would you rather go for a city look or maybe you envision a natural outdoor set up with tons of golden light and flowers?
I am a big believer than location is relatively important as great photos can be taken pretty much in every environment. This said there is no doubt that an uncluttered well-lit space can help enormously in photography.
Location is another way to include a bit of yourself and your story in your photo session. If you have a place that means something to you, just let me know and we can discuss it.
Light is everything in photography and can make or break a photo, so please do keep that in mind when choosing the location and time of your photo shoot. The time of the day and the weather conditions can be particularly important if you’re looking to achieve a certain look. For example, if you’re looking for a golden hour look like the one in the photo above, we might have to plan an evening shoot and wait for a day when the weather allows it.
4. What do you want us to do? (‘Posing’… Ick!)
If you’ve already had a session with me, by now you will know that they are extremely chilled. I am always tuned on how you feel and if I sense you’re uncomfortable I’ll talk to you. I leave posing to a minimum and just ask people to interact with each other as they would naturally do. You can hug, laugh, be silly with each other… Good photos are mostly the result of a few micro-moments happenings in between. The only time I will intervene is to guide you towards the light or avoiding small unflattering positions.
What if we look awkward? What if it rains?What if…? Like many other things, photography has a certain level of improvisation. We cannot predict everything that will happen on the day, but we can embrace the events and flow with them. I cannot stress this enough, but your photo session should really be a little celebration of a particular moment and not something stressful. So relax, enjoy and put a little trust in your photographer.