10 Ways To Prepare For Your Portrait Session

10 ways to prep for your portrait session


10 Ways To Prepare For Your Portrait Session


Having worked in the photography industry for a couple of years now I get clients that show up to their sessions frazzled + unprepared. So I figured why not give you the tools you need right here in a handy blog post? I do give all of my clients a welcome packet that allows them to prepare for their upcoming session, but sometimes the packet is emailed out weeks in advance so by the time the session arrives they’ve forgotten exactly what they need to do to be as prepared as possible. So here a few things you can do to make sure you’re on your A game!

1. Get Enough Sleep – I know this is easier said than done, especially if you have little ones running around, but it’s essential to looking your best during your shoot. If you’re tired during your shoot from lack of sleep it will most definitely show on your face in the form of undereye circles or red eyes. So make sure to get 6-8 hours of sleep the night before (10-12 hours for small children).

2. Lay Out Your Clothing The Night Before – Nothing is more stressful than not being able to find an article of clothing you purchased specifically for your session. To relieve stress the day of your shoot lay out everything from your shoes to your accessories that way when it’s time to prep for your shoot you won’t have to go digging for potential missing items.

3. Drink Plenty Of Water – We all know that water hydrates you and gives your skin a glow, along with helping to clear up blemishes. So 1-2 weeks prior to your session guzzle water like your life depends on it!

4. Hire A Professional Makeup Artist/Hairstylist – These treats shouldn’t just be reserved for special occasions like prom or your wedding. Seek out a professional you trust (or contact your photographer since they probably have a few professionals they work with regularly + and can recommend) + have them bring out your natural beauty + make you polished. And it’s one less headache that you have to worry about handling the day of your session.  Fellas, don’t think I’ve forgotten about you!  Get that haircut + even hit up the nail salon for a fresh manicure.  P.S. When hiring a professional the day of your session make sure that your service is finished at least 30-60 minutes prior to leaving for your session location so that you’re not in a rush + stressing to make it to your session on time.

5. Arrive Early – I cannot stress this one enough! All too often people underestimate the time it will take to reach their session location + they are busy running around taking care of last minute errands. If you are paying for a full portrait session (which with most photographers is 1 hour) you want to make sure your time is fully utilized. Why pay for 1 hour, arrive 20 minutes late + only receive 40 minutes of time in front of the camera? I urge all of my clients to show up 5-10 minutes early if possible. It will give you + I some time to get to know one another (if we haven’t already met in person) + you will be relaxed instead of stressed prior to your session beginning.

6. Bring Along ‘Happy’ Items – So what are ‘happy’ items? Anything that will make you + your family happy or more comfortable during the shoot. So bring along a pair of flats if you’re planning to wear heels in case you do some walking during your session. Water to keep cool + hydrated, snacks (clean snacks though – no Cheetos!) for the kids, tissues, etc. Anything you think will make the day easier for all involved. I also encourage packing up these items the day before your session so you don’t leave anything out.

7. Read Your Contract – I know this seems like a given, but so many people sign on the dotted line without fully reading their photography contracts. Most contracts should be fairly easy to understand + what you don’t understand can be answered by your photographer. Reading this information will ensure you know the protocol if your session is canceled due to unforeseen circumstances, what forms of payment your photographer accepts, etc.

8. Don’t Become Frustrated – In life things don’t always go as planned. There will typically be a glitch in the plan + this can happen on your session date as well. Plan for something to go wrong. If it doesn’t, great! But if it does you know it’s not the end of the world. Screaming kid? I’ve dealt with it + we can work around it by shooting mom + dad for a while + giving the kiddo a break. Stain on your shirt? 9 out 10 times I can edit it out in the post process. As long as the issue isn’t major, we can work it out so try not to get frustrated when things don’t go 100% according to plan.

9. Communicate With Your Photographer – Have questions about the session? Nervous about poses? Talk to your hired photographer! We’re here to listen to your concerns + to help alleviate them. No question is a dumb question. So if there’s something you need to know, ask!

10. Relax + Have Fun! – I know this is easier said than done, especially if you’re not someone that isn’t used to being in front of the camera. But the best advice I can give you is to relax and enjoy it. I know it can be scary to be front + center, but I want my clients to feel relaxed during their session. A relaxed client comes across as confident + self-assured on camera. You’re making lasting memories so have fun with it!

I hope these tips will help your next session to go much more smoothly!  And if you’re looking for a photographer in SC + NC area contact me.  I’d love to work with you!


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