Preparing for Your Portrait Session
During our pre-session consultation, we will review all the basics like; session time, the vision for the shoot, where to meet etc. I designed this page to share some of my pre-session planning tips.
Families with young Children
Some children LOVE to have their picture taken and some do not!
- Talk with your children about the photo session ahead of time so they can get excited and ask you questions.
- Timing is everything! Schedule your session during your child's happy time of day, after naps and meals, so that they can really enjoy the experience.
- Make sure they have a full belly! Have a snack with you just in case they get grumpy.
- Bring their favorite toy so they have something comforting and reassuring to hold onto.
- Encourage your children to be themselves. If they are in an active mood, I can capture them at play. If they're happy sitting on your lap, that's great too!
High School Seniors
I think it's very important for each senior to decide what the feel of the session should be and how they want to look. Search the web and ask friends and family for ideas. I have lots of ideas to share too!
- Look for examples of senior portrait poses
- Decide if you like a casual or more formal/dressed up look or both
- Think about what colors look best on you
- Do you have a location in mind? or a favorite season?
- Do you play a sport or musical instrument? Would you like to use it as a prop?
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Create a Pre-session Plan
Choose what to wear several days in advance! If you're stuck, ask your family & friends for help and/or search the web for inspiration. Things to think about:
- Your make up - have it done or DIY?
- Your favorite colors to wear
- Your style, going for casual, dressy or maybe both!
- Your outfit comfort - this is key!
- Your accessories
- Your shoes - so important depending where the session is
- What to bring, you might consider: another outfit, face powder, hairspray, comb/brush, make up, safety pins etc.
Organization is key with large group portraits! Determine ahead of time who the leader will be for our session. That person will work with me to keep the group organized and on track to ensure each individual and specific group is photographed. Please let me know a head of time if anyone in the group will need special accommodations, ex. a chair, so I can ensure that their experience is more comfortable.
What to Bring
This list is totally optional you don't have to bring these items but you might find it helpful to have them with you:
- Hairspray - key to keeping the flyaway hairs at bay! + comb or brush
- Lipstick or lip gloss
- Face powder and small mirror
- Safety pins
- Snack and small bottle of water
- Blanket or prop if you'd like them to be incorporated into the shoot
What to Wear
What should I Wear? This is the #1 question people ask!
- Choose comfortable clothing you feel good wearing! If you feel uncomfortable, it will show in your facial expressions and ultimately in your photographs.
- Avoid bold graphic patterns as they can be very distracting in photos.
- Wear solid colors and/or smaller patterns that are appropriate for the season or session location. For example; whites and pastels like; pink, mint etc. look great in Spring and Summer while jewel tones like; royal blue, red, purple etc. really pop against Autumn colors and Winter scenes.
- Matching & color coordinating outfits both look great in group shots but so can a mixture of 3 different colors. It's totally up to you!
- Should I wear makeup? Consider this: A little mascara and lip gloss/stick will definitely enhance your facial features. Also, tinted moisturizers and foundations help to smooth out skin tones and reduce redness. If you're not comfortable wearing makeup - don't wear it. If you're prone to oily facial spots, you should consider applying a little powder before the session to reduce the look.
Jennifer LaRoche is a Massachusetts based portrait and event photographer.
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