5 Tips for a Fabulous Photo Shoot

I'd like to preface this blog by saying that not all of these tips are absolutely mandatory. I've always been an advocate for shaking things up, so feel free to dress however you please if you don't like my suggestions. This is YOUR session, so if it feels good -- go with it! These are just a few guidelines to go by in case you haven't had many professional shoots. No need to worry though, I am great fun to shoot with, or so I've been told, and I work so fast and efficiently that you're sure to get great photos with minimal awkwardness or boredom involved. "Scout's honor."

One of my goals as your photographer is to help get your mind off the fact that you're having your picture taken or at least feel more at ease with it. I know it can be unnerving to look into the black abyss of a lens and let go of your inhibitions, so I like to spend some time during our session getting to know you and your personal story, making you laugh and getting you to loosen up. I'll put down my camera from time to time so you can see that it's me on the other side of that clunky box and feel confident knowing I will always look out for the best angles and moments before I start releasing my shutter.

Photos that feel natural always tend to look the best so that means you gotta get comfortable, and I know that takes time. In order to help you better prepared for our time together, here are some handy tips to ensure that you get the most out of your session:

1.) Arrive a little early

In order to take advantage of your hour (or whatever length your shoot may be), you should always arrive camera-ready with your hair and make-up done -- let me know ahead of time if you need help with this so we can arrange it -- and at least 15 minutes early to check wardrobe options beforehand so we can get started on schedule. It's also a good idea to check driving conditions and traffic so you can plan accordingly. Lastly, get a good night's rest and drink plenty of water to avoid puffy eyes at your shoot.

2.) Wardrobe is key!

I'm all about being comfortable and feeling confident so wear something that you know you feel good in but try to follow these guidelines if you can:
  • Solid colors, as opposed to stripes or flannel, are less distraction from your beautiful face. Let's try to make YOU pop out, so avoid logos or huge graphics and especially pictures of faces on your shirt. Go for contrast, so if you are fair-skinned choose darker colors; lighter colors and white look really good on tan or darker skin. 
  • Too many options are better than not enough so bring a few different looks: short-sleeve, tank tops, long-sleeve, flowy dress or skirt, light and dark tops (pants tend to be a better choice than shorts for guys). Since I mostly shoot outdoors, backgrounds can be any combination of colors so we need to find something that'll make you stand out and not look washed out.
  • Accessories are always great. Colorful scarves or bangles and beautiful dangly earrings can add the perfect touch. Bring some shades if it's a sunny day or cute umbrellas if its rainy. Any props that tell a little bit more about you and your interests (i.e. a guitar or skateboard) are also a nice way to personalize your shoot. 
  • If you're doing family or group pictures, try to color coordinate so that no one stands out more than the others unless it's intentional. 

3.) Grooming and details

Fellas, try not to cut your hair less than a week or two before the shoot so it'll have enough time to grow out a little bit and look more natural.  Ladies, please don't dye your hair too close to the date of the shoot just in case it doesn't come out to your liking and you need to fix it. Try not to get any marked tan lines before the shoot either, they prove to be distracting also. 

If you don't get manicures regularly, at least make sure your nails are clean and trimmed before the shoot so they don't look gangly. Nobody likes a yellow or dirty fingernail near their face... not too hot. 

Food or lipstick on your teeth is not a good look either, try to check that before we start. ;)

4.) Bring toys for babies and pets

Bring along any toys or objects that make your babies laugh or that your pets are familiar with to catch their attention. Blankets that have nice patterns or that your baby loves are also a great idea. You might also want to bring a friend or someone not in the pictures to hold onto your pets while they're not in the shot so you're not worrying about them while we're shooting. 

5.) Have fun!

Lastly, have a good time and enjoy yourself. This is YOUR session so feel free to make any suggestions, however silly you might think they are. I will probably suggest some fun jumping or running pics if you're up for it so wear something you can move around in easily.

In my two short years working as a "model" when I was younger, I learned what poses are the most flattering for  different body types, which colors work with certain skin tones and which angles work best, so trust my judgement even if you think I might be too close or far away from you with my camera -- you chose me for a reason, so let me do my thang but speak up if you have a particular side that you favor or something that you are self-conscious about so I can suggest poses that you'll feel most comfortable in.

And there you have it! Thanks for entrusting me to document this moment in your life with beautiful images that you'll be able to enjoy for a lifetime. I can't wait to see what we come up with! :)


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