Some clients seem to be always photo ready, confident and photo-fabulous, especially the younger generation who have been practising every possible facial expression posing for selfies. Some of us, however, need to prepare for photo sessions which we feel is on par with dentist appointment. With these 10 Tips on preparing for your Portrait Photography Session, you can show up to your session armed with eager confidence and really enjoy every moment, making it a fun experience with photographs you can treasure for a lifetime.
1. Have a plan for using your images: This tip is extraordinarily valuable. If you know what you want to do with your images, you will have a better idea of how to prepare for them. As and example, if you plan to have a photo collage printed on canvas for you living room, you might consider wearing a colour scheme that would fit with your decor. If you plan to share some fun and quirky images on Social Media, you might consider including your best friend or maybe even your beloved pet in your Photo Session. If your photo session is aimed at remembering how special you felt while you were pregnant, you might consider pampering yourself with a new hairstyle, a manicure and a pedicure, maybe even a new outfit for your photo session.
2. Communicate: Communicate your expectation with you photographer before the shoot, sharing your own ideas and even your fears. If you feel you don’t want legs, bold spot, or in grow toenails showcased during your shoot, your photographer will more than happily oblige. Your are the star of your own photo shoot! When you feel uncomfortable in a certain pose, say it! The chances are that will also look uncomfortable on the images rendered. If you know your husband is grumpy and really dislikes photos of himself, whisper in your photographer ear, and he/she will be prepared to pull out all the stops to ensure he is more comfortable during the photo session that ever expected.
3. Coordinate your outfit, don’t match: I know we are all very tempted for the whole photography party to all wear white T-shirts with blue jeans, and there was a time when this was very popular in group photography. We have actually found that matching your wardrobe for the day, in complimentary colours and patterns really adds to the feel of natural, everyday life verses a planned event.
4. Bright Colours: Even though bright coloured clothing might seem a little bold, they really do photograph so beautifully! Not only with a nature or neutral backdrop, but especially in a more industrial backdrop (almost like a diamond in the rough). Not only does it photograph well, it also exudes self confidence.
5. Photo finish Make-up: I always suggest that my customers have their make-up done professionally before a photo shoot. You will feel really great and your images will look superb. Professional make-up generally renders a more appealing look on photographs, and professional make-up artists knows exactly what will photograph best.
6. Hair stylists/Hair spray: For a really great polished look, I will always recommend visiting your hair stylist before your shoot, especially if your are interested in showcases your lifestyle. This is not always possible, and though I am not an advocate for hair spray, it can really help take of a few stray hairs and assist with your beautiful polished look.
7. Practice expression before your shoot: This might seem silly, especially if someone observes you pulling funny faces in front of your mirror, but it really is not a new concept. In fact, before I embark on a model portfolio, I always give the model a number of facial exercises and facial expression to exercise before her shoot. In this way, she will not be surprised at the outcome of her photographs after the photo shoot.
8. Bring meaning full details: We have many marvellous photo props that really assist with creating fun photographs, but bringing along your own details to your photo shoot really helps to tell your story. This can be something as simple as your baby’s favourite blanket, a necklace handed down through the generations, a printout of the latest scan of your unborn baby, or your baby’s first toy. Remember, this is your story, and only you know what will make it extra special and memorable.
9. Relax, it really is going to be fun: In the early days of photography, no-one ever smiled on photos. It was once thought that this was due do poor oral technology in that era, but another theory is that it was believed that only poor people laughed and thus, smiling on a photograph you did not seem like the rich status conscious being you were, especially since early photography was so expensive. Luckily, modern photography really welcomes smiles and even laughter! Even though you might be a little nervous about having your picture taken, all you really need to do is show up and your photographer will do the rest.
10. Be on time: I have had many client showing up late for their shoots, and once they arive, they rush to the nearest mirror to first do their make-up. This really frustrated me in the beginning, and then I realized it was my own fault! Yes mine! I did not take the time to explain to the client how important the timing of their shoot was, not because I have ten other clients lined up for shoots for the day, but because the use natural light during a photography session is so important. Yes I do use make use of off-camera flashes, but in the early mornings there are less light particals to compete with, and in the late afternoon as the sun sets, a certain magic unfolds in front in the camera, not only due to the beauty of the sunset, but also because nature has a way of speaking to our souls. As a photographer, I keep track of sunset and sunrise every single day, to ensure that bookings are done during the most wondering light nature has to offer, being on time for your shoot will ensure that your images reflect the beautiful light.