The best photo sessions happen as the result of planning, preparation, and attitude
General Session Tips
1. Arrive early, this helps you avoid feeling rushed or stressed and get everyone comfortable.
2. Tend more to your appearance than you normally would (this involves teeth, nails, hair, makeup, etc.)
- While the whole family same/shirt color & jeans look is popular right now, consider complimentary or similar shades of colors for your outfits as these are less likely to become cliche in the future. Avoid extremely busy patterns like plaids or Hawaiian shirts as well as clothes with big bold brand names as those tend to become outdated before too long. It's also not a bad idea to bring a backup outfit or two just in case of spitting babies, or errant hot-dog mustard before or during the shoot. Have clothes ironed the day before if necessary. Try to get your outfit to match from shoes to hats to accessories and everything in between. Ideally, your clothes should represent who you are. If you don't go around wearing suits and ties on a daily basis, bring a casual outfit as well so that you have some balance: if you are uncomfortable in your clothes, it will show in your images, and we can't photoshop that! Of course, consider your location and end purpose for the images. Please feel free to contact us and ask our advice if you have any questions or email a photo of your potential outfit(s) for the big day. Consider varying the style of the outfits you bring.
- Darker Clothes minimize body size. (Yes, black is slimming) This doesn't necessarily mean you need to look like Johnny Cash, find a way to work color accents (particularly your favorite color) into your outfit if possible. Ladies try to avoid baggy clothes that may make you appear larger than you are. Be careful of sleeveless shirts if you feel you have large arms and would like to minimize them. I need you to talk to me a little bit like your doctor, tell me if you're self-conscious about certain aspects of your appearance, or if you have a facial mole or something that you'd like edited out or kept - I need to know!
- Simplicity is best and withstands the test of time (think the "little black dress", "tuxedo", "jeans and t-shirt" concept). This also applies to make-up, manicures, and hair styling. Keep it real - and you'll be glad you did.
- Consider choosing accessories such as jewelry that have special emotional significance (e.g. the necklace that grandma or husband gave you) because years from now God-forbid if those treasures are ever lost, you'll at least have a way to remember them and their meaningfulness to you. Be sure to tell us about them and we can try to showcase them in at least one or two images.
- Get hair cuts or colors at least a week in advance, we do NOT recommend doing these the day before a session or day of. Hair styling, manicures, make-up, and shaving are best done the day of. Investing in a professional makeup artist is a great option since you're investing in the images, and today's digital resolution is extremely high; you may likely be able to count your eyelashes in a headshot (as well as the pores).
- Many of my clients decide to do teeth whitening to make their pearly whites their whitest. This does not have to be an expensive professional services (although at the last minute - i.e. during the week before your session - that may be your best bet); I have personally found Crest Whitestrips Pro over the course of 3-5 weeks to be very effective. You'll be smiling a lot on your session, so definitely don't eat anything that will discolor your teeth right before a session.
- Find a friend or family member to come along and help you arrive at least 15 minutes before your session time to make sure you get the full use of the time you've purchased. Also, this friend can be helpful in getting better images since they will keep an eye on whispy hair strands and shirt bulges and all those other little things that you may want to avoid. Try to eat something or bring an easy snack in case of hunger.
- Props are a great way to show your "you-ness". Feel free to bring things like musical instruments, books, sports items, toys, family heirlooms, hand-painted signs, furniture, letter jackets, class rings, cap & gown, etc. Vehicles will require a little extra time and possibly extra photographic gear and location in a nearby park. Please let us know ahead of time what props you're planning to bring with you.
Family Session Tips
- Avoid getting in a negative headspace - it can be tough but, try to stay positive and radiate good vibes to your family members. Don't get in a argument or expressing frustration before getting out of the car for your session because tension often becomes visible in the images. If you're running late, don't sweat it, we may not be able to get certain shots or lighting as it changes very quickly, but we will create beautiful images for you and your family.
- Plan your outfit in advance.
- When posing with a child or pet, their comfort with the photographic process can be unpredictable at best. Here are a few pointers:
- Try not to get frustrated or upset, especially with toddlers and dogs, they very often pick up on those vibes and become more fidgety. Losing your patience is a sure way to delay the process with little ones.
- Some children will respond to another person off camera making noises or with a stuffed animal and give you their attention. When this works, try to stand directly behind and over the photographer if possible so their eyes are on center with the camera angle.
- Some children or pets do not respond to funny noises, faces, acrobatics, etc at all. These kids will just take time in front of the lens to get comfortable and settle down, there's really no way around it. Show your patience and firm assertion that they will get their picture taken, and when they're ready we'll get the shot. If it does not work, try just waiting
- One of the best methods with toddlers is to have a small (2-3 inch) toy, leaf, blade of grass that they can manipulate with their hands but that won't be too distracting from the image, or a children's book to read to them while they are sitting. This will often keep them engaged enough that they won't be put off by the process of being photographed.
- The most important rule: always keep your attention, pose, and smile ready and on the photographer so that when little one does decide that he or she is ready, we can get the shot. It's a shame to lose that perfect evanescent expression in a shot because the parent is looking at them with a frustrated expression wondering when they're going to cooperate!
- Be patient, sometimes it may take 20, 30, 45 minutes before a toddler or infant will be settled comfortably enough to be photographed. I have seen many parents get frustrated and call it quits just when the little one has finished working out all his/her squirmy-ness or irritability.
- From our perspective, we are going to take whatever time is necessary to create a great memory of this time in your child's life. We know as well as you that toddlers take patience. Crankiness and tantrums are often a large and natural part of being a toddler, and we know this. It does not bother us to wait it out, so please don't feel as if you need to "rush" your child into behaving for our sake. If they are cranky, we will be snapping occasionally not only to acclimate your child to the flashes and sound of the camera, but also to capture those runny nose, screaming, red-faced pictures that will be great for a wedding slide show 20 or so years down the line.
Senior Session Tips
1. Get a good night's sleep and a good breakfast. Being hungry or tired and cranky can come through in your pictures, and you don't want to communicate that.
2. Have your hair & makeup professionally styled - I work with an amazing stylist in Frisco on a regular basis and can help with scheduling with her. As enduring as these once in-a-lifetime pictures will be, it's worth the investment!
3. Bring props that are relevant to who you are and what you are about and put them in the car the night before the session. Examples: Musical Instruments, Sports Equipment/balls, Vehicles, Letter Jackets, paint brushes, Shoes, Shopping bags, etc - use your imagination
4. Bring Choices. We suggest at least 7-8 outfit options. Don't forget the shoes to match! Avoid clothing with text or very busy patterns. We want to keep the focus on you!
Special Event Tips
1. Create a written timeline of events and flow for the evening include things like speeches or open dance floor time - get this to me at least 2 weeks prior to event.
2. Ask your venue and communicate to me if there are any restrictions on photography, including setting up lights and the use of flash.