Getting Ready for Your Portrait Session

First, a bit about the session

My photo sessions are about capturing some great photos of you all, sure, but they’re also about you spending quality time with your loved ones. In this day and age, where time is scarce and we don’t get to spend as much time with our favourite people as we’d like, your photo session can double as quality time, and be just as valuable as the photographs themselves! The more you’re in the moment, the more personal and emotional your images will be.

I work 100% on location (which means outside in the fresh air, or in your home or backyard) with natural light for all of my portrait sessions. I don’t use studios or super-fancy umbrellas on stands. It’s just you, me, my camera, and a lot of fun!

The first part of the session will be our “formal” photo time – that’s when we get any family groups or family member combinations in more formal, traditional-style shots. This is the only time I’ll ask you to smile and look at the camera, but we’ll make it more fun than school photos, I promise! If you’re having a large group photographed, it’s a good idea to make a list so we don’t miss any important combinations. For a smaller group, it might be mum, dad and the kids, just mum and the kids, just dad and the kids, mum with each kid then dad with each kid and so on.

Once we have those “formal” shots captured, we get to have some fun! I love capturing real moments in a documentary style, so this is where we put our heads together and come up with something real that you like to do together. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular – if you’re a couple, maybe you love going out for coffee. If you’re a young family, maybe you like to wash the dog together and get all wet in the backyard. If you’re a big family visiting for a reunion holiday, maybe you’d like to get down to the beach and build sandcastles. Whatever it is, the pressure to smile and look at the camera is off – it’s time to play, enjoy, and be real.

Choosing a Location

Most of us think of beaches, parks and gardens when we think of photo shoot locations, and they are beautiful backdrops, but first think about YOU GUYS. Is there a special place you love to go and spend time together, even if it’s a bit out of the box? Your city’s streets, favourite cafe or even your home or backyard can all be great options to give your images that personal touch. Still not sure? Click below to see what some of my previous clients have chosen on the blog!

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Time it Right

What’s just as important as the location is the light, so we need to decide on the right time of day. This will change depending on the time of year, but generally late afternoon right before sunset, or first thing in the morning right after sunrise are the most beautiful and flattering times of day for sunlight. If we’re planning to shoot in a more urban area with lots of shade then we can be a bit more time-flexible, but it’s important to remember that shade is our friend. Click below to see more from my previous sessions!

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What to Wear

For many this is the hardest decision – so here are some pointers. I wouldn’t recommend you all match, but instead choose a general colour scheme and dress accordingly – it will make you visually look as though you belong together, which is exactly what we’re going for! It’s good to avoid bold logos or text wherever possible, too – they’re distracting and will make your images seem dated much more quickly. The most important thing is to be comfortable and feel like yourselves – that way you’ll also FEEL comfortable and like yourselves! Click below to see what some of my previous clients have chosen to wear my blog.

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What to Bring

Any favourite toys for little ones can be very handy to have, but it’s important that they know we can’t play until AFTER we’ve had your formal photos together. If we’re headed to a park where you guys like to play soccer, by all means bring the ball along! If you have a beloved family dog, bring them along too so we can capture the whole family (although we will need to take this into account when choosing a location). Anything that you like to do together, I would love to capture. As far as props go, if you’d like them please feel free to bring them along but they certainly aren’t necessary.
On a more practical note, a change of clothes for each of you can be a useful thing to have if we’re headed to the beach or a park that might be a little muddy, or if you’ve opted for a light coloured item of clothing, just in case! I will be getting you guys to sit (and sometimes even lie) on the ground, so it’s good to be prepared.

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Any questions?

Don’t be afraid to ask! I’m here to help you however I can. If you have location ideas, need some help with your outfits, or anything at all, please just let me know. I want to make sure you’re just as excited for your photo session as I am!

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