Client Tips: How to Prepare for Your Portraits


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Client Tips: How to Prepare for Your Portraits

March 5, 2015

Running Hare Vineyard Engagement Portrait
We all know how nerve-wracking preparing for a portrait session can be. I’ve had my family photographed by other photographers and I know exactly what my clients go through as the day of their session inches closer. It’s enough to make someone go batty! Hopefully, these tips will help you prepare for your portraits, no matter who you chose to capture them. And keep in mind that part of my portrait service is to help you prepare! So if you find yourself getting nervous about your clothing choices or location choices, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. That’s what I’m here for!!

Day-of Tips for Couples Sessions or Engagement Sessions

LOCK IT UP. If you have extra items you’re carrying around then it might hinder your hands being free and relaxed. I’m more than happy to carry around the smaller items you might have, like keys and lip gloss. But having your hands free and your mind free of keeping track of things is a great way to ensure you’ll relax during your session and concentrate on each other.
BE EACH OTHER’S EYES. Don’t be afraid to check each other over during your portrait session. Guys, look for fly-away hairs and tuck them sweetly behind your gal’s ear. It makes for a beautifully intimate portrait but it also helps to get rid of additional editing in the future. Check for smaller details like folded cuffs of pants while sitting, bunched up clothing, lipstick on teeth. If I ever see a detail out of place or something that needs my attention I will always let you know as well.
MAKEUP. Girls, makeup application for a portrait session is pretty important. Pay attention to your eyes when applying makeup. Even if you don’t normally wear a lot of makeup, just applying a good coat of mascara and eyeliner will make a huge difference in your images. The eyes are the windows to the soul, and we want you to shine through! Also, the camera doesn’t photograph makeup the way you may think. What might feel like a heavy application will end up photographing slightly softer. Bring along a small bag of basics for reapplication during your portrait session. Chapstick for the guys, lipgloss for the girls. It goes a long way!! And it’s pretty time consuming to Photoshop out dry skin patches.
GLASSES. If you wear eyeglasses consider the glare that might be left behind from light reflecting off of your lenses. I can direct your posing in a way that would avoid the glare, if possible. However, if you’re able to wear contacts then maybe consider using those during your portrait session.
WHAT TO WEAR. When planning out how to prepare for your portraits with clothing choices, remember they should be simple and timeless. Seasonal favorites of mine are cable knits, layers, jeans, lace, simple floral prints, plaids, polka dots, scarfs, hats, and boots. Layers photograph well and texture adds a special touch of interest. It’s a great idea to begin planning your family’s outfits for about two weeks in advance. And don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for assistance! So often I get cell phone shots from my families asking me if certain items look good together. We know what photographs well, so trust us! And don’t forget about the details…jewelry, fingernails (NO chipped polish), and socks and shoes (yes, we photograph those too).


PACK A BAG. Bring along a small bag that contains a few items for your session. It can include a change of clothing, a favorite toy that makes noise (I can hold the toy to encourage eye contact), snacks, and something to drink. Sometimes a break is needed and treats work as a great form of bribery (if you’re willing to use it).
JUST HAVE FUN! Make sure your family is connected with a photographer you trust – no matter who you choose to capture your memories. If you’re pressured to look at the camera and smile, natural expressions may be lost. Many of my favorite images are captured during the “in-between” moments when everyone is relaxed and interacting with each other. Your portraits will look tense if you are, so relax and enjoy your time with your family! I always have a few tricks up my sleeves when working with little ones. No child can ever misbehave during a portrait session, no matter how bad mom and dad may think it is. Let them run around, have fun, and act like a kid. Trust me, kids will be kids! Keep in mind that running and playing will give way to the real smiles and natural expressions that you love so much. And if all else fails, a tickle fight will ALWAYS bring out belly laughs. They’ll love the attention and you’ll love your portraits.
WHAT TO WEAR. The same tips apply here as they’re stated above. Avoiding cartoon character-themed clothing/shoes is a great tip as well. Nothing dates your images more than graphics. When choosing your family’s clothing for your portraits try to choose pieces that will remain as timeless as possible.
Have fun with your portraits! This day is all about you and your family!! Thank you for letting me help you prepare for your portraits.


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