How to Prepare for your Portrait Session

Preparation is an important component to creating a successful photography session.

What to Wear and Bring to Your Session

Engagement Portraits

Engagement portraits are a great time to capture your personal style as a couple. Clothing that reflects your taste and personality is an important component to creating a custom engagement portrait.

Coordinating apparel in a harmonious color pallet is also key. Make sure both outfits complement each other without overly emphasizing one person. The photos are about both of you as a couple and overly bold clothing on one person would be distracting in the final images.

Many couples also choose to capture a personalized save the date image during their engagement session. This is a great choice for couples looking to maximize their session. Please bring items that reflect the date of your wedding or say “save the date”. Feel free to get creative with this! We have had couples use everything from a simple piece of paper with a printed date to more unusual props such as custom license plates, scrabble boards, sidewalk chalk and large metal numbers. We love fun ideas so feel free to be innovative.

Family Portraits

Comfortable and coordinated clothing is always preferred for family portraits. The clothing does not have to be matching, but a harmonious color scheme can make the difference between a good session and a great session. Some popular color palettes are as follows:

Please remember that it is important for no one member of your family to draw attention away from the group with a bold outfit that stands out. Solid color outfits rather then strips, plaids, or bold logos are recommended.

High School Senior Portraits

Many seniors are photographed in a variety of outfits. Please arrive at your session dressed in your favorite outfit, but bring additional outfits to change into. Your photographer will consult with you pair the best outfits with various locations and backgrounds.

Clothing that reflects who you are as person is encouraged. Capturing your personality is very important for this session. Our sessions are highly personalized and custom looks that reflect your style are key.

Personal items, mementos and even friends are all great to bring to your session. These things can help the photographer customize your look and really capture the essence of who you are at this time in your life.

Children’s Portraits

If there is more than one child in the session we recommend coordinating the clothing colors to make the portrait the best it can be. The clothing does not have to be matching, but a harmonious color scheme can make the difference between a good session and a great session. Some popular color palettes are as follows:

Hats and clothing with texture are great for close ups. Logos and distracting patterns are not recommended because they tend to distract from your child’s face. Timeless outfits that are not overly trendy are great for parents looking to create a lifelong session that will transcend this moment in time.

Studio Baby Portraits

Babies look great in a variety of outfits. We request that you arrive for your shoot with a variety of clothing for the photographer to choose from. We will work with you and coordinate your clothing choices with various backgrounds to create the best combinations possible. We typically recommend arriving for your session with your child dressed and ready to shoot in your favorite outfit. From there we will change outfits as necessary.

Hats and clothing with texture are great for close ups. Please try out the clothing on your child before the session to check for fit. Many baby outfits tend to bunch up around your child’s face. These outfits are not the best for showcasing the adorable face of your little one and should be avoided.

Always welcome are props and special heirloom items that can be incorporated into the shot. (Grandpa’s pocket watch, Dad’s signed basketball, favorite toys, etc…) Monogrammed and personalized items are great as well.

Studio Newborn Portraits

Many newborn portraits are photographed with your child wearing little more than a diaper. Diaper covers are always welcome; as are props and special heirloom items that can be incorporated into the shot. (Grandpa’s pocket watch, Dad’s signed basketball, favorite toys, etc…) Monogrammed and personalized items are great as well.

Blankets are welcome as well. Many of the shots will be taken with your child wrapped in or laying on blankets. Textured fabrics, special homemade baby blankets and adorably colored quilts are all great.

Headshots and Business Portraits

Clothing that reflects the image you wish to present as a business person is key. Select items that do not distract from your face such as bold prints and logos. Feel free to bring a few changes of clothing. Your photographer will assist you in selecting the outfits that best coordinate with the backgrounds and locations.

Hair and Makeup

It is important to arrive at your session with your hair and makeup camera ready.

When styling your hair and makeup please keep environmental factors in mind. If you will be photographed outdoors you may want to think about the wind and heat. These elements can cause your hair to blow unflatteringly or shine to form on your face.

Hairspray, hair styling that showcases your face and anti frizz products are all helpful when creating the best portrait possible. Parents of active little girls may want to consider pulling your child’s hair back our using cute clips and headbands.

Makeup is important to consider as well. To avoid additional retouching fees we typically recommend matte makeup that is free from sparkles and shine. Flash from the camera my create shinny spots when it reflects off sparkly makeup.

Planning your Prints

When preparing for your photography session it is important to plan for your final photographic prints. Will they be gifts or perhaps a holiday card? Are these photographs for your home? If so, where will you be displaying them?

Please think about planning your prints and discuss your thoughts with the photographer at the beginning of your session. If you share your plan for prints such as gifts, a large wall portrait, or holiday card, your photographer can help maximize your session for the best results.

For tips on displaying photography please visit our information on decorating with portraits.