Preparing for a Photography Session

family portrait session

Preparing for your photography session can be stressful. Pictures are not supposed to be stressful; they are supposed to be fun, so I have compiled a list of ways to minimize stress.

Make sure that you are well rested.
If you, or your children, are tired, it is going to show. Try not to schedule photography sessions during children’s nap times or when they are tired. It is difficult to be happy if you are tired, while adults can often fake it, children have a much harder time. While Photoshop can do some wonderful things, I think that the real energy during your session will come through. Try, and I know it is hard, but try to get some sleep.

Make sure that you have eaten something.
Just like being tired, being hungry, will definitely affect your how happy you are. Bring a small snack, if necessary, especially if you have a long session scheduled or children. I will work around a snack time, especially if it will make you enjoy your session more. We might even get some really cute photographs!

Choose your clothing.
Select your clothing in advance of your session. It will be stressful if you cannot find coordinating, clean outfits the morning of your session. Take the weather and location into account when planning your clothing. Don’t forget about shoes and accessories.
There are two basic schools of thoughts on choosing clothing for photography sessions: matching and coordinating. With matching clothing, for example, everyone wears black pants and red shirts. Check out this Pinterest board. Coordinating outfits are a bit more difficult. Check out this board on Pinterest. The choice is up to you.
If your session includes outfit changes; make sure that you have all of the pieces for all of your outfits. Don’t forget accessories!

Give yourself plenty of time to get ready.
All too often, I am trying to finish getting ready in the car. The children are ready, I have snacks, everyone has a drink, but . . .woops, it is time to leave and I am not ready. Whether it is an individual, family, or group session, make sure that you give yourself enough time to get ready.

Do not say cheese.
Please, just don’t say cheese . . . and don’t ask your children to say cheese. If cheese is a favorite snack, by all means bring some, but it is not the best way to get authentic smiles in photographs . . . in fact, it only gives forced smiles. Instead. . .

Have fun, bring something or do something that you enjoy doing during your session.
Do your children have a favorite toy, interest or hobby? Do you?  An inside family joke?  A favorite game? Bring items that reflect you and your family’s personality. This is supposed to be fun! I want to photograph you doing what you enjoy.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the session location.
Getting lost or running late causes stress. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your location. Traffic delays happen, but they are much less stressful if you have extra time build into your schedule. Check your route for road construction or detours, especially if you have to travel a longer distance or a route that you are unfamiliar with driving.

Here is to a successful, enjoyable, and stress free (or at least minimally stressful) photography session. Do you have any additional suggestions for reducing stress before a photography session? I would love to hear them.

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