How To Prepare For A Photo Session
For Any Session
Communication is key!
Let me preface all of this by saying that every photographer is different and each one will have some special thing that will be the key to a successful shoot. However, there are a lot of things that will make every photo session go smoother and they only take a little bit of planning.
Some of the tips listed below are things I tell every client, and some are things I may forget to do and always wish I had mentioned later on in the process, whether during the shoot or when I’m editing the photos.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to be upfront with your chosen photographer. Be clear with your wants and needs. Select a photographer that fits both your price range and your style. I often hear stories of clients who choose a photographer and then want them to copy someone else’s style or shoot in a way that isn’t portrayed in their portfolio. There are photographers out there at every skill level, price range, and style, from super dark and moody to bright and airy. So, the first tip is, be patient during your search, be honest to yourself, and your photographer.
Successful Sessions Begin With...
10 Photo Session Tips
Select a photographer based upon style, not just price.
Nothing leads to imminent disaster quicker than selecting a photographer because they're the cheapest one and then trying to get them to copy someone else's style. It happens out there, which is why I wanted to get this tip out of the way first.
Ask about payment plans and travel policies.
This tip goes along with the first. Sometimes the best photographer for your needs may be outside of your planned budget, but a lot of photographers offer payment plans which can help you book their services and spread the cost out.
Give your photographer lots of examples.
Whether it's a Pinterest board or some snapshots in an email, we love to see what you want and what inspires you. When someone books with us we assume it's because our style has attracted them. There's no worse feeling than wrapping up a session and delivering the photos and the client saying "Well, what I really wanted was...".
Pack a lint roller.
Always bring a lint roller, lol! Your photographer will thank you and you'll get your photos back sooner because of the time savings during the editing process.
Bring water, snacks and music.
Especially for those hot summer outdoor sessions. Make sure you have some water on hand and that everyone has eaten beforehand. It's also a good idea to tell the photographer your favorite Spotify playlist.
Choose your outfits in advance - and include a hand towel.
It's always a good idea to make sure your outfits are put together and ironed the day before to make sure you're not rushing to get ready right before the photo session. The hand towel? It's an often-forgotten item during hotter weather for wiping away sweat.
Know your props and location.
Like planning your outfits in advance, it's also a good idea to gather any props you have in mind and run those by your photographer. Also, if at all possible, be familiar with your photo session location.
Get the paper work out of the way early.
Contracts and other forms take time to fill out and can consume photo session time on the day of your event. Try to get those emailed to you and signed / copied / emailed back ahead of schedule.
Understand the importance of the photo release.
Okay, some photographers still don't even use photo release forms, but it's a critical step. This form clearly defines how we'll use your photos and gives us permission so we can share them on our website and as part of our portfolio. It also provides protection that you won't show up on a billboard in an ad somewhere down the road too...
This is the most important step. Sometimes the weather may be more cloudy than you'd like, sometimes you've had a bad day at work, or maybe someone in your group isn't cooperating. Whatever it is, try to relax and focus on keeping things lighthearted. Trust the photographer to get the shots you want and let the stress roll away.