Preparation is key | atlanta child photographer

November 15, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Being prepared is a prerequisite for many things, even portrait sessions. Some people may think that the only thing you need to think about is what to wear and that's it. Yes, what you will wear is a big part of being prepared, but that's not the only thing. In this post, I will break down the many things you need to think about in order to have a successful session. By the way, these are also things that would be discussed during a pre-session consultation with me. I'm sure you already guessed that, but it doesn't hurt to say it anyway.

What kind of session will this be? Will it be a serious studio session? Will it be a wild and fun outdoor session? Will it have a theme or will it be more of a lifestyle type of session? These are actually real things to think about. Remember, you are the ones who will be looking at these images on your walls or on your tables and you need to be extremely happy with them. For instance, Christmas is coming up. Perhaps you want to have a session where you all are trimming the tree. Maybe a cute session with the children setting out cookies and milk for Santa or holding gifts and other holiday items. What about a heartwarming family session that can be used for your holiday cards, like so:

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Or if you have actors in the family, maybe this is more your speed:

atlanta holiday family portraitsEdwards-8

Themes can be used for any session. Other examples are first birthdays, rainbow babies, sessions around hobbies or classic, artistic portraits. It's your session so you choose. There are times when my clients aren't really sure what they want. So during the consultation we talk about what they like and I take it from there.

Next comes clothing. It's rather difficult to decide what you want to wear if you don't know the theme of your session. I'm not saying it can't be done, but sometimes in order to know where you're going you need a map. Now I'm not really strict on what people wear. Sure I want them to have a nice, cohesive and complementary look, but I'm not going to force them to look like someone else. Wouldn't it be awful to have your portraits taken and every time you walk past your portraits you silently wonder, "What were we wearing and why?" I don't want that to happen to you. I do, however, give guidelines as to what would make a pleasing portrait. For one, it is not a must to wear the same colors, but at least have complementary colors. Also, keep it to the same type of clothing. Either everybody is dressed up, relaxed or somewhere in the middle, but not a mixture. I think it would look kind of crazy if dad had on a tux and mom had on jeans. I'm just saying... Also, no crazy patterns or neon colors. We want your friends and family to notice you, not what you're wearing. If your clothes are all people could talk about, then that may not have been the right choice for you.

Next would be where is this session going to be? Will your living room work? How about your den or backyard? What about the park down the street or maybe a cute urban area in your or my neck of the woods? Below are a few examples of some places I've photographed my clients.

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Don't worry, we don't have to travel anywhere. I can definitely photograph a session right in the comfort of your own home.

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Depending on your desire, it can be with or without a backdrop. I bring my studio with me, so we always have options. What usually happens is that I get inspiration from being wherever it is that I'm photographing and the session goes from there. 

I guess it goes without saying that you need to figure out who will be getting their portraits taken. Ok, I felt the need to say it. I want to make sure that we're all on the same page. Once I  know how many people are being photographed it tends to make my job a bit easier. That mean no having people jumping into the portraits right before or after the session has started. It's just a common courtesy. Doing that is tantamount to RSVPing at someone's house for 2, but you end up bringing 4 people with you. Not cool.

Last but not least is when. What day and time should you schedule it?. If you have small children, late mornings may work. As long as it's not right before their nap and they are not hungry, we should be able to get a good session out of them. If this is a newborn session, I want it to be scheduled during their nap time. Always make sure everyone is well rested and fed. Try to relax. I'm just taking pictures, not interrogating you about stuff you don't want me to know. 

Ok, ok, this is really the last thing. It's important for me to know what the children and/or pets like and dislike. I want the children to enjoy having their portraits taken, which means that they will gladly do as I ask. Plus I don't want to be bitten by the dog trying to protect you or said children. I think that's pretty much it. If you have any other tips to add, I would be glad to read them because collaboration is my jam! Hey, if you know of anyone needing to prepare for a portrait session or you just enjoyed reading this post so much, please pass this along to them. They'll thank you for it. I know I certainly will!


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