TIPS FOR YOUR SESSION
If you just booked, or you are wanting to book a photo session, read on for some tips and suggestions to make the most out of your session time!
Relax! If I could only stress one thing… it would be to relax and enjoy the session. I really want you to be comfortable; so, do whatever it takes to sit back and enjoy the time with your family or doing whatever activity has meaning to you. Be well rested and have a snack beforehand. Give yourself time to get ready to avoid feeling rushed. If you are running a bit late, don't panic, just send me a quick message and arrive safely.
Don't let a stranger take your photos! That’s why I like to chat at least twice before your session. Tell me what you have in mind, what you are excited about, and what your expectations are. Also let me know if there's something you are concerned or worried about. You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel once you establish a bit of a rapport with your photographer. Good communication is a must.
Do I look at the camera? Hmm... what's the best way to sum this up... don’t focus on me! The best pictures are the ones you don’t know I'm taking. If I want you to look directly at the camera, I'll tell you. Staring into the camera saying ‘cheese’ is something you should avoid. Look at the camera when it feels natural to do so (i.e. If I'm talking to you, or you happen to be looking in that direction anyway. Otherwise, look at each other, laugh, smile, or just carry on as if I wasn't there. Posed pictures have their place and time, but otherwise, I just want you to be candid. Have an activity in mind that you enjoy doing and just ignore me completely!
Lighting is a photographer’s friend of foe, so trust me discretion when it comes to positioning. You can’t have a (good) picture without proper light. Since I do most of my sessions outdoors, I rely heavily on the sunlight. The best time for natural looking pictures is roughly 1 hour before sunset. Of course I can accommodate for anytime of day, but I will likely move you around to optimize how the sunlight is reflecting on you.
You will likely have to change positions or do some light walking around the area to optimize the conditions we are working with. I will also guide you or make suggestions as we go through the session. I tend to notice everything...the stop signs behind you, the cars driving by, the passerby’s, bad symmetry in the phots etc. and these things will affect your pictures so I try to avoid them in the first place.
With portraits, people are the focus, not necessarily the pretty background. *don't worry! I'll get that in too :) Keep in mind that nice backgrounds should enhance the image but not be distracting. I'm happy to assist in choosing a great location.
If you are camera shy, keep in mind that you won't be the whole centre of attention! The portrait is going to be a collective of you and your family and the moments. I don’t single anyone out, unless that is the point of the shoot (i.e. Newborn or maternity shoots) or unless you ask for some individual portraits.
Dress accordingly but comfortably. You DO NOT have to match, but usually with family portraits t’s best if people coordinate unless one person is specifically meant to stand out. (i.e. maternity or newborn sessions). If one person is dressed drastically different from everyone else that person becomes the focal point of the image and all eyes will be on them!
A good rule of thumb is to wear clothing that doesn't detract from your face. Clothes should be free of logos (unless you are doing brand promotions), busy prints or loud vibrant colors. Solid colors create flattering lines to help elongate the body, but avoid dressing in all white, or all black. Bring a colorful scarf, sweater, or jacket to easily achieve a slightly different look with ease. Just aim to look your best and be well groomed. Keep makeup looking natural or stick with what you are comfortable with. Your picture should look like you!
I love kids! I will always take a few extra minutes to get to know them and I know that it may take a little bit of time for them to adjust. So, don’t worry if your kids have a mini-meltdown at any given point, sometimes those make for the best pictures! It’s rare that a temper tantrum interferes with the session. I will usually use that time to focus on the adults or the other children involved. With that said, I will never force a photo on them.
You don’t need to wait until a “special moment’ or occasional arises in order to have pictures done. Most of my best shoots have been with families or couples who are just celebrating day-to-day life with their loved ones.
Understand your photographer's style. Every photographer has their own unique style and it continues to develop throughout their career. Some people rely heavily on photoshop or elaborate backdrops and props. While I appreciate and value that type of editing, it’s not my personal style. I prefer taking photos that look natural and ‘in the moment’ as opposed to creating a moment that never existed. I love when people show us their ideas and we do our best to accommodate your vision. Ultimately if you find a photographer whose style you enjoy, you will be happy with how your pictures turn out!
There’s no such thing as an “un-photogenic person” and if there is, I have yet to meet them. I will focus on your best features! I don't want to take an unflattering image or anything that you aren’t comfortable with. A bad picture is more a reflection of the photographer than of you.