I Have Booked a Professional Photo Session...Now What?

You have asked your friends, stalked Instagram and you have found the perfect photographer!

In order to secure your photo session, you will need to fill out a few forms. The good news is that most of this can be taken care of online!

You will be asked to pay a retainer or pay in full before your session to secure your date and time. People often wonder why photographers request to be paid in full before the session. When a client pays in full, the client is more likely to take the session seriously and arrive on time. (You wouldn't believe how many people try to cancel, show up late or change dates when they don't pay up front.)

You will be asked to sign a legal contract, stating what you will receive, protecting both you and the photographer. An invoice with the payment amount will also be sent stating how payment will be collected. A model release may also be included so the photographer can legally use the images on his/her social media and website for advertising purposes. Sharing images is the ultimate advertising for photographers!

family picture lake wardrobe pastels alta loma

Planning Your Session

The more you think about and plan your photography session, the better!

Wardrobe is very important and can make or break a photo. Make sure that you communicate with your photographer to see what styling color choices and colors work best with his/her style of photography.

With my style of photography, I find that medium to light tones with texture (think material...bumpy, woven, nubby etc..) work well. You want colors to coordinate, not match exactly! I say choose one outfit (like a dress) and take the colors from that dress and have other people in the photo wear colors that coordinate with that dress. In a large group, choose 2 or 3 colors and have everyone wear shades of that color. Neutrals and pastels work really well! Muted shades of greens, pinks, blues, tans, creams, and grays work! For the lower half of the wardrobe, choose the same tone for everyone. (For instance, have everyone wear a medium shade on the lower half.) Please don't have a lot of competing patterns. Choose one pattern (maybe a floral or a plaid on a baby) and have everyone else wear solids. Sometimes even the slightest pattern can throw off the camera!

Another thing to consider is hair and makeup. For brides, a good idea is to time your hair and makeup trial on the day of your engagement photo session. Having your hair and makeup done professionally is the icing on the cake in photos!

Think about what props you would like to bring. Props aren't essential, but they can give you something to do at your session. Good examples of props would be bicycles, picnics, blankets, flowers, cocktails, champagne, kites, confetti, snacks, sporting equipment, dogs, etc... The sky is the limit! Adding props will give you more variety during your session! Props will give your hands something to do!

How To Talk To Your Family About a Photo Session

If you have young children, talk to them about how they are going to meet a photographer. Explain that the photographer is going to take their pictures. Family photos can be so stressful. Try not to show your stress to your kids and set the stage for success by telling them how fun it will be. Playing games and having fun are all parts of family photography time. Photographers hope that the kids will listen, but realize that kids will be kids and sometimes they may not listen. One of our jobs is to get the entire family to feel at ease and catch everyone having a good time. (These ideas should be shared with older kids and spouses, too!)

Cal State Fullerton Graduation girl senior pictures
Upland High School Senior Guy Photo Green Graduation cap and Gown
Boyfriend girlfriend on San Clemente Pier snuggly pose

Share Any Concerns or Questions with Your Photographer Before the Session

Please let your photographer know any concerns you may have BEFORE the session! Does Aunt Betty not get along with Aunt Tina? Please let us know this!!! Family dynamics can make or break a photo. Please let us know if we can avoid any uncomfortable situations.

This is also a time to let us know of any special needs or any concerns you may have. Do you have a favorite side? Are you uncomfortable with something? Would you like to highlight something?

high school senior spraying outside graduate

During the Session

During the session, we will meet and chat so that everyone feels confident before we start.

We will walk around a bit and survey the area, looking for the best light at that given moment. Trust your photographer when s/he places you somewhere. Trust me, the light is best where they will place you! Yes, we may put you near a parking lot, and you would be amazed at how good the picture will be!

We will do all kinds of activities during the session. We will instruct you on how to pose, how to move and what to do with your hands. Traditional shots (think holiday card poses) will be taken as well as epic action shots.

A Final Word of Advice About Your Photography Session

Everyone goes into a photography session with high hopes, as you should. Please go in with an open mind and trust your photographer that you will have fun. We envision the perfect session...yes photographers do, too! Maybe it will be the perfect session. Maybe it won't.

Trust that it will be fun and that will show in your photos! The photographer will read the room and know when everyone is finished and can't smile another second.

After all of the preparation of getting everything ready for the session, why not plan a dinner out afterwards? Or maybe the kids would like to go an get ice cream. It's not often that everyone is fancy, so take advantage and celebrate after our session!

adorable cute brother and sister toddler pose on a doll bed outside

I hope that this has helped prepare you for your photo session! Thanks so much for reading! If you would like to book with me, please contact me!