I get it. Sometimes the things I’ll list below are unavoidable. It happens, and a good photographer will work with you and still deliver quality photos. BUT more often than not, the following items ARE avoidable and they are things you should definitely think about when planning your photo session. Ready? Here we go:
1) Time of Day
You’re thinking 1pm for photos. Maybe it’s the kids nap schedule, maybe it’s work, but for whatever reason you’re thinking the middle of the afternoon would be the best time for photos. I hope I can change your mind. Nothing makes this photographer cringe quite like the thought of taking photos in the middle of the day when the sun has erased all shadow. That dramatic light you see in those beautiful Pinterest photo sessions? They were taken at the beginning or end of a day when the light is softer and lower in the sky.
Diffused, directional, or dramatic light is (for me at least) the preferred lighting of choice. I do my best to shoo all of my clients away from the 12-3pm window during summer and fall because of how harsh the sun can be - even in cloud cover sometimes. Talk to your photographer about a golden hour or sunrise session. And if you can’t swing either, then book as close to those hours as you can. It will make a huge difference!
2. Matching Clothes
No, everyone does not need to be in white or black t-shirts or denim jackets. I encourage my clients to “coordinate” clothing vs. “match”. It’s ok to have a specific color woven into everyone’s look, or work with similar shades or patterns. Consider the image below:
My client styled this session without any help from me and did an incredible job! Do you see how the mauve dress that mom is wearing coordinates with her little girl’s darker dress? And the way the little girl’s shoes tie in with the baby’s pants? And dad compliments these colors with more neutral denim and blue. They aren’t matching, they are coordinating. Matching outfits can often be distracting from the subjects, overwhelm the scenery, and make the photos look more formal than perhaps desired.
Feel clueless? I’m happy to help! Even if you’re hiring another photographer, I’d be delighted to have you down to my storefront (opening March 1st) to show you what clothing I have in stock and be your personal shopper.
3. Pinterest Ideas
It’s one thing if you draw inspiration from Pinterest for your photo session. But finding exact poses and images you want your photographer to mimic not only kills his or her creativity, it’s likely going to be a disappointment to you. Why? Because it is nearly impossible to recreate the feeling and imagery in the photo you found. If you hire a photographer, find one you can trust to help curate your own unique session. Come with ideas or a theme - or heck even a Pinterest board with photos you like! - just don’t ask us to copy the photos you found. We want to get to know YOU, not another photographer’s work.
Were these tips helpful? Leave your thoughts in a comment below!