Preparing for a Photo Shoot

family photo with dogs

Thoughtful planning can help make your portrait a lovely keepsake to cherish for decades. To start, wear a favorite, comfortable outfit. Avoid loud colors, dominating stripes, plaids or names on the clothing. People want to see your smile, not be distracted by the clothes. Background is important to allow your face to be easily seen. If you wear white or lightly colored clothing, a white or light toned background will allow the face to be more noticeable. Medium colored outfits require medium toned backgrounds; dark colors require dark backgrounds. If you have planned an outside picture, wear medium or dark clothing. Your face will be the lightest part of the portrait, which attracts the eye. Light, white, yellow or red clothing will distract from your face and smile. One exception would be small children. Lighter clothing will allow them to stand out from the larger adults.

Group photos: different shades of one or two colors would look best. Too many colors make it difficult to see the faces. Women need to wear more foundation and blush, eye color and mascara, avoid looking like a clown. “Erase” under the eyes will glow from the flash and produce owl eyes. Men look best with a haircut one to two weeks prior to the photo session for that natural look. Facial stubble is more noticeable in the picture than in natural light. Freshly shaven is suggested unless unshaven is your look.

Other good tips:

  • Get a good night sleep.
  • If a baby or young child will be in the picture, plan the session time around his/her best time. Be sure to feed him/her before the session or bring snacks. Children can sense if you are nervous. Relax. If a child isn’t cooperation, give Jan time to get him to come around. Children may be afraid and need more time to realize this won’t hurt and no one will be leaving without them.
  • Please, don’t be critical of a child’s smile. He will feel uncomfortable, ill at ease and lack confidence. Again, let Jan bring out the natural smiles and expressions as she interacts well with the kids. If you don’t like being photographed, imagine being somewhere you have fun, doing things you enjoy. Focus on people, things, places that make you happy. Ignore the camera and watch Jan unless otherwise directed.
  • If you aren’t sure of what you should be doing or what’s going on, ask me for guidance so you will look comfortable in the picture.
  • Pets are welcome. Bring their favorite treat. They react well to food.
  • Bring clothes to change into if you wish to get an opinion on which would look good.

Plan and prepare for our photography session. Follow some of the tips. Most important: RELAX. You might even enjoy the experience.

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