Portrait Photogragraphy - How to Prepare for a Portrait Session to Get the Best Results

Portrait Photographs are a collaborative effort. It is possible that you have searched for hours and hours to find the perfect portrait photographer, and you might be awed by his work. However, there are ways you can act as a photographer to ensure that your photos are can be as perfect as they are. These easy portrait photography tips can help you make the most of your photographer. When I receive an appointment from my clients, I usually go through this quick checklist with them to make sure they arrive looking fresh and ready to take pictures!

Scheduling the Portrait Session.

The most critical aspect of ensuring that your portrait session goes without a hitch is to make sure that it’s scheduled at a time when your children are fed and rested, and if we’re shooting outdoors, the lighting is perfect. The best lighting for photos is during the morning or in the afternoon. Typically, it’s better to avoid the bright lighting during midday. For young children, morning is typically the best. If you’re planning to shoot outdoors, I typically check things out at least a couple of days prior when the weather isn’t looking favourable, and I attempt to reschedule the date within two weeks from the original date. In the event of illness generally, it’s recommended to change the date unless it’s a family event that cannot easily be repeated.

How to Dress

I’m not one to follow any rigid rules regarding what to wear for a portrait; however, here are some guidelines that could assist. It’s best to dress in solid colours and ensure that everyone coordinates, but not too closely. If the style is too overdone, it may appear a little fake, and you don’t want your face to look like you’ve come across a catalogue!

Avoid patterns on clothing such as narrowly striped shirts and herringbone patterns because they can create humorous optical effects when printed at specific sizes. Logos tend to change quickly, which is why it’s best to be wary when dealing with these. If you’re buying new clothing for your children, make sure they’re comfortable with them prior to purchase and that their footwear doesn’t rub. This is especially important for youngsters who may not have the strength to go through shooting; they’ll be disappointed and will tell everyone with no ambiguity!

If you are able, keep a couple of outfits on hand just in case. Remember to dress according to the season. Do not wear clothes that cause sweat during summer or cause you to freeze during winter. If you are shooting in colder temperatures, you’re wearing enough clothes to keep warm while making your setup or in between shooting. It’s often more excellent than you expect in the exposed areas. And when you’re waiting on the sun to turn and/or moving into a different place, the cold may quickly get to you.

Keep in mind that if something appears somewhat wrinkled on reflection, it’ll appear very creased in photos, so ensure that your clothes are ironed and fit well on the frame.

Grooming and Makeup

If you’re planning to have your hair cut to shoot, you should start it a week in advance of the date of the shoot, similar to any other cosmetic treatments that could make you look messy. Natural makeup is the best, and be aware that photography can boost contrast and colour, therefore be mindful of your makeup. Minor blemishes, cuts, or spots can be easily cleaned by Photoshop. If there is a pimple that appears on the morning of your shoot, don’t be concerned! As a photographer of portraits, I like a more natural appearance. Family portraits may end up hanging on your wall for years to come. Therefore, it’s recommended to be a bit more conservative when it comes to how they’re presented.

Drinks and Snacks

It’s always a good idea to bring a variety of snacks and drinks for the younger ones to keep them entertained and could be used to induce them to behave if required! Be sure to not bring anything that is messy, which could cause a halt abruptly.

Have Fun!

If you involve children, ensure that you inform your children about the fun you’re going to enjoy and what a treat it will bring. Children can pick up on issues quickly, and if you issue harsh warnings regarding bad behaviour or offer bribes to be good, they’ll be thinking of photo sessions in the same way as they imagine visiting the dentist. Make sure that the photo shoot is a blast, they are free to play and run around, and there’s nothing to be pressured to do or keep their posture. I do my best to not shoot portraits of children under time pressure, and there’s enough time for little children to warm up before the portrait session. I’ve photographed enough portraits that I will be aware that I shouldn’t panic even if I can’t capture an excellent shot right away. Sometimes, everyone must learn how to get into the session. It’s crucial that children don’t be pressured to perform in a way that could affect their confidence and make them feel uneasy. It is better to be patient. The best shots will be revealed in time.