YOUR PORTRAIT EXPERIENCE PREPARATION GUIDE

I’ve put together this guide to help you prepare for your photo shoot, and for some considerations on what to wear and what to bring.

Your portrait shoot is a long term investment of your memories and milestones, so you’ll want to make sure you come along as well prepared as possible, to make sure you have THE most amazing experience and photos.

Have a good read through, and as always, if you have any questions at all, just ask. I’m here to help!

HOW TO PREPARE

  • Possibly one of the most important things to remember for family shoots with little ones…… well rested and fed kids are happy kids! I know it can be tempting to entice them with a ‘special dinner’ reward after the shoot (particularly for afternoon/sunset shoots), but you’ll likely find they’ll be happier and more cooperative if they don’t have an empty tummy. Perhaps you can encourage them with a special treat or dessert instead after the shoot.
  • Hair cuts for everyone please! We tend to be our own worst critics, so anything you can do for yourself and your family to feel and look great, will shine through the photos. This includes any beauty treatments like getting your nails or eyebrows done, going to the barber for facial grooming etc. And ladies, while it’s not a necessity, professional make up is not a bad idea if you think it’ll help you feel amazing. I have wonderful make up artists I can recommend. Just ask me.
  • Avoid late nights the day before the shoot and vaccinations in the days leading up to the shoot.
  • For those bringing their dogs – a wash and if needed a trip to the groomer’s will be welcomed, so your fur kid can also look their best in the photos. Try to bring the most neutral coloured leash as well so it’s not distracting in photos, and remove registration tags from the collar. Exercise before the shoot if possible, for a calmer experience. 
  • “My child has a rash/scratch/bruise” – Please don’t reschedule if this happens in the lead up to your shoot unless it’s extreme. It’s more important we capture them at this age, than to wait for the perfect conditions. Since every photo you order includes custom retouching, if you wish, any blemishes/scratches/bruises can generally be removed.
  • Please don’t boss or threaten the kids prior to, or during the shoot, as it’s a guaranteed way to get off on the wrong foot. Your photo shoot is quite interactive, and it’s most important you play and engage with your children instead of telling them to ‘smile for the camera’ or say ‘cheese’. Of course, do let them know they’re coming along to a family shoot, but reiterate it’ll be lots of fun. Please, please, please communicate this with your partner as well.
  • On the above note, be prepared to get silly with me! You want real laughter and natural smiles? That means having fun and playing and interacting with each other. 
  • Embrace the crazy! Tickle any tantrums which might come our way. Hug out those cries and chase the ones who won’t sit still for longer than a second. Your attitude and energy, along with your partner’s will make a world of difference. Happiness is contagious.

WHAT TO BRING

  • A note on bribery – it’s up to you but please make sure you bring snacks (they type that won’t require an outfit change) and something that’s quickly consumed (this includes snacks for dogs if they’re also a part of the shoot)
  • Bring water and avoid any drinks which will stain the inside of your mouth/lips etc
  • Feel free to bring along any special items. A favourite toy or blankie, stuffed animal, bubbles, anything your kids (and dogs!) adore.
  • And most importantly, your happy selves! 
  • I’ll be asking you to remove everything out of your pockets for the photos, so please bring a bag big enough to hold phones, wallets, sunglasses, keys etc along with anything else you’ve brought with you for the shoot.

WHAT TO WEAR

  • Avoid bold stripes, big patterns/graphics and big brand logos as they’ll detract from your lovely faces. Small, repetitive patterns are fine, as well as very soft and subdued patterns. See the gallery below for some examples of great outfit choices.
  • Co-ordinate colours and choose a cohesive colour palette, but don’t be overly matching.
  • Make sure you don’t have too many colours and patterns fighting for attention. The focus should be on you. 
  • Layers and a few accessories are always a good idea.
  • Take this as an opportunity to perhaps buy a new outfit or element of what you’ll wear. You want to make sure you’re not wearing your favourite t-shirt that looks as though it’s been through the wash 1000 times. Clean, crisp and fresh outfits will make a world of difference and help with your confidence.
  • For timeless photos, choose classic, flattering pieces over on trend clothing.
  • Make sure you feel comfortable and can move about well in your outfits, as this is not a super stylised in studio portrait shoot.
  • Check out these Pinterest boards for inspiration. Click here for families. Click here for couples.
  • I’m here to help, and I know how challenging it can be to choose outfits for your shoot, so feel free to bring some options on the day. Don’t hesitate to send me through some photos of what you have in mind before your shoot if you need some guidance.  

AT HOME SHOOTS

  • You don’t have to make every space magazine worthy! I’ll go where the best light is, and move anything distracting out of the way as needed.
  • Simple, pattern free and light coloured bedspread is best. Consider how this coordinates with your outfit choices (perfect example below of a great choice in bedspread).
  • Declutter the main bedroom and living room. If your main couch has the kitchen behind it, consider decluttering your kitchen too.

FOR EXTENDED FAMILY GROUPS

  • Be prepared for a chaotic hoot! I promise it’ll be worth the effort and co-ordination amongst the families.
  • We’ll incorporate a snack break for any little ones as these sessions tend to take a bit longer. I can be focussing on smaller family groups while they have a little break.
  • Bring a favourite blanket you don’t mind putting on the ground, but consider how it co-ordinates with your outfits. So no red or green tartan please!
  • Please don’t all turn up in white tops and blue jeans or I might “accidentally” forget to put the memory card in my camera! 😉 Make sure you all communicate with each other and take a look at my recommended clothing guide so you can all look cohesive as a large group, as well as in smaller groups. Yes, this will take some effort, but I promise it’s well worth it. I recommend you choose no more than 3 colours which complement each other, and break them up with neutrals. The large family below is a great example of cohesive but not overly matching outfits.
  • I’m here to help, and I know how challenging it can be to choose outfits for the shoot. The larger the family, the more challenging it becomes, so please don’t leave it till the last minute to advise all family members on what to wear. Feel free to bring some options on the day, but also don’t hesitate to send me through some photos of what you have in mind before your shoot if you need some guidance.  
 

Thank you for reading. Any questions at all, please get in touch.
I'm here to help you make sure you have the best experience possible and the most beautiful photos you'll be so proud to show off!