5 Portrait Session Tips (For Clients)

What Can You Do To Get the Most Out of Your Photo Shoot?

Whether you’re excited about upcoming engagement portraits or preparing for a family session, there are things you can do to help make your pictures look amazing! Here are my top 5 portrait session tips for having an amazing photo shoot.

Top 5 Photo Shoot Tips for Clients

1) Coordinate everyone’s outfits the right way.

Some believe that “coordinating” is the same as “matching”, but your photos will actually be more visually interesting if everyone is not wearing the same color. Choosing a color palette is a great way to give your images a professional look. If you want to look at color palette ideas, try surfing Pinterest. I even have a whole board dedicated just to color palettes. That’s how much I love beautiful colors! Feel free to check it out here: Color Palettes on Pinterest.

If you’d rather go with a theme that has a softer feel with similar colors, a great option is to choose differing fabrics, textures, and patterns. Personally, I think smaller prints are better than large ones when you are in group photos. Every session is unique to each client though, so the best way to know if everything will look nice together is to lay the outfits out next to each other. See if there is anything that stands out too much from the rest. The key is balance. You can have soft colors or bright colors. If everyone is coordinated nicely, that is one of the best ways to get great pictures. This photo shoot tip is the best one a client can focus on to help their photographer.

Extra tip: Another way to elevate the look of your images is to avoid having everyone wear the same bottoms. Don’t only focus on tops! If everyone is wearing dark jeans, things can look matchy. Be brave and consider slacks, colored pants, or dresses. Even jeans with different shades can be great. Accessorize lightly so the focus of the pictures can be your beautiful faces.

2) Think of specific poses or picture ideas you might like.

While counting on the photographer to direct the poses is perfectly acceptable, having some of your own in mind has many benefits. This really helps me get to know the style of the people I’m shooting. Some gravitate towards fun, energetic ideas, while other imagine more romantic pictures. Having an idea of what you like will help you feel more comfortable as you progress through the photo shoot. I want to work with you as a team to give you the best pictures possible. There’s no need to be shy!

3) Bring personal items that could be used as props.

There are props I like to bring to my clients’ sessions to add some interest. Depending on the theme I might bring a personalized calligraphy written chalkboard, an empty picture frame, blankets, and others. But one of the best ways to make your pictures feel personal to you is to bring some props yourself. Not everything has to be used, but it’s nice to have options. Are you doing a children’s portrait session? You could bring their favorite stuffed animal, so you can capture the memory forever. Having an engagement session? Maybe you and your fiance both have a passion for reading. How about each of you bringing your favorite book? Have fun considering what you could bring to add a personal touch to your photos.

4) Have a location idea.

Locations are key in setting the mood for your photo shoot. I can find some great suggestions for you including apple orchards, Christmas tree farms, downtown urban settings, and more. But if you have a place that’s special to you or a place you’ve heard of, definitely mention it when we’re planning your photography session. It might be a place that hasn’t been photographed before and could be perfect for your photo shoot. Is a casual vibe more your style? Consider having your session at a farm or park. Maybe you want more serious pictures. Beautiful mansions and estates are great locations as well.

5) Don’t stress!

If every other tip had to be ignored, this would be the most important! Emotion really makes a picture. Try not to stress before the photo shoot and relax. Your photos are going to be great. Smile, let go of the tension and nervousness, and remember that sessions are a ton of fun! The more relaxed you can be, the more beautiful your pictures will turn out. I always have such a great time with my clients during our sessions. There’s no need to stress. Focus on the excitement!


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