So, you've spent hours on the internet, researching local photographers who tick every box, are within budget and produce beautiful work. You've spoken to them and booked your shoot for 3 week's time and you're excited. Then it hits you. The nerves. The not knowing what to expect. Do we bring anything with us? What do we wear? What if the kids are being exceptionally naughty on the day? It's normal to be nervous. I would much prefer to be behind the camera than in front of it! I have put together a list of things you can do at home before your session to help your day go smoothly with as little stress as possible! Putting in a bit of planning will help make your photo session fun and rewarding.
1. CLOTHING - Choose clothing that is comfortable. If you don't usually wear dresses because they're not "you", don't wear one to your shoot. Although, if 'comfort' means holey old tracksuit pants, you may want to rethink that ;)
- Organise outfits well in advance. When I had my first family session with my own family, I was still organising clothing on the MORNING of our shoot. It was stressful, and there were still things I'd forgotten. Don't be that person. Be organised so that you can be happy and relaxed for your photos.
- Don't match your clothing to each other, rather keep it complimentary (I'll have more about this in an upcoming blog post). The white shirt and denim jeans look is outdated and boring. Don't be those people.
- Dress for the location. If you're having your photos done among lots of greenery, avoid wearing too much green...or camo gear. Unless you may enjoy playing "where's Wally" with your photos!
- If you are planning a clothing change, remember that it may need to be done in the car as many locations are remote.
2. ACCESSORIES - Keep it simple. If you have a fabulous hat you'd like to wear in some of your photos, bring it with you rather than wearing it to your shoot. Hat-hair is honestly not the best of looks.
- Accessories such as jewellery, scarves etc are great, but keep it all to a minimum. The photos should be about you and your family...not your accessories.
3. HAIR & GROOMING - Avoid getting sun-burnt in the weeks leading up to your shoot. Tan lines do not photograph well.
- Don't get a new bold haircut before your session unless you're absolutely certain you will love it. If you do have your hair cut prior to your session, ensure it is at least 2 weeks before hand so that you're used to styling it on your own.
- Men should be clean shaven. Beards are fine, but 3-day stubble can look messy.
4. WHAT TO BRING - Adding a special family item or two may prove to be the icing on the cake to your amazing and memorable photo shoot.
- If you have young children, feel free to bring anything that will keep them happy (e.g. snacks, juice, favorite toy, etc.).
- Please remember the weather. If it is hot, you may want to bring a water bottle; cold, maybe a jacket between shots.
- If you have a favourite possession that you'd like incorporated into your session, bring it along. I’ve had people bring sunglasses, hats, bicycles, signs, and dogs to name a few!
5. ALL THE OTHER STUFF - Ensure you and your family have eaten prior to your session. Everyone feels more relaxed when their stomachs aren't gurgling for food.
- Be well rested. A good night's sleep can make all the difference for how your photo shoot will go.
- Make sure to plan the timing of your shoot between your child's nap time so there's less chance of them being tired and upset at the shoot.
- Plan your trip and arrive early to your shoot. Having time to spare means you're able to adjust clothing/hair if needed.