So your first portrait session is coming up!!! If so, this one’s for you!
I’d get so nervous before portrait sessions, especially if I didn’t feel prepared, OR if something went wrong because I didn’t prepare adequately. So I’ve listed some tips to help you prepare to photograph your portrait session!
1. Get names & number before-hand. I’m horrible with remembering names. I remember faces years and years later, but names are hard for me! So now when clients pay their deposit online (necessary to reserve a session), they’re required to fill out a form which asks for all names, ages of any kids coming, and a cell phone number. A copy of the form gets sent to my email, so if I’m waiting before a session I can review names on my phone, or text them if I need to clarify where to park or anything (I do this all through Squarespace)! It definitely makes me feel more at rest!
2. Plan for location & time. If your session is in the middle of the afternoon on a sunny day, a big open field with no shade probably isn’t ideal. When I don’t consider the time & location together, it comes back and bites me. Shooting within 2 hours of sunrise or 2 hours before sunset is ideal, but sometimes that just doesn’t work out. Yay for shade during sunny afternoon shoots!
3. Have equipment ready. Double check that batteries are charged, enough memory cards are in your bag, lenses are clean, etc. Yes, I’ve come to shoot an event with no memory card… (thankfully my wonderful mom drove to meet me with one!). I’d highly recommend having a spare battery so you always have a fully charged back-up battery.
4. Bring ideas. Don’t feel like a loser or unprofessional if you have ideas saved on your phone and pull it out. l still bring ideas sometimes if I had a great idea saved and can’t remember it! But it’s also smart since you’ll hit those times where you draw a complete blank! I would create an album on your phone just for families or for that specific shoot, and then you can find it easily and quickly.
5. Get there early. It’s always a little humiliating driving up and seeing your clients waiting for you! Even if you beat them by a lot, you have time to review names, refresh your memory with ideas, and decide where to have them start!
I hope this is helpful as you prepare for your portrait session! In the next few weeks, I’ll share how to keep your portrait sessions relaxed and moving now that you’re all prepared!
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get the guide