Summer Photo Session Tips


Summer is of course one of the busiest times of year for photoshoots. And I often get asked a lot of the same questions about preparing for a session. So I figured I would write about some suggestions I have to help you in planning for your next session!

1) TIMING IS EVERYTHING!

The best time of day for photoshoots is a few hours before sunset. In the summer, anytime from early morning until late afternoon the sun is too harsh and can be blinding to clients. It also causes harsh shadows which do not look good in photos. So please plan for sessions to take place in the early evening (usually sometime between 5:30 and 8). This gives that golden hour glow and the lighting is just perfect.

2) LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

Most people do not have a location in mind when they book their session. I typically suggest beautiful parks or beaches for their summer location. In this beautiful area we live in, the options are plentiful!

3) WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

Most people think that they should all be matching in their photos. However, I suggest against this. Complimentary colors are usually best - so try to stick with either warm colors or cool colors, but it is not recommended that everyone in the photos wears the exact same colors. Also, dress comfortably. There is usually some walking involved in sessions. So if you plan to wear heels, it's best to bring a pair of comfortable shoes to switch in and out of for walking. I do not put limits on outfit changes either. So bring as many changes as you want! :)

4) KIDS!

When I do family or children photography, I suggest that any photos you want most we take first! Children get bored very quickly and you can see it in their face in the photos as the session goes on. So have an idea of what photos/poses you want to ensure we get accomplished and we can get those taken care of first. Also, do not worry if they aren't always sitting or standing in a perfect position, looking at the camera, and smiling. Rarely is it this perfect. I love to let kids be kids, and I try to make sure they are comfortable and happy. That genuine happiness will show in the photos and you will end up liking those more than posey, fake smiling photos I promise!

5) MEN!!

Men typically have to be dragged out of the house to go get photos taken. They rarely enjoy the idea of photo sessions. But I strive to ensure that photoshoots are less of a forced, boring activity and more of a fun experience!! And the short amount of time they spend at the photoshoot will create beautiful memories that last forever.

6) POSING

I get so many women who say, "HELP! I don't know how to pose" or "Can you help show me and tell me what to do so I don't look silly?". Don't stress so much about the posing side, that's my job! I don't like to think that I "pose" people, though. I love capturing natural images that don't look fake or forced. So I will usually get the feel for how a person, couple, or family is within the first few minutes and then suggest positions and ideas based on the vibes I get. But I never want people to feel forced or uncomfortable because it truly will show in photos. So just be YOU, and I promise the photos will be beautiful.

7) DON'T PUT A TIME LIMIT ON IT

I have had sessions that lasted 15 minutes, and I have also had sessions that have lasted 3 hours. I will take as many or as little photos as you want. But you won't always know how long a session will last until you are in the session. Newborn sessions are often longer because they require lots of breaks for feedings, diaper changes, etc. But even other session types can have factors you don't plan for. So unless you have somewhere to be and need to leave by a certain time, I suggest that you don't feel rushed and get as many photos in as you want to feel accomplished.

8) IRONS & LINT ROLLERS!

One of the most common things that I notice AFTER a session as I'm looking through photos is wrinkly, lint covered clothes. Men especially tend to have wrinkly clothes! So I suggest that you check your outfits before your session to ensure they are wrinkle & lint free! (Or pack a lint roller for the session if you have dog hair in your car like I do!).

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