how to prepare for your session
If you're like me and like to be prepared (even over-prepared), then you are going to enjoy this! Even if you aren't the type that likes to prepare, this info is still very useful to a fun and smooth session experience.
The last thing I want you to say on the way to your session is, "Oh damn it, I forgot this thing," or, "Gosh darn, I should have done that!" I also would hate for you to be rushing out the door and driving like a crazy person on the way to your session so you don't arrive late (but still end up arriving late lol). So! To make sure you're prepared and ready to go for your session, read on, friend!
Outfits & Footwear
Since your session is 2 hours (90 mins for portrait sessions), I recommend at least 2 outfits, and no more than 3. It's not very often you get to dress up for photos, so take this opportunity to have fun with your outfits! Plus, the variety is nice when looking at your photos.
It's common to have one nice outfit and one casual outfit, but feel free to wear whatever is comfortable because it is very important that you feel and look comfortable during your session. If you end up wearing something that doesn't make you feel good and comfy, it'll show in the photos! Definitely don't want that. Prefer to wear 2 casual outfits? Cool! Want to look nice but hate heels? That's okay! Go with cute flats or sandals, or a dress boot with a block heel.
Again, the most important thing is for you to feel comfortable. And don't worry about where to change, I have a 6-foot changing tent!
Have outfits & footwear (and whatever else you need for your session), ready 1-2 days before.
If any of your shoes are NOT good for walking, then please bring an extra pair of comfy shoes to walk in.
And if you get cold easily, please bring a warm jacket.
directions & car stuff
Cell phone reception isn't always reliable, so make sure to have addresses/directions saved somewhere, either offline (the Google Maps app let's you save locations offline) or screenshot and saved in your phone.
When it comes to parking, I will send you a couple of options and notify you if permits/payment is required. If I haven't sent you a "Where to park" note, either the location for your shoot has easy & free parking or...I forgot lol. Sooo check in with me about parking if I haven't prepared you on that! And crossing a bridge to your sesh? Make sure you have toll!
Also, check that your vehicle has a FULL TANK of gas, (or at least 3/4 tank) preferably a day or two before your session. Don't want to run into the problem of needing to fill your car up and run late for your session!
Save directions to all your locations (including home) offline somewhere, have plenty of gas in your car, and have cash in case you need to pay for parking/toll.
hair, Makeup, & touch ups
I'm gonna tell it to ya straight. Right here. Right now:
DO NOT WORRY about your hair and makeup during your session.
If you worry about it all the time, basically, it'll ruin the experience of your session.
Whatever I have you do during your session, it's not going to completely mess up your hair/makeup anyway. I meeeeaaannnn, have you seen my work? Everyone I photograph looks amazing and my job is to make you and your photos look good anyway (on top of making sure you have fun) so DO. NOT. WORRY.
Bring your hair and makeup stuff in case you need to do touch ups in between outfits.
I will never say, "No," if you ask me if you could bring along your best fur-buddy to your session! They're an important part of your life, too!
If you plan to bring your pet(s), I highly suggest that you also bring a friend or family member along so they can pet-sit while we take photos where the pets aren't needed.
and, bring poop bags & treats!
I totally understand if you think you're going to feel nervous in front of the camera. If you think you're going to be nervous, or will need a little boost to relax, don't be afraid to bring your favorite drink (or let me know your liquor/beer of choice at least 2 days before your sesh and I'll come prepared)!
If we'll be going to another location but you feel a little too tipsy to drive, NO. WORRIES. I can be your designated driver for your session!
lastly, have fun!
Before the session, I'll send a quick questionnaire so I can prepare for your session.
And then, throughout the session, I'll guide you by giving you prompts to help you stay focused on yourself and each other, and not so much on the camera. This helps get a mix of those nice photos (the ones your parents/grandparents will love) and fun + candid photos. Oh, and that questionnaire? It comes in handy for the session ;)
I'll also play some music! Got some favorite tunes? Feel free to send me a playlist or your favorite genre/artist.
Curious about the type of music I'll play? You can check out my Spotify Playlists here!
As long as you arrive with an open mind, an open heart, and not focus so much on being "picture perfect," the experience will be that much more better & fun (some have even told me my sessions are therapeutic)!
That's pretty much it! Here's a checklist version that you can go through so you don't have to read everything lol:
- Outfits (at least 2, no more than 3)
- Session footwear
- Walking shoes (in case your session footwear is not for walking)
- Directions saved offline
- Gas in your car
- Cash for parking and toll
- Hair accessories and makeup (for touch ups)
- Snacks, water, beverage (if you get hungry or thirsty, also helpful if you have kids and need to bribe them!)
- Treats and poop bags (if you're bringing your pet)
- Props (this is not required, but in the list in case you plan on using props for your sesh)
- Anything else that's not on this list and know you'll need!