Now that you've booked a session, there are still some things to decide, like a location? what time of day? what wardrobe and accessories should you use? You may also be asking yourself- "how do I pose?, I'm no supermodel." On this page I will offer some tips to consider for a successful photo session. In our photo sessions we like to emphasize comfort and just being yourself, sometimes this may even prompt you to do a little soul-searching. It's my job to understand your personality and keep you as comfortable as possible but above all, keep the photo sessions FUN! So lets get started.
Our typical photo session runs about 2 hours. This is usually enough time for 2 or 3 wardrobe changes, but if you're the type of person that needs a lot of "primping" time, please account for that as sunset can come and go rather quickly.
The goal is to provide you with a wide variety of final images to choose from. Think very hard about your personal sense of style, are you a blue jeans and t shirt person or do you love to get all dressed up and sophisticated? We wont start the photo session until we have a clear understanding of the kind of images we want to create together. Bringing in example images off the web that convey the look you want is another great way to communicate your desired final look.
We like to start with your most comfortable style first. Don't worry, we can even make jeans and a t-shirt look great if that's your style ;) I recommend wearing clothes that are more bold and colorful with a lot of texture to show off personality. This is an opportunity for you to shine! For children, I usually recommend bare-feet for indoors and boots or shoes that compliment your outfit for outside. I recommend clothing that has texture, such as; knitting, embroidery, dark faded denim, buttons and ruffles. This type of clothing tends to photograph better and adds more visual interest.
Ok, now that we have the casual wear figured out, lets change up the wardrobe for a little variety, maybe something that adds a bit of glamor or sophistication. Or maybe now it's time to breakout the cowboy boots and sun dress. Whatever you choose, make it different than your first choice.
Accessories are always a great way to add extra visual interest in an image. We especially love accessories that have a direct relationship to an individuals personality, passions or hobbies. A ball for a baseball player, a book for an avid reader for example. Other elements like sunglasses, hats and scarfs can actually help make you feel more relaxed and playful during the photo session, but be careful not to over do it, typically more than one accessory is overkill.
SIBLINGS: It can be difficult to coordinate colors and not look too matchy. I recommend picking a few colors, but try not to put them in the same exact clothing. The more layers, textures and colors, the better. Just pick colors that compliment each other. I recommend bright or deep colors (jewel tones like mustard yellow, deep purple, turquoise, dark pink, etc.) and try to stay away from pastels. I do recommend investing in your childs clothing for the session because it does make a huge difference in the final product.
FAMILIES: Choose a style you like and a few colors you like as well. I recommend having the parents dress fashionable yet simple and focus more of the unique style on the kids. If you have 5 people all dressing with a lot of layers and accessories, it can be too much. Dark jeans that have a grit to them is always a great choice for the parents or especially the husband. If you are going to wear a print, stay away from small prints, since there is not a lot of visual interest (think bold!). Continue to think about texture and color. I must admit, i'm not a fan of the all white or all black shirt thing that has been over done in the past. But I also know how hard it is too get a family coordinated, so if you must do it, we'll be sure to select a location that has a lot of visual interest and color to make you pop.
Posing comes naturally for some folks, others(myself included) find it difficult to look natural in front of a camera. We always strive to keep you in a comfort zone but we are also willing to push the boundaries a bit in order to bring out the inner supermodel in you which always results in a wide variety of images each with a unique look. It would be a total fail on my part to give you 100 images with the same smile to choose from. Below are some of our favorite looks for you to practice, you'll be surprised at how fun they are to do and how quickly you can pick them up.
THE SMOLDER- Ahhh yes, the smolder. The name was made famous recently by Flynn Ryder in Tangled, Tyra Banks called it "smiling with your eyes". The Smolder is a look where you don't smile. It's a solemn, melancholy look that really smooths the lines of the face. My favorite part of this pose is that it really opens up the eyes which is typically my focal point. This pose is great especially if you are a squinter when you smile and if you already have big eyes, they become even bigger when you smolder. Top models learn to actually "flare" their eyes slightly which is a trade secret as to why some models just alway produce amazing images without post production. Practice this one in the mirror, but watch out, if you giggle, its all over(hee hee).
THE LOOK AWAY- As the name implies, you simply look away. Its an easy way to add variety to the session in which i have you mostly staring down the barrel of my lens. The Look Away pose adds drama and mystery to an image, viewers have a sense of intrigue as to what he/she is thinking about and this draws the viewer more in to the photograph.
THE "SERIOUS" POSE- sometimes called the Football player pose. This pose is similar to the Smolder but there is an added feeling of strength and seriousness. This pose brings lots of attitude and super hero-ish style, legs are strong, arms are crossed or on hips, chest is puffed out and masculine. You stare down the camera as if to say "don't mess with us man". Definitely no smiling here. And contrary to what you may think, we have found that girls can really rock this pose.
VARY YOUR SMILE- The easiest way to get a variety of different looks is to simply vary your smile a bit. A full smile, no smile, lots of teeth, no teeth, a slight smirk, a slight pucker, all of these small changes can have a big impact. Look in the mirror and practice these looks, you'll find that certain smiles or smirks cause an automatic change in body language. This is exactly what I look for, even the slightest change in body language and facial expression can give us a completely different look.
IF YOU'VE GOT IT, USE IT!- everyone has a feature that we can showcase. You may have a strong jaw line, high cheekbones, killer hair, dimples for days, or a super quirky personality. Whatever it may be, we will want to accentuate this in your posing and our lighting. Don't worry, it's my job to do all the technical stuff, just don't be shy about it and lets have some fun!