If you are familiar with my work or have been following me for a while, you probably already know that I am predominantly a child photographer. It’s not that I don’t enjoy photographing adults because I do. It’s just that I really, really enjoy photographing children. I like to photograph them when they are old enough to follow directions but not old enough to know which side is their best side. Regardless of who I am photographing, each session requires some preparation on your part as well as mine.
To prepare your child for a portrait session, it is very important that your child has had plenty of rest. Please do not schedule a session around their nap time. I don’t know about you, but trying to get a sleepy or tired child to participate in something is one of the worst experiences. It can lead to fussiness, crying and falling out and that may not even come just from the children. In all seriousness, please make sure that the session is scheduled after they’ve had appropriate rest. To be fair, I think this tip can go for anyone having their portraits taken. No one wants to look tired in their pictures and I really don’t plan on doing that much Photoshop to make you look more awake than you are.
The next step is to decide what to wear. Prior to each session, I will have a consultation with you so that we can talk about details for the session, such as what to wear. In the event you are able to, I often ask to see what your clothing choices are over a Zoom or Google Meet call. If that is not possible, then you can simply send me photos of your outfits so I can make a determination as to which would be a good fit for the session. With children, we usually discuss colors and style if you are styling your children. Now, if this is a styled session, then I will be selecting the clothing. All I need from you are your child’s measurements. We will discuss what your child likes to do and plan to incorporate that into the portrait, as well as, have the clothing to go along with it.
Currently, I do not have a hairstylist for children. (Insert sad face) So, I would recommend having your child’s hair done prior to the session. For the styled session, I will make suggestions for your child’s hair. I’m just trying to pair the clothing with the hairstyle so it will help to make a cohesive image. For adults, I would prefer that you got your hair done or cut prior to the session. I do know some mobile hairstylists but you will need to schedule them well before our session. By the way, I do supply a makeup artist but you are free to bring your own.
Oh! I almost forgot one important thing! Don’t forget to eat! Eat and make sure your children eat. Hangry children or adults are no bueno. The good thing about me coming to your home for a session is that you can just saunter to your kitchen and fix a quick snack and we can resume shooting. When we’re on location, that’s not as easy. Parents, just do what you normally do…bring snacks. The adults on location are also welcome to bring snacks if you feel that is necessary
For those of you who are styling themselves, I would suggest setting your clothes out the night prior. If they need to be ironed, please do so. Have a few to pick from if having a branding session. I like to review your choices and help make the best selection. Your package will have a set number of outfits. I would suggest having one or two alternates. I can also assist with the children’s clothing as well.
Whelp, that’s pretty much it. It’s hard to go wrong when you prepare appropriately for the session. Sure, something can go wrong, especially in a children’s session but at least we can try to minimize that from happening. If you have any specific questions about preparing for a session, please comment below and I will make sure to provide you with an answer.
“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.