Planning For Your Session
General Tips for All
Here are some tips to help you get ready for your photo session and make it the best it can be.
1. I’m a natural light photographer which means most of my picture taking is done outdoors. I have several locations I can suggest where we can photograph for free, but if you have a specific place in mind, check to see if the property owner charges a fee to use their property. If they do, you would be responsible for paying the fee and making arrangements with them. If you are getting equine photos, make sure your barn owner is okay with you having a shoot at the barn. Locations are discussed in the pre-shoot phone consultation, so please have some ideas in mind then.
2. For ladies, I recommend getting your hair and makeup done by a pro, especially if you are not makeup savvy or have finnicky hair. It can be worth the additional investment! They will know how to enhance your features for the camera. Foundation is a must for a photo shoot. If you plan to do your own makeup, do a trial run some time before your shoot so you know how the makeup will look in daylight and if it has any issues such as exaggerating pores or creasing. Bring makeup, a small mirror, a hairbrush and hairspray with you to the shoot for touch-ups.
3. Iron or steam your outfits prior to the shoot. Bring a steamer with you if you’d like. Wrinkles can ruin a photo!
4. Pick out what outfits and jewelry you will wear to the shoot. Do you want to dress casual or dressy or a mix (or in show attire if you’re an equestrian)? Bring a couple backup outfits in case you change your mind at the shoot. Consider how your outfit will look with your fiancé, family, or horse’s coloring. For family photos, black shirts and nice, dark wash jeans always look nice. Keeping your look simple is best to ensure you stand out from the background. If it’s a concern of yours, wear long sleeves to make arms look slimmer or long pants or a long skirt to make legs looks slimmer. Flesh tones stand out in photos, thus making that part of the body attract the viewer’s attention more. Stay away from clothing with heavy patterns or striping. Opt for solid colors if you’re not sure. Muted colors work best, whereas bright colors stick out and can make one look larger. If that feels too bland for your personal tastes, trying layering or using textures and/or wearing accent jewelry or a cute hat.
5. If you wish to incorporate your own props (e.g. fancy chair or umbrella, a blanket), please tell me ahead of time at our pre-shoot consultation call. This allows me to have time to plan how we can create an artful scene with the props and how they can best look in the location.
6. Another thing to consider is if you want to have your nails done. Hands are visible in some shots. Toes could potentially be visible too if you’re an equestrian wanting a photo on horseback with bare feet!
7. If you are under 18 you must bring a parent or legal guardian with you to the shoot.
Tips for Equestrians
1. Scout your barn’s property for pretty locations. This will save time during the session and leave more time for taking photos.
2. Clean and polish any tack you will want to use in the shoot: halter, bridle and bit, saddle, saddle pad, etc.
3. Either the day before your session or the morning of, give your horse some pampering. Start with a good bath. Use whitening shampoo on any white markings. Wash his tail extension too if using one. Trim his ears, bridle path, whiskers and fetlocks. Band or braid his mane if that’s what you normally do for shows. Follow up with some sleazy sleepwear to ensure he stays clean until photo time. World Champion Pepi Coat Conditioner is a great way to make him shine, but go easy as it can attract dust.
4. The day of the shoot, be sure to bring a horse-knowledgeable helper with you to assist you. Assign this friend or family member tasks such as applying hoof polish, wiping your horse’s nose, or brushing your horse before we begin. Your job is to stay clean, which is easier said than done at a horse barn!
5. Lunge your horse prior to the shoot. Take a nice amount of time to help your horse expel any extra energy. Get him focused and listening to you.
6. Feed your horse before the shoot. The best time for a shoot is 2 hours after sunrise or 2 hours before sunset. Many times this is feeding time, and your horse may not be a happy camper if he hears his buddies eating while he has to wait!
7. Please give me a heads-up if your horse is spooky or kicks or bites so we can keep the session as safe as possible.