When you spend money on professional photography you want to be able to set up your photography session for success. In order to do that, sometimes it means listening to your photographer and all the good tips she/he has to offer. More often than not, I get asked about clothing, time a day, place and season for portraits and a lot of the times I repeat this information to my clients (seniors, engagements, family portraits) so I decided to write this post just to give you an idea what works best for my particular photography. Please don’t think these apply to any other photographer. I just wanted to point out what has worked in the past, for ME.
Mindset : We are going to have fun!I LOVE to photograph people, their lives, their love and anything that tells their story. I don’t like to just take pictures of you posing, I like to interact and have fun along with you, your family or your fiancee. There is no reason to be worried about whether the kids will sit and listen to me, or if you say you are not photogenic, or if there is no way you will look natural in your pictures…TRUST ME…we will find a way to have fun and leave those worries behind.
Relax. We like to think we’re rather cool and easy to get along with. Plus, we help you with posing, so there’s no pressure on you.
Arrival: Arrive early or on time to your appointment. Showing up late means you lose camera time, and we don’t want that.
If you’re coming from out of town, give yourself plenty of time to find your way around. The streets in Pittsburgh aren’t the easiest to navigate and having enough time in case you get lost will save you some stress.
Style: You’re unique. Follow our guidelines but be yourself in how you dress. Be fashionable. Wear clothing that’s stylish and put a lot of thought into your choices. This is a unique opportunity and we want you to look amazing!For engagement sessions, try not to do matchy matchy but compliment each other with your choices. Little details go a long way. Fall is here so hats, scarves and boots are always a good way to accessorize. Girls… HEELS photograph beautifully and so do dresses so if you have some hidden in your closet and you just don’t know where to wear them to HERE IS YOUR BIG OPPORTUNITY! Don’t be afraid to dress up.
FOR SENIORS ONLY: We give you unlimited wardrobe changes, so bring A LOT of options. The more outfits we have to choose from, the better. This will give us flexibility in matching your clothing to backgrounds and the surroundings.
Group your outfits together on hangers. Make sure items are ironed and ready to go.
Plan on changing quickly. The faster you change, the more time we have to photograph and the more photo choices you’ll have later.
Make sure you’re comfortable in your clothing and that it flatters you. This will ensure that you like how you look when viewing your photos.
If you’re self-conscious about your arms, avoid sleeveless or cap-sleeve shirts and tank tops, as they tend to make arms look fuller.
Avoid stripes and plaid. Solid colors photograph much better than busy patterns.
Bring a variety of colors and mix the level of styles. Some should be dressy, some dressy-casual, and some casual.
Again, if you’re comfortable in dresses, bring them! They photograph really well and offer a nice variety from your other casual clothing choices. We can mix dressy and casual dresses for some great looks.
Shoes: We cannot say it loudly enough. Wear heels! Whether pumps or boots, dressy or casual, plain or sassy, heels really make you stand out and look glamorous.
Flats can also work well if you mix them with the right outfit. We will not photograph you in flip-flops. Yes, they’re comfy and we all love them, but they don’t photograph well.
Hair: Although we try to help with hair, it is hard to know what your hair “is supposed to look like.” Make sure you like the look or let the photographer know your preferences. Better yet, bring your best friend with you for the session and he or she can help. Hair style is ultimately YOUR responsibility. Any hair changes during the session should be quick and simple so you have as much camera time as possible.
Bring hair spray, clips, pins, and whatever else is needed to keep your hair out of your eyes if it’s windy. Also bring a brush and mirror for quick hair touch-ups.
Do not make drastic changes to your hairstyle right before your photo session. This could add unneeded drama to your life. Any hats, headbands or cute headwear can be the difference between a beautiful picture and a WOW picture, so bring them with you.
Makeup: Makeup that is well done is one of the best preparations you can make for your session. It will even out skin tones and help give your photos that extra pop for a model-like look. Even if you don’t normally wear makeup or wear very little, take the time to do it well and your photos will look their best.
Makeup should only be slightly heavier than normal. Mascara should be clean and not clumpy. Avoid makeup with an SPF because it tends to create a shine. Summer shine can be controlled by using translucent powder that knocks out shine without adding additional color.
Jewelry: Keep it simple. Big, shiny jewelry can distract from the important subject, you. If you have different jewelry for different outfits, you might put each set of jewelry in a plastic baggie and hang it on the hanger with that outfit. All that being said, the proper jewelry can really complement your outfit. It’s nice to have a variety to choose from and it doesn’t hurt to bring numerous options with you.
Weather: Don’t worry about clouds because they actually even out the light and make for ideal shooting conditions. But falling rain is an issue and we will have to reschedule. We will try to contact you first, but please call us at 412-657-9495 if you have any doubts or concerns.
And the MOST important thing “Bring your smile”!!!