What You Need to Know to Have an Awesome Portrait Session
Makeup’s easy, so we’ll start there. Makeup is a great prep for your session. Even if you usually wear very little or even no makeup, applying some makeup for your session is a good idea. On the flip side, don’t go overboard and pile it on too heavy either. Clumpy mascara and thick foundation will show.
Location, location, location. Let’s talk about location options and how you can choose outfits to suit the location. Where we take your pictures has a lot to do with determining HOW your portraits will look in the end. Is it in an open field or beach (bright, open), urban/ warehouse area (dim, grungy, edgy), or in your home (personal)? I want the location of your session to be about you which I why I really like your input on where we shoot. I have my favorite locations and can definitely make suggestions, but at the end of the day, this is your session and YOU need to be happy with the look of your pictures. The options are boundless.
Below I’ll list some of the most requested location types as well as thoughts on what kind of clothing to consider and the best times of day to shoot based on each location.
The Beach - Pretty much every family I know has a family portrait taken on the beach. It’s a classic for a reason. If you choose to go the Beach Portrait route, this is the place to break out your summer & spring outfits - and to lose those shoes!
What to wear for a beach session?
Urban areas - Urban areas can be VERY versatile and fun. Glam it up for contrast, or grunge it down to play off the area.
What to wear for an urban session?
Lastly, let’s go over a few tips about posing to please. I want to keep this simple, because most of these are common sense and things you already know. You just forget to think about them when you’re in front of the camera. Luckily, your photographer should be looking out for them and directing you into pleasing, natural poses.
boxy pose vs "S" curve
Below are a couple of examples of what a few tweaks in posing can do!
I hope you enjoyed this and realized how easy it really is to get the great family portraits that we all want! Keep an eye our for our third installment where we talk about sessions with children - what to do, what to expect, and what not to do to get the pictures you'll love!
None of the above three images are mine. What? Why would a professional photographer begin a blog post with another photographer's work? Easy. I want you to understand that I do not and will not take pictures ON train tracks. I admit this happily and wholeheartedly. So, these are the only ones you'll ever see me post - well, unless I take a trip by rail. Then, I might post pictures from the train.
I've heard the arguments: "They look so cool!" "Everyone else is doing it." "My baby or senior would look bada$$ up there." "My husband will come along and help me 'spot' for you."
And I've seen Facebook posts from friends and other photographers who made the decision to take the chance. It makes me shudder. But me...
NOPE, not going to happen. No exceptions, no ifs, no ands, no buts, and no amount of money will entice me to shoot on the tracks.
"But why not," you ask?
Well, not only is is dangerous as all get out, it's also quite illegal! Did you realize that railway laws are not local city or state laws but are actually FEDERAL laws? So, if you're caught on the tracks (and don't get killed by a train) you can be fined up to $10,000! That fine isn't just for the photographer; every person out there from the "model" to the photographer to the "spotters" receive that fine. I almost forgot to mention that this holds true for ABANDONED tracks as well.
Photographers taking pictures on and around train tracks has become so much of a problem that Union Pacific Railroad and Operation Lifesaver released the following:
Operation Lifesaver has six "must-know" tips for professional photographers considering a photo shoot near the tracks:
If the possibility of a $10,000 fine doesn't bother you, maybe the following articles will help you see why I so strongly feel that the risk isn't worth it.
10.14 Santa Barbara county, CA - 1 killed & 2 injured while taking photos on a train trestle
7.14 Train runs over photographers on trestle in Indiana, they miraculously survive
6.14 Missouri photographer hit and killed by Amtrak train during photoshoot
6.14 Florida photographer lucky to be alive after being hit and drug by train
2.14 Professional video crew member for "Midnight Rider" hit and killed in Georgia
12.12 California high school photography teacher hit and killed while photographing train
So, you know what? I like you! Let's not risk either of our lives or our bank accounts. Besides, train tracks have been DONE! Let's find somewhere new for your session!
Kodi & Nick
Date | 10.05.14
Ceremony & Reception Location | 5Eleven
Florals & Decor | LeeLee’s Sassy Blooms
Cake | Sweet Creations by Sharon
Caterer | Culinary Productions
Pensacola Wedding Photographer | Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography
Ceremony Musician | Violin by Kelcey
DJ | Mike Seers
Let me leave you with my favorite fact about Kodi & Nick - they have been together for 9 years! I’ll say it again - NINE YEARS! It made for such an awesome dynamic on their wedding day. Their friends were, for the most part, all mutual friends. Their separate families already knew each other and acted like family. It was wonderful! In fact, Kodi & Nick’s entire wedding day was wonderful.
Amanda is the prop buying, location scouting, mom-bun rocking, flip flop wearing, owner/ operator/ and woman behind the camera for Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography.