January 27, 2019

What To Do Before a Session

FILED IN: Couples, Families

One of the biggest keys to a successful session is ensuring that it is a fun, joyful, and stress-free experience! Obviously since we are all imperfect human beings there are things that could go terribly wrong at any given second during a session.  My hope is that this post will help you prepare for whatever session that you have as a client and to photographers that this can help you know how to best prepare your clients for success.


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin


Not to sound harsh or anything but preparation is the best way to ensure everything goes smoothly!


Alright so you’ve booked your photographer, you have scheduled a date and time that works for them and everyone in the session (Fiancé, husband, kids, etc.)


  1. Confirm with your photographer within 24 hours of the session.  Again, we are all humans… but my hope is that your photographer has reached out to you-but if not go ahead and reach out to them to confirm time and place.
  2. Coordinate outfits.  If you book with me you will receive a Style Guide instructing you the BEST way to dress in order to feel your best.  Remember how I said coordinate? The best pictures I’ve taken have been because clients have coordinated their outfits, so to compliment each other.  It provides personality and interest rather than having everyone in the same outfit.  For example: If you’re wearing a light blue dress, blush earrings, and nude heels, rather than having your fiancé also wear a blue shirt to match you, instead if he could wear a navy coat, grey pants, brown belt and shoes, and maybe a blush tie or pocket square to compliment you.  If you have kids, the same thing can apply… Different dominant colors that coordinate!  Overall I suggest subdued prints because those photograph best on camera!
  3. Get everything ready the day before.  No matter what time the next day your session is, set everything aside that you’re taking the next day to make sure everything is clean, ironed, and fresh.  I feel so much peace of mind when everything I need is accounted for the day before.
  4. Eat something beforehand and bring snacks! I don’t know about you but I get HANGRY real bad.  If I’m hungry and I can’t eat I get frustrated and nothing is enjoyable anymore.  So seriously, eat something before your session… Trust me.  Also, pack a few snacks especially if you have kids or a hungry man.  I would suggest snack that aren’t messy and could potentially stain your teeth.  For example if your favorite snack is Cheetos, it’s probably not a good snack to bring on a session because you’ll have orange hands and teeth and that’s not the most flattering thing on camera! Snacks like carrots, granola, and apples make easy and quick snacks for a session that won’t stain you or your clothing.
  5. I suggest planning a special treat afterwards.  Okay, so you’re now all dressed up and looking your best, if you’re anything like me, that doesn’t happen super often-so enjoy it! Plan a date night with your fiancé or a nice dinner with the family to unwind and enjoy being together! Make it a memorable time.
  6. Pack layers! Okay, if you’re from the southern part of the country–you can disregard this portion.  Those of us in the northern states-pack layers.  If there’s anything I’ve learned from my fiancé, it is to pack layers!! My sessions typically occur around sunset so the temperatures drop significantly from start to finish.  Even if you think you won’t need them it’s nice to have them!
  7. Bring props! It’s fun to have an added element to your session like a bouquet, snuggly blanket, retro bike, or something significant to you’re personality and your story to mix things up!
  8. RELAX, have fun! I know you’ve invested a lot in a photographer but just enjoy the process!  Enjoy this moment-you’ll love the pictures so much more if you love the times had during the session! Most people think of a session as this is what I have to do to get the final end product of good pictures… While that’s true, there is so much more to it.  Think about the best day of your life. You were probably not thinking and stressing about everything you had to do the following day, no you were enjoying the moment with the people you were with.  A photography session is similar in that way.  Rather than worrying about the pictures and how they’re turning out, just enjoy snuggling close to your fiancé or having all of your family in one place at the same time.  Time is fleeting, these moments are disappearing, so enjoy them.

This is not a complete list but I hope it helped you in whatever session you have coming up. Also, never be afraid to contact your photographer if you have questions.  It’s better to contact them rather than not say anything and get stressed about it.

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