1. Choose your clothing carefully
Have your clothing chosen way in advance and make sure that your outfit choices are comfortable and attractive. What do your dream photos look like? If they are soft and elegant, choose neutral colors with soft, flowing fabrics…. think creams, very soft pastels, oatmeal, light browns, tans, grays, and slate blues. If going this route, I recommend at least one bright color to “pop.” Think about the colors in nature and what colors will be in your location. Want to showcase the fun and spunky side of your group? Choose coordinating colors (but not matchy-matchy) with bold accent colors, such as hues of gray with yellow or bright red accents. Adding fun accessories like scarves, headbands, hats, etc. can add a modern twist and sassy flair to your images.
2. Be well-rested and fed
The best time for lighting is the two hours before sunset and after sunrise. If this is a bad time talk with me about your desired location and I can recommend good places that work any time of day. We can shoot at any time of day by utilizing areas of open shade that will give your skin a beautiful hue and put a sparkle in your eyes. Don’t show up to a photo shoot on an empty stomach.
3. Be sure to leave enough time to get ready—don’t be rushed!
If possible, subjects should aim to have their hair and makeup professionally done. You’re your feeling pretty and confident, this will reflect on the rest of the group as well. Leave plenty of time for showers, baths, dressing, and grooming. When a group shows up to a photo session rushed and disorganized, it sets the tone for a rushed and disorganized session. Give yourself extra time so that you are ready before it’s time to head out that door.
4. Help illicit natural smiles, laughs
Please, leave the requests for “say cheese” at home. Saying cheese doesn’t usually illicit natural smiles. When photographing children, I often ask one parent to stand behind me and make silly faces or noises because children respond to their parents and caregivers with smiles and even if you feel goofy, please participate. This will coax out natural smiles.
5. Have FUN!
Bring an activity you love to do. Do you love to read? Bring some books to keep hands and feet busy. we can capture some candid photographs that really show off your personality. Other ideas include races, bike rides, picnics…the ideas are endless.
6. Not everyone has to be looking at the camera and smiling at the same time.
This is especially so if you’re looking for a lifestyle shoot. If you are engaged as a group or family and showing love to each other, the smiles will be natural. These are the photographs my clients love the most because of their genuineness. Of course, some groups or families do want group shots in which everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. Much of this depends on the size of your group/family.