Making The Most Of Your Portrait Session

As an experienced Spokane portrait photographer I have had the opportunity to shoot many wonderful people in countless settings; from Riverfront Park, to the Palouse, to Tubbs Hill in Coeur d’Alene. As a courtesy to all my clients I’ve used my knowledge to create a list of tips and tricks to help you get the best possible photos from your family portrait, senior portrait, or individual portrait session. From kids sessions to engagements, these are useful hints here for anyone who is preparing to go in front of the camera.

In preparation for your portrait session:

Darker colors are more slimming. Dark colors also draw more attention to the subjects face. It doesn’t mean you have to wear all black though, be creative just bear in mind that if you are self conscious about your weight already stay on the darker end of the tonal range.

Bright colors draw attention away from the face. Using them to accent an outfit is great and helps personalize a shoot, but overpowering bright colors (think neon or tie-dye) are going to make it so no one sees the real subject.

Solid colors or subtle patterns are preferable to loud attention grabbing patterns for the same reason you should stick to darker more muted colors.

Bring a change of clothing; most photographers don’t mind taking a minute to stop for an outfit change. Even if you just bring a different shirt or a jacket to go over your shirt it adds depth and dimension to the whole shoot.

Bare arms add weight. If you are self conscious about weight to begin with it may benefit you to wear long sleeves. Having a lot of exposed skin draws the eye away from the face.

Shoes - If you are shooting outdoors and plan to wear fancy shoes be sure to bring along shoes that will be comfortable and allow you to walk from one location to the next.

Couples - Outfits should compliment each other. This doesn’t mean you must match but if one of you is wearing a ‘cool’ color like blue or green the other should as well. The same goes for warmer tones like yellows, reds or browns.

MenShave and moisturize a few hours before your shoot. Doing it a little while ahead of time helps reduce the appearance or razor burn and irritation.

LadiesAvoid sheer tops or anything that undergarments will show through. It may not look ‘that bad’ in the mirror but add in the flash and you never know what you’ll see.

Ladies - Lipstick or lip gloss will draw more attention to your face. Lighter shades may not show up in photos. Avoid glittery lipstick if at all possible as it may catch light and create a glare.

Hair cuts should be done 1-2 weeks prior to photos. This allows time for things to grow out and look more natural.

Accessorize – simple jewelry, belts, scarves, etc all add a personal touch.

Hydrate – Do your skin a favor and drink plenty of water in the 24 hours leading up to your portrait session.

If alcohol generally makes your skin red or blotchy please avoid it for 18 hours prior to your session. You want to look your best for the photos.

If you are not feeling well for any reason let your photographer know and reschedule your session. If you feel sick it will show in the photos. You want to come to your session bright, alert and ready to take some amazing portraits.