53 Ways to Ensure an Enjoyable Portrait Session - Part Three

This is part three of 52 Ways to Ensure an Enjoyable Portrait Session. We will be looking at all of the things you can do the day of your portrait session to assure you have a fantastic time and get the most memorable images possible!

The Day Of

  1. Show up. You can’t enjoy something if you aren’t even there!
  2. Be on time. Being frazzled and anxious from the start isn’t a memory you want to capture.
  3. Better yet, get there early. Getting there early ensures you can start on time, be less stressed and be in the moment!
  4. Bring a few random items with you. It may not be a wedding, but there are still some random things that could be nice to have on hand such as: lint roller, baby wipes, lipstick to refresh, and a change of clothes just in case!
  5. Pack some not-so-messy snacks and drinks. Kids (and adult kids) don’t always act the best when their bellies are empty. There is nothing wrong with bringing a snack just in case they begin to melt down during the session. Sticks with snacks that are not messy, not greasy and easy to consume. For drinks, stick with water as to not create stains. Plus it dries easy in case of accidental splashes or spills.
  6. Let the kids get acclimated to the new location before getting started. Another good reason to get there a little early. Kids don’t always like change and in fact it can even cause anxiety. Allow them to check out the area and get comfortable before the session starts.
  7. Don’t worry if the kids are not on their best behavior. Family photographers are in the business because WE LIKE KIDS! We are experienced to know how to work with them and how to capture them in the best and the worst moments. Worse comes to worse the session can be cut short and tried again at another time.
  8. Leave your cell phone or camera in the car when you get to the session. It is hard to be IN the moment with distractions. Likewise you are paying a professional to capture those precious moments so there is no need to take snapshots from your phone.
  9. Bring some favorite toys for you child/ren with you. If your child is attached to a favorite doll, blanket, or stuffed animal have them bring it with them. It could be used in different ways by the photographer to get your child/ren comfortable in front of the camera.
  10. Trust your photographer. When you are anxious about how things are going to turn out, how the kids may behave or what is going to happen next - take a deep breath and know that you can trust your photographer to do their job. You hired them for a reason so take a step back, let them do what they do best and enjoy the experience!
  11. Plan a special dinner out afterwards. Since you are all dressed up might as well take the family out to a nice dinner to celebrate and talk about how wonderful your photo session just went!
  12. Be in the moment. Enjoy the gift you have given yourself and your family. You are paying for the photographers time and talent so enjoy the experience!
  13. Be open to small talk. One of the coolest parts about photography is that the still image we capture will tell a story. Sometimes we can impart our best work by simply connecting with you as a person. Feel free to ask us questions or tell us a funny story about your day. 
  14. The key is to be comfortable. If you have limitations or feel uncomfortable during the session, make sure to speak up! The photo session is about capturing you at your best and being uncomfortable negates that.
  15. Let your photographer do all of the work. We are there to help you get the most out of your session. We will already have planned with you; working out all of the details you wanted to make sure happened. You just sit back and enjoy the process at this point. We got this!
  16. Bring a reward or incentives for the kids for the end. We all like getting paid for a job well done. The kids are no exception! Sometimes these things can be used to incentivize them to hold it together for 5 more minutes right at the end of the session making sure we get that one last pose everyone wants.
  17. Be open to following directions. Your photographer will have the best view during the session as to how things look and how they can look better. He/She may have suggestions on how to sit, how to place your hands, how to point your chin and even how to hold your lips. All these little tricks may make you feel goofy to do, but they make a world of difference from the perspective of the portrait that is being created.
  18. If the child/ren aren’t cooperating, offer to walk away for a quick break and let the photographer work with just the child/ren. You would be amazed at how we can capture what you were hoping for by a switch up in who is around in that moment. It can easily 
  19. Just be you! Remember photography session are meant to capture who you are and those you love as the individuals you are and the family you are together. Eventually all of us will complete the circle of life, but a portrait can easily become a timeless family heirloom passed down for generations - stories and all - so others can remember how important you are to them.