7 Tips for a Successful Photo Session

August 2, 2020

Have you ever looked at some photographs and thought, “Holy Crap, how did they capture that so perfectly?” The truth of the matter is that it takes a lot of work and coordination in order to capture beautiful images and make sure that your ideas come to life through the lens of the camera. I’m going to provide 7 tips for you to ensure you have the best experience during your photo session and your images come out even better than you imagined.

  1. Choose the “Right” Photographer – Of course the first tip to a successful photo session is…..drumroll…..choosing the “right” photographer. I know you’re probably thinking this is a no-brainer given these are tips for a successful session, but the tip isn’t just to choose a photographer; the tip is to choose the “right” photographer. As a photographer myself, I’ll be honest and tell you that most, if not all photographers know how to produce nice images. I believe your session should be more than just producing nice images, it should tell “your” story. That is why tip 1 is about the right photographer. You want a photographer that will make you feel special the entire time from consultation to final presentation. It is hard to re-create magic so getting it right the first time is very important. I know a great photographer that would love the opportunity to be the right photographer for you. Just sign up below and we can begin the process. (SHAMELESS PLUG)
  2. Phone Consultation – This is the first step and probably the most overlooked step in the session process. At this point you have chosen your photographer based on some images you saw, a referral, or a simple google search. Most communication takes place via email and/or text messages all the way through the session. Having a phone consultation allows you to provide your vision for the session to the photographer. It also allows the photographer to share some tips and ideas with you. I know in the social media age, actual phone conversations can be somewhat uncomfortable and even downright scary, but it is critical to making sure both parties are on the same page. Take 15 minutes to have the initial call and this starts you on the right path. Spoiler: This will not be your last phone conversation.
  3. Location, Location, Location – Think about where you want to shoot. Do you want an in-studio or on-location outdoor photo session? This is a critical piece to the success of your shoot. Depending on where you live, there may be better times to shoot in certain locations than others. This topic should at least be introduced during the phone consultation. Outdoor public spots are easy to navigate and find great spots to shoot but studios and private outdoor locations require timely booking in order to make sure the availability is there for your shoot. I would recommend driving around your city and seeing what spots work for you. This would also be a good chance to build some comradery with your chosen photography. They have done sessions indoors and outdoors and should have an idea of some of the best locations to shoot. If you’re in Memphis, check out our blog post for the 5 best locations for photography in Memphis.
  4. Research different looks – We all have an idea of what we want our session to look like but it can be difficult to explain or express that when it’s time to stand in front of the camera. For first timers, it is a great idea to pick up a magazine or google search different looks based on your idea for your session. You can and should rely on your photographer to assist with posing, lighting, and composition but it would help you tremendously if you had a visual or even mental idea about what you want your pictures to ultimately look like. If you want a 60s themed shoot, it would be beneficial to research and pull out your favorite 60s looks and send them to the photographer before your session. I know you are an expert in how you want to look, but we could all use some guidance. Know need to reinvent the wheel right?
  5. Pick your outfits – After scouting locations and different looks, it’s now time to personalize and start envisioning what you want your session to look like. Here is where you get to play dress up or at least have an excuse to go on a shopping spree. What you wear should speak to your character and personality. It helps tell your story and it allows you to try some things that you may have been thinking but too afraid to try out. If you want to be edgy, be edgy. If you want to be more reserved, dress more reserved. Here is where you get to push the limits and separate yourself. Everyone has an idea of how you should look but your outfits can help you define how you should look. You will definitely get what we call “standard” looks but allow your outfits to help you think outside the box. Contrast those colors, get those heels a few inches higher, try what you’ve been imagining in the mirror all these years.
  6. Build a team – Build a team? Why in the world do I need a team for a photo session??? I know it sounds strange but you need a team to help you get ready for your shoot and help with the many things that happen during your shoot. Someone that will help with getting stray hairs out of your face, helping with outfit changes, helping with posing, but more importantly, helping you feel comfortable during the shoot. Everybody needs positive reinforcement and as prepared as you think you may be, there will always be nerves. Those are just nerves you have because it’s new to you and you want to get it right. Your team will cheer you on, tell you how you are owning the session, and how great you look. Hearing all these encouraging words just motivates and empowers you even more.
  7. Have FUN – The last and most important tip for a successful phot session is to HAVE FUN! This should be a fun time for you and your family. You’ll want your team to go live on IG or Facebook so all your friends can get a sneak peek at how amazing you look. How exciting is that? You’ll get to return to your social media with comments such as, “Wow”, “You looked amazing”, “I never saw you look that way before.” This should be an enjoyable time and not stressful and having fun along the way ensures the success of your session.

These are just a few tips that can help you have a successful session and more importantly, help you be a part of making something magical through photography.

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