FAQs about Portrait Sessions

October 31, 2017

test alt text

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that clients have similar fears and worries about their portrait sessions.

Please know that my goal is for you to feel relaxed, happy, and confident. Some poses may feel awkward but look GORGEOUS. I find that 15 minutes or so into our session, my clients are warmed up and ready to take on more advanced poses! It will begin to feel natural, and FUN.

Trust me– Ima make you look good. ๐Ÿ™‚

Below are some FAQs that I get from clients.

1. What comes with my portrait session?

With your half session, you can expect 12 edited images, and 30 for a full one-hour session. In your contract, you receive printing rights to those photographs, so you will be able to view all the post-processed images and print them yourself (or order prints through me!).

I deliver your images within 4 weeks of our session date. After I post-process the images we take during our session, I will create a gallery website for you. Through your website, anyone who has the password can download the images to their personal computer. Easy peasy!

test alt text

2. Where do I get my portraits done?

If you have a location you’ve been dreaming of, great! Most of my sessions are outdoor, with some exceptions if there’s inclement weather (or if we are doing a newborn/boudoir session, of course).

What I look for is a clean backdrop that is visually appealing and has good lighting opportunities. Not all locations are ideal for a nice portrait (for example, spots without any shade) so keep that in mind. I want YOU to look your best, and lighting has a lot to do with that.

If you don’t have any preferences or want some ideas, I can email you some location options!

3. What do I wear?

Bring a few options. If you have a one-hour session, you can bring two outfit changes so that you have a great variety of images!

In general, pastels and light colors look great in photographs and are flattering for skin tones. Light floral prints and whites are amazing. If you need to wear a bright color, just be aware that sometimes in the sun, there will be a color cast reflecting the bright color back onto your skin. Dark colors can also make the photo appear darker overall, and if you want a nice airy feel you’ll avoid that.

In particular, bring a dressy-casual outfit as your primary outfit. This can mean a collared shirt (don’t forget an undershirt!) and a sport coat, or nice blouse, paired with nice chinos or a skirt.

A nice day dress is a wonderful choice.

Please AVOID jeans, as this is a special occasion and photographs will look 1000% more special if you look your best. You’ll be sharing these photos and looking at them forever, so you absolutely want to put on your Sunday best.

If you are taking group portraits, please avoid completely matching, if possible (we are not going for that 80s matching turtleneck vibe!). Instead, choose color tones that will look cohesive. I recommend selecting 2-3 color palettes for your photographs (examples: peach, white, and tan would all go nicely together).

If we have a bitterly cold session in December–February, I recommend wearing fitted outer layers and scarves to keep warm. Bulky parkas are not the most flattering, so I’ll ask you to remove bulkier items for a few photos. You can definitely wear them and take them off quickly for a few portraits, and then put them back on to warm up. (Consider bringing a thermos of hot coffee or cocoa to warm you up.)

Mittens and hats are great, as long as they are not overly distracting. I might ask you to ditch your hat for a few portraits. People with short hair: I recommend bringing something to cover your ears in between portraits so that your ears do not get red and stick out in portraits!

Also know that we will be trekking through snow. You can bring cute booties or flats to take for a few, but please also bring calf-length cute boots that you can walk in as well. Your feet will probably get wet from walking if your boots are not waterproof. Bring extra socks if this might bother you.

I always suggest bringing accessories to layer, such as a scarf, hat, or cardigan/blazer– particularly if it’s fall. Who doesn’t love a good infinity scarf? This changes up your look nicely and doesn’t require extra time. Jewelry is great, and remember to keep it simple.

Your shoes will be in a few shots, so for spring-fall sessions, please avoid flip-flops or gym sneakers. Nice sneakers are fine, and loafers/dress shoes are best. Wedges/heels are great because you want to look your absolute best (you may have to walk, so please bring comfy shoes to walk in if needed). Flats, boots, and nice sandals are also great if the weather isn’t perfect.

A glare from glasses is sometimes impossible to edit out without looking distracting. If you wear glasses, perhaps consider bringing contacts if you have them for a few photos.

Things to Avoid Wearing:

-neon colors

-matching clothes


-clothing with any logos

-bulky clothing, such as a parka

-clothing with large patterns that clash (if you are a plaid flannel person, consider bringing a solid colored piece to change into)

My main concern is that you feel confident. Wear something that you won’t have to keep adjusting for our hour together. It’s tempting to go out and buy a new amazing outfit for your photos, but if you already have a dress that makes you feel hella good, why not wear that? ๐Ÿ™‚

*If you have any questions about your outfit, email me!*

test alt text

4. What should I do about makeup/hair?

Do what makes you feel confident. Please make sure nails look nice and clean. Also make sure your makeup is not too heavy and that it’s blended nicely. I recommend Jaimeelyn Coyle Gaboreault if you need a natural yet sophisticated makeup look done professionally.

Tip: Moisturize your lips and skin before your session! In close-ups, this will look really nice.

I love a good beard. Please trim or sculpt it a day before your session so that you come looking your best!

Skin Issues

I am mindful when I edit your images. I edit out large, distracting pimples in close-up portraits if there are any (I get them sometimes too. The struggle is real) and I tend to lightly smooth the skin. Just remember that it’s my job to make you look like your best self, so relax and definitely talk to me if you have any concerns.

Sunburns are nearly impossible to retouch. If you get badly sunburned and you’re worried, let’s reschedule!

I can spot edit after you receive your images for a small fee, if you find that you can’t live with a flyaway hair on your favorite photo. Just let me know if you’d like more info about this. (Additionally, some folks like their teeth whitened slightly, so just let me know if this is the case for you.)

test alt text

5. What do I bring to my session?

In addition to outfit changes (for those with a full hour session), please bring any props you want to use, such as:

-a nice blanket to sit on for portraits

-cleaned engagement/wedding rings if this applies to you

-balloons are fun!

-sometimes people bring their dog!

Some people like to come with some ideas of shots they would like. You can email me some ideas ahead of time if you want!

Hopefully you feel more confident about your portrait session. We’ll rock this, don’t worry. If after reading this you still have questions or concerns, you can always call or email me!

test alt text

#Portrait #Photography #Engagement #Maternity #Senior

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

the free guide

the free guide โ€”

send me the guide

Over the years, I was asked the same questions. โ€œWhat do I wear?โ€ โ€œWhat colors look best on camera?โ€ This FREE guide will tell you all you need to know about how to prepare for your session!

your couples session

FREE GUIDE: How to Prepare (and look your best) for