The number one question I get asked, is how to prepare for their portrait photography session. This is a very complex question with so many things needed to achieve the best quality photos. My goal is for my clients to feel confident about their time spent with me, and to give them the best tips and resources for a successful shoot. Your photographer can only do so much. YOU are just as much in control of your photos as the photographer. Consider and apply these helpful tips before your session, and you’ll be sure to create the vision you dreamt of.

Hire A Photographer Whose Work You Love

You should truly LOVE the work of the photographer you work with. Chances are this happens once a year, or maybe it’s been several years or longer! If you are going to take the time and schedule a photoshoot, you will want to LOVE those final images. And what’s the best way to see if you love a photographer’s work? Do a little research! Check out their website, Facebook page or Instagram! Ask your friends who they have used and loved. When you find that *perfect* photographer for you, schedule right then before you forget or they book up.

Choose Ideal Location(s)

Location can make or break a photograph. It’s important to know exactly what you’ll be dealing with before you do a professional shoot. As a professional photographer, I try to do a tech scout for every shoot I do for a client. If I’m shooting in a new studio, I make sure I have enough space to work in and that the studio has a kitchen. There is always some thinking on your feet involved in photography. But anticipating any problems before the actual shoot will ease your stress and help you make sure that you have everything you need to be successful.

Plan Your Outfits, Hair and Makeup

Sounds silly but you’d be surprised how many times people are scrambling last minute if a shirt is too big or the nice shoes don’t fit anymore. Try everything on a week prior to ensure it all coordinates and fits, and if not you have time to adjust and not be panicking the day of. I also send clients my What-To-Wear guide full of examples, and encourage clients to send me photos of their outfits so I can help them add or change anything. A little extra care can help enhance your session so much!

Ask Your Photographer Questions

Asking your photographer the right questions can ensure the smoothest process and shoot possible. Understanding what the photographer will provide, props, location, time of day, and all of those minute details truly lead to a smooth running shoot. It's always worth to see if the photographer has a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Being clear on deliverables, delivery time, etc will all lead to a better product.

Be Yourself

If you want your photos to be a real representation of you, your personality, and your style, wear clothes that are the true you, wear makeup that is the true you, and wear your hair the way you like it best. It will make you feel beautiful and much more comfortable than if you try to be someone you’re not. Like I said before, having a friend with you can do wonders for your level of comfort and ease, especially if they’re someone who makes you laugh. Another thing I always love doing is playing my client’s favorite music, so it helps to have a playlist ready.


So there you have it – some great tips for your next portrait session. Whether big or small, simple or complex, I hope these excite you with possibilities. Ultimately, portraits are a celebration of life and a way to tell stories. They can be your story or one you love. Either way, these portrait concepts are sure to make you smile when you see the finished product, especially when they’re yours. One note I’ll add – getting amazing portraits taken is a huge achievement. But it’s nothing if you don’t do anything with your images. Sure, you can post them on Instagram and Facebook, but after a few months, your portraits will be lost in the scroll. Consider printing your photos. It doesn’t if they’re all 5×7’s or a giant canvas hanging in your living room. I promise, portraits mean more when you print them, place them in your home, and share the stories with your friends and families.