Every photographer has their own idea of how one should prepare for a portrait session. I'm here to tell you that there is NO wrong way to prepare. Coming unprepared is the only way that can negatively affect your session. You might be a "go with the flow" kinda person, but having at least an idea of what you want will make it a whole lot easier for the both of us. Trust me.
#1. Wear comfortable clothes.
And by comfortable clothes, I don't mean sweats and over-sized t-shirts. I mean wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident. If it's not your style, don't wear it. If you think it's unflattering to your figure, don't wear it. If you're constantly adjusting it, don't wear it. The focus is on the two of you, not your clothes.
Bonus Tip: Accessorize! Hats, scarves, jewelry, watches, etc.
#2. Avoid distracting patterns, words, and logos.
Sometimes, patterns might not register as fabulous on camera as they might in person. Patterns, words, and logos also have the potential to fall out of fashion. You want your photos to be timeless, not look back on them in 15 years and say, "What was I even thinking?" BUT, this is not a rule, just a guideline. If you love something with a funky pattern, you wear that funky pattern. It's just another reflection of you.
Bonus Tip: If you wear transition glasses, don't forget to take them off before we start shooting.
#3. Coordinate with your partner.
You don't have to be matching, but keep in mind what colors you'll both be wearing. It's much more appealing to the eye if you're wearing same or similar colors. Try to stick to the same color spectrum.
Warm Tones: Warm colors have yellow-ish undertones. Think reds, oranges, browns, yellows, and forest greens.
Cool Tones: Cool colors have blue-ish undertones. Think blues, pinks, purples, and teals.
Neutral Tones: Neutral tones aren't just black, white, and beige. They also include any muted colors, or grays with a hint of color. Neutral colors are meant to go with almost anything.
Bonus Tip: Don't wear warm tones if you're sunburned!
#4. Props always make for a fun session!
The long distance couple above brought Australia and USA in adorable cut-out form. There are literally endless opportunities for props. Think about what you and your partner like to do together, or things you have in common. You both like reading? Bring books. You like cooking together? Maybe plan a lifestyle shoot, where you cook a meal together and adorably exaggerate what you would normally do. You could feed each other cupcakes. You could play Scrabble, and spell out all things mushy. Ideas. Are. Endless.
#5. Bring along extra things, just in case.
I am a firm believer in over packing. I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Some things to consider bringing are:
- Comfy shoes for walking (don't know about you, but I don't want to climb a hill in heels)
- Water/refreshments and snacks (granola bars are my go-to)
- Makeup for touch ups, and a hairbrush/hair clips/hair ties
- If it's hot out, bring something to blot your face with
- Bug spray and sunscreen in the summer
- A blanket to sit on, if you don't like sitting on the ground
- Props (flowers, a pretty blanket, bubbles, love letters or special gifts, favorite food or dessert, etc.)
#6. Find out what you like.
You'd be surprised how much can actually go into a couple's session. There are SO many different things you could do. Search online for concept and posing ideas. I highly recommend making a Pinterest board specifically for your session. This will help you find your style, and help me deliver what you want.
#7. K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Whatever you do, don't overthink it, and don't stress it. You will have beautiful photos, I promise. There's no need to overdo it, and if you're not the type to want a concept or a bunch of props, that's fine! These are only suggestions, guidelines, things to help out. In no way are any of these "rules" meant to always be followed. And if you have an idea of your own, don't be afraid to speak up! I'm always excited to try new things.