Preparing for your Photo Shoot

1. Envision your Shoot
Having a purpose and a vision for your shoot is crucial! Whether you are using the photos for your yearly family photo, Save the Dates for your wedding, creating a wall collage in your family room, or taking your Senior Photos, envisioning what you want is very important.

Your shoot could have a western theme:

Or if you want romantic sunset pictures for your engagement shoot it could look like this:

If you want your photos to have more of a fun feel, then this could be the way to go:

2. Choose the Location
There are so many options when it comes to locations! From taking photos by water [the river, a lake, ocean], to more of an urban feel such as downtown, to the forest or the foothills, to taking photos indoors, the location can have a dramatic effect on your photos. Your photographer should have tried and true locations they have shot at, so talk to them to figure out the one that is best for the vision you have.

3. Select your Outfits
The vision and location of your outfit should influence the outfit that you choose. For instance, this couple I photographed recently wanted to take photos by graffiti walls. Their bright colored outfits complimented the location perfectly:

If you are doing a family or group shot, try to have all of the colors compliment each other. Key word compliment, matching is not necessary and for the most part being complimentary is most flattering. For example, this family did a great job with their outfit choice:

Try to avoid any one person wearing a bright or patterned outfit unless it is intentional that you want them to stick out. Neutral colors give you versatility with the backgrounds.

4. Props
Bringing personalized props to your photo shoot can add a whole new dimension to it! For example I was taking Business Portraits for my sister Ashley and I had her bring all of the tools she uses on her projects.

So whether it's a blanket, a favorite coffee mug, flowers, balloons, mittens, hats, jackets, umbrellas, chairs, toys for the kids, your dog etc. Props ROCK! It helps take the focus off of the "I'm being photographed" feeling and it helps photos look more natural.

5. Relax and get ready to Have Fun
A photo shoot should be a pleasant and fun experience, so once you have the first four items on this list done, relax and trust your photographer to do their job :) Happy photographing.

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