Congratulations! You have booked your photography portrait session. Below are five (5) tips to help you get ready for a great portrait session. 

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 1) Written contract

Be sure you have a written contract with key terms spelled out,  it’s better for everyone. The contract should be clearly written and indicate the time, place, price. It should also indicate the minimum number of images you can expect, how much image editing is included in your fee, and the cost for editing over and above the initial included editing. The contract should also specify how the images will be delivered and a rough timeline of when you can expect the images. Also important is how long the photographer is required to keep the images. Don't expect your photographer to keep your images forever, if you get digital images, be sure to back them up. 

2) Hair and make up

Give some thought to your hair and make-up. The type of shoot you are doing will dictate the preparation that is needed. Is this is corporate head shot or a formal themed portrait? Men, do you need to trim your beard, nose hair, eyebrows, ear hair? Do you have a fresh haircut and trim your nails? Women, do you wear make up? Do you want to do your own or hire someone to do make up for you? Your photographer can likely help you find a hair and make-up artist. If you have long hair that tends to be straggly, know that stray hairs are time consuming to edit in post. If you don’t have hair and make-up you may need to pay more money for editing in post-production. Clean and floss your teeth. Bring a hairbrush and touch up make and a small mirror.

3) Clothes

Clothes Definitely talk with your photographer about your clothes and perhaps partner with them to select your clothes. At a minimum, the photographer will want to know what you are wearing to select the type of background for the shoot and it will also impact the lighting used. Be sure to clean your clothes, press them, and remove any pet hair.

4) Music

Ask your photographer if you can bring music. I find that people having their portraits taken often feel more relaxed when they can play some of their favorite music.

5) Communicate 

Communicate with your photographer!  Let your photographer know if you have a favorite side of your face, a favorite pose, or conversely anything that you are uncomfortable with. Talk with your photographer about any scars, freckles, moles etc. that you want or don’t want in the final image(s). I’ve had clients that told me they wanted certain scars in their portraits because it reminded them of what they have overcome in their life. Do you want your photographer to remove wrinkles and spots or just reduce them a bit? The best portraits are collaborations. 

Have fun, you are never as young as you are today! 

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