Photography Session Tips & Tricks

November 12, 2014

Hey friends, hope you had a great holiday weekend!  I'm busy catching up with editing this week, but after promising a blog on "tips" last week (and never getting around to it, due to my daughter catching a cold) I'm here to finish up what I started!  So, if you're planning on hiring a professional photographer anytime soon, you may want to stick around and read this...

Last week, I had a fun-filled day getting pampered and photographed by my two talented and lovely friends, Angela of Hair and Makeup by Angela and Lydia of Lydia Photography for my new business head shots (side note- they are amazing and worth the time to check out!)  We had a lovely day and they made me feel so comfortable, while I still had plenty of nerves.

Although I shoot all of the time, I was SO surprised at how much I learned being on the other side of the camera; a great refresher for me indeed!  I should probably do it more often, so I'm reminded what it's like to be in my client's shoes.

Whether you're a newbie or a professional model, it's nice to know ahead of time how your photographer works during a session.  For instance, what kind of direction they give, and what they're looking to capture.  Do they pose a lot, or do they give a little instruction in order to create a more authentic pose?  As far as my style goes-- I'm a lifestyle photographer, so I am not super "posey"; I give little instruction with the intention of having my clients fall into place in a natural way.  Sometimes, I start talking about random things, or ask questions in order to put my client at ease and bring forth a certain feeling I'm looking for.  When I'm behind the camera, I'm looking for your expressions, your laughter, your reactions, your body language.  I want pretty photos, but I also want something beautifully raw.  Sometimes I do have to give more direct instructions and pose my clients, but it's very rare.

Next, ask your photographer about post-production.  Not just "when will I get my photos?" but also "what is your editing process like?  Some photographers send their images to labs for editing, and some do it all themselves.  I'm one of those hard chargers that like to take it ALL on, so I edit each individual photo to my liking.  Yes, it does take a bit longer (especially during wedding season when I'm busy editing MANY client's images) but I feel like they're completely mine by acting as solo-editor.  I've had many different editing styles since starting my business five years ago, but I've learned that less it more (plus, with experience, I've learned better techniques while shooting, which saves me TONS of editing time) so these days (depending on what kind of session I'm working on) I can get final photos delivered in a more timely fashion.

Also (and this is a biggie) you need to TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER.  This statement applies to many things.  During your session, for example, if your photographer is asking you to pose and you're thinking, "what the hell dude, I look ridiculous!!" just go ahead and do yourself a favor and wipe those thoughts from your mind.  True, you may feel uncomfortable, but if you're confident in your photographer's ability then trust that they're getting beautiful images that you couldn't have taken yourself.  That's what selfies are for ;)  Keep in mind that your photographer doesn't want to produce bad images either, so posing you badly is the last thing on their mind.  Another situation you should trust your photographer with is time: time of day to shoot, the time and order of the timeline for an event, etc.  Photographers usually have been there, done that, and don't want to repeat the same crunch time/bad lighting situation ever again....   and neither do you!

Also, if you know that bringing something along like music or props will help take the pressure off of your "performance" then ask your photographer if he/she is OK with including something fun like that, most likely they'll say yes unless they feel like it may take away from their own creative interpretation.  I say, ask anyway.  After my session with Lydia, I realized I should've put on some music...  it's my instant release.

Anyways, that's my advice for now.  I'm sure I have more to discuss but that's all my brain can handle for the time being!  I hope it's helped you in some way, shape or form.  Apply all, or take none.  I'm here if you have any questions! xoxoxox 

& Thank you Lydia for this beautiful new headshot! :)

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