10 Tips for a Smooth Photo Session
In the past few years, I've come across different situations in a session which either make or break it. As a photographer and also a perfectionist, I don't want to dread editing photos because of (to be quite frank) a client sabotaging their session. It sounds harsh, but for any of you photographers out there, I know you know what I'm talking about. All we want is for everything to go smoothly, for the client to be comfortable, and to leave knowing without a doubt that the client will be happy with their photos. So here are a few tips and tricks I thought I'd share.
1. HAVE A CONSULTATION SESSION
This is one of my favorite parts. I suggest it 100% and make it mandatory for engagements/weddings, but I still stress the importance with all clients. This is a chance for your photographer to get to know YOU. I love the simplicity of getting to know each other over a cup of coffee or tea. It doesn't have to be formal. It just allows you to get comfortable with each other before we're shoving a camera in your face and expecting you not to look posed. Plus, it allows you to tell us what you like and dislike. It's a great time to discuss budget and maybe tailoring a certain photo package to your needs. This can even be a time where maybe you decide hey, this isn't the right fit for me and that's okay!
2. C O M M U N I C A T I O N
Need I say more? In my book there's no amount of "too much" communication. I'd rather you be open, honest, and to the point where you feel like you're bugging. If you have a question, ask it. No question is too silly or unimportant. If there's something specific you want, say it. At the end of the day, you should get what you want! I gotta be honest, I prefer going into something knowing all of the facts and being super prepared knowing that what you want will be delivered. Be hands on - text, call, or email. It shouldn't be where we're pulling teeth trying to get answers out of you.
3. WEDDING TIMELINE
All we want is for your big day to go smoothly and for you not to worry that we're missing an important shot or show up at the wrong location, etc. You shouldn't have to be telling us where to go next, you should be enjoying every moment without hassle! I always provide a sample at the consultation session that way you have a better idea of how to go about it. Plus, these are things Videographers, DJs, florists, caterers, etc. like to know. This way everyone is on the same page and we can keep things rolling within the allotted times and not set anything back! (Plus then family knows when to show up for pictures!)
4. TIME + LOCATION
If you have a place in mind, I love to hear it! My biggest suggestion with anyone is no matter where it is, do it early in the morning, at golden hour, or on a gloomy day. Some of the most dreaded words we hear are, "can we do it in the afternoon?" Not that we won't say yes because they are your photos and it's when you're available, but it does make the job a little more challenging because of harsh shadows, squinty eyes, heat (depending on where you live), hair/makeup issues, etc. Lighting can make or break a shoot. Now, I've had both sides of this happen. Where the sun is at it's highest or when for instance, a bride/groom/client don't really care about time and then completely miss golden hour and the sun is almost completely gone leaving that weird coloring in the sky or complete darkness. Not good, especially for outdoor weddings!
5. BRING YOUR OWN PROPS
I also offer up props from my own collection, but it's always so much more personal when you have your own. It allows you to coordinate ahead of time or have ideas in your mind for how you want things set up. Or even to incorporate family heirlooms into the mix! It's not mandatory, but always welcomed and something to think about it!
6. COORDINATE OUTFITS
I assume if there's more than one person involved, you don't want to clash outfits. I would also mention that it's never good to be matchy-matchy. Just simply coordinate colors, patterns, or theme. It makes all of the difference!
This can be a useful ally or your worst nightmare. Don't expect to recreate a photo exactly because everyone is different and every location is different. Plus, why not dare to be unique and try new things! I'm not saying there aren't some pretty awesome ideas to grab inspiration from, but take them with a grain of salt because what worked for them might not necessarily work for you.
8. DON'T ASK TO SEE THE RAW IMAGES
No matter how good a photographer is, I can almost guarantee that they don't want to give you unedited images. It's just not in our creative blood to hand over an SD card. It's. Just. Not. I don't even let my husband watch me when I'm editing!
9. "iPHONE PHOTOGRAPHERS"
I think one of my biggest pet peeves is when I get into the editing process and someone or multiple people are looking in another direction because someone was taking a photo of them on their phone. Just respect that the couple or person hired a photographer to take those shots and you know what, they just might share them with you. But probably only if everyone is looking at the camera :) Now that we're in the instant digital age, maybe at a wedding have an allotment of time for family and friends to take photos with you to share on social media right away, but have it separate from when the photographer. This way you're getting beautiful photos (that you paid for I might add) that you'll cherish forever.
10. BE FLEXIBLE
Know that things might not go the way you planned so go with the flow. You can't change the unexpected, but you sure can make the best of it!