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source: Krystal Griffin Photography

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Professional Portraits

The following post is from Krystal of Krystal Griffin Photography: 5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Professional Portraits

Fall is in full swing, so it’s the season for family portraits. It’s exciting to think of the beautiful new pictures your family will display and share. But how do you make the most of your photo session? How can planning ahead make your session everything you are hoping for?

Here are 5 ideas to help you prepare for professional portraits:

1. Convince the family.

I know some members of your family are less than thrilled about this photo session. I’ve been there myself. A few things can help your family get mentally prepared; most of them fall under the label of bribes motivation (unless you’re comfortable with bribes).

You know what your family members love best, so choose something that you know will motivate them to put their heart into being there. For your littlest ones, you may bring a bag of treats to dole out a bit at a time through the whole session. For your teens you might consider an evening of fun in the days following the session. Any age would enjoy a meal at their favorite place (Chick-fil-a is what my kids would choose). How about your spouse? Again, you know them best. A fantastic date night would work for both my husband and me. But his would include athletics, and mine would include my best dress.

2. Tell your crew the truth.

It’s best to give them an honest idea of what will happen. Saying that you are sure we will be done in half an hour (just to hook them in) might not be the best idea. Tell them it will be 1-2 hours (or whatever time your photographer has stated), and there will be no surprises. Explain to them that the more cooperative they are, the faster it will go. Willing, happy subjects always photograph better and faster than someone who is being dragged along.

3. Explain the importance.

Explain to your family how much professional portraits will mean to you. Explain to them it’s because you love them, that life moves fast, and they keep changing. If your family understands how important this is to you, they will be more likely to put their best foot forward. While we are on this topic, let me add: make them happy they did this for you. All I mean by that is to make this a pleasant experience, and when it’s over, show them your gratitude. It will be easier to get them out next time when they remember the experience warmly.

4. Choose your wardrobe.

You may have lots of ideas for this area. If you don’t have many ideas, please don’t stress! Most photographers love to work with you to bring everything together in one cohesive direction. Whatever you choose, keep a few things in mind. It’s best to find a color palette to work with rather than all family members being in the exact same color. Also, think of texture rather than print. One member might want to wear a pop of print, but in general, texture highlights your family rather than your clothes. Layering also adds visual interest to your photos without distracting the people in them.

5. Prepare with food and rest.

I should say that this tip is for the youngest members of your family, but it may prove to be helpful for all ages. As you schedule your session, you will want to keep in mind your family’s meal and nap schedule. Everyone wants their family to be at their best, happy, and feeling well for your session. A hungry, tired individual will find it very hard to follow instructions and keep attention. Be sure to toss a small, clean snack into your bag (grab one for the adults, too) and a bottle of water. Water and non-messy snacks are best before you take your photos.

These are just a few things to think about when planning for your professional portraits. If you have questions, you should make sure you talk to the photographer you have chosen. I love it when my clients come to me with questions and ideas to prepare for their sessions. It means they are invested. And when you invest all that time into preparing your photos, you can be guaranteed they will be that much better for all your preparation.

When was the last time you had your family’s photos taken? And what do you find most important in planning for portraits?

Krystal is a stay-at-home mom of four children, ages 4-9, whom she homeschools. She is acutely aware of how fast her children are changing and is passionate about keeping family memories alive through photographs. Now and then she gets to help other families’ bottle up their own memories at Krystal Griffin Photography.