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Outdoor Photo Session - How To Prepare

You have just booked your photo session, paid your retainer, and have penciled the date in your calendar. Now what?

I am sure you are very excited at the thought of getting some nice photos and already picture where you will hang them on the walls in your house, print them on holiday cards, send to your friends and family and be passed down in your family album for years to come - so of course you want to look fantastic!

1. WEAR CLOTHES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL CONFIDENT. Usually, the best wardrobe choice for your photos is what you are most comfortable with and makes you feel the best when you are wearing it. However, there are always a few exceptions when looking through the eyes of the camera.

Here is a quick guide to help you and other members in your photo session choose what to wear - and what to avoid:

2. COMPLEMENT, DON'T MATCH. The hardest part can be the starting point of finding outfits for everyone which will coordinate well together - especially for family or couple shoot. Try to avoid colors that draw a lot of attention (red, orange). Don’t put unnecessary focus on your outfit. Choosing neutral or pastel colours are always a winner.

A trick is for mom\lady to select her outfits first, and then work from there to find outfits for the rest of the family which coordinate well with what she has chosen. Using the guide above should help.

UNDERGARMENTS: Please make sure your bra or underwear does not show or pop into view when you move (unless specifically designed to do so). If you wear a think strappy top or dress, wear a bra colour which matches your top, or go strapless. They will not be edited out if they show.

3. STAY SOLID. Remember to stay away from shirts with sayings or big logos, super bright or neon colours and busy patterns. Those will detract attention from what matters (i.e You) and might cause an unwanted effect in images known as Moiré.

If possible, also try to avoid shorts and tank tops. Because the photos will be sharp, those clothing items will reveal skin imperfections.

4. TIMELESS VS TRENDY. Classic wardrobe choices are always an excellent pick as your photos will be timeless and never feel outdated when displaying them in your home for years to come.

But that is your choice and you are of course allowed to have a yearly family shoot which will be fun for future generations to review fashion changes ☺ Just have fun!

5. ONE OUTFIT IS ENOUGH. Can you bring a change of outfit? Sure, but keep in mind there will be no changing room and the time it takes to change will reduce the time to take photos. The new outfits also all have to follow the guidelines above. I recommend doing the following instead:

To add variety to the shots, bring various accessories to the session. Hats, jackets, colourful scarves, sunglasses and big jewelry work nicely for the ladies.

Men can also bring different jackets and wear cool sunglasses.

Ladies, if you go the heel route, please bring along some flat shoes for walking. Your session will involve different locations to find good light and involve walking. I need you to have fun and enjoy your photoshoot experience! Those gorgeous heels can be a serious mood killer :-(

6. KIDS OUTFITS ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT. For kids, choosing outfits can be tricky as - as a mom myself - we tend to buy clothes which are a little big for them to grow into.

Kids fashion is also very colorful and often has bold writing and pictures. For the best outcome, it is important that their clothes fit them well but remain comfortable for them to be able to smile and not pick at their clothes all the time.

It will be difficult to worry about sleeves which are too long and keep covering their little hands when we only have a few seconds to capture that genuine smile.

If you have chosen your colours for the photoshoot, it might be worthwhile to buys the little ones outfits which will complement everyone else's. Also get an extra shirt to bring along in case one gets dirty during the session.

7. NAP BEFORE SHOOT. Make sure your young children (and Dad ;-) are well rested before the shoot as there is no way of correcting a grumpy little face in post production ;-) .

8. SHOOT LOCATION - HOME OR NATURE. Most people don’t think about this as an option for some reason, but it’s actually a great place to start. Think of your house as the most cosy and intimate place. Now it becomes the most logical place for a couple or small family photoshoot right?

You also do not need a big garden as most photos are taken in a tight frame. However if you do have a nice garden, it will provide a safe, convenient and comfortable space to do a photoshoot.

If you stay in an estate or complex, some have beautiful play areas that are ideal.

That's it! See you all soon on location for a fun shoot!

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