Photographer in Columbia Missouri at KatFour Photo
Photographer in Columbia Missouri at KatFour Photo

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Tips & Tricks: How to be Ready for your Session!

We've set your date and time, picked the perfect location and your session is coming up! So here are some tips to prepare for your upcoming photography session.


Plan Your Outfit

Whether you're planning a session alone for some professional headshots, family photos, a graduation session or some photographs with your pets your outfit is so important. Pick something comfortable and that makes you feel confident. Keep patterns simple, so your photos don't feel dated in a few years and try to have your outfit picked out a few days before your session. Make sure to dress for the weather so you're not freezing or overheating! For some outfit tips check out my "Help! What do I wear?" post.


Bring Comfortable Shoes

If you're planning on wearing fancy shoes to your session, because I know how important a nice pair of shoes is to any outfit, make sure to pack a comfy pair to walk around in. Unless your session is at the studio or your home, there will be at least some walking. And some of the walking might be in grass, on gravel on rocks or across a long trek of park. So keep that in mind and bring a simple pair of flats, flip flops or slip-ons. This can make it much easier to walk around and not regret your super cute shoe choice!


Plan Your Props

If you're feeling creative or want to show off some of your personality, hobbies, family activities or interests consider bringing some props.

For seniors this can be an activity like a musical instrument, sports gear or favorite books. Families can bring a favorite board game or a blanket or quilt to sit on or bring some water guns and have family water fight. For kiddos you can bring a favorite toy or book to show what they're spending their time doing at this stage. For engagement sessions or graduations you can bring some confetti or a bottle of champagne to help you celebrate. Having your anniversary? Why not bring a small cake to cut and eat together? For maternity sessions grab the sonogram, a pair of cute baby shoes, or some letters to spell out baby's name. If you have an idea or want to brainstorm together, just let me know!


Bring a Bag

And speaking of props and shoes! You don't want to have to drag everything around with your during your session so grab a simple bag to put everything in.

I'll also warn you, you don't want to have anything in your pockets for photos (such as phones, keys, chap-stick). Things in back pockets make it hard to sit. Items in front pockets show up in your photos and look awkward. A bag makes it easier to carry everything and means you won't have to take things out and put them down throughout the session.


Self Care Items

You never know what may come up during a session but having some basic self-care items on you can make things much easier. Here's my list of some basics to consider:

  • hair brush/comb

  • hair gel or spray

  • mirror

  • lint roller

  • chap-stick or gloss

  • oil-absorbing sheets (can help you look fresh even if you get a little hot)

  • baby wipes (especially for a session with kiddos)

  • bug spray

  • change of clothes for kids (in case one gets dirty)

  • tide pen (if you're likely to spill something)

  • Hair ties or bobby pins (if you decide to pull your hair back)

  • A change of glasses if you have transition lenses

  • treats and squeaky toys for pets

Not all of these are possible and not all of them apply to everyone, but these are just some things to consider.


Water & Snacks!

Speaking of self-care water and snacks are so important to keep a session going smoothly that they get their own category! If it's hot consider bring a water bottle for everyone in the family and for your furry family members if they're joining you. If you're bringing your pets and want to bring water, you'll also need a bowl.

For the kiddos make sure to bring some simple snacks that won't stain their outfits. Try avoiding chocolate or colorful candy as sticky hands and stains on their clothes are stressors you just don't need. Keep the snacks to simple favorites that are easy to pack and eat in small amounts. Dry cereal, crackers, etc.


Be Well Rested

For all family members photography sessions are a change in routine and require you to sit/stand and pose and smile. And honestly? It's stressful. And it takes some energy. So to keep it fun don't plan photos at the end of a long day. Kids especially can get frustrated with this usual change of pace, and being tired just adds to the frustration. So plan the session after a relaxing day, plenty of naps or in the morning before you head off to your next adventure. Everyone will be in a much better mood and your photos will show how relaxed you were and how much fun you had!


The Little Things

There are always those little things!

  • If your hands are going to be in the photos (engagement session, maternity, couples, etc.) make sure your nails are done and your ring has been cleaned.

  • If your skin gets dry, put on some lotion a little while before getting dressed for your session.

  • If you are wearing open-toed shoes and want matching nails, make sure your toe polish is ready to go.

  • If you're wearing a tie, make sure that it reaches your belt when it's tied.

  • Make sure your socks match your outfit

  • Bring a fun/cute umbrella just in case. We're in Missouri after all. (If it's raining at the time of your session you're welcome to reschedule, but I know that's not always possible.)


Save some time after your session for fun!

Don't plan to go immediately to something else important after your session. Plan to have some time for a fun activity, a little extra time at the park, or lunch/dinner after your session. When everyone knows there's a fun treat coming up after the session it gives them something to look forward to during the session.


Let me know if I missed some must-haves for planning your next session! And if you haven't scheduled your session yet, you can easily do that on my scheduling page.

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