Prepping for OUR Portrait Session!

Behind the Lens

Despite the amount of time I get to spend behind my camera, except for selfies, quick snaps from J or tri-pod experiments, I am hardly ever in front of it. I learned early on, however, that I benefit a lot as as an artist when I am the client and I get to follow direction from someone else. The problem is, like everybody else I easily lose sight of the value, planning etc. and just skip over having professional portraits made.

Well this year, I’m on the ball.

For the 2nd time since we got married (nearly 3 years ago, eek!) J and I are on the books for a real-life portrait session. To say I am excited would be an understatement! As I mentioned, one of the reasons I need to be more diligent about making these happen is that I learn a lot about the client experience and process that helps me with my work. So, if you’re interested in the planning process from a photographer’s point of view, here’s what I’ve got so far:

1.) I took some time to think about what look we were going for and what was special about capturing this season of life before I decided who we would book. Visuals and themes (transition, Tampa, not-so-newlyweds anymore, Jenny dog etc.) all helped shape my ability to articulate what I wanted and with so many talented friends that I would love to work with, this helped making this portrait decision easier.

2.) I scheduled our session, which I knew I wanted to take place in October or November, back in early August. I am so glad I reached out when I did, too, because our photographer had limited availability, even 2-3 months out! Scheduling in advanced also means that the date/time are marked on the calendar before other things can present as conflicts pop-up. November 1st is our date so we are just under 2 months out! Early bird gets the worm as they say!

3.) I spent time going through our photographer’s portfolio and took note of what images made me oooh and aaaah and why. The location? The editing? The couple’s attire? The posing? Many times it was more than one element but these observations helped me to shape what I could bring to the table to compliment her best work. In fact, reflecting on these observations even has changed my idea about where I wanted our session to take place because our photographer’s “woodsy” images are just plain dreamy!

4.) Styling. Styling. Styling. While I don’t have our color palette, florals and outfits fully put together yet, I’m in the process. I will notlet myself run to the store at the last minute frantically trying to piece clothing together. This is fun and it’s both a special occasion and an investment– I need to treat it as such! I also booked a makeup artist because if I’m going to recommend one to all of my clients, I best follow suit (plus, she is amazing and will make me feel like a queen!)

5.) I went out on a limb and asked a crazy question when I first inquired. Sometimes, you have to be brave and I know from experience that more often than not my clients that have a “crazy idea” are the ones that I love working with most. My request wasn’t toocrazy, but it was one she’d never had before. You’ll have to stay tuned to see what comes of it!

University of South Florida PhD Headshots_0098

University of South Florida PhD Headshots_0098

There’s still lots to do but I am enjoyingthe planning so much! Anything you would add? Tips from your own experience in front of the camera? I would love to know what has worked for you!

in His love,


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