How to Prepare for Your Session

Q: When is the best time to schedule a portrait session?

A: Right now!  There is never a better time to have photos taken then right now!

fall family photo in blue and green

Q: Where and when are the sessions?

A: We can use whatever location you want!  Pick something that is special to you.  It’s fun to find a place that will help portray your personality and interests.  Sessions are usually scheduled in the evening about 1-2 hours before sunset so we can capture you when the lighting is just perfect!  There are plenty of beautiful and fun spots around Bemidji.  We can take your photos at a lake, a beach, a park, a field, a barn, downtown, or even your own yard!

Q: Do you have any tips on how I should prepare for my shoot?

A: Of course I do!  Taking time to prepare for your photo session is as important as the photography itself!  Here are a few tips to make sure you are looking your best!

  • Allow a new hair cut to have at least one week to grow in.
  • When styling your hair and makeup please keep environmental factors in mind like wind and moisture. These elements can cause your hair to blow unflatteringly or to frizz.  Parents of active little girls may want to consider pulling your child’s hair back our using cute clips and headbands.
  • Have your clothes and accessories ready the night before your shoot. Choose clothes that reflect your style . Make sure they are clean and free of wrinkles.
  • Bring your make-up and hairspray to do touch ups if needed. Make sure that your face make-up is blended into your neck so that when you look in the mirror your neck is not too white. Also check to see if you have tan lines that will show with the different outfits you are going to wear. Bring chapstick or lip gloss to keep your lips moist.  Makeup is important to consider as well. To avoid additional retouching fees we typically recommend matte makeup that is free from sparkles and shine. Flash from the camera may create shiny spots when it reflects off sparkly makeup.
  • Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before.
  • If you wear glasses, bring an extra pair of frames without lenses.  If you are unable to, there will be an extra fee added to your prints to remove the glare.
  • If you wear braces and don’t like them, just let me know.  We are able to remove braces on your prints for an extra fee.
  • Make sure your fingernails are nicely trimmed.
  • I know this may seem funny, but get in front of a mirror and practice your smile! Get used to how it feels to smile the way you think you look best.

blue eyes photo

Q: What should we wear?

A: So glad you asked!  Your outfit choices can be the difference between a good session and a great session!  Look at some of the suggestions below.

  • Make sure to find outfits that reflect your taste and personality.
  • If you are doing a group session, remember that you don’t have to match.  Just make sure you coordinate.  Also make sure not to emphasize one person more than another.
  • Keep in mind where you want to display your photos.  If you are going to order a large 20×30 gallery wrap to hang up in your living room above the couch, you might want to stick with colors that match that decor.
  • Some photographers are insistent that you stay away from bold patterns, distracting logos, trendy styles and bright colors.  You can do that, but know that I’m actually for them!  I love fun, bright and unique photos.  Feel free to run any ideas by me.  I love to help people plan for their shoot.  We might even have time to do an outfit change.
  • Click here or here to check out one of the best articles I’ve read on picking out clothes for a portrait session by Studio 193!

senior photo pink hat and heels

Q: What if the weather is bad the day of my shoot?

A: It would be foolish to think we have perfect weather all year long in Minnesota! Simple motto is to plan for the best, but prepare for the worst. We can always make alternate plans in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.

family in snow photo

Q: What does a typical session look like?

A: On the day of the shoot we will meet at a predetermined location.  We will briefly go over the ideas we have for your shoot before starting.  I will then place you in the best lighting situations and offer direction or ideas as we go along.  I know the majority of us aren’t models and don’t always know what to do with ourselves in front of a camera.  It’s my job to make sure you look your best and natural, so relax and just have fun!  If we have time we can do location changes and outfit changes.

family on dock photo

Q: When will my photos be ready for viewing and how long will I have to order them?

A: Your photos will be available within 2 weeks after the session unless otherwise noted.  Each photo is individually edited and retouched.  Once your photos are ready, I will put them up on an Online Web Gallery that is password protected.  I will then e-mail you instructions on how to view them.  Your gallery will be up for 7 days before it is archived.  Once a session is archived, there is a $25 fee for reposting it.

closeup of happy toddler photo

Q: How do I order my photos?

A: Right from your Online Web Gallery.  There are many print sizes and products that are available.  Payments of cash, check, and credit cards (Visa, Mastercard and Discover) are accepted with your online order.  Please take a look through the Print Prices found on my Website under Investments – Print Prices.  This will help you budget your session.

1 year old with yellow flower photo

Q: How can I help the photographer shoot the photos I want?

A: Let me know what purpose the pictures are for. Are they for a holiday card? Are they to hang up in your home? Where will you be displaying them?  Also, if  you find a picture in a magazine or on the internet that resembles something you would like, make sure to bring a copy of it along. It will give me an idea of the style you are looking for.

Q: Can you help me prepare my hair and makeup?

A: I can provide a great hair and makeup artist if you would like one. Makeup artists help eliminate the stress of getting ready for your portrait.  They have full kits equipped with foundations for all skin types, a huge selection of eye shadows and blushes and eyelashes. They are capable of handling any type of makeup or hairstyle. Are you looking for a smoky cat eye, a pretty bridal look, or something simple that will look great for your business card headshot?  You can also bring a picture of a certain makeup look you like to give them a better idea of what you want. The makeup artists have reasonable rates, and will make you look amazing!  Check out my favorite hair and makeup girl here!

makeup for senior photo

Q: Do you do newborn sessions?

A: Yes!  I love newborn sessions!  I love them so much that I put together an entire article on how to prepare for those!  Check it out here!

newborn in bookcase photo

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