How I Plan Photo Sessions (Feat. True)
Featuring pictures from my latest session with the beautiful True.
There's a lot of thinking, communication, and creativity that goes into every one of my photo sessions. Today, I thought I'd talk briefly about how I plan my sessions, and what to expect when communicating before a session
When I begin planning a one-of-a-kind photo session with a model, I start with the basic details: date, time, location, outfits, etc. I like to begin by figuring out what kind of session my model(s) are looking for and discuss expectations . This normally includes them asking any random questions that he/she might have and making sure we can figure out a date to make it work. Often times, we might discuss rates and availability before getting into too many logistics.
After we clear up any confusion, we begin planning by discussing what to wear. Location and outfits. in my opinion, are some of the most important factors in the shoot, so I like to discuss outfits first & pick a location based off of that. For example, True had a beautiful prom dress, so we picked a flower field. For a more casual outfit she brought, we shot with a brick wall background in a cute downtown area.
I like to suggest that my models bring at least two outfits if the session is going to last more than a half hour. I normally tell them to bring one casual outfit, and one outfit that is a bit more formal. This totally depends on what my model is looking for within the pictures, but I mostly want them to be wearing something they love, something they feel super cute in, and something that shows their personal style.
My favorite portrait/couples sessions tend to be in nature with beautiful, flowing dresses (or a button-up shirt for the men). -- Just in case you couldn't tell...
After we decide on the perfect outfit(s), (I generally have the model send me pictures or give me a description of the outfit) I help in picking a location and a time of day. I try to find the best day for my model and myself, and book from there. The times I plan around do vary a bit based on whether I'm shooting a senior in high school or a family with young children. With family shoots, I like to plan around the children, to ensure that they won't be overly tired or grumpy. With older groups, I like to plan for the best light.
As a natural light photographer, I try to shoot in what is called the 'golden hour' or 'blue hour'. Shooting close to sunrise or sunset makes for really soft, even lighting, and this makes for great photos! For my shoot with True, we woke up early to try to catch the 'blue hour' or the hour just after sunrise. We were lucky that it was an overcast day, and we got extra shooting time in.
In addition, props often can help make a photo shoot more unique. Whether the prop is a flower, a guitar, a cool blanket, or a representation of a hobby/past time you really love, props can help make the photo session extra special and really bring out the personality of the model. Always feel free to ask me about any potential props for a shoot.
In the photo below, I had brought a flower to the shoot, and we were so lucky to find this spot to accentuate the reds in the flower and the berries.
In the midst of figuring out all of the logistics, I also ask my models to tell me about or send me pictures of anything they specifically were looking for within the photo session. Whether this is a picture they saw online or previous work I have showcased, I want to be able to get the photos that they want and that they'll love. This helps me to know if there are certain expectations, and do my best to get photos that match their style.
After all this, I get a deposit to reserve the date, and we are booked and ready to go. Now that outfit, location, props, dates, rates, deposits and all of that is worked out, we can get to the actual photography, my favorite part! Here are some pictures from my session with True:
Thanks for reading!
If you have any questions on planning photo sessions or want me to do a post on how my photo sessions go, please feel free to comment below. or send me an e-mail through the 'contact' page.