Planning your photography session? There are many factors that can influence your end result and are worth consideration prior to your shoot:
Your session should be relaxed and fun, but keep in mind that it is an investment, and an important one.. With a little thought and planning, you can be assured you get the heirloom portrait that you've imagined!
When planning your session, think about the 4 “W's”:
1. When (time of year),
2. Where (beach, city, park, meadow, home),
3. What time (time of day)
4. What to wear (casual, traditional, preppy, trendy, etc.)
And while you nail down those basic planning elements, take a step back and think about what you will DO with your images. Do you plan to:
• Create a keepsake album or coffee table book?
• Display images on your walls, and if so, to what size… will they be framed or canvases?
• Give gift prints?
• Share the images online and use in your personal photobooks and slideshows?
Once you’ve thought through those items, you will want to consider your family’s personality, your style, and the decor of your home.
• What type of family are you (sporty, preppy, beach-bound, traditional, casual)?
• Which room(s) are you most likely to display your images (foyer, family room, hallway/staircase, living room, bedroom)?
• What is the style, decor and color of that area (warm, cool, formal, modern, beachy, cottage, traditional)?
Next, describe your dream images – if you could have 5 images come out of your session, what would they look like?
Armed with these answers, regroup with your photographer and communicate your vision. Together you can come up with a game plan that will ensure you are on the same page and allow your photographer to deliver the type of images you have always dreamed of having for your home. Additionally, once you view your gallery, you are not arbitrarily looking at images, but instead selecting them with your specific goals in mind.
To make sense of this, consider viewing a gallery in two scenarios:
1. Without Session Planning: “I suppose the family photos are fine, but they don't really show much of the setting, they seem to be cropped tight on the family....is there a way to get more of the landscape in? Another thing, we look cold, I realize we did the shoot in March but since it's a beach house maybe we should have waited until June...our winter, formal clothes don’t match the beachy decor.”
2. With Session Planning: ”Awesome, this is exactly what we wanted for the focal point wall gallery in the family room. I love it! The beach backdrop, the colors and our outfits are exactly what I had in mind when I thought of a story-telling canvas collection for above the fireplace.”
Surely you won't have time (or energy) to repeat a session, so be sure you have articulated a clear vision of what it is that you want. Your planning, preparation and communication will pay off and you will have personal art in your home that will preserve memories for a lifetime.
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