So you want photos? Yay! What a great way to capture memories that can be cherished and shared for a lifetime! But… where do you begin? And is it the right time? Have you put on a few pounds recently and think that you don't look great…? Do you have enough money to spend on this? You're too busy for this, right? Trust me, as someone who was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder back when I turned 20, I understand life's anxieties and stress. Luckily with time and constantly working at it, I've come to enjoy and laugh worry and fear.
Hi, there. Jenny here. I've dealt with an anxiety disorder for a long time and have learned throughout many very scary situations that most anxiety is funny and laughable in some way. How does this relate to hiring a photographer and getting great photos, though…? I'm not sure it fully does for everyone, but I'll go on. I've dealt with my clients' random anxieties for the past 6 years and well before that helping calm friends', families', and my own anxieties. One thing I can definitely tell you works on helping relieve stress over the "unknown" is being able to explain to someone calmly what they can do to best enjoy the unknown rather than fear it. A photo shoot and a wedding day are often planned, but there are a lot of unknowns. I'm going to now explain some ways that you Can be ready for the unknown. Here are 9 Tips to Getting the Best Photos from your Photography Session!
1) Be Picky: Choose a photographer whose work you love and whose personality you enjoy. I can't stress this enough. It's important to do your homework and not just choose a name out of a hat. GOOD photography is a luxury item, so you want to have a pleasant experience and actually enjoy yourself. The best way to do that is to choose someone you know will take great photos of you WHILE also laughing with you!
2) THIS IS IMPORTANT: Love yourself. Seriously. Right now. I don't want to hear "I look fat" or "I hope you Photoshop the hell out of this later!" That is the saddest and most frustrating thing to hear as a photographer. You don't have to smile or be fake in the photos, but the best thing you can do while preparing for a shoot and during the shoot is to appreciate (what you view to be) your imperfections. Actually, no. Just please realize that your imperfections are the things that make you perfect. No one is as harsh a critic of you as yourself. If you exude self-love rather than self-loathing, your images will come out as radiant as you are. I believe that people are beautiful from the inside-out (rather than outside-in as some photographers believe) and in order to convey your beauty to the camera you just need to Be Yourself.
3) Know This is a Luxury Item: Know that you're purchasing a luxury item and if you love a photographer's photos, be willing to pay their asking price. We're not on the street corners selling $5 items, folks. All photographers aren't made the same and if you want the best, you'll have to pay for the best. Remember: You get what you pay for. You want beautiful prints and flattering images that capture you and your loved ones in a unique way, no?
4) How to Dress: We get this question a lot. It's kind of funny to me, but as I prepared for a friend's wedding this week I too wondered what would be most appropriate to wear. A lot of photographers have their desired attire for clients. Some photogs want their clients naked, some want them in all black, and others want them in ethereal, flowy garments. I was yelled at once by a photographer for wearing a mustard yellow top and a-line to-the-knee white skirt to model in. If you're getting your portrait taken, the best thing in the world to do is to wear clothes that make you feel like your "best you." It also helps to stray away from busy patterns, but there really are no rules other than to try to have your clothing compliment anyone you're being photographed with. I'd love to come over and pick out all of your family's outfits (seriously- I love doing that kind of thing), but that'd probably be a bit weird for you.
5) Laugh: This goes along a bit with the #2 of "Love Yourself," but just act naturally. Just try to relax and enjoy your time not having to control or worry about anything. Do comfortable poses and laugh with those around you. When I laugh I legitimately have 3 chins, but I know if I'm working with a good photographer that she or he will be able to capture a good moment when I'm genuinely smiling and she or he will capture the photo from a flattering angle. Anything is possible with the right light, angles, and skill. Plus, this is supposed to be FUN! If you're not having fun, your photos won't look fun. Don't fake it. Just enjoy the moment.
6) Be Open-Minded: You don't have to do classic, boring portraits. We never do boring self portraits of us as a couple, so why do you need to…? Sure, since you're paying good money you can get a few traditional, pretty portraits, but don't you want something funny or fun? Anything you can think up we can do! Between my intense imagination, penchant for styling, and wardrobe of costumes and Jason's amazing lighting and Photoshop skills (as well as equally insane imagination) we can create whatever your heart desires. One day I was sitting in my house working and thought, "Holy crap it'd be hilarious if we did a photo as if we were on one of those weird romance novel covers!" and bam! Suddenly I was sifting through all of my costumes and we were dressing up for a photo. The image itself was perfect, but then Jason went to the trouble of editing for 4 hours to make the romance novel cover even more ridiculous. That's our favorite thing in the world: Creating images that no one else has. We would love to see you also have amazingly creative images to laugh at and enjoy!
7) Trust: Trust the photographer to book you at a good time of day when there will be beautiful light. Trust the photographer to work their hardest for you and trust that they're going to give you the best product at the best price they can. Though there's a lot to trust, you can also be helpful! If you have a place that you love (nature, cityscape, etc), mention to the photographer that you'd like to shoot some photos there! Trust that a truly great photographer will be able to take beautiful images anywhere- from inside a box to out in the middle of no where.
8) Embrace Road Blocks: That's just life. If something goes wrong and a child starts bawling or you fall in the mud during the shoot, just laugh. What's the point in overreacting? It's just a photoshoot and there's no point in upsetting yourself and literally everyone around you. If something goes terribly wrong, I'm sure the photographer would be more than happy to reschedule or you can just go with the flow and make the best of the situation.
9) Get Excited! Get excited about the fun day of shooting, about prints, and get acquainted with the photographer's print packages! Why would you do all of that shooting and just store the images on your Facebook or elsewhere?! Go to thrift stores looking for cool frames (a hobby I have!) and look around your house to figure out what sizes would look best! Ideally your photographer should have sample photos to give you an idea of what the sizes look like and you can purchase all kinds of goodies!
We hope that these tips can help to ease you through on the day of your portrait session or even your Wedding Day. Remember to have fun and relax and you'll be sure to get the best and most memorable photos you could ask for.
Until next time,
Jenny and Jason