Preparing for your portrait session
Awesome - you, or you and your team have decided you want some new portraits, or you’re tired of your old portraits and want something a bit more up to date/playful/fun/serious/”businessy”. Or perhaps you’ve had a website revamp and need representation of your team that fits with the redesign and the new direction your business is taking.
You might be on the ‘horrah I love being in front of the camera!’ side of the fence or on the other equally as beautiful ‘I hate the camera, I hate photos of myself and I feel totally awkward in front of a camera’. I hear both sides and I myself like to sit perched right bang in the middle. Yes, it’s a little uncomfy...but it comes with some excellent learnings for those on both sides of how to prepare for your session so that you are ready to go! My goal is to make portrait sessions fun, joyful, easy, and intentional.
I’ve put together some tips on how to prepare for your portrait session so that we can hit the nail on the head with the fun, the joy, the ease and the intentional...
What to wear?
Wear something that you’re comfortable in, and that makes you feel great. I know that when I’m wearing something I know looks good on, I feel a hundred times more confident in expressing myself, moving around in a natural way and comfortable with different angles. Choose an outfit (or outfits) that you feel best represent who you are and your personality. Colourwise - anything goes! Be a little mindful of patterns - they’re great and I absolutely love patterned clothing, but we want to make sure the focus is on you and it’s you who’s the star of your photos not your clothes.
Outfit details to think about
Is there a necklace that you just love and is a signature part of your look?
Do you want the colour of your nails to complement your outfit?
If you’re getting more formal photos done - do you need to bring a pair of cufflinks for a rolled up shirt look? A tie and a tie clip?
Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed if necessary! I know I know, it’s so obvious I shouldn’t even mention it. It’s just the odd little blemish can be edited out but a wrinkled shirt... *shakes head crying and laughing at the same time*
I shoot inside and outside and always like to use natural light. It’s the best, and there’s no better substitute for capturing the best side of those in front of the camera. I usually bring a reflector with me to capitalize even more of that beautiful natural light.
As I primarily shoot businesses and the team members that make up the business, my favourite location is where the business is run from. It gives the photos a special type of character and almost a slight movement that you’re there right in the heart of where your business runs. Location might mean an office, a home studio or even a cafe! But like with clothing patterns not taking over as the star of the photo - we will make sure that the location doesn’t overwhelm your portraits, but rather adds a subtle hint of narrative to your portrait.
Additionally, with many impact-focussed companies, the location and surroundings of where teams work from are often intrinsically woven into the story of the business, which can be great to introduce.
You might not want any props, and that’s totally fine. Or perhaps there are pieces that are important to have with you, or in the frame somewhere. A few examples:
You’re a product-based business
Do you want one of your products somewhere in shot?
Are your products made in a special kind of way that can be represented with an item? Eg if you’re a local clothes manufacturer using natural dyeing methods can the plant source where the dye comes from be included?
You're a service-based business
You’re an event planner - notepad, pen, your wall with visual plans on as a background?
You’re in social media community management - perhaps your smartphone, a laptop
You’re a healthcare practitioner - charts or drawings in the background, any specialised equipment
I love portrait sessions and the opportunity it provides to connect and show the face(s) behind the business. Do you have further questions or anything you’d like to chat about in terms of portraits? Just drop me an email either via the contact page above or at maxinepbulloch (at) gmail dot com.