How to prepare for your photography session


So you’ve done it! You’ve booked a photography session, now what? It can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect. But don’t worry, I got you covered! Here’s some tips on how to prepare for your photography session!

Famile lifestyle newborn photography sunset beach nc

One of my favorite locations in sunset beach! Newborn family photography sunset beach nc

Communication with your photographer

What is your ideal outcome from your photoshoot? Do you have anything specific in mind? If so, be sure to communicate your vision early on. You want to be clear about what you want to accomplish from your session so you’re all on the same page from the get-go. You may have a certain location you’d like to shoot at, or a specific wardrobe or prop. Perhaps your goal is to simply document a special moment in time with your family. Communication with your photographer is the key to getting your most ideal outcome from your session.

What are you hoping to walk away with? Are you looking to create lasting memories that you can also decorate your home with? Do you want to create a photo album that you can pass down for generations. Headshots for work? Or maybe you just want to get some pictures done to freshen up your dating profile or social media pages. Do you like styled fine art photography or would you prefer lifestyle family photography? Whatever it is, it’s important you are up front about this so you are able to choose the photographer best for you.

If you have a vision for your session, give your photographer as many details possible. Even if you only have a vague idea of what you want communicate what you do know and your photographer can help make it a reality.


Decide on wardrobe!

This is one of the most critical steps – DO NOT SKIP THIS! Pick out your outfit ASAP! Decide on outfits ahead of time so there will be no question about what to wear. This should all planned at least a week ahead of time, but even that’s cutting it close. You want to wake up the morning of your shoot feeling prepared and excited! The last thing on your mind should be what to wear.

Wear something comfortable, flattering, something that makes you feel amazing! Layers and accessories are usually good options to add to help create that full look. Have a style in mind and dress accordingly. This goes for everyone that will be apart of the session. If you are having pictures with your family, wear colors that compliment each other – but don’t totally match.

Everyone should look good as a group and as individuals. The goal is to create timeless photos you and your family can appreciate for a lifetime. The trend of having everyone wear the exact same outfit is over – thankfully- and is very unnatural and pretty tacky. It just doesn’t photograph well. If you for some reason have your heart set on everyone wearing the exact same thing, talk to your photographer about it ahead of time! Otherwise, have everyone wear a similar style and complementary colors.

Personally, I appreciate when my clients let me know what they plan to wear in advance so I’m able to make the best decisions planning their session. Styling is also included in my packages. Having outfits planned ahead of time is absolutely crucial. If you have the wardrobe all worked out, then you’re already starting off on the right foot. For more style advice check out our style guide!


Location choices can easily make or break your session. Do you have anything in mind? What’s your vision? Knowing what location you plan to shoot at is a deciding factor on how smoothly your session will go. Having this planned ahead of time will save everyone precious time and ensure you get the best results.If you don’t have a location in mind, don’t fret! Your photographer probably has an arsenal of spots they like to frequent. But again, this is certainly not something that should be a last minute decision.

Talking about location ideas with your photographer early in the booking process will save you heaps of trouble later on. Depending on where your session is you may even need to get special permission or have a reservation to shoot. If the photographer is unfamiliar with the location it would be best if they can check it out ahead of time. Save everyone the stress and time wasted trying to guess good spots during your session.

Once you have a location – it’s up to the photographer to study it and determine the best spots to photograph. They will need to take into account the session time of day, season, weather, different backgrounds at the location, crowds, ect. They will need to find a variety of backgrounds and settings for the session. As a professional, they will have the knowledge on how to find the best light in any location; that’s the key to making magic. So talk to your photographer early on about this and have a backup plan if there are any surprises.

Make sure everyone is prepared

This is a big one – and it’s totally on you. While most photographers are great at what they do; they can’t do everything. It’s on you to make sure everyone involved is prepared and knows what to expect from their session. If you show up to your session unprepared there is only so much the photographer can do to help.

Have your hair and make up planned, touch up your roots, have fresh clean nails. Don’t show up with chipped nail polish, dirty clothes or shoes, and messy un-brushed hair if that’s not how you want to be photographed. You may have a hair and make up artist who can help you with this.

Everyone should be fully rested and fed. We all get hangry – believe me I know all about it. Do what you can to avoid this by making sure everyone gets enough rest and food before the shoot. Especially if young kids are involved, try to get them a nap in and snacks before if possible.

Have fun!

Emotion can be conveyed through photographs. This can either work for you or against you depending on what emotion that is. It can be pretty obvious when someone isn’t comfortable during a photoshoot. Be sure to take these necessary steps so you can be fully prepared and make the most of your photoshoot! Have fun and don’t be afraid to get a little silly during your session, authentic laughter and emotions always make for the best photographs!

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