When booking a session with a professional portrait photographer, you may feel like you’re taking a leap of faith. Putting your image and your portrait experience in the hands of a stranger can be daunting. You need to decide what to wear, get your family on board and organized, and worry about how you will appear in your photographs, which are all things that feel stressful for many people.
But here’s the good news – much of your stress is unnecessary. A good photographer has the ability to make you feel comfortable and look amazing. They can help guide you toward a great location and prepare you for the session itself. And they can help ease your fears about how you will look in the photographs. You’re not unphotogenic or awkward. You’re beautiful and deserve to surround yourself with images that make you happy. The more you can relax and enjoy the process, the more memorable the experience will be — and the more amazing the images will turn out!
I have compiled a list of things that every portrait photographer wishes their clients understood. I hope that at the end of this, you will not only feel somewhat more prepared for your own session but also somewhat more at ease in front of the camera.
The phrase “I don’t know how to pose!” is one that I hear from practically all of my clients. Another common variation is “What do I do with my hands?” or “Does my face look weird?”
Let me start with this: you don’t need to know how to pose. When I photograph sessions, I don’t expect my clients to be professional models who have spent months perfecting their smile in front of the mirror. I get a lot of satisfaction out of guiding my clients through poses that feel authentic and natural, and I am happy to do the same for you.
One thing that almost all photographers would admit is that none of us enjoy having our picture taken. Whether it’s a fresh headshot or family photographs with the kids, we experience the same awkwardness and discomfort that you do. After all, we’re more comfortable working behind the scenes than in front of the camera! Therefore, if you are feeling uneasy during your portrait session, keep in mind that the photographer has almost certainly been in the same situation as you, which makes them far more qualified to empathize with you and help you work through it.
Sometimes clients ask me if they will receive all the unedited images from their session, and my answer is always no, and for good reason. My customers always receive the highest-quality photographs, which have all been retouched in my own style. Why would you want images of yourself where you are squinting, sneezing, or making a strange face? Those photographs are referred to as outtakes for good reason, and while they are a normal part of every photographer’s gallery, they don’t see the light of day. I prefer to give my clients finished, polished images that they will adore, and trust me – there will be plenty for you to choose from!
The location of your photo session is something that should be considered, but it isn’t everything. I’ve shot breathtaking photographs in alleys and in little corners, as well as in fields of wildflowers and against lovely landscapes. Remember that what the photographer sees when looking at a location is different than what you can see with your naked eye. Even if you don’t have the “ideal” setting, or the weather is less than perfect, or something else is stressing you out, we can still take photographs that will take your breath away. Beauty can be discovered anyplace you look.
The act of pressing a button is only one small part of photography. It requires many years of learning and studying, as well as lots of experience and many hours spent culling and retouching. Your photographs are not completely finished at the moment that I take them. In fact, selecting the best portraits and editing them to their utmost potential can take me anything from a few hours to several days. It takes a lot of effort to produce the photographs you see in my portfolio, but I believe that the effort is well worth it to provide my clients with photographs they will love for years to come.
All too frequently, digital photographs are neglected and left to languish on a hard drive somewhere rather than enjoyed on the walls of one’s home, where they rightfully belong. For this reason, wall art and other printed artwork products are extremely important to me. I want my customers to get the most out of their portraits and to proudly display them in their homes so they, along with their friends and family, can admire and enjoy them every day.
Word-of-mouth marketing is extremely important to the success of my business. If you have a great experience working with me, please share about me with your friends and relatives. Review my business on Facebook or Google My Business. These small actions mean everything to me and can help keep my business in good health so I’m able to serve many more clients. Thank you in advance!