Photo Styling Tips and Tricks for Seniors

All good portrait sessions take preparation. Here are a few quick tips for making sure your senior portraits look great.

First of all make sure you have had a good night’s sleep. Everyone looks and feels better when they are well rested and this shows through in the final images. Also try to schedule the shoot for a less stressful day is recommended so everyone will be in a better mood and better images will result.

If you have any hobbies or interests they can look great when incorporated into your senior portrait session. This can even involve shooting at locations unique to your hobbies and interests.

Wardrobe wise bringing cloth that you usually dress in will look best. Try to avoid large logos and distracting patterns, since they will draw attention to your clothing instead of your face. Lastly bring a combination of both lights and darks and a combination of formal and casual is recommended.

Location Recommendations: Downtown Grand Rapids

 

This is the eighth of a series of blog posts showcasing the various locations I recommend for portrait sessions around Michigan.

I love doing portrait sessions in Grand Rapids, Michigan, so much so I was even considering moving there for a time. Downtown Grand Rapids specifically has tons of beautiful locations for portraiture all within a reasonable walking distance. 

I recommend parking at the Gerald R Ford Presidential Library and Museum at 303 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504. From here most locations in downtown Grand Rapids can be easily reached by walking and you don’t have to worry about figuring out which of the similarly marked parking garages you are located in. 

I recommend starting sessions at 6pm and shooting for about two hours if the session is during the summer or fall. This gives us plenty of time to shoot around down town in the evening, sunset, and early night. 

Below are some of my favorite images taken in and around Grand Rapids over the years.

Photo Styling Tips and Tricks for Kids

 

All good portrait sessions take preparation. Here are a few quick tips for making sure your children’s and family portraits look great. 

First of all make sure your kids get a good night’s sleep. Everyone looks and feels better when they are well rested and this shows through in the final images. Also trying to schedule the shoot for a less stressful day is recommended so everyone will be in a better mood and better images will result.

Patience is also a must for children’s portrait sessions. Don’t be discouraged if the kids aren’t cooperative at first during the session. Usually it takes some time for the kids to warm up and be available for the best images of the session. 

If you are having me photograph multiple children make sure their outfits are matching. Similar colors but not the exact same outfit look the best. For example wearing all cool or warm colors looks great. 

 

Location Recommendations: Grand Haven State Park

 

This is the seventh of a series of blog posts showcasing the various locations I recommend for portrait sessions around Michigan.

One of my all time favorite places to have portrait sessions in is Grand Haven, Michigan. Grand Haven is a beautiful small town on Lake Michigan. it is about a thirty minute drive from Grand Rapids. 

The address for Grand Haven State Park is 1001 S Harbor Dr, Grand Haven, MI 49417. 

I recommend starting sessions at 7pm and shooting for about an hour if the session is during the summer or fall. This gives us plenty of time to shoot through the late evenings and into sunset. If desired we can even head back to Grand Rapids afterwards for night shots. 

Below are some of my favorite images taken in and around Grand Haven over the years.

 

Photo Styling Tips and Tricks for Couples

 

All good portrait sessions take preparation. Here are a few quick tips for making sure your engagement or couples portraits look great. 

First of all make sure both of you get a good night’s sleep. Everyone looks and feels better when they are well rested and this shows through in the final images. Also try to schedule the shoot for a less stressful day is recommended so everyone will be in a better mood and better images will result.

Make sure your outfits are matching. Similar colors but not the exact same outfit is the best. For examples all wearing cool or warm colors looks great. 

 

Photo Styling Tips and Tricks for Pets

 

All good portrait sessions take preparation. Here are a few quick tips for making sure your pet’s portraits look great. 

First of all make sure your pets have been bathed and groomed before the shoot. This shows through in the final images. Also trying to schedule the shoot for a less stressful day is recommended so everyone will be in a better mood and better images will result.

Patience is also a must for pet portrait sessions. Don’t be discouraged if your pets aren’t cooperative at first during the session. Usually it takes some time for them to warm up and be available for the best images of the session. 

What to bring to an Engagement Portrait Session

The best portrait sessions take a great deal of planning and preparation. This is why I meet with all clients either in person or over FaceTime prior to the session for a pre-session consultation. 

Here is a quick checklist for what to bring to your engagement portrait session.

Multiple changes of cloth. A combination of casual and formal is recommended. Also a combination of both lights and darks is recommended. Try bringing multiple styles and things which showcase your interests and personality! Anything you wear while performing your hobbies can be great to add to your session as well. Examples would be hats, cowboy boots, athletic wear, etc. Avoid clothing with stripes, loud patterns, or colors. Also avoid large distracting text. Make sure all clothing is clean, fits well, and is not wrinkled. Baggy clothing usually doesn’t look flattering. Also bring some clothing you don’t mind getting dirty so we can do poses on the ground or in water. 

For women having hair and make-up done prior to the shoot is highly recommended. I personally advice against spray tans. For men without a full beard shaving any stubble or five of clock shadow is also recommended. I can’t photoshop out stubble easily. Also make sure nails and hair are trimmed they way you would like them to be photographed. 

I like my engagement portrait sessions to be more personal than just the standard head shot. Bringing various props is one way to make your images more personal. Bringing things you use everyday or items that relate to your hobbies and interests can be a great addition. Cars are also a great addition to couples photo shoots. Make sure the car has been washed before hand. Anything sentimental to your relationship could potentially look great in your portrait session. 

I love photographing pets and they can look great in your engagement portrait shoot as well! Many times we will photograph in multiple locations and we save the pet images for some of the last images of the shoot after we get done at the main location. 

 

Location Recommendations: Ludington, Michigan

 

This is the sixth of a series of blog posts showcasing the various locations I recommend for portrait sessions around Michigan.

One of the most beautiful places I’ve gotten to photograph in Michigan is Ludington. The two areas I recommend having sessions at in Ludington are the North Breakwater Lighthouse at 9028 W Park Rd, Ludington, MI 49431 and the road leading to the Big Sable Lighthouse in the Ludington State Park Campgrounds, 5611 N Lighthouse, Ludington, MI 49431.

I recommend starting sessions at 6pm and shooting for about two hours if the session is during the summer or fall. This gives us time to shoot in both locations. I prefer to meet at the parking lot near North Breakwater. You can follow me to the road near Big Sable and then head back to North Breakwater to finish the session with sunset and night shots. 

Below are some of my favorite images taken in and around Ludington over the years.

 

What to bring to a Pet Portrait Session

The best portrait sessions take a great deal of planning and preparation. This is why I meet with all clients either in person or over FaceTime prior to the session for a pre-session consultation. 

Here is a quick checklist for what to bring to your pet portrait session.

Bringing some of your pets favorite toys is a great way to help keep there attention. 

Bring brushes and any other things which would be helpful for grooming your pet as well. It is important to have have your pet be bathed and well groomed before the shoot. 

Having your friends and family join you for your pet portrait session is a great way to make it more personal! Friends and family can help keep the pets attention making the images that much better. 

What to bring to a Children’s Portrait Session

The best portrait sessions take a great deal of planning and preparation. This is why I meet with all clients either in person or over FaceTime prior to the session for a pre-session consultation. 

Here is a quick checklist for what to bring to your children’s portrait session.

Multiple changes of cloth. Also a combination of both lights and darks is recommended. Trying bringing multiple styles and things which showcase their interests and personality! Anything they wear while performing your hobbies can be great to add to your session as well. Examples would be hats, cowboy boots, athletic wear, etc. Avoid clothing with stripes, loud patterns, or colors. Also avoid large distracting text. Make sure all clothing is clean, fits well, and is not wrinkled. Baggy clothing usually doesn’t look flattering. Also bring some clothing you don’t mind getting dirty so we can do poses on the ground or in water. 

I like my child portrait sessions to be more personal that just the standard head shot. Bringing various props is one to make your images more personal. Bringing your kids favorite toys can be a great addition to the photo shoot. 

I love photographing pets and they can look great in your children’s portrait shoot as well! Many times we will photograph in multiple locations and we save the pet images for some of the last images of the shoot after we get done at the main location.