To have your portrait session turn out ideal it takes preparation. This is why I do pre-session consultations with all of my clients prior to the actual session. Many things like time, location, wardrobe, etc need to be considered prior to the shoot to make sure everything runs smoothly. These are the things which are discussed during the pre-session consultation.
The first thing to determine is the time of day. Usually either morning, evening, or even night is best for portrait session. During midday the sun is very high and the light is unflattering making it unsuitable for most portrait photography. Most of my sessions start in the late afternoon and we shoot thru the sunset and even into the evening. The exact time we start the session is dependent upon the time of year.
I love to travel and have had the opportunity to photograph at many beautiful locations. Many clients like to have images taken in a variety of locations. Some clients prefer to have their portraits shot on their own private property while others prefer public parks, state parks, or other public places around cities. There are several places I regularly frequent like Dow Gardens in Midland, Mi and Island and Nelson Park in Mount Pleasant, Mi. I am willing to travel and have done shoots in Ludington, Traverse City, Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, and Detroit as well. I am also willing to have the session take place on multiple days to ensure we can get the locations during the correct lighting.
Wardrobe should be non-distracting. These are portrait sessions and not fashion shoots. Avoid clothing with large text, distracting patterns, extremely loud colors, etc. For seniors bring a variety of clothing (ie. casual and formal, light and dark) is good. For family and group portraits the clothing should be complimentary. Similar tones (ie. all cool colors or all warm colors) works well.
I encourage women to wear makeup to photo shoots. Most women prefer there makeup to be done a little more in photographs then to little. I do avoid spray tans which if done inconsistently can look very unflattering.
Being well rested is very important for a successful session. I usually encourage seniors and families to book me on less stressful days for them. Days that the kids don’t have school and parents are off from work are ideal. Getting a good night’s sleep the night before also helps you look your best.
To start planning your pre-session consultation Ryan can be contacted here.
Graduate from the Hallmark Institute of Photography and recipient the Highest Academic Honor.
Published in several magazines including Shutterbug, Digital Photo, Outdoor Photographer, and PDNedu.
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