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First-timers: What to Expect

May 18, 2019

Not everyone has invested in professional photography yet. So for those first timers I have a few tips on what to expect at your first photo session!

First you want to select the right Photographer for you! Hey your friend might have loved hers but I always encourage my clients to check out my style either on my website or social media to get a feel of how their photos might turn out! This gives you an opportunity to check out pricing, FAQs of what you can expect {like is there a non refundable security deposit to book or a session agreement to sign, does she accept major credit card or just cash},what are her turn times and other products or services your photographer might offer. If you ask me this is the most important step to ensure a smooth first time experience. It pays to do your research!

Next you’ll want to select a Location that meets your style and vibe. Think about what kind of shoot you’re doing and brainstorm the overall vision or look of your session. For instance…if you just had a baby {like this adorable couple in my image collage below} you’ll want to pick a location that may not be too distracting for the child or other patrons. Beaches are great because chances are you can find plenty of open space to be captured and you’re not going to irritate anyone if your baby breaks out crying or gets fussy. Hey it happens…best to be prepared so you can remain relaxed and enjoy your session.

Pick your wardrobe wisely! So if your sig-O thinks he can show up in dirty sneakers, his favorite raggedy (but I’m sure comfortable) tee-shirt or jeans…wrong! When you’re investing in professional photography you will be sharing these images to family and friends. You don’t want to hate your pictures because you chose the wrong outfit. You want to show up as your best! I recommend avoiding graphic tees or logos, don’t be matchy-match {better to coordinate using 3-4 different colors}, do accessorize ladies and shoes DO matter. Trust me you won’t regret it when you look back years from now and can be proud of your images!

Make sure to make Contact with your Photographer prior to the session. Nowadays everything is online or virtual with communication limited to text or email. Many don’t love having to get on the actual phone and have a conversation, right? So in that case, I stress to make sure you discuss any reservations you may have, concerns and ask those questions before arriving on scene in that text, email or DM. The more your expectations are laid out the more likely they’ll be met because you will have communicated prior to the session. This is why I send out my Pre-Session Questionnaire. You can read about it here

This helps me identify how to approach the session so I have an idea of who I”ll be photographing, your personality and things you like or dislike. As my main goal is to make sure you have the best experience possible.

Lastly, Be Flexible! Sessions can present their own set of problems…weather might not cooperate. You could run late because of traffic you didn’t expect. Or in the case with this session I did for these first-timers, their little baby girl had just woke up and needed to eat before the session so they were running behind. Hey I get it babies are unpredicatble. Photo Sessions can be too!  Just remember to remain calm, communicate any delays as soon as you can, and keep up the good mood. No need to yell at your Sig-O because he didn’t compliment you all dressed up {I’ve sooooo done this before but cut him some slack} and have fun with it. It will truly show in your photos and you’ll love them that much more!

How cute are these first time parents at their first professional photo shoot? The dad was so relieved his lady picked me because my approach is candid and God knows I’m not the pose-y type. Which really allowed us to work  great together. He wasn’t getting annoyed and we all had a great time! That’s what its all about!

Lifestyle Family Session at Calafia Beach in San Clemente, Ca.

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