So you’ve booked your photo session! Now you’re getting excited for it and yet, you’re already wondering about many things: what to wear, how to pose… Don’t worry: if you follow my advice, everything will go smoothly and you’ll be able to enjoy a natural photo session!
Have a friendly relationship with your photographer
First of all, you need to feel comfortable and fully trust your photographer in order to be natural during your photo session. Indeed, you should make sure they know your story, your wishes and vice-versa to go beyond the client-photographer relationship.
You might think it’s just a photo session, but it’s actually an intimate moment you’re going to share, which is why you must feel totally at ease with one another to produce natural emotions.
Take time to chat with your photographer beforehand, tell them about your dream photo session, ask all your questions and let them know everything there is to know about you. That will give you topics to chat about during the photo session and create a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
Allow lots of time
Some time will be required for you to get comfortable and enjoy your photo session. Some people need a couple minutes, some need more time. The first photos will be test shots anyway, so take all the time you need to get used to the unusual photo session setting.
The last thing you need is to feel rushed and unable to relax, which would stress you out even more. Also allow time to transfer from one location to the next, for outfit changes and unexpected events. Time goes by incredibly fast on a photo session, so make sure you have extra time. You’ll be stressfree and that will definitely show on your photos.
Choose the right location and the right moment
One of the first questions you’re going to think of is “what location are we going to shoot at?”. It’s very important to choose the perfect location to to get the look you want of course, but also the feeling that puts you at ease. For some, it’ll be at home, in a familiar environment, for others it’ll be a dreamy location or one that reminds them of amazing memories.
Choose a location that isn’t too crowded, ideally outdoors so you can enjoy natural light and beautiful natural surroundings as well. Trust your photographer about the best spot according to the sun’s position and framing. Avoid the middle of the day which is the worst lighting for a photo session on a sunny day. Go for morning or the famous “golden hour” at sunset for a warm and sweet ambiance.
We recently had photos by Marie done during a family vacation in France. Not only was she so accommodating and flexible with the booking time/location/length prior to the shoot, she was patient, creative and kind during our shoot. Despite our preschooler constantly dancing around, and our birthday boy refusing to be held during the photos, she somehow managed to capture so much goodness. I cannot not mention that for the time and cost that she spent with us, she had over 10 sneak peaks ready the next day, and less than a week later all of our images were. There were so many, I’m still going through them. Truly incredible. If you want to capture memories in Provence forever, Marie is your girl!
You have no idea what to wear on your photo session? Something is bothering you about your physical appearance? Feel free to talk about it to your photographer so they can calm any fears you have. You must feel totally relaxed on your photo session.
Don't force yourself to smile if you don't want to: there's nothing worse than a fake smile (forget about "cheese" right away!). Relax, take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.
Also: don't try a new look that day. It's not a good idea to wear this heavy makeup look you've never tried before for your photo session. Or at least, try it beforehand so you make sure you like how it looks on you.
If it's your loved one who forced you to do this photo session and you're hating having your photo taken, make sure to be positive about it, cause otherwise your bad mood will show on photos for sure. On the contrary, do your best to make it a fun moment by making suggestions!
Feel free to include props that you like to your photo session: do you play a music instrument? Play something while shooting photos! You love horses? Why not shoot at a riding stable! You love movies? Wear outfits inspired by your favorite movie couple... Ask your photographer for help, they'll be happy to make your dreams come true!
Only do poses that feel like you
Unless you're professional models, you've rarely been photographed by a professional photographer and that's okay! That's one of the things I love the most about my job: I get to shoot real people and spontaneous moments of joy. Remember: the most important thing is for you to be yourselves, so be natural with one another and pretend your photographer isn't even there.
Personally, I like to suggest prompts that involve motion, more than static poses. Don't worry, I won't ask for anything crazy! Your natural chemistry will show in your looks, laughs and love for one another.
Of course, feel free to look up inspiration for poses on instagram or Pinterest, but also let things be spontaneous. The more you'll try to copy a pose in the smallest details, the less natural it will look. You can also practice in front of a mirror and see what you like the most. The best photos often are the unplanned ones!
The last important thing to get beautiful natural photos on your photo session is to be happy and positive about it! I know it seems easy but little things can go wrong and put you in a bad mood. We sure don't want that. So lay out your outfit and go to bed early the night before, don't eat too much (but have something to eat before your photo session), make sure you get to your chosen location early and above all: have fun!