How to Prepare for a Portrait Session

This small list should help you prepare to look your particular best, and relieve some stress with good preparation.

My Philosophy

I believe in a documentary kind of photography: I photograph what’s true in us. Unless you request it, I do not apply fashion or beauty retouching to your photos. This means no thinning, no smoothing; nothing to make you look less like you. Temporary skin blemishes, such as pimples or shaving scrapes, will be removed in post production, because they’re temporary. I do retouch for lighting, sharpness, color, composition, etc..

Portrait Session Basics

  • In order to guarantee great photos, most sessions last 2–3 hours, including setup and breakdown. Longer sessions are billed at the same rate.
  • I will arrive at our agreed-upon shoot location an hour beforehand to set up.
  • Requests to cancel or reschedule with less than 24 hours notice will be charged half the booked rate for that time.
  • Billing begins at the exact booked time. Starting late can push us back, and require a second session. My days are scheduled tightly, and I may not have the flexibility to work later. Likewise, if we’re shooting outside, I’ve chosen the time of day to get precisely that quality of sunlight, and starting later can mean losing time to work.
  • I want you to look your very best (however that is for you). To that end, I will take many more photographs than you will receive. You’re paying me in part to do the work of sorting the 1,000+ images I may take during our session, to find the truly exceptional ones.

Things you can do to prepare

  • Get plenty of sleep for three days before our shoot. Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol.
  • If our shoot requires hair or makeup, please have these done before we start. I do not have a stylist on-hand, and cannot help with either. We will begin at exactly the booked time.
  • Please bring, at most, two outfits. Our time together is valuable, and changing into multiple outfits can cut significantly into it. I recommend one professional outfit and one casual. If we are shooting at my studio, a private room will be available for changing.
  • If appropriate, please bring any props you’d like to shoot with.
  • I offer water and tea during the session. If you’d like something else, please bring it.
  • Please tell me before the shoot what kind(s) of music you like to listen to, so we can agree on something that will help both, or all, of us find our groove.

Preparing for a Boudoir Session

I want to photograph you and/or your partner(s) in your space, where you feel comfortable, sexy, and powerful.

  • Please send me a few photographs of your space one week, or as close to a week as possible, before our shoot.
  • Ideal spaces have lots of natural window light. Remember, eastern windows are great in the morning, and southern/western windows in the afternoon. Neither is particularly good at noon.
  • Those windows can be covered for privacy, and/or to diffuse the light.
  • If the space you’d like to play in doesn’t have lots of natural light, I will light the space. This is a different experience than working in natural light, as it will require planning, and flashes will pop whenever I take a photograph. Please be aware.