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Emily summer studios | 406.871.2199 | emilysummerstudios@gmail.com | Missoula, Montana

How to Make the Most of Your Photography Package

Have you ever wanted to get professional photos taken, but never take the leap because you don't know what to expect? Oy maybe you're camera shy and don't know how to pose for photos? Or perhaps just the thought of trying to color coordinate with your partner or children is too exhausting?

Well, whether they're engagement photos, family portraits or senior pictures, I promise you are not alone, and I have compiled 10 tips to help you book that photoshoot and make the most out of it so you can have photographs to cherish for years to come!

1. Find a Photographer That Fits Your Style

This is an important one! During your search for a photographer to capture your session, make sure you pay attention to the colors, style and overall feel of the photographs they produce. There are a variety of photographic styles a photographer might work in, such as light and airy, moody or journalistic, so you want to make sure you choose a professional that suits your style and the type of photos you want to receive.

2. Know What to Expect

Once you've selected your photographer, take a look through their work and get a feel for the poses you see, and the interaction the subjects are having with each other. Chances are, your photographer will place you in similar poses and interactions. It also might help to read reviews on your photographer to see what other people have to say about their experiences.

3. Get Inspiration

If this is your first professional photoshoot, you might be nervous about posing in front of a camera. Not to worry, many people are camera shy and it is the photographer's job to make you feel comfortable and produce photos that you will love. Before your shoot, do a quick search through Pinterest to take a look at various poses for your style of photoshoot. This way you can have an idea of things you can do with your partner, family or props and not have to completely rely on your photographer to place you into every pose. Creating a short list of your favorite poses will not only help you feel more comfortable, but will ensure you will receive photos you will love from your session.

4. Plan Ahead

Take some time to try on different outfits you are considering wearing ahead of time so you can be prepared. This way you can also stand next to your partner or family members in the mirror to make sure your colors coordinate well with each other. Look in the mirror from all angles so you know how those items of clothing will look in photographs. You want to choose something that not only flatters your shape, but also your coloring and will photograph well. You don't want to choose an outfit that will wash you out or blend in with your background, but we will get to that.

5. Color Coordinate

This is especially important for family portraits, and also couples and engagement sessions. A big piece of how your photos turn out is how well the colors work with each other to create a visually appealing photograph. Consider your location where your session will take place and choose colors that work well with each other. You don't have to match each other perfectly, in face choosing colors that are similar or different shades of one another often works better. I have created a Starter Color Guide below to give you a few ideas on colors that work well with one another.

6. Location Location Location

The location of your photoshoot is an important factor to how your photos will turn out. Some photographers will choose their favorite places to shoot and some will request their subjects to come up with ideas. Whatever the case, work with your photographer to select a location that will produce your desired photographs. Perhaps you want a large printed photograph to go above your couch in the living room and you won't want any distracting objects in the background so it will match nicely. In this case, a nice open field might be a great option. Communicate what you want with your photographer and select a place (or two) that will suit both of your needs.

7. Get Professional Hair and Makeup

Ok, I know this might sound like an unnecessary splurge, but makeup for photographs is much different than everyday makeup. Lighting, environments and simply being behind a camera requires a different look and amount of makeup. If you are someone that typically doesn't wear a lot of makeup, or style your hair everyday, hiring a professional to do will make a huge difference in the quality of your photos and will really make them look more polished.

8. Props

Props are a great way to make your photo session more personal and are especially great for senior sessions and engagement photos. Bringing something small that helps portray something about you - perhaps a sport item, an instrument or even a small sign - helps bring a special element to your photographs. When it comes to props, remember to keep it simple, as you don't want something that's going to be distracting or take away from you in the photo.

9. Bring Outfit Options

Now this doesn't mean to bring half your closet to get variety, but rather bring a couple clothing options so you can achieve different looks so your photographs don't all look the same. Wearing layers is smart so that you can either add a jacket to a sundress, or remove a sweater to reveal a different top, or simply adding a scarf to an outfit are great ways to achieve different looks without taking too much time to change. Also consider the location you are shooting in, as more than likely there will not be a place for you to change privately.

10. Be On Time.

Finally, make sure you arrive to your session ON TIME. You photographer might have a session right after you or maybe you are taking golden hour photographs and will have to race the sun to get the photos you want. Be courteous and show up on time.

I hope this helps ease your mind as you prepare for your upcoming photoshoot or helps you to bite the bullet and finally schedule one! Professional photoshoots are a great way to capture a moment in time with the ones you love and also make great gifts!

If you are in need of professional photographs of anytime, Emily Summer Studios offers a variety of photo packages.

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