What to Expect | Portrait Photography Session

Updated: Sep 7

Taking portraits of people on location is probably one of the most enjoyable things for me.



I often find people are not so relaxed when they have to sit or stand still in a photo studio, or try to follow the guidelines after reading a "how to pose" blog post. I remember having a family photo taken with all the siblings and cousins, it was so forced and uncomfortable I remember as a 16 year old hating every moment. I promised myself I would never put anyone else through that! All my portrait sessions are outdoors, they are relaxed, informal and as creative as you want them to be.



BEST ADVICE...


The only thing I would advise about portraits is what to do with your hands. They are one of those forgotten things and can sometimes makes the final image look unusual without you actually knowing what's wrong. I myself have an odd quirk in that I tend to bend my fingers and keep my index finger straight - it just looks odd and who knows why I do it! So my best advice is to just shake your hands and relax them, put them somewhere comfortable, maybe in a jeans pocket so that your arms have a bend. This is. especially good for group photos when whole hands and indeed arms can disappear amongst a group of people. Creating angles and interesting shapes with your body also work well - I'm not thinking of you all being contortionists - rather bend an arm, or a leg rather than have straight limbs, or turn to a slight angle so that your not flat and 2D on the final photo. The body is a beautiful shape, so have fun with showing off your angles!



WHAT TO WEAR...


Think about the reasons why you are having your portrait taken, hopefully these photos will be lovingly framed and hang on your walls for years to come. If it's a group photo, try and make sure that you have outfits that work well together and work against the background. We recently had a great photo shoot with two young lads who wanted their pictures in their favourite climbing tree - it was a sunny day, but "inside" the tree canopy was quite dark. I suggested the boys wear bright coloured tops so that they would stand out well against the dark branches of the tree. Having a cohesive colour scheme always looks good. Here are two examples where colour and co-ordination really made a positive difference.



WHAT ABOUT PROPS...


You can use as many props as you feel appropriate, just be yourself. For young children, it might be nice if they have their favourite toy or sit In their favourite place. It's more about making them feel relaxed and happy.



WHAT'S YOUR BEST SIDE....


Knowing your "best side" is always good. Unless we're blessed at birth with the beauty of a super model, then we all have a good and a bad side. If you don't know what your's is, take a few selfies and see which side you prefer. You probably already pose with your best side showing without actually realising it.



JUST RELAX....


I can't say this enough, relax, relax, relax. Just enjoy it! Jump up and down and shake ou