Portrait Session Guide

Hey! I hope your week is going great.

I love giving new clients a photo session guide to help prepare them for our shoot. This includes individuals, couples, and families. Wedding guides are a bit more intense, so we’ll focus my portrait guide for this particular post (wedding guide coming soon!)

I know that nerves are common, especially when you’ve never had a professional photo taken before. I promise to make it as easy and fun as possible, and by the time we’re done with our session, you’ll feel like a model instead of an awkward person standing there!

From The Photographer!

We’re going to have a great time! Expect to be posed for a few photos, follow prompts and actions for a few photos, and just be yourself for the rest! My goal is to capture a variety of posed and candid shots as I like to capture the candid moments just as much as the smiling at camera moments.  If you have special photo requests, just ask. I love to make sure my clients are happy and feel great!


All of my portraits are done on location. What does that mean? We’ll meet someplace around town that we’ve agreed upon. Depending on what you want out of your portrait will determine the location. I love making suggestions so please ask if you’re not sure!

We can meet at Capitol Park or a garden if you’d like greenery + plants as a backdrop. There’s a cactus garden that makes for one of my favorite backdrops, or if the roses are in bloom, we can head there for a colorful splash.

If you prefer a more urban or textured backdrop, Old Sacramento is always a great place with so many walls! Some are brick, wood, or both! Also, painted and unpainted. I love shooting there, because every corner offers a different spot to shoot.

Coffee shop portraits are fun too! If you’re a coffee drinker, I’m sure you have your go to spot that we could shoot at. Most coffee shop owners don’t mind the photo activity. Bonuses: we get to drink coffee together, and if you bring your laptop or notebook, coffee shops are a great place to get “working” shots.

What to Wear!

Wear what makes you feel your best. The best photos come when you’re not worried about your outfit. I suggest steering away from busy patterns, and extra bright colors as they can be distracting in photos. If we shoot somewhere with a lot of green, I suggest wearing an alternative or neutral color so you stand out instead of blend in. On the color wheel, magenta is the opposite of green, but if you’re not into that shade, white or black always works!

If you’d like to do an outfit change, I suggest doing it about halfway through the shoot. You may do more outfit changes if you’d like, but outfit changes cut into shoot time.  Keep in mind that certain locations may not have a place to change.

Layering is always a good idea, as you can always quickly remove a jacket or sweater.


Props can include anything from a pet, sunglasses, to your laptop, or a chair/stool. Please bring props if you’d like to. If you have a camera, laptop, or less tech items like a notebook, hats, glasses, etc- anything you want to add to the shoot, feel free to bring it along!

Action in photos always looks really good. If you want something to do with your hands during our photos, props are a great resource.

Advance Preparation!

Get a good night’s rest the night before your shoot. Drink plenty of water all day, and I suggest eating around 1-2 hours before hand. Snacks and water are always welcome on the shoot if you need them! We don’t want any hangry feelings!

Feeling a little extra?

Don’t feel obligated, but if you really want to pamper yourself, here are a few extra suggestions on things you can do for our shoot.

Buy a new outfit just for the occasion!

Get your hair and makeup done. My friends at Wild Heart Beauty always do a great job. Or you can always get your haircut a few days before.

A manicure or massage the day of or day before will always help you relax.

Treat yourself to ice cream after our shoot!

I hope this helps you prepare for your photo session. If you have any questions, just ask! I’d love to make your session as enjoyable as possible. If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them!



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