HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PORTRAIT SESSION
Updated: Aug 20, 2019
Today, having proper professional portraits is almost completely unavoidable! Whether for LinkedIn, your website or for press-shots; great portraits help show the world who we are.
So, what do you do once you've found and booked your photographer for a portrait shoot? Whether you are a business owner, or a musician, having portraits taken may feel like a daunting prospect. With a little bit of preparation, it really needn't be! I always talk to my clients beforehand to make sure they're prepared and ready for the camera; it's useful for both of us to have a good idea of what to aim for. With that in mind, here are some useful questions to ask yourself before preparing for a portrait shoot:
1. What do you need the portraits for?
Do you need a simple professional head-shot for your website profile or Linked-In page? If so, does it need to be horizontal or vertical? Close-up or wide? Speak to your photographer or web-designer to help you make some of these decisions.
2. Do you need one good image, or a series?
Sometimes, like Carole, just one good image is the aim of the session. For others, like Brea, of Heart + Bones Yoga who is very active on social media, it's important to create a series of images that can be used long-term. If this is the case, it's a very good idea to book a longer shoot and have photos taken in more than one location. Add a variety of outfits, styles and poses and voila! you have images that can be used in different contexts. Brea (below) continues to post photos from our shoots on the beach in Hastings and her holiday apartment to her social media months later.
3. What's your brand?
Do you have certain colours or a style that you would like to incorporate into the portrait? This can be done through clothing, furniture, location, or with clever lens work from the photographer! The Singing Wizard (below) for example, wanted to subtly convey the magic of singing and of being a singing teacher - I did this by shooting into the sun on Hastings pier, thus creating the soft and magical back-lighting and natural rainbow effect.
4. What's your story?
Are you trying to tell a story with your photos? This is especially important for musician's and artists looking for press shots, but also for business owners that want to tell the story of their business. It may for example, seem tricky to convey music visually, but I've worked with many musician's over the years and there are ways it can be done! For example, by considering where your music is made and what it is inspired by. Answering these questions should help to spark ideas about the location, lighting, pose and style of your shoot and whether you need props etc.
5. What do you need to do to personally prepare for the shoot?
Proper professional portrait photographs are not an every-day occurrence so it's definitely worth investing a bit of time into your appearance before the show. Book that long over-due hair-cut or beard trim if necessary and get your best, non-wrinkled clothes on!
Click here for further info and examples of my portraiture!
Portraits for business owners, artists and families in Hastings, East Sussex, Kent, London and UK-wide.
To enquire about having some new images of yourself for web, press or home, please call the office number on 07878 918 007 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
I pride myself on shooting sensitively and creatively and always make sure you're as comfortable as can be!
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