Monday, February 4, 2013

The Experience: Portraits

Portraits...I loooove them. Family portraits, headshots, just because sessions, boudoir, I adore it all.

Granted, those are all very different types of photo sessions, I know. But at their hearts, they are all the same. They are all about telling your story. And finding the love and beauty in every person in everyday stories.


Every portrait session is going to be different, depending on the purpose and style of the shoot. I love anything and everything DIY, so I am always up for working on this with you, whether it be through props, styling, location, or all of the above. No matter what, the shoot should be a reflection of you, and your story will be the center of attention at all points of the planning and execution. And on the day of the photo session, it is ALL about having fun. You just be yourself and I'll make sure everything falls into place.

Before the session:

Most people let me know that they are interested in a session by email. It's always great if you include in your initial inquiry what the session is for/about. We'll chat about a few details, and I'll send a questionnaire to get you thinking about the specifics. (It's okay if you don't know a lot of the answers at the beginning. We'll chat and it will come. I'm here to help!) If we decide that props should be part of the session (totally optional!) you'll want to grab them before we meet. It's also good to pick out your clothing ahead of time, and make any appointments for hair and makeup in advance (highly recommended for headshots and boudoir...and if you want to splurge for any type of session, it is always wonderful to be pampered!).

During the session:

Again, each session will be unique, but in some ways they are all similar. Most sessions take place outdoors, about an hour or so before sunset. All sessions involve a mix of posed and candid photo opportunities. Some lean more heavily toward posed (headshots, boudoir) and others are much more candid (family, just because). It takes most people a little while to loosen up for candid photos (I remember my engagement session, at first it feels like you're being followed by the paparazzi), so we usually start by posing until everyone gets comfortable with the camera and individual personalities shine through. When children are involved in the session, I let them lead and simply follow however they want to engage. It makes them feel important and keeps them happy and adorable. Regardless of whether a photo is candid or posed, I like to keep people in motion throughout the shoot so that the photos ultimately look natural and free, never stiff or awkward. Most sessions last an hour to an hour and a half.

After the session:

After we say goodbye, I'll add special sauce/fairy dust to the pictures to make them extra awesome, and, within 1-2 weeks, put them in an online gallery for you to share on facebook // send to friends and family // and order prints. You also have the option to download the images directly onto your computer - no more waiting for a DVD to arrive in the mail. Yay!

The thing about a portrait session is that it is actually an intimate experience. Regardless of the type. We get to know each other in a very personal way and many times without much talking. And I love this...and I love you. I sincerely heart the people who are willing to make themselves vulnerable in front of my lens and share themselves completely for a priceless image. I treasure the time we spend imagining the outcome and capturing that most authentic and beautiful version of yourself and the ones you love.

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