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Today we are sharing Dalton & Bobbie’s beautiful outdoor wedding at her family’s property.  The weather was absolutely beautiful and we were even treated to a gorgeous sunset right as their ceremony ended.

So, you have chosen the location for your portrait session and you have a solid plan for your color palette and the clothing that everyone will wear. Now it is time to focus on something you probably haven’t even thought about yet – What Products Will you be Getting?

To get the most out of your portrait session it is important to have an idea of what you might need for your home and for gifts. Otherwise, your photographer may spend your entire session creating beautiful images that don’t fit into the spaces you have to display them (like a wide horizontal photo that you want to display in a tall, skinny space). It is extremely important for your photographer to know what size and shape you want to display, that way they can make sure to pose your group and compose the image accordingly. Here are a few tips that will help ensure all of your portrait expectations are met once the images are completed:

  1. Walk through your house and look at all of the places you might want display your images, or where you need to replace an outdated portrait.
  2. Measure every single space that you might want to put a portrait and take photos of it as well.  Measure EVERYTHING – you never know what images you might fall in love with so its best to be prepared.
  3. What sort of display would best suite your interior and your taste? Do you love the look of contemporary wood or metal prints? Or do framed canvases suite your style a little better? This is important to know, as the width of the frame moulding will take up space so your photographer will have to adjust the overall size and possibly the dimension of your portrait to fit in.
  4. Note anything that might impede in displaying a portrait in a certain area, such as placement of control panels, light switches and current furniture placement. All of these may impact what you display and where you display it.
  5. Also make note of areas that get especially harsh sun – your photographer may have specific recommendations to help maintain the longevity of your images.

Now that you have your walls figured out, think about tabletop displays and gifts for other people.

  1. It is not always possible to display EVERY image that you love on the wall so be prepared to create a smaller display for a decorative table with small, framed gift prints.  Or maybe an album or folio would work better for you?
  2. Plan your gifts – have your parent’s been dropping hints that they need an updated family photo from you? Find out how they would like to display it and what size they may need. If they are tight on space, maybe plan to do a small album or portfolio box.
  3. Think about the kids. The little ones are sometimes overlooked when it comes to ordering products but we have found that a lot of children love to have a photo or collage to display in their bedroom. It could be just a small gift print of themselves in a frame or it could be something fun like an accordion book with several photos of them, their siblings and the whole family.

Your photographer probably offers a wide range of products that they have hand chosen for the benefit of their clients so let their expertise guide you.  By giving your photographer the tools they need, you can work together as a team to create memories you will treasure for a lifetime.

It can be tempting to wait until the last minute when planning the outfits for your portrait session but trust us, you will have a more successful shoot if you plan ahead (not to mention less stress).  Below we have listed a few tips to help ensure your family looks as great as this family does.

  1. Coordinate your outfits but don’t make them too matchy-matchy. We want everyone to look good together but we also want to see each person’s individuality.
  2. Choose clothing that suites your body type and fits you properly – fitted is always better than baggy.
  3. We always suggest that you tuck your shirts in, but if someone will be wearing a shirt un-tucked, make sure it is a fitted shirt and it isn’t too long (a few inches below their natural waist is best).
  4. On that note, don’t wear clothing that is too tight or too short and that the arms aren’t restrictive. You should be able to stand, sit, bend over and reach overheard without having to constantly readjust everything.
  5. Check that your buttons don’t gap at the chest or stomach.
  6. If you are wearing something sleeveless, make sure your bra strap is not showing. If you have to keep pushing it back in, it will definitely show in your photos (and no, we can’t just photoshop that out).
  7. Avoid wild patterns, large logos and anything with writing on it. These can be very distracting and they will really date your photos.
  8. If one person is wearing a subtle pattern or strips, make sure the other adults are in solids. Too many competing patterns or stripes can look chaotic.
  9. For families with children, parents should be the backdrop for their children – neutral clothing for mom and dad then something more colorful for the kids is ok. The smallest ones can in brighter colors or patterns so they stand out.
  10. Keep jewelry to a minimum. Wear the necessities like your wedding ring and accent jewelry but leave the extras at home (watches, multiple rings and necklaces). Bangles are ok if they are party of your outfit but make sure they won’t catch on your clothing.
  11. For babies and small children, bring a change of clothing.

A lot of planning goes into every portrait session we do – the location, time of day, colors you want to wear and the products you want are all important factors in making sure your portrait session is something you will treasure for years to come. The first step in planning your portrait session is to choose your location – everything else revolves around the setting you choose.

Studio Portraits

Pros – Contained area so easy to keep track of the kiddos
– You can schedule anytime because the weather and available light are irrelevant
– Temperature controlled (very important in the south)
– Easy access to restroom facilities and changing area

Cons –
Studio backgrounds can be a little boring
– Not as much variety for settings and lighting
– Not all photographers have a studio space

Portraits in your Home

Pros – You have EVERYTHING you could need available to you
– Easy for outfit changes and makeup touch ups
– Temperature control (again, important in hot areas)

Cons – For the best results, your house should be very nicely decorated and ALL clutter removed
– House needs to be dusted and cleaned
– Home must have ample space to set up lighting
– You must be comfortable having strangers in your home

Outdoors – Park Setting
– Plenty of outdoor locations available
– Pretty backgrounds
– lots of room for kids to run around and to post large groups

Cons – No control over the weather, the sun or the temperature
– In public places, no control over other people visiting location and possibly being in your way
– May not have easy access to restrooms or changing areas

Outdoors – Architectural Setting
Pros – Sometimes have more control over the shadows
– More predictable
– setting doesn’t usually change much
– Added chairs and furniture make more sense
– Architecture can add a lot of interest to an images

Cons – Not a lot of variety in some locations
– Might be too crammed to pose and shoot a group
– May not have easy access to restrooms or places to change
– May have to pay a fee to the property owner (always check ahead of time to see if a payment or permit is needed)


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