I love (like seriously, LOVE) the anticipation before a shoot! It’s SO energizing for me when I email my clients! I’m one of those people who ends the majority of their sentences with exclamation marks–for real, I do! I think it’s because when I start talking with future clients about what their shoot will look like, what it will include, where it will be at, their vision and how we’ll execute it–it gets me SO excited!!!!!!
Have you ever wondered what is going through your photographers mind before and during your shoot!? (Besides the continual prayer that it doesn’t rain!) I’m about to let you know…..
1) I’ll love you forever if you bring props!
But really. I will. I can tell you with 100% assurance that if you show up to your next photo shoot with any type of prop my heart will soar!! Besides the amazing fact that I will love you (and this should be enough…hehe), props make your shoot so uniquely your own! It adds a little something-something that other people’s shoots don’t have. Bringing a prop can be something as simple as a quilted blanket, an old wicker chair, a winter hat, a wooden ladder. Or you could let creativity take flight! A floral headband for your baby, some suspenders for your toddler, a sign with the date you are getting married, some fun big bulbed lights to hang from the tree or a make-shift tent for your kids! It can be as simple or as complex as you like! But anyone who brings props gets a thousand bonus points from me!
2) Light changes everything!
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Lacey, it doesn’t change EVERYTHING!” Now I’ll tell you again. Light changes EVERYTHING! Not everyone’s schedule is going to work for a sunrise or sunset shoot….but people, when that glow hits, there’s absolutely nothing like it! If at all possible, book your shoot for an hour before sunset or right after sunrise (if you’re lucky, I may even get you a Starbucks! Yes, this has happened!) Let your photographer speak for a second. Lighting will change everything about your shoot! It adds dimension, character, ambiance! Let the light set the stage!
3) Clothing counts.
Now don’t freak out. And please–PLEASE don’t let this point intimidate you! Let me explain. When I say “clothing counts” please don’t hear–“what you wear will make or break your shoot.” That’s NOT what I’m saying! What I am saying is that clothing determines a lot about your shoot. It helps dictate the feel you’re going for (ie: scarves and rustic colors for a wheat field shoot, bright colors against an urban skyline, a lace overlay dress next to an old oak tree and blue sky). What you wear helps add direction, it expresses the feel you want. Think about your ideal surrounding. Then narrow in on your color tones. From there I’d encourage you to mix and match, but keep it consistent. And if you don’t know–ask! I’m always more than willing to help!
4) If you want it, ask!
I always come to each shoot with more than enough ideas for poses, directions, etc. but maybe you’re a visionary! If you have a specific shot that you’ve dreamed about for months (maybe you’ve already bought the frame and have a section of the wall picked out to hang it) let me know!!! I WANT to know! I want you to be thrilled with your pictures! (Added sidenote: remember that I’ve done countless photo shoots and understand lighting! That’s why you hired me! I want to hear your ideas, but a client who trusts their photographers experience is gold!)
5) RELAX, the unplanned moments are almost always the sweetest!
Really, I could make this my first and my last point. But for the sake of time (and knowledge!) I won’t. I want every single one of my clients to know this! Unplanned moments are the best! (I want to say this a million times! Again, I won’t. But I wish I could!!) They capture the essence of every family or couple! I know at the time when you baby is crying and your nerves are cranked up sky high it doesn’t feel like a sweet moment….but it is. I promise you’ll look back and smile, because you realize THIS was what life was for you. Or the time your kids won’t stop tickling each other–that’s special too. Because that’s what brings out their most sincere smile and giggling laugh. Or that time that your fiance lifts you up in his arms and carries you through the field (mostly to not get your feet wet) but this moment, this one was the best. So relax. No matter what your shoot brings—these moments are the sweetest!
So there you are! I’m sure there are many more things I think you should know (like how after every shoot I get SO excited about what just happened that I walk in the door then proceed to show Michael every picture, or how I can’t wait to post sneak peeks, or how many times I say “Aweee” out loud to myself when I edit).
But for now, this will do.
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