What to Expect for your Portrait Photography Session

Not everyone has a professional photographer take their pictures every day! As a portrait photographer, I often forget that what seems so natural to me is a rare ritual for families, seniors, and other individuals who book a photo session. To clear up some nerves and confusion, here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your on-location photography session with Gentry Photography.

Before your Session

After you’ve paid your deposit and we’ve set your date - we can talk about the fun stuff like the location for your session! If you need help with location ideas, we can talk about the style you are going for and I’m more than happy to help you decide which locations will look best for you! I am also always up for going to any location that is special to you, interests you, or somehow represents your personality! I want your photos to be unique.

Then, the most common question I get is “What should I wear!?”

Seniors: It’s best to bring along both dressy and more casual outfits so you have a good variety. Layers are your friend. I also recommend wearing neutral colors with small pops of color in your accessories. I would avoid wearing too bright of colors and patterns all over. Neutral colors will remain timeless and fashionable for years to come. That way you won’t be showing your senior pictures to your kids one day and thinking, “What was I wearing?” Overall, wear something that represents who you are and something that you like to wear.  

Families: Dressing for family photos is about coordinating, not necessarily matching. Choose 2-4 colors, some neutral, some brighter, and mix and match them among family members. If you need help on this, Pinterest is a treasure trove of ideas and information.

Couples/Engagements sessions: Like family photos, it’s about coordinating. With engagement and couple’s sessions, you’ll probably want two or three outfits, some dressy and some casual. Choose something you would normally wear and your personalities and love will shine through.

During Your Session

I am exclusively an on-location photographer. No stuffy studio photography here! With that being said, I prefer to shoot a mix of both candid and posed photos. When we meet for your session, we’ll dive right in. I’ll probably make a fool of myself trying to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera. I will boss you around and tell you how to pose.

If you’re a couple, I’ll make you kiss and touch your noses together a lot. Get used to it :) The first half of the session, I generally try to get more candid, natural shots. If your session type allows for an outfit change, you’ll change outfits and we’ll begin again.

During this part of the session, we’ll try to get more posed shots (the one Grandma wants on her wall). If your session allows for multiple locations, we’ll drive to the new location.

Always know that if the session goes into overtime for reasons such as bad weather, long distances between locations, or other delays that are my fault, there is no cost to you. All I ask is that you are on time. Being late will cut into our valuable shooting time and cut down on your final selection of images.

After Your Session

When the session is over, I am JUST as excited as you are to see your pictures!

So, a few days after your session, I typically upload a few previews of your images onto my various social media platforms. Then I will continue to edit the rest of your photos.

During the editing process, I will keep with my normal style of editing - the style that you booked me for - this includes basic retouching! If you have a scratch or a pimple? I’m going to edit that out for you! For families with small children - it’s sometimes difficult to get numerous children ALL smiling and looking at the camera at the same time. I will try my hardest to capture a natural smile from each person during our session. And if they aren’t all in the same image? I will photoshop those natural smiles into one image whenever it is possible!

After I am finished editing - usually about two weeks after your session - I will upload your final images into an online gallery and send you the link and download instructions! I will also showcase your photo session on Facebook and other social media sites (with your permission, of course). I love seeing the excitement from family and friends as they get to see your pictures! You will receive a print release with your gallery. This enables you to print whenever and wherever you’d like!

For your convenience, you will also be able to order high-quality prints from a professional lab directly from your photo gallery. You will find that these prints are slightly more expensive but a million times more lasting and quality than those ordered at 1-hr photo booths in drug stores.

I hope this post has fully prepared you for your photography session! I can’t wait to take your photos.

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