Five Tips to Get the MOST Out of Your Portrait Experience

Portraits are an investment of both your time and money.  Get the most for your investment.

There are almost as many photography business models out there as there are photographers.  Some are as low touch as book online, meet for the shoot, and get your 200 images delivered on-line.  Others are a complete, guided experience that takes all the work off your hands and creates a custom product tailored to you.  Whatever type of experience you sign up for, it’s an investment in both your money and (maybe even more importantly) your time.

And yet, a lot of us tend to ask for the digital files, post them for our friends and family on-line, and throw them in a drawer.  Ma-a-a-aybe throw up some framed 5×7’s or even a canvas if we find the time.  Sound familiar?

It’s time to get the absolute most out of your investment of time and energy, and walk away with your images in your home where they can bring you joy Every. Single. Day.  Here are five tips to do just that.

1.  Begin With the End in Mind

Most people begin planning their session with the session in mind.  Don’t!  Start with the very end in mind… what do you want to DO with these images (after you’ve shared them on-line, of course)?  Do you want that one key portrait of your newborn or your whole family?  A wall gallery of images, or of images mixed with other design elements?  An album for your family room, or a book for your kids’ rooms?  Your photographer can talk you through options and help you narrow down the best places for displays or albums in your home.

2.  Look for Inspiration

Starting from scratch can be overwhelming.  I recommend starting from a baseline.  You can always use Pinterest or Google Images and search for what you think you want to do with your images.  For example “wall art,” “wall collections,” or “shelf arrangements.”  These can be GREAT resources to help you pick a direction.  From there it’s much easier to fine tune the details based on your personal taste and preferences.  I also love, love, love the inspiration guides found at A Curated Home.  Feel free to check them out to get you started feeling inspired!

3.  Communicate Your Intended Use

As a photographer, this knowledge informs how I shoot your session.  Are you thinking canvas wraps?  I shoot more shots with space around the subjects, which will later be wrapped around your canvas.  An album?  More shots designed in series, which make great spreads and allow lots of different expressions that show personality and relationships.  Tell your photographer how you want to use your images so they can adjust their session to get exactly what you need out of it.

4.  Design for Your Intended Use

Work with your photographer to make sure your session design not only matches you, but also matches how you want to use your portraits.  Consider where your using your images when selecting color for your wardrobe (do they clash with the décor of the room where you want to use them?), the backdrop of your location (a modern décor might lend itself more to an urban or architectural setting, vs. a park or organic background for use in a room with more traditional décor), and even how casual or formal the posing and interaction in your images will be.  Any good photographer can easily walk you through these decisions in your pre-consult, and will guide your session to make sure it creates images that fit the design.

5.  Order, Install, Enjoy!

If you did your prep work well, this part should be really easy!  Your photographer will have captured images that reflect your family and your style, and that work for each of your intended uses.  Your images will incorporate colors that work in your home.  And at this point, it should just be a matter of narrowing down to which specific image you like best for each intended use!  If you are not feeling “handy,” or are like many families and just don’t have the time to stop and hang your art work, ask your photographer about installation services.  I and many photographers include this at specified investment levels, or offer it as an add-on service.  And one less thing to think about is always welcome!

Here’s the best news:  your photographer should be able to quickly and easily guide you through these steps by asking the right questions.  Which means you get a much more customized portrait experience, with a very specifically tailored end result, with very little effort from you!

If you’re curious about a design session, give me a call or contact me below, I’d love to learn about you and your style, and answer any questions you have about a session or design consultation!

Drop us a line, we'd love to hear from you!

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