March 10, 2021
We get a lot of questions on how to prepare for your portrait session, what to wear, how to practice ‘posing’, etc. so we put together some info to help you get a better idea of what you’re getting yourselves into – and hopefully get you over those nerves!
Bottom line, just be yourselves. This session is about YOU, and who you are as a couple (if you’re doing a couples portrait session). This is such an exciting thing – so just trust the process, be open to anything, and let’s work some magic together. A little trust goes a long way, and we promise to make you look and more importantly, feel incredible.
Here are a few of our favorite tips to help you prepare:
What to Wear/Bring:
When it comes to what to wear – it’s more about personal preference and what you want to see in the photos, but there are a few suggestions that we can make. BE BOLD. Trendy works best. Bold colors, fun (sometimes unexpected) combinations, and comfortable clothing make for the most epic photos. Wear something that reflects who you are today – something you would normally wear on a date night or in your everyday lives. Something that makes you feel your best. And accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!! Even if just for a few photos, bring your favorite sunglasses, hat, jacket, scarf, etc.
These photos are freezing a moment in time – so won’t it be fun to look back on your photos and see what you wore at this stage in your life? In addition to clothing accessories, you can accessorize with food and drinks! Yes, I said it… bring your go-pizza place. Bring milkshakes to share and sip-on. Bring that favorite bag of popcorn that you sit on the couch and eat at night. Bring those cute cocktail glasses you’ve been meaning to use.
Bring anything that helps tell your story and gives a little more insight into your relationship. And yes, please bring your pets, they’re part of the family (plan on bringing your pet for 10-15 minutes and having a friend/pet sitter/someone your pet is comfortable with pick them up – or we can photograph them/you at home, too!).
One of the biggest things to remember is to wear complementary colors, and colors in the same family. Try on your outfits together. See what you’ll look like in the mirror. If you like it – then I’m good with it! Most importantly, try to either both wear darker shades or both wear lighter shades. We don’t want one person in a light shade and the other in dark shades. The contrast doesn’t photograph well, so definitely keep that in mind.
I also love anything that has movement. Anything flowy that we can play around with is my jam. Hair blowing in the wind, a skirt/dress/scarf showing movement from running, etc. Movement = more natural photos. So be comfortable, too – because we’re definitely going to be moving — walking, skipping, lifts in the air, spinning, sitting, etc.
For most sessions, you are free to bring up to two outfits (mini sessions are limited to one outfit per session), but please keep in mind changing time, how you’ll carry everything around, where you’ll change, etc. Also, don’t forget accessories – we love shooting with sunglasses and hats – or anything else that feels like you. Check out our instagram page @jilltiongcophoto or the galleries on our website to get a better idea of what others wear.
I like to encourage people to think of a place that has some sentimental value or meaning to you and/or your relationship. Your home, the neighborhood, nearby murals, regular walking routes or even your favorite coffee shop/bar/restaurant are all great ideas. I especially love in-home sessions for a more casual feel – and to really capture where you lived at this stage in your life.
If you’re feeling extra creative and adventurous – leave it completely up to me (just give me a general sense of what you’re looking for – obscure Chicago, creative/unsuspecting locations, nature, etc.) – and I will put together a custom, unique plan specifically for your session. Again, it always helps to look at our engagements on the blog for a few locations I’ve done to give you some ideas.
If you’ve seen my work, you know it’s very authentic, free-spirited, and all about the imperfect moments. So don’t be nervous – I promise you it’s so much fun! I’ll give you a few actions/activities (we don’t like to ‘pose’ – it’s too static, we like to keep everything moving to make it more natural), but feel free to make each action your own (and snuggle up with your fiancé if you’re doing a couples’ session). We’ll talk, laugh, and just have a great time together.
I will share a sneak peek of the session within two week. In about 3-4 weeks, you’ll receive an email from me with a link to the high resolution image gallery where you can view, download, share, and order your prints. Simply click “Download All” and you’ll have the images instantly (does not apply to Mini Sessions). You also have rights to print the photos wherever you choose, but I do recommend printing any larger display prints through this gallery as the quality makes a huge difference.
● Apply regular lotion 1-2 hours prior to session, but DO NOT spray tan. It often comes out orange in photos. If you haaaaave to do one, make sure it’s very light and not overly tan.
● If you’re on Spotify – feel free to create a “fun/romantic” playlist to help set the tone. I’ll bring a speaker, so you can share the playlist with me – or I can bring my own music as well.
● Have a drink/CBD/smoke some weed, whatever you do to relax. Sometimes this helps take the edge off. This is supposed to be fun!
● The first 5 minutes is always awkward, trust me that everyone gets over it and starts having fun when you just let go and trust the process.
● Put together a Pinterest Board of MY work and share it with me – it’s always fun to see what you’re more drawn to and can help start the creative process. If you’re lost – check my Instagram. Those are some of my favorite images.
● Practice some of those poses you like in the mirror together.
● Practice your smiles in the mirror – most people have about three. Just think – start with the smallest smile, and slowly make it bigger, and wider, then show your teeth, all the way to a big open mouth belly laugh.
Don’t worry, it’s going to be great! By reading this, practicing, and trusting me – we’re going to have the BEST time and create some beautiful photos.