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Preparing For Your Portrait Session | Engagement Session Tips | Best D.C. Wedding Photographer

One of the most common things I’m asked about by clients is how to prepare for a photo shoot. I have compiled the most requested information into one blog post which can be applied to most photo shoots, including engagement, lifestyle, boudoir, etc.

At least a month before the shoot:

At this point, we discuss the feel you want to go with for your photo shoot. Most of my clients have enjoyed doing activities or other adventures over just selecting a pretty place. We can focus on just one thing if you already know what you are excited by, or we can play with a few different things, playing with them to see how they look or mixing them together. Once we have figured out what you want your shoot to look like, then we can figure out where and when to do it. Sometimes we will put together a Pinterest board for inspiration, to help you hone your vision. (We never replicate anything on Pinterest, as I respect other artists and would never want to just copy their work. Your photos will be uniquely yours!) And I’m going to throw all kinds of ideas at you, so come with an open mind! Sometimes engagement sessions are more spur of the moment and we do not do this sort of planning. Those adventures can be equally as fun.

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At least a week before the shoot:  

We will have a meeting to discuss the final wheres and whens. You are going to want to figure out what to wear for your shoot. Some people opt to shop for outfits for their shoots, or rent from Rent the Runway and these will be dependent on the theme. It is important that you feel delighted and at home in your clothes. You can select one or a couple of outfits. Some people just bring a bunch of different things and we figure it out when we get there. Usually, people change in the car or in local cafes, etc. For my work, I prefer clothes that are a little more dramatic, but that is just my preference! I suggest that ladies get their hair and makeup done to look their very best for the camera, but again, that is optional too.

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A few days before the shoot:

It is important to get plenty of rest and drink lots of water the days leading up to your shoot. Do not forget your accessories.

What to expect on the day of:

I will give you some basic tips about posture and traditional posing when we start, which, if you are getting married, will also be good pointers for the wedding day. On top of that, do not worry about posing or making things perfect. I will pose you when needed, but it’ll also be equal parts improvisation. Mistakes are welcome and they are going to happen, so do not stress. I love it when clients have shot ideas that they want to try and get excited and involved. The goal of the shoot is to play, to experiment, and see what works with the light. So don’t be too nervous. It is almost like acting. You pick a character or a mood for yourself and we will play with that and have fun!

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About the Photographer

Welcome! I’m Leah, and I capture stray photons and tell stories with my camera. I believe in kindness. I love quirky movies like Amelie, Delicatessen, & most everything Wes Anderson has ever put on the screen. I love exploring. Find out more about me….

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